All mothers out there know this drill all too well (as do fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents). You’re walking down the street, child in tow, just doing the best you can when suddenly…
They ever so kindly impart their wisdom as to what they think you’re doing wrong, what you could be doing better, or the many ways in which you are unknowingly placing your child in danger. God only knows how the human race survived before mummy shamers were around to help avoid disastrous catastrophes, like your baby eating non-organic food or wearing only one sock.
Here are some of the best perhaps well-intentioned but certainly annoying and unwanted comments I have heard since joining the mum club six months ago.
1. ‘Your baby loves banana. That’s great! I hope you removed the seeds, right?’
How would you even do that? I didn’t even know that those tiny little black dots in bananas were, in fact, seeds. And according to Unwelcome Strange Lady, they should be removed before I feed my baby. I wish I could have seen Unwelcome Strange Lady again the following day to let her know that the seeds were removed by nature when the turned up in my baby’s nappy. My baby was completely unharmed and actually seemed quite proud of his involvement in the whole process.
2. ‘It’s too cold outside, your baby will get sick.’
I love this one. I bet every parent has heard this one from some ill-informed person who believes that viruses magically appear when the weather heads south of 20°. Despite the fact that we know that being cold doesn’t give you a cold and the fact that my baby is dressed appropriately for the weather, people constantly feel the need to share their opinions as to my baby’s clothing and why it is insufficient or conversely, too much and my baby is overheating.
3. ‘Don’t cover your baby, he wants to see the view’ (while riding on a crowded, underground train).
This one would have been funny, if the man hadn’t been so angry with me. Picture this. Mum and Bub are on an underground train. Bub is happy in the baby carrier but has not slept in a while and is starting to get overtired. So Mum gentle covers his head so as to create a darkened environment conducive to sleep. Annoying Man takes it upon himself to tell Mum that the baby wants to be looking out at the ‘view’ (I repeat, we were on an underground train) and should be able to look out. Annoying Man becomes angry and tell Mum that the baby doesn’t look tired and should be allowed to see the view. Annoying Man gives Mum judgemental look. Mum turns away, too tired to argue. True story.