I’ve really been trying to control how often I use this blog as a soapbox to wag fingers at others (okay, so I haven’t been trying that hard). When I read this article my annoyance meter kicked on and I knew it was time to dust off the old ‘box’. Oh come on, don’t roll your eyes at me! I have a good reason, this time, I swear.
If you can’t open the link, here’s the gist: A mom was carrying her five-year old daughter in a baby carrier on her back. The manager of the store they were in snapped a photo, posted it on Facebook, and used the social media platform to shame the mom for allowing the kid to be in the carrier. The mom found out and all hell broke loose.
As a mom, here’s my perspective. I’ve been to the mall with my kids and guess what? They get tired. Shocking, I know. So what do you do? There are two options: 1) listen to your kid complaining and throwing mini tantrums because they’re in no mood to walk or 2) keep ‘em quiet by hoisting them up. Both options depend on your own sanity level.
Sometimes a parent is in zero mood to hear the tiny rants coming from their precious child. So we’ll gladly carry them, even up to the age of 5 (if we’re strong enough), just to zip those lips. But sometimes a parent has enough patience in the tank to teach the kid a life lesson about bucking up and getting through the tough times. That’s when we can take the crocodile tears and trembling lips and keep the kid putting one foot in front of the other. There is a third option in which no one wins. You throw in the towel, head to the car, and retreat home trying to convince yourself you didn’t really want to go shopping anyway.
I’m saying this and admittedly I’m old school. Those carrier things like the woman in the article had didn’t even exist when I was a mom to toddlers (not that the kid in the photo was a toddler). I just held them in my arm, pressed against my hip. Having one of those carriers would’ve been a godsend. Of course the mom is going to use that handy-dandy carrier when her kid’s not feeling well or simply to shut the kid up. It seems like a no brainer.
The idea that someone else would publicly humiliate a mom for doing something that benefits both her child’s comfort and her own sanity is beyond me. So what if the kid is older? It’s not like she was in Middle School for god’s sake. Now that would’ve been worrisome. So what if it’s not what you would do as a parent (speaking to the store manager and the complainers here)? That kid isn’t yours. So why do you even care?
And did I miss the memo that it’s no longer super creepy to lurk and take photos of other people, especially children, in public and post them online? Is this okay now? I mean, I understand if you’re trying to out someone for stealing or doing something truly nefarious, but carrying your kid on your back? Or (gasp!) breastfeeding in public? You can go viral from that?!? Sadly, apparently so.
All in all, it’s just sad that our society has stooped to these levels. Just because we can do certain things now thanks to the internet and technology doesn’t mean we should. I think this is a morality line people forget or altogether neglect to consider. Or maybe it’s worse than I think. Maybe people nowadays simply just don’t care about that morality line in the first place.