On being a Mommy

I’ve never understood why some parents expect people to not be annoyed when their children have tantrums in the store or otherwise misbehave in public.  Apparently, we are supposed to assume all misbehaving children aren’t neuro-typical.  I’m sure some aren’t.  That’s irrelevant.  Having my hair pulled by the child sitting behind me hurts whether the kid is Jimmy Average or Johnny Autistic.  A 10 minute screeching fit is going to give me a headache whether the kid is Susie Normal or Mary Aspergers.

And for this, I get lectured about ‘showing compassion’.  Why does an autistic child’s right to scream trump my veteran Uncle’s PTSD that causes him to freak out when there are lots of loud noises and screams?  Why does a child with Aspergers trump a woman with migraines?  Is compassion for ‘special needs’ reserved only for children?  Why do you assume I’ve never had to deal with a non-neurotypical child and am not intimately familiar with how difficult it can be sometimes?

I am a parent of a young child.  I understood long before the first ultrasound that not everyone in the world was going to like my kid, and that yes, some were going to find him annoying and perhaps even actively dislike him.  I realized long before I first felt him kick that while he was very important to me, the world did not revolve around him nor around my rel@tionship to him.  I recognized that while it was my job to deal with his foibles, it was foolish of me to inflict them on others and expect them to not be offended, annoyed, or irritated.

I chose not to take it personally.  Other people have feelings too, and since my kid screaming in the store so I have to remove him annoys me, I fail to see why it should be any level of surprise that it annoys someone else.

I have compassion for the parent trying to find a solution.  The solution needs to include ‘not inflicting pain on other people’.  Your kid has tantrums in the store?  Shop during non-peak hours, if possible have the other parent stay home with the kid, order stuff online, arrange with the store to have your groceries ready for pickup so you just need to swoop in, pay, and go.

Yes, it’s hard watching your social life suffer because you can’t take your kid everywhere.  It’s called being a parent.  Yes, it’s frustrating to have to have the dinner out you’ve been looking forward too all week put in to-go boxes because the kid won’t behave.  It’s called being a parent.  Yes, it’s a pain having to sit out in the car until the kid calms down.  It’s called being a parent.

If you can’t handle it, here is an idea.  Don’t have kids.

© 2010, Within this mind. All rights reserved.

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About Kinda Strange

I am a student at the University of Phoenix majoring in information technology. This is where I come to babble incoherently…err…make notes, talk about things that catch my interest, share ideas, etc...
This entry was posted in You are not special and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to On being a Mommy

  1. DonnaDNo Gravatar says:

    I raised six kids. There were many days when it was not fun. But in agreement with your post, I chose to not submit others to the chaos that comes with kids at times. If one of my “angels” showed out in a store, we left. It didn’t matter that the buggy was full of groceries or that I’d just found the aisle where the item I had come for was located, we left. And being a proponent of corporal punishment, unless there was a very good reason for the behavior that caused me to have to leave, when we got home I was going to give the kid a reason to scream. The result was that my kids very rarely acted up in public. They knew in advance if they made me mad enough to leave, nobody was going to be happy with the ensuing results.

    When the last one was old enough to be left with my husband (weaned from the breast) I started shopping late at night… alone. I still enjoy doing that… being nearly the only one in the store, no lines, no waiting for ninnies to get out of the middle of the aisles so I could pass, parking up close to the store, oh, yeah, and no screaming kids.

    Recently, I was in a doctor’s office. There was a kid there driving everyone crazy. Jumping, running, screaming, pulling the curtains off the windows, tearing up magazines, throwing magazines, asking for candy or money, you name it… The mom looked at me and said “I don’t know what to do with him.” So I told her. “Take him outside out of sight and blister his ass. If he starts it again when you bring him back in, take him outside and do it again. After a while he’ll get the message.” She left dragging the kid behind her when three old men stood up and applauded. (True story)…