Dear Random Stranger,
Thank you so much for your advice today. It was so kind of you to stop me in the carpark as I was juggling child, baby and bags. Number One was anxious, we were running late.
She doesn’t like to be late, and by late I mean that anything less than ten minutes early simply isn’t acceptable. I know her jacket was open, I know it was cold. I know a good mum, would have stopped, checked, waited until she fastened it. Sometimes I need to pick my battles. Sometimes I can’t fight them all.
Thank you also for checking when we went on holiday that she eats something other than pizza. Thank you for offering to get her some vegetables. Thank you for suggesting I widen her diet.
A good mum wouldn’t let her child eat pizza every day for a week. Pizza day is Friday. Good mums would only allow pizza once a week. Sometimes I need to prioritise. New places are hard. Busy places are hard. Sometimes I need to realise it’s costing her a lot just to be in the room, sometimes I need to give a little, bend a little, allow things I might not otherwise do.
It was so kind of you to tell me that it wasn’t safe to put Number Two in his car seat in the front of my car. It was raining, the children were cold as we stood outside the car whilst you gave us your statistics. But I understand it was important for you to share this information.
A good mum wouldn’t allow it, even if she did have her air bag disabled. A good mum would put him in the back. A good mum would want him to be safe. I know that. Right now his reflux is bad. On some days that means he chokes on the acid coming up from his mouth. It scares him. I want him next to me so I can reassure him he’ll be ok. I want him next to me so I can concentrate on my driving. I want him next to me so we all arrive safely to our destination.
Thank you also so much for your concern at the park that I was checking my phone whilst my baby was looking for my attention. A good mum wouldn’t do that. A good mum would be looking at her baby, enjoying his smile.
Some days I check my phone too much, some days I look at my laptop while my baby is awake. I do it not because I want less time with him but because I want more. I do it because I’m trying to work from home. I don’t want him to spend his time with strangers, I want to be by his side. I want to find a way of being with him as long as I can. I want to be able to collect his sister from school. I want to be the one to hear his first word.
So dear stranger, before you judge please stand awhile and think. Do I know this family? Do I know their path? Have I walked their walk, have I worn their shoes?
Please, for me, stand stand awhile and think, is this just a mum doing her best, albeit in a way which doesn’t quite fit.
I hope you do, I hope you will. I’m human you know and so are you.
Mummy Times Two