— Just a note from a mom of three named April who lives in Oakley, Cal:
Dear Free-Range Kids: I feel like I am surrounded by hysterical suburb moms and they are always on the “right” side of the argument bc it is all about “protecting children and keeping them safe.” Â It’s hard to argue the side of “maybe it’s ok to leave your kid in the car for a minute.” Very hard! It’s very unpopular!
Before I found this site I was beginning to think, “This is it. We just have to be with our kids all the time. Â They can’t go to the park or even in front of the house without me standing on the porch supervising them. Â What a sad childhood this will be for them.” Â I truly hope that things turn around or at least get more balanced or at LEAST don’t get any MORE out of balance!
The Bathroom at Target
I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like I don’t even want to leave the house anymore. Â I had a woman yell at me at Target the other day because I parked the big shopping cart with my 1 yr old (buckled in) and my 5 yr old (who does have the maturity to come get me if something is wrong) right outside the bathroom and ran my 3 year old into the bathroom bc he was going to pee his pants. Â (Wearing a pull up but we’re potty training and its really taken a turn so I didn’t want to encourage him to just pee himself.)
We ran in, didn’t even close the stall door behind us, pulled down his shorts, he screamed at the toilet, I said, “ugh ok fine then just pee in your pull up” and pulled his shorts back up. We walked out without even washing our hands. Â So it was literally like a minute.
I get back out there and this woman was standing there like a damn superhero. Â I was about to thank her for standing w/ my kids in my harried little moment when she started yelling at me and telling that this was “scary” while pointing at the cart and that I needed to “take them in there w/ me or SOMEthing.”
Never mind I couldn’t fit the cart around the corner or into the bathroom for that matter and I couldn’t hold the baby and my 3 yr old on the toilet at the same time. Â And putting the baby on the bathroom floor is just..well, i’m sure some other mom would have been yelling at me for that.
It’s like everyone just wants to belittle everyone else’s parenting these days. I was so excited about becoming a parent and now it’s really hard to enjoy the experience. Â 🙁
Anyways, I just wanted to THANK YOU and your commenters for restoring balance and giving the freedom back to ppl to choose to how to parent THEIR children. I feel like i’m not in the twilight zone anymore when I browse your website.
Sorry for all the run-on sentences 🙂
April in California