So…. this list is kind of in jest but kinda not. I’ll preface by saying that none of these things are indicative of someone’s actual parenting ability all the time and we (I) should probably stop judging but… it is what it is and I am judging. I think experiencing perinatal loss makes you keenly aware of moments when people appear to be doing a piss-poor job at parenting. It’s judgy and messy and likely not completely accurate but it forces you to think about all the things you would & will try to do once you’re fortunate enough to have living children. It makes you recognize fertility privilege and just how precious those little lives are even if they get on your nerves sometimes.
Below is a list of time when you just KNOW you’ll be a better mom than the people you’re running into:
- When you see people at the parks with babies and the babies don’t have on hats or sweaters
- This happened last night. I’m in FL right now and even though its warmer here than it is where I’m living, it’s still too cool for babies to not have on hats and/or long sleeves. Especially at night. I watched as this guy held his less-than-six-month-old baby in his arms w/ a short-sleeved onesie on while the dad had on THREE layers including a scarf! Like… something’s wrong w/ that picture. I’m just saying….
- When you see parents w/ their infants at Halloween Horror Nights
- Again, I’m in FL and went to the best scare-fest ever at Universal Studios. If you haven’t been to HHN, GO NEXT YEAR! Back to my original point though, people had infants at this event. I was scared at this event! I know babies don’t have at all the same frame of reference that I do but creepy looking things can still freak babies out so why are your kids here sir or ma’am?!
- When you hear people yelling at their kids unnecessarily
- I get it, kids can be super frustrating at times. They don’t listen all the time, they’ve got a ton of energy, they want to be independent but yet still need you so much, they’re expensive, you have to repeat yourself all the time, yaddah yaddah yaddah. Guess what? They’re KIDS! That’s what they do. I get that it’s frustrating but sometimes the way I hear/see people talking to their children is just appalling. It’s important to remember that these are little people. No less important than anyone else just because of their age or stature. I have witnessed things that were completely devastating to the point where I’ve either said something or been ready to call DHS.
- When you see pregnant people who appear unkempt
- Your body’s doing lots of interesting things when you’re pregnant. Sometimes, you really can feel pretty crappy and it may result in you not feeling much like primping and prepping. It’s ok to be comfortable and really, no one needs my permission to show up however they show up. BUT, looking physically dirty is problematic. Basic maintenance and good hygiene is important folx so when it’s not present, the first thing I think is, “a baby has to come out of there…” I know it’s not right but it is what it is.
- When you witness a baby crying & the parent isn’t responding at all
- “taps mic” Babies can’t talk. I’ll say it again, BABIES CAN’T TALK!!! Guess what that means? That means they CRY to get their needs met and to communication with you! I cannot stand seeing and hearing children cry. I’m not talking about spoiled/bratty crying, I’m talking about infant cries which mean they need something! Food, snuggling, diaper changes, attention, whatever. They need it and you’re the one they need it from. So many people would give so much to have their little one crying for them so when people ignore the cries of their own… as my mom would say, “it eats a hole in my ass.” *shouts out to my momma for that gem!*
- When a kid is trying to engage their parent but the parent is dismissive
- This is related to #5 but can also stand alone. Have you ever seen a kid trying to show their parent something or tell them a story and the parent is completing ignoring the kid? Usually, or at least what I have seen recently, the parent is playing on their phone/scrolling FB instead of attending to their kid. This is another thing that eats a hole for me. Look, I get that kids can be challenging and they always want to show you something. All I’m saying is at least fake it! Dag! It’s important to them and again, there are so many people who would LOVE the opportunity so see the picture their little one drew for them or hear their little voices telling a story. I know I would…
- When someone is upset that their pregnant again
- Listen! Getting pregnant and having a living child ONCE is a huge accomplishment! Doing it a second or third or fourth or fifth time is a freaking miracle ok! If you don’t want to get pregnant again, there are a series of options available to you and your partner. And if you don’t want to keep the child, there are plenty of loving singles and families who would love to foster and adopt. Look into it!
I know this post is a little bitter but it’s just where I am right now. Bare with me y’all… my due date is approaching and I’m a little touchy…