Monday, May 9, 2011

Big kids in strollers

Admit it.

You do it.

And you like it.

Maybe not all the time, but sometimes.

It brings you pleasure. It makes you feel better.

You know what I'm talking about.

Yup.

Judging other moms.

We gossip about the way other moms do things, about what other moms feed their kids, and about how late other moms let their children stay up at night.

"I'd never let my child wear that in public!"

"Can you believe she wouldn't let him have a cookie just because he didn't eat his veggies?"

"He's FOUR years old, and he still sucks a soother?"

Listen, we're human. We're going to talk about the way other people parent, especially when we think we're doing something better. At the same time, we suffer from mom envy, too. I sometimes envy the moms who stay home full-time, the moms who are excellent chefs, and the moms who keep their home looking impeccable all the time. Much to my (Greek) mom's dismay, I'm just not that mom.

I'm the mom who enthusiastically buys a lot of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, vowing that this will be the day her children will grab the carrot sticks over the less healthy snack, the mom who swears that tomorrow she won't yell not even once and the mom who will say no twice but give in the third time, to whatever request her children ask of her.

I'm also a total helicopter mom. Time magazine has called overparenting 'insanity' and I'm okay with that. If being a protective mom makes me insane, so be it. Some experts say that hyperparenting is totally rational, especially considering the society we live in.

No matter what the experts say, I just do things my way. And I've got no problem with you doing things your way, so long as your children are loved and protected.

I'm not the mom who is relaxed at the BBQ, sipping my glass of wine with the other adults. I'm the mom who is playing with (or supervising) the children. Mostly because I don't want anything bad to happen to my child.

Maybe other moms think my behaviour is ridiculous, and maybe we'll laugh about it together, and maybe I'll admit I wish could be more relaxed like they are. I'm okay with moms discussing different parenting methods.

What I'm not okay with is when someone makes fun of a child for whatever reason.

Today, I read an interview about someone who has a website called Too Big For Stroller. Basically, this woman—who is not a mom by the way, has a huge pet peeve. Her pet peeve is seeing children whom she considers to be too big for strollers, sitting in strollers.

So what does this classy lady do? She secretly takes pictures of these children and posts them on her website. She is nice enough to sort of block out the child's face, but still. How so very classy of her. (Another great post about this topic can be found here.)

She says: "I mean, you could be the world's best businesswoman, but when you're pushing a stroller, it just screams: "I'm just a parent, that is all I am.""

How I wish I could meet this woman in the airport one day, so she could see me, a mere MOM, pushing her two very big boys—three years old and almost six, thanks very much—in a stroller. I'm sure we'd exchange a few words and I, as the mere MOM, would of course come out on top.

Don't mess with moms who have big kids in strollers.

And to everyone else, stop judging other moms. We're all in this together!

Peace out.

26 comments:

Paula said...

Great post! Just want to add that people should not mess with Moms period!

L said...

That website is WRONG. However, I feel that if a child can walk then she shouldn't be in a stroller. My children were done with that at age 3 but parenting is different for everyone. I dont like seeing big kids in strollers but its your right to do so.

wratwrds said...

I wish the rest of us were big enough to leave each other alone and not nitpick.

To be a little kinder and more tolerant and compassionate.

As a mom, you do what works, right?
Different things work for different people, families and kids. But always, the children benefit when they learn tolerance and respect from us and others.
Doubt there's any to be found on that website.

Neena said...

I agree that we tend to be the first to judge one another. The bottom line is that none of us are perfect parents. If we were we'd all be raising robots. And, I'd rather be less than perfect with my little weirdos :o)

Tonya said...

Great post! I wish that I could be that spontaneous, easy breezy mom but my overprotective nature always wins. I would be hanging w you watching over the kiddies.
I'm shaking my head at that website. And within the circle covering the children's faces reads: "walk". What if that child cannot walk, or is too tired to walk, or just wants to sit in a stroller?!? After a long day of shopping, I wish I could hop in a stroller! All kidding aside, I agree that we as moms need to support each other and not pass judgment. We ARE in this together!

Issas Crazy World said...

I can't believe someone thinks it's okay to take photos of someone else's kids. What is wrong with people? Sheesh.

I've walked around with a five year old in a stroller. My middle kid had a binky until over three years old. My oldest at nine still occasionally has a very public ADHD meltdown tantrum. My son is two and a half and I haven't even considered potty training. Well except to consider than I'm not ready to consider it. I am stricter in public than at home. I'm very overprotective. My kids all have iThings. And I will guarantee you that my kids ate sugar the entire past weekend. (I have a free for all on sweets during holidays and road trips.)

The thing is though, we all do the best we can. And? I've never seen a college kid with a binky, a diaper on, or being pushed in the stroller. They all grow out of it.

Suzanne said...

Loved this post, Lou! What's cool is that you and I have quite different parenting styles, but the outcome is the same: happy, safe, and healthy children!

And I agree with everyone else - no one should EVER mess with a mom!!!

Karen said...

I think I would lose my ever-lovin' mind if I ever caught someone taking a picture of my kid. Granted, it likely wouldn't be because of sitting in a stroller since he's pretty much refused to sit in one since he learned to walk. Do I judge parents who have strollers? Nope. I kind of envy that their kids will still use them. Frankly, it would make my life so much easier sometimes. The only upside of not being able to use one is that I don't have to lug it around. Or, apparently, be judged for using it.

Marinka said...

I love what you wrote about parenting and about doing what you think is right. I'm a helicopter mom too, but as my kids get older, I know that I have to back off. And I'm ready to in little steps.

But.

Seeing older kids in strollers drives me crazy. Not the "I must photograph them and post pictures on my site" crazy, but pretty crazy.

I don't see it that much anymore for some reason, or maybe I just don't notice it. But when I did, it did bother me.

A Mommy in the City said...

There are different styles of parenting. What works for one family might not work for another. But what we need to realize is that there is no one perfect or "right" way. So no judgement should be done. As for this crazy lady who posts these pictures, she has no life. I don't even find her site funny.

Shannon said...

That's just ridiculous. I wish I had that much time on my hands to make and maintain a website that focuses on something negative. What's the point? Sad sad little lady.

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

This site sounds nuts, to me. I'll admit I completely judged before I had kids. These days, though, I generally try not to. Because I think about all the things someone could perceive me as doing wrong! Parenthood is hard. We all make decisions based on what works for us.

Maria aka amotherworld said...

Meh, I simply don't let these people bother me. Sometimes my 4yo wants to sit in the stroller if he's tired from a long day - I don't see the problem with it.

EatPlayLove said...

First of all, the majority of those photos are from Disney, which is just ridiculous. Children to do not typically walk around for 12 hours on end, I get the need for them to take a break by sitting down.

For so many reasons the site is wrong, it could be funny for ONE post, but to be driven by bashing parents and kids is just a huge mistake.

Renee said...

Just recently found your blog, and I really like it! I haven't looked at the website and have no interest in doing so (it sounds kind of boring, actually). But...I don't like the big kids in strollers thing. I just don't. My youngest, who is almost 2, doesn't even like to be in a stroller much as he sees his older siblings walking. My daugther (4.5) hasn't used the stroller in years b/c she saw her older brother walking. Meanwhile, her best friend, who is a few months older, has to be pushed in a stroller for 3 blocks to come to our house. I think it's nuts. When I go places with my older kids that involve a lot of walking, like the zoo, I don't even bring a stroller. If they can't handle it, we leave b/c they are too tired. Children will only be as self-sufficient as we require them to be. That being said, there are certainly many valid reasons why a big kid could be in a stroller (disability or illness on the part of the child or parent would be one example). So, it's ridiculous and rude to take pictures and mock on a website. But that doesn't mean the practice of pushing big kids in strollers is a good idea. Next time you're at the airport, I'd suggest letting your kids walk or at least bringing only a single stroller for the youngest. I think your kids will surprise you with how well they accept the responsiblity.

Paula said...

That website disgusts me - but I must admit big kids (and overweight children) in strollers is a huge pet peeve of mine, especially since too many kids these days are simply not getting enough exercise. My youngest child is 2, so she is still in a stroller, but when my oldest two children turned 3, the stroller was no longer needed. The only time I would make an exception would be for a long day at a theme park or vacation.

Mercy D'souza said...

It bothers me when people who aren't parents criticise us and our choices. Each mother has her reasons for doing what she does, and in the end, it's her choice.

In my case, each of mine stopped using the stroller when I needed it for the next one, but I was never against letting them get in again if the baby wasn't using it. When my second child was a baby, she was often fussy on the way home from the park each day and was happier being carried, so when I carried her, my son, (2 at the time) would climb in. He has, on occasion, taken a nap in it when we were out at the mall and my daughter was awake, up until his 3rd birthday. Now he walks everywhere, as does my 2 year old, and the baby gets the stroller.

Justin said...

Before I was a dad I admit that I look disparagingly on parents who had their children in leashes, regardless of how cute the puppy or monkey on the back was.

I have since learned the error of my ways and while I hate using the monkey backpack/leash, it is an invaluable tool for keeping my 18-month old from hiding among the clothing racks at Target or pulling the floral displays to shreds.

Abby said...

I love that you embrace your helicopter mom-ness. :) I guess I do, too. One thing I used to judge was those super-healthy moms who were anti-sugar. Now I AM one (within reason) and I'm fine with it.

Jill said...

I don't think I've ever noticed a kid that's "too big" for their stroller. Who the hell cares?! I can't believe she bothers photographing them. A gimmick I guess. Yeah, I'm totally with you, people need to chill with their judgements. Or, just keep it inside. It's one thing to think or feel a certain way, another to publicly voice it.

Jill said...

PS: Happy to see that you're confident in yourself as a parent, as you should be!

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Word. Sometimes you just need a damn stroller! It's too hard to keep crazy kids close to you in someplace as crowded as an airport or theme park. I see not porblem with it whatsoever. Go on with your bad self!

ModernMom said...

I always say you never know what is going on behind closed doors. I wish all those super judgey gossipy Mom's would just stop and think before they bash one of their own!

The Stiletto Mom said...

Obviously she is not a mom because she doesn't understand the convenience of the stroller. I kept mine in theirs as long as I possibly could. It keeps them contained, it keeps them from running in front of unsuspecting adults and it makes a damn fine tote for all my bags. Now that they are 12 and 9, the only thing I look upon those moms with is envy.

Danielle said...

I also think big kids shouldn't be in a stroller and my kids walk most of the time. From a very early age (2-3) I make them walk "when" possible. However, I have had times where my big kids have been in strollers. Once, when dd 5 was vomiting all day in the airport and got too tired too walk. Another time, one of the kids hurt her foot so she sat in the stroller. I'm sure if someone saw us they said ughh... shouldn't that kid be walking? lol

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

I admit that I secretly compare myself to other moms – I can't help it sometimes! But that Too Big for Stroller site is just crazy. That lady should try to corral two busy kids at once, THEN she can judge!! Sheesh!!

Blog Designed by: NW Designs