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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Behind the Judgment of Strangers

Everyone loves a baby right? I told myself this was the reason behind why strangers felt the need to comment on my parenting. Unsolicited! While I admit some comments are helpful...sadly most are not. Some comments are down right mean and nasty. One man told me "some people shouldn't have kids" after I tried to stop my son from crying...and failed. What's the deal with comments like these?!

Oddly enough it took another stranger who helped me understand why I get some gutty comments. After a full day of activity we jumped on the bus to head back home. Apparently Daniel chose this moment to make poo in his diaper. I don't have to tell you that fresh poo smells.

One women felt the need to tell me he went in his diaper. Hmm. I replied I know but nothing I can do until we get home. She gave me a look but said nothing else. Another women while getting off the bus started speaking to her in Spanish. I don't have to understand Spanish to know they we're talking about me and my son. After she leaves the first women felt the need to tell me...

Spanish WM #1: She was talking about you and how your not doing anything for him. That by the time you take him home it will be to late.

Me: *sigh* We're on our home. What did she want? For me to change him on the bus?

Spanish WM #1: I told her to mind her business. Unless she's willing to go buy the diapers and wipes then she should be quiet.

Me: *nodding and thinking that's the end of it*

Spanish WM #1: I hate people like that. People always have something to say. You know what it is...she just looks at him and doesn't see you. She thinks he's not yours and so wants to talk about you.

Me: *light bulb moment*

I'm going stop the conversation right there. That woman doesn't know it but she made my life both easier and hardier. Nice to know that people attack me because they think I'm the nanny...not the mother. Seems being perceived as the nanny automatically gives strangers the right to judge me and share nasty comments.

That's an interesting issue. If my son was brown like me would people turn a blind eye when he cries? If I was a white mom would I get supportive comments and the smile that says "I know how it is"? If I was Spanish like that women would she have been quiet? Hmm.

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Kari says:
at: February 19, 2010 at 11:42 AM said...

People just shouldn't make assumptions. A lot of times, they look like idiots (especially when they speak on those assumptions). OK, most of the time. I used to baby sit my friend's 2 daughters, a tiny newborn (she was 4 lbs at birth) & a 4 YO at the time. I'd go off to my errands with them (with my own 4 YO son & the girls), go off to fun places & I talked to them & treated them as if they were my own. I love those girls & their mom to the end of the world. They moved 1/2 across the country this past summer (gotta love military life!) & I miss them every day. Oh, did I mention I'm white & they're black? The looks I got when I had the girls with me, some were ugly, some registered nothing. The baby was very light skinned at birth & could have passed for biracial. When I carried her is when I got the worst looks. Got a few ugly comments about "how I was ruining the future she could have if I had stuck w/ a white man". I just wonder why some people feel the need to open their mouths when the only thing coming out is ignorance.

at: February 19, 2010 at 4:22 PM said...

Some people are just wankers.

That said, I tend to excuse the older generation.

To set the stage: We live in a very diverse neighbourhood (Indian, Filipino, Chinese and some Euro like me)

I was sitting in front of a cafe with my brown baby (I'm white) on a gorgeous sunny day and this Indian man (Indo-Canadian) yells at me (between chatting with his friend in Hindi). "Hey - He should be wearing socks!" Then a few minutes later, he yelled: "Hey - you're burping him too hard."

I actually thought it was hilarious. First of all, he actually talked to me, which was kind of nice. And he never said anything like: Is he really yours? etc... I still retell that story.

NYC Single Mom says:
at: February 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM said...

I dont think is you there is some people who CAN NOT keep their mouths shut. I have had women stop me on the street to tell that my toddler needs a hat and sun block on a sunny day, tell me my toddler was not bundled up enough. And neither time was in a nice way but judgmental. One was white, the other black.

But situations I love are the looks you get when your four year decides to have a full blown temper tantrum on the street and then decides to roll around on the sidewalk.

no matter age or race, they all have the same judgmental look and shaking of the head.

Those comments are nothing. Wait till you have your first confrontational playground encounter.

Nicole says:
at: February 21, 2010 at 3:30 PM said...

I'm surprised at some of the boldness that these peope dispay. I got stared at with my oldest child all the time. My ex-husband is bi-racial, but my son lookied like a little mexican boy when he was littl. The looks I would get woud range from confusion to disgust.

I think her response was due to the fact that she thought you were big D's nanny. She was probably thinking: "The parents probably pay this black chick good money to take care of their son, and look what she's doing!"
I've had people make comments also. I was in Family Dollar [My second home!] and Aneksi was playing with this glass bottle of cough syrup. I told her to stop. This man actually chided me! I told him to mind his Buisiness, and if he lets his kids play with glass, that's his effin buisiness. He backed off quickly!

Kids are just that: KIDS. Now if you had pued his pants down on the bus and attempted to change him, folks would be bitchin' about that. I've flipped the bird at many nosey ass people. It's their problem, not YOURS!

Help! Mama Remote... says:
at: February 21, 2010 at 4:24 PM said...

When someone opens their mouth you learn a lot about them. Usually with comments like that, its misery.

honeysmoke says:
at: February 23, 2010 at 7:26 AM said...

don't let it bother you. life is too short. i return stares, people turn away. other than that, i keep on trucking. if they hold racist views and show them to me, i am grateful i know where they stand.

Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud says:
at: February 24, 2010 at 11:33 AM said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so sad for you. I probably would've cried right then and there when I realized that she didn't think my child was MINE. People can be insensitive and judgemental at times. I've been on the receiving end of the dirty looks and it's no fun. Why does anyone care about my children's race anyway? I'll never ever understand that!

Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud

Chef Luna says:
at: February 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM said...

I am actually on the other side of this, being 'the kid whose life was ruined by being half black'

I have always hated how people comment because it upsets my mom. It upsets my mom because she is trying to protect me from ignorant idiots.

When I was growing up, people always felt it was perfectly okay to ask if I was adopted, or talk about how I look like my dad, despite the fact I look just like my mom.

Now I just roll my eyes and turn away from people. Its 2010. If they are that dumb, I truly haven't got energy to waste on them.

Keep rockin' the world with the truth, mama!