I don’t know if this is a worldwide pandemic or just where I live… but I have to say that I have some across two complete polar opposites of opinion and judgement of mothers with children; or just children too actually. I feel like I either get old women cooing over my little man or cantankerous men moaning behind me, whilst I struggle to get the pram down a set of steps, about “…all these women with pushchairs…” Is it that they have forgotten that they were children too once upon a time? Is it a gender thing? Why is it that children are either perceived as the cutest things to walk the earth or complete irritants to the general public?
I think that firstly I have to establish wether this applies to children having tantrums in public and the sometimes inconsolable cries of newborns. I think that in those circumstances I can understand why some with short temperament may get frustrated with these noises in the public domain, however, are parents not entitled to leave their houses without fear of causing disturbance tot he peace?
I mean all children cry. Fact. All children will have a tantrum from time to time (to be honest I know adults that cause more scenes in public!) Children need to learn how to be part of society; parents shouldn’t be confined to their place of residence simply for fear that an possible outburst may offend a passer by.
My main frustration comes from the views of a lot of the general public, which seems to be that everything that ‘comes with’ children is annoying; the extended personal space caused by a pram or carrier, the need to entertain, water, feed whilst you are trying to pay or queue, the stern tellings off, the baby cooing, the child approaching wanting to say hello, the extra space needed to park or get children in and out of a car, navigating a pram… the list is endless.
I have found that although at least half of the general public find these day to day occurrences cute and a talking point; even empathising enough to offer assistance, there are a fair few people that will complain, mutter under their breath, roll eyes and tut. Surely they don’t believe that parents should keep to ‘child friendly’ spaces and adults should wait until they are flying solo to go and do their weekly shop or get their hair done? Its just not possible for a lot of families! Were they not parents once? Did they not leave their houses until their children were adults?
I always find it so endearing and it lifts my spirits when me and the little man get a smile, a coo or a helping hand on an outing. It is so crushing when the opposite harshness is distributed. I have decided I don’t think it is a gender imbalance either as in hindsight there are just as many men that seem to say hi or wave to the small prince and women.
Do you find you get smiles or sighs? Hit me up with your experiences of the general publics views of babies/children.