Parenting is different than it was when my mom had me. Even though she was a foreigner in this new country, my mom found her village. Believe me it, it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to stop enforcing bad behavior. You are probably wondering, where am I going with this. Let me share a little story.
When my twins were toddlers. We were getting to the stage where they could walk, we did not really need a stroller (and I was not really about that stroller life anyways). I went to the mall to let them have some playtime and to get us out of the house. It was time for us to leave. Unfortunately, it was also the time where they start to get fussy.
I was walking through the department store, maybe 5 minutes from getting through that department store and into my car. My daughter breakdowns and starts not walking. My son is still being a trooper — still walking & holding my hand (and know my kids this is not a surprise). My daughter catches the eye of a sales associate, who is either judging me or feels sorry for me, but offers to help. I politely tell her don’t worry about it (because I know my daughter) and keep walking. My daughter tries to woe her with her adorableness but I am walking away and the associate is quite given in (though she is staring at her like it may happen).
She finally gets up and walks, I am two feet from the door —my son starting to squirm but we can make it, my daughter finally moving along but upset that she’s not being picked up. This older woman confronts me and says, “All she wants is to be picked up” and she said something after those words came out of her mouth the tone she said it too me, my blood began to boil. I had to take a deep breath and say, “I know.” And walk away. I don’t get mad easily.
That is my story. I am sure that women who are my age who have some story like this. People judging you for your kids bad behavior, enforcing your kids behavior. Strangers offering to console a child when clearly they are acting fool just because. I have heard stories where people gave them money to buy whatever the kid wanted just to stop their tantrum. Or you see the mom who is tired, dealing with a tantrum, embarrassed their kid is making a scene. Yes, I knew my daughter wanted to be picked up when I walked through that store. I also knew that if I picked her up she would know that’s what she needed to do next time and the time after that and so on. Also, my son would want to picked up too and I couldn’t pick both of them up.
There are going to be times where kids will act crazy in public, throw tantrums or just whatever. They are kids. We should not be shaming parents when this happens. You should not be offer money to buy whatever to console their child and reinforce the foolish that is occurring. I would rather hear — you are doing a good job mom or hey, listen to your mom (permitting the child looks enough to listen).
We need to stand being our moms. Let us to tell our kids no and if that results in a tantrum so be it. Let us stand our ground when we send our kids to timeout or whatever and proceed to make a big scene because there consequence to bad judgement calls and wrong decisions they have made. We need collectively, allow parents to parent to public, stop enforcing bad behavior and mom shaming. Or am I the only one who feels this way?
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Wife of one and mother of two (twins). Raising a family in the midwest. Lover of Netflix, crime shows and summer. Founder of The Expecting Mamas Network.