Opinion

Being considerate comes before motherly entitlement

IT IS funny how much the world changes when you become a parent.

There are the things that are part and parcel of the job - sleep deprivation, more responsibility and a whole lot less freedom.

Then there are other things, like instead of rolling my eyes and stifling a groan at loud and obnoxious children in public places and being horrified at kids chucking tantrums, I now shoot annoyed or distressed parents a sympathetic, knowing look, because I too have been there.

I now realise how hard even simple tasks like grocery shopping can be with two little ones in tow.

It is lovely when others come to your aid if you need it or give you that knowing smile to help you realise you are not alone.

There definitely is a sense of belonging to an exclusive club that you can't be a part of, until you are a part of it.

So it pains me, only slightly, to speak out against this sisterhood of mothers with this big BUT.

And here it is.

But, since when did becoming a mother come with a new-found sense of entitlement.

That the world and everyone else around you owes you something because you have tiny humans.

When did becoming a mother render some unable to be a considerate human being first?

I make this comment after a story this week in which a mother was asked to leave a Sydney cafe because she had a pram, because they don't allow prams in their cafe as it is too small.

She immediately took to social media to garner support in her outrage of this treatment.

But I, quite frankly, was outraged at her outrage.

It is their business; they can make the no-pram stipulation if they feel. Will they lose out on some business? Maybe, but that is their call.

I have taken my kids in the pram into cafes here in Bundaberg.

But I pick a cafe that can accommodate a pram.

If I want to go to a cafe in the CBD, I walk past and hope there is a table outside that I can park the pram at.

If there isn't one, I keep on walking.

Because a lot of our cafes, like the one in Sydney, are very small inside.

Could you fit a pram inside? Probably, but it wouldn't be comfortable for the other patrons, and I wouldn't be comfortable taking up all that space with a pram.

But I, quite frankly, was outraged at her outrage.

I don't think they need to make concessions for me and my pram.

I need to make concessions for me and my pram, that is my responsibility.

The other story this week creating a social media storm is of a woman in the US who changed her baby on a chair in a restaurant.

She too was outraged at being asked to leave and she too felt hard done by and quickly posted of her mistreatment on social media.

I am a little more sympathetic to this woman, as clearly (hopefully) she felt she didn't have any other options.

She had two other children in tow and no change facilities at the restaurant.

One thing she didn't do was approach management to help.

Because while I totally agree that I would never change a baby on the bathroom floor, maybe they had an office where she could have changed the baby on the floor or a chair in there, away from the dining room where everyone eats, and away from where people could see her.

While I can sympathise with this woman, at the same time if I was there eating and witnessed or, worse, smelled this, I would be pretty disgusted.

These women were treated fairly in my opinion.

Because you don't deserve special treatment just for being a mother.

Unless it is from your husband or partner. Then you deserve special treatment every day.

Topics:  motherhood, opinion, parenting



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