Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Open Letter to Mothers

I just need to get this off my chest.

Moms, if you're in public and a stranger's baby starts crying, and the baby's caregiver is obviously doing a good job and doing all the right things...BUTT THE HELL OUT. Nobody's saying you can't watch. Nobody's saying you can't keep an eye on the babysitter. But if it's not your baby, don't stick your nose in where it's not needed.

You may be asking, "But what if it's NOT a stranger's baby? What if it's, say, the daughter of my kid's dance teacher? SHE'S not a stranger!"

Yes. Yes she is. Butt the hell out. It's not your baby. The baby is not related to you in any way. If the babysitter obviously doesn't need help...BUTT THE HELL OUT.

I know, I know. You're moms. You're supposed to be concerned. We're all supposed to be concerned! I'm a dad, fercryinoutloud, I'm concerned too. But don't pay attention to the crying baby: babies do that. Pay attention to the babysitter. Is she troubleshooting? Is she trying different strategies? Is she most emphatically NOT losing control, getting flustered, or in over her head? THEN BUTT OUT. Is she the same girl who's been helping take care of this baby since the baby was BORN? THEN BUTT OUT.

In case you're wondering...yes, this happened yesterday. I wanted to stand up and yell at these women to let the poor girl do her job; she was doing what she had been paid to do, and, from what I saw, doing it well. She was doing her job, and if somebody's doing their job...well, you know what to do.


  • I enjoyed reading your blog today. Just browsing... A comment though: I agree with you in general, but honestly,one of the things I love about being a parent is the comraderie. I love if my baby is melting down if someone says, "That's hard isn't it? That happened to me last week. Can I help?"

    By Blogger Marie, at 8:47 AM  

  • I don't disagree with you, Marie. Part of being a parent really is comiserating with other parents. This was a little bit of a different case; these people were not being comradely. They were treating the girl like she was an incompetent moron, which she wasn't.

    Thanks for reading!

    By Blogger Robert, at 9:13 AM  

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