Today, I had my first ever bit of criticism from a random person in the street about my parenting.
I’m not going to lie – it’s kinda knocked me for six. I know I shouldn’t pay any attention, especially seeing as I didn’t know this woman from Adam but it’s definitely played on my mind a bit.
I’d decided to take Evie out for a walk in the sun to get a bit of fresh air. We’d been out a while and I was starting to develop boob sweat due to the heat, so I thought it would be best if I got the bus home. I was standing at the bus stop on my phone, trying to cool down. Evie was asleep in her pushchair, cuddling her trusty pink cat comforter. Now, one thing you must know is that, since Evie was tiny, she’s always slept with her comforter. And, it must ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS be covering her face otherwise she won’t sleep. I know it sounds bad but I never take my eye off her and I always make sure it’s not smothering her, lets just be clear about that.
There was an old woman at the bus stop who noticed me and decided to approach the pushchair. I’m used to people coming over to give Evie some attention so it didn’t really bother me. It makes me feel quite proud when they ask about her! But this was a totally different scenario. She came over to tell me off!
“You’re going to suffocate that baby, you know”, she said.
“Oh, don’t worry, that’s how she sleeps. She won’t sleep unless it’s covering her face”, I replied. I was trying to show that I wasn’t upset at how she’d randomly approached me like that.
“Yeah well, one of these days, you’re going to wake up and she’ll be dead”.
That is honestly what she said to me. How chuffin’ morbid is that?! I was completely gobsmacked at how ridiculous she sounded. I still can’t understand what made her come out with something so vile. And, for that matter, I don’t understand how anyone has the right to comment on someone else’s parenting. I wouldn’t dare criticise another Mam, as I know first hand how bloody difficult it is to raise a child. We all do things our own way, and if that’s not how you would do it, then just keep it to yourself. It’s cool to give someone advice if they ask for it, but it’s not so cool when a new parent has their techniques ripped apart.
What that lady said to me today still won’t change the way I bring up MY child. And that goes for parents who have experienced negativity like this, too. You didn’t bake a human inside you for 9 months for somebody else to tell you what to do, or to criticise you. Just let it go straight over your head – I have every faith that your babies will grow into amazing human beings because YOU raised them.
Written by Bekka Louise Forsyth for her bog, And Then There Was Three.
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