I am a good mom and I have good kids. I am not perfect, nor are they, but who is? The last two times I have been out shopping in different stores I have received these two comments from employees:
“Oh sweetie! Don’t do that, you will get hurt!”
“Don’t hang on the side of the cart, sweetie, you could tip it!”
Public service announcement: I am right here. I can parent my children absolutely fine, thank you very much. I have been a mom for over 5 years to two very busy boys and I’m pretty good at what I do. I got this. So please don’t overstep your boundaries, dear grocery store cashiers of the world, and parent my children right in front of me. I know you likely mean well, but this comes across as judgmental and rude to me. I smile and nod, and the odd time I reply with “they’ve been warned, if they hurt themselves doing this they won’t do it again!“, and I smile kindly and give a “what’re-ya-gonna-do? Kids!” look. But they (the parenting-my-children people) just don’t seem to get it.
A cashier at yesterday noted that Ethan (he’s two and a half) was sucking his thumb. At first she told me that it was cute and she was a thumb-sucker as a child too. Then it went a bit sour for me when she also rudely stated “but I never did it in public.” Sigh. He’s only two and a half years old, ma’am. He’s tired…it’s his thing…it comforts him. Do you recommend I amputate the thumb because he’s doing it in public and you feel the need to judge him and me for it? (Clearly I’m over-reacting and being a bit snarky, but these comments have been happening a lot lately).
Both boys have hung like monkeys on the railings in the checkout line at the grocery stores. Braden has fallen down straight on his head and hurt himself. He has been advised to not do it and he knows the risks and the same goes for Ethan (as much as a 2.5 year old can understand anyway). They aren’t hurting the railing. They aren’t acting like hooligans. They are playing quietly, not disturbing other customers. If they were, I would make them stop. When they are hanging off the shopping cart 2″ off the floor (also like monkeys) I am still right there. I am watching them like a hawk and holding onto the cart with my talons, trust me—they aren’t going anywhere. They don’t stand up in the cart, they are on the outside, just to be clear — and there are not warnings on the cart or policies in the store against this.
Kids will be kids, and until you have them or you’re around them all the time, I understand that you may not comprehend this or forget what it was like when you were a young mother (to the older cashiers who are usually the guilty parties). I think my children are pretty tame in the grand scheme of things, but I don’t expect them to be perfect, otherwise I could never leave the house with them. So if I let them hang off of things like monkeys, just judge me quietly in your head but don’t spew your word vomit on me please.
To you, the people who people who parent my kids right in front of me, I say: the next time you are out and about (or if you’re in the service industry) and you see a mom or dad out with their kids, just smile and nod. As a mom, especially if I’m truly having a hard day out with the boys, your smile of empathy means the world to me whereas your judgmental remarks cut like daggers. I can only smile and nod and be polite so many times before I snap. Catch me in a foul mood and my Mama Bear instincts might rear, and we don’t want that now, do we?