Motherhood can be a very lonely existence without the right support networks; I have rambled on before about how integral I feel it is to find your Mama clan and hold them tight. But sometimes you can’t always be wth them and you, god forbid, might actually need to venture out of your home solo with your child. Be it to do the food shop, to go grab a bite to eat, even just to get some fresh air for the two ( or however large your brood) of you. So why when we are actually attempting to do normal, everyday tasks and culture our children by taking them out of the house do we get made to feel hideous if they make the slightest noise or decide they want to have a wander instead of sitting absolutely, statuesquely still and silent?
I has been something of a massive bug bear to me recently as my little man is growing older and ever more aware of the situations he is in. Children don’t like to be cooped up inside, we SHOULD be taking them out of the house. We SHOULD be making sure they get some fresh air, company and culture now and then if not everyday!
I have written about this before but over the last week it had once again reared its ugly head and I have found myself wanting to curl up into a little ball in my bed with my small man and never venture out again.
But we all know that is not the answer, and why should it be? God forbid we try and do a good thing by taking our children on outings? By integrating them into the world?
Segregation was abolished a very long time ago so why do we still make Mothers feel like they should barrier off half of every building we enter so that we don’t disturb the ‘normal’ folk that wish to live their life undisturbed by ‘our kind’.
It was my Grandfathers Birthday party on Sunday and they held it in a, verging on, fancy hotel come restaurant come pub that is usually occupied predominantly by the older generation. Now done get me wrong I get some very adoring smiles and remarks from the elderly that appreciate youth, but Sunday was a different story.
As we waited patiently for our table to be ready in the absence of the adjoining pub the small man was quite happy to wander around, not bothering anyone and just exploring his surroundings. He did not once try and get out, he didn’t approach anyone and was in quite a good mood bless him!
Yet two women, who actually weren’t that much older than my own mother, decided to begin muttering under their breath that the fact we were even in there with a child, as they so eloquently put it, was ‘just unacceptable’.
Of course Im sure they didn’t realise I could hear every word they were saying and they were making me feel very tense so I attempted to keep the small man confined to a sofa (yes thats how relaxed the place was… they had sofas! So I didn’t think it would be a problem)
Now THAT is the moment things turned ugly. As of course he did not want to be confined to a sofa, and then the remarks got worse. the women started pointing out tables that were further away from us and listened in to our conversation to see if we were going soon. They eventually moved to the other side of the bar when more of our family arrived and at this point I wanted to just run way and cry.
This is family that live extremely far away and I don’t see very often so for those women to spoil it for me by making me feel so awful for daring to leave my house with my son was utterly horrible.
It got worse, if thats even possible, as we entered the ‘posh meal section’ as it was very clear the guests were trying to enjoy a pretty much deadly silent meal and the arrival of a hungry, restless toddler was NOT on their agenda.
The staff were not child friendly either as they clearly did not recognise the fact that his cries were due to his hunger and maybe instead of waiting until half way through serving the main courses to the adult that perhaps should have brought out his food with our starters.
I did not think this needed to be specifically asked for as it is usually assumed. They didn’t bring out his food until I specifically pointed out that maybe being only two that he was quite hungry and could they please bring him his food. And guess what, as soon as his plate was in front of him the moaning ceased. Go figure!
If you have got this far through this weeks musing, more like a moaning to be fair, then thank you so much. It is something that is very close to my heart at the moment as I don’t understand the backwards attitude of The English when it comes to children and Mothers.
In other European countries (Brexit will be the death of the ‘family friendly’ entity you just watch… its already started) children are catered for entirely and they tbuild their culture around kids. And so they should, children are our future. And Mothers are the ones that bring them into the world and guide them into being our future. We make the fricking world go round.
So please, do not make us feel like we should hide away in our houses until our children are legally adults for fear of impeding on your day with the presence of a child.
It is utterly unacceptable to make Mothers feel this way.