What makes some people think that mum shaming is ok? Is it to make them feel better about the fact that they’re not perfect parents?
News Flash… No one is!
I get those looks…
You know the looks.
Especially if you have an autistic child, that can lose it at the littlest thing, then you know the looks.
The looks of disdain that your kid is being bad mannered when he won’t say hello to someone or completely ignores their existance.
The look of judgement when your child has a meltdown in the shops.
The stares, the whispers, the uncomfortable glances when your child can’t calm himself down or makes loud random noises in crowded places.
Taking Autistic children out shopping is like gambling.
You never quite know what the outcome is going to be, but hope for the best!
I was at the shops with Ty and Lochie the other day.
We had a speech therapy appointment and then stopped at the Farmers Market on the way home to do our weekly shopping.
We are a large family and food shopping is a huge endeavour! Currently we have a 2 yr old, a 5 yr old, an 8 yr old, a 16 yr old (and his best mate most days) and Chris and I.
That’s 6-7 that we are feeding every. single. day.
Anyway, I was trying to get through the shopping with the boys as quickly as possible and all of a sudden Lochie stops in his tracks and has a little body shake. The feel good pee shake.
All good, he’s still in nappies, we are tentatively starting toilet training.
Then I notice pee running down his leg! I ran over to him and realised he has pulled his little willy up out the top of his nappy so he is covered in pee and standing in a huge puddle, in the middle of a packed Farmers Market! Awesome!
Ty noticed too and clear as a bell, in front of all of these people, he yells out…
“OH F*CK LOCHIE!”
Now keep in mind this is the child that I take to speech therapy once a fortnight because not only was he a late talker but he has trouble with pronunciation… NOT TODAY!
Clear as a bell and with a hundred witnesses.
And a lovely old lady standing right beside us…
I stood there in shock and waited for the mum shaming.
The disapproving looks and murmuring about my parenting skills, or lack of.
This little old lady, that looked like she was about 90, leaned in close to me and said very loudly…
“God they can be little shits cant they?” and laughed the loudest laugh I have heard in such a crowded place!
Once she said that everybody else started giggling too, it was infectious!
She made my day!
I quietly told Ty that that was an adult word and (although I am very proud that he used it context and so very clearly) (obviously I didn’t tell him that!) he was not allowed to say ‘that’ word. Ever!
Then this lovely old lady flagged down a worker and requested some paper towels to clean up his brother and the floor.
She understood that sometimes kids can just be little shits and it wasn’t my due to bad parenting…. Although I think Ty may have learnt ‘that’ word from me… She diffused a very embarrassing situation.
There is no excuse for mum shaming.
We are kicking ourselves over our mistakes enough. We don’t need anyone to chime in and tell us we aren’t perfect. We need understanding and less judging, especially in public places with children that can’t control their impulses very well.
We should all be more like that lovely old lady!