People feel like they can make comments to moms with babies in public.
I overheard the following comment while waiting for the subway this morning.
“Do you think it’s safe to have him strapped to your body like that? You really should have a baby that small in a stroller.”
I turned around and saw an average middle-aged woman (clearly a lunatic) with a huge, fake smile talking to a 30-somethingish woman with her small infant in an Ergo carrier. This mom was obviously on her way to work, probably dropping her kid off at daycare, and pretty clearly had her shit together. She sort of just smiled back, and made some jovial, generic conversation about babies, commuting, blah, blah, blah.
For anyone not familiar with the nightmarish task of navigating the NYC subways with a baby, take my word for it – it’s terrible. They are a steaming, hot mess. A hellish crowded maze. They claim there are elevators but there are no elevators, and they say a train is one station away but there are no trains. Everyone is late and mad and half insane. The process of commuting is 10,000 times harder with an infant.
Today, this poor woman was just trying to get to the damn daycare so she could get to her office on time. Trust me, strapping that kid to your body is the absolute best way to go. But that is not the point.
Why would anyone say anything to this mom? She wasn’t doing anything unsafe. My question is, why say anything? She was clearly the type of person who needs to talk to someone. You know, like the type of blowhard you see in the gym locker room and avoid making eye contact with because they are just dying to tell you something about their neighbor or the news or some train repairs or complain about the guy at the front desk. These people who love the sound of their own voices and think their opinions are very, very valuable. And correct. Well, lunatic lady on the subway, you are not correct. In fact, that nice, working mom is a saint for not telling you off in a moment of blind rage. I’ve seen much much worse for less serious social offenses out there on the subway platforms.
For any middle-aged, crazy advice givers who feel like imparting their wisdom to strangers who happen to be new mothers, or mothers of any age, or women of any age, please keep it to yourself. WE. DON’T. CARE. Me having a baby in public does not give you the right to give me your opinion.