baby strollers are not meant to be used as weapons

– Posted in: children

"We don't take pictures," said the lady pointing her finger at me. "But I do."

With all due respect to my married and mom friends out there (both in real life and virtually) I have noticed something recently that I feel needs addressing. Also comments are open and discussion is encouraged; I welcome your input always!

While out shopping recently at a local bodega, I had to bite my tongue as a woman next to me cut me off to put her items on the counter first. The reason I didn’t say anything? She had a small child in tow. Granted, I don’t have children of my own so I can’t say that I intimately understand the frustrations of a mother who simply wants to get out of the store before a minor meltdown, but since when is common decency a thing of the past? Because so many of my friends are parents I have witnessed all kinds of awkward adventures in grocery food shopping, and the last thing I would want is to feel responsible for an episode like that. Despite the fact that I was carrying a very heavy basket, I absolutely would have let her go first had she asked. Do unto others, right?

I had a similar experience just the other day while crossing the street (loaded with bags after errands all over the city). A woman with a stroller accelerated as I was getting ready to cross so she could get there first. Listen, momma, the streets are wide enough to accommodate us both. I happen to live in an incredibly stroller-friendly town (the photo above was taken in Hoboken–I see those wagons everywhere!). I tend to feel like an outcast without a child or puppy. But to race me to the corner just because you have a baby on wheels? Kinda makes you look like a douchebag.

I know this particular point may garner a bit of heat, but I have noticed that women who are pregnant/with children sometimes have liberties the rest of us don’t, mainly in the work environment. If I need to take a half or full day for an appointment, I am always told I need to come in early/stay late to make up the time. But some of my coworkers who leave early to go to parent-teacher conferences or their children’s dentist’s appointments don’t have to follow the same rules. I think that’s unfair. I don’t think preference should be given to one over the other. Many of us have jobs that afford us health care so we should be allowed to take time off and go to those appointments/office visits as needed and make up for that time according to company policy.

*Also, I would just like to add that I am a very proud auntie to many beautiful bundles in my life. That being said, this rant is more of a statement on the parents than it is on the little ones. I hope that much is obvious. I love kids!*

Do you disagree? Do you think this is one of those issues that I’ll understand better when I have my own children? Do you think this post makes ME sound like a douchebag?

8 Comments… add one

Laura | Mommy Miracles October 23, 2012, 1:24 PM

As a Mom, I’m pretty sure that we shouldn’t be insensitive to those without kids. I would never butt in front of someone in line even though sometimes it feels like the world is coming to an end with whatever I am going through with my kids. I would very much welcome (and have accepted) people letting me go first, but I never expect it. And if I was like that woman who very much thought that she needed to get through the line first, I would have asked first, and not just taken.

As parents we need to realize that we are raising kids into a world where they will have to relate with people. I’d rather not raise douchebags, so I’m going to try to model empathy and consideration.

This post does not make you sound like a douchebag! :)

Mrs. Match October 23, 2012, 2:58 PM

I hate privileged mamas, or ones who shop and have their stroller take up the whole aisle. I promise not to be like that!! That said, I’d be ok with people holding doors for me, or taking my groceries to my car as I start to waddle and show. But that’s it, I swear. :-)

@bluenotebacker October 23, 2012, 4:11 PM

No, no, and no.

Common decency is well, not really common. Some people just don’t come from that kind of background or have decided that they’re somehow more deserving of things than the rest of us. Sad, true, and imo inexcusable. Now, I’m rather old fashioned (I think) in that I’m forever wanting to hold the door for someone, or let someone go ahead of me, but I don’t feel obligated to do those things, it’s just part of who I am. If I’m in a rush at lunch and someone, perhaps a woman with a child just EXPECTS me to let her cut in line? Probably not going to happen.

I feel the same way you mention above- if s/he asks me, I’ll probably say yes, but I’m thinking s/he is a douchebag for taking liberties.

Krysten October 23, 2012, 4:25 PM

I agree with you… although I’m in your boat so maybe that’s why I agree?

I don’t think anyone should get any special privileges UNLESS it has to do with some kind of illness. My coworker with cancer? When he’s so sick he can’t see straight I’m pretty sure it’s okay if he calls in sick. But otherwise I don’t think people deserve any special treatment, even if they have kids. Unless those kids are in the hospital. The by all means, go take care of your kid.

Single Mom in the South October 25, 2012, 6:21 AM

Nope, not a douche bag… a valid point and I have been guilty of looking like I was trying to maim people with my stroller on many an occasion. When I caught myself I always apologized and made the “watch out for moms with stroller’s joke!” I imagine, though that there were times where I was just too harried to even realize.

I remember one time, I took my children shopping at the mall. My son had on brand new sneakers and when I got to the car, I realized he’d lost one. As a young, stay at home mom, money was really tight and those new sneakers had been a gift. He was probably three, so old enough to tell me when it fell off. He couldn’t remember so we tried to retrace our steps and in the course, I almost took out a kid in Old Navy. His mom made a nasty comment and I took her head off, in a, “some people should watch their children in stores, at least mine are contained” sort of way. We never did find the shoe and I left in tears (and I even called the lost and found of every store we were in!)

I guess my point is that moms should be more careful, but you never know the whole story, ie, what has them so distracted they aren’t being gracious!

Gia October 25, 2012, 9:35 PM

I’m with you on this. Like you said, if they need to go ahead because they’re worried about a melt down, then she couldn’t have just asked you. I’m sure any sane person would oblige. It’s rude to treat the world like the rules are different once you become a parent. There has to be some kind of common decency equalizer. I know that errrrthing changes when you have kids and of course I can’t understand that daily trials and tribulations, but I don’t think it’s an excuse to be rude to someone else. So I very much so think you are in the right! :)

Lucy October 26, 2012, 4:51 AM

Nope, I agree with you. A douchebag is a douchebag, regardless of your parental status. Most people will be considerate if they see someone struggling with a pram or tantruming child, but there shouldn’t be an expectation that you come first automatically.

another jennifer November 1, 2012, 8:37 PM

I don’t think you’re off base at all. As a working mom, I know the challenges. But I don’t use them as excuses. Nor do I think other moms should.

Thanks for visiting my blog last week for my SITS Day!

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