Since being a parent I’ve been judged more so than ever before in my life. For some reason it seems perfectly acceptable to people to tell me what is wrong with my child, or even take them off me and ‘calm them down for me’.
I used to find it pretty insulting to be honest. Then it used to feel me with rage, and now it just makes me smile. I’m like “okay. You can calm this bean down. She’s pretty upset about having to take her wellies off so it’s not gonna be easy for you love. But you bollock on.”
In the spirit of judging, I’m about to share a story I’ve never told. But after being judged the other weekend for carrying both beans under my arms and telling them off for dragging the picnic blanket across the field, I thought fuck it. That is not the worst I’ve been judged….this is…
The beans were around about three months old (correctively), it was 8pm(ish) and they had the shits. They had the shits bad.
I had run out nappies.
When the beans were tiny the husband worked away during the week. I was on maternity leave – which means I defo had greasy hair, bags under my eyes and a sizable beard.
I had no choice; I had to leave the house. I put on leggings (standard post-pregnancy clothing), ugg boots and a maternity top, then I braved Tesco.
It’s only a five minute drive but the beans fell asleep. I didn’t want to wake them so I carried them, in their car seats, in the crook of each arm into Tesco. I was used to doing this so thought nothing of it, until I arrived at the nappies. I couldn’t carry nappies and both car seats. First error and first risk of losing my shit.
I walked back out of Tesco (for some stupid fucking reason the nappies are actually at the end of the supermarket!!) and tried to put the two car seats in a trolley. I thought that it would be an easy fit, it was not. I persevered and they woke up. They screamed.
Thankfully one car seat did fit snugly in the trolley, so I only had to carry the one. I pushed the trolley with one hand (yes, I am a hero) and arrived at the nappies with two crying beans, one sweaty mum and a really fucking sore wrist. I put the nappies in the front basket and went to the check out.
This is when a very brave (or just fucking stupid) woman approaches me. She doesn’t offer to take a car seat or push my trolley, she just offers up her opinion. “Awww…poor little things. They must be hungry. Or tired, it is a bit late to have them out”.
Yup. I kinda lost my shit.
“Thank you for your advice. You’re totally right they are hungry and sleepy, I just like to hear both my children screaming at me. I’m enjoying this situation right now; it’s how I always imagined parenting would be.”
I walked out of Tesco. Pushing one bean in a trolley and carrying the other. All three of us crying.
The woman may have been shocked, she may have apologised, I’ve got no idea. I’m sure she wasn’t really insulting me or my parenting. She probably didn’t even say it in the tone I heard her say it in. I was tired and upset, the beans were tired and upset…plus I hate Tesco. I was probably hungry too, I was always hungry on mat leave. So lets face it, the bitch didn’t stand a chance. It was going to happen.
The couple who commented on me the other weekend when I was carrying the beans and the picnic blanket felt that I was being “harsh” and should “just let them have the blanket”. I just smiled at them and continued to parent.
After all, I was sick everyday for six months; they grew in my body and covered my stomach in purple livid stretch marks. It is me who cuddles them at night and wipes the shit from their arse everyday. The clothes on their back, shoes on their feet and food in their belly are provided by me. So judge all you want, you don’t see the glorious shit I do, you don’t hear the sass they give me and you don’t feel the love we share.