Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rude People and Socks

I've previously written about my astonishment at how rude people can be to pregnant women (read about that here).  By "people" I mean strangers, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors friends and family alike.  By "rude" I mean everything from critiquing dietary choices to admonishing birthing plans.  It seems that being visibly pregnant gives others a ticket to judge.

But the rudeness doesn't end with the baby's birth.  My formerly pregnant friends are currently new mothers (no shock there).  With this transition, I've quickly learned that the ticket to judge pregnant women becomes a season pass to humiliate and belittle new moms.  It's awful.

My quick letter to all the judging, belittling, humiliators that are so rude to pregnant ladies and new moms:

Dear Everyone, what are you thinking?!!!  As Teresa Guidice and Melissa Gorga say (to at each other) - ZIP IT!

Teresa Guidice versus Melissa Gorga
Who's already excited for Season 4 of RHONJ?!!

And now, a short(ish) narrative of some unsolicited advice from a rude, rude lady.

A young mother is walking down the sidewalk on a warm fall day.  Her 3-month-old son is happily strapped into a baby bjorn, facing his mothers chest.  His chubby little legs are kicking and he's doing that adorable drool/gurgle thing, which is only adorable because he's a baby and not a 40-year-old man.  A woman and her husband approach the new mom and baby.  The couple is visibly older than the new mom, by several decades.  
The older woman says, "I just have to say something..."  
The new mom readies herself for a sweet compliment about her son's perfectly rosy and round cheeks.  "Those socks are much too small on his feet," says the older woman as she shakes her head in scorn.   
Record scratch.
The older woman continues, "They just are.  I had to say something.  Look at the color of that baby's legs!"  
The new mom's eyes dart to her son's legs in a moment of genuine concern.  They appear just as chubby and cream-colored as they were that morning, when he was sockless.  Nothing concerning.  Nothing concerning at all.  The new mom stares at the older woman, desperate to end the awful exchange.  
The older woman turns to the older man and repeats, "I had to say something, just look at those socks." 
The new mom walks away.  Pissed.

Shame on this older woman (also something Melissa Gorga would say). 

Socks and sandals - a true crime. 
(image here)

In case this older woman happens to be an avid reader of Next Stop Baby, let me offer some advice of my own: When you see a mother doing something that you don't agree with, STOP.  Take a moment.  Would you verbalize this same concern if the situation wasn't between a mother and a child?  Would you tell a grown man that he was wearing his socks too tight?  Probably not.  You probably wouldn't have even noticed the grown man's socks in the first place.  You're not the mommy police, so stop sniffing out non-issues and harassing people.

Have you ever witnessed one of these awkward exchanges?  When, if ever, is it okay to say something about someone else's mothering skills?


Anonymous said...

I agree, people need to learn to keep their mouths shut! Unless there is an actual danger, the only thing you should be doing is complimenting how cute the baby is.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. Some people just don't have a filter and really need to learn how to keep their mouth shut. Unless there is a REAL problem, then its none of their business.

Anonymous said...

I am expecting #5 in a few months. My oldest is 6. You can do the math - we've been pregnant since 2004. My friend is on the same path as we are, with 4 kids in 5 years. She was preggers with #4 when a very rude man started a conversation with her that went something like this:
Rude:"SO, you have 3 kids already?
Awesome mom: "Yep - it's pretty crazy!"
Rude: "AND, you are expecting #4?"
Awesome mom: "Yes, we are!"
Rude: "WHY? Isn't 3 enough?"

Her mouth dropped open and she just told him to mind his own business. I was not with her at the moment - but if I was, it would've been MAYHEM.

The Mrs./The Mom said...

Lol @ mommy police. But it's NEVER okay to comment on a mom's choices. There is no right or wrong way to parent and I hate it when people think they wrote the book on parenting. Although there is one exception- if someone is in imminent danger then you should warn them.

Leah (it's me) said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! I just heard another mind blowing story about a woman in a grocery store who had the nerve not only to correct a new mom's parenting, but to touch the baby in the process (repeatedly).

rs gold said...

Many people merely don't have a filtration and also need to learn the way to keep their mouth area closed. Except if you will find there's Genuine difficulty, it's it's unlikely that any of their business.
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