Mother and Son Walking

Yesterday I brought Quinn to Target like I have so many times before, except this time I left feeling like an unfit mother. All was well until we went to check out. Quinn has been fighting a nasty cough and cold for almost two months and she happened to be coughing when we approached the cashier (she claims she was an active manager of the store as well). Quinn wasn’t wearing a coat (I am lucky she was even wearing clothes as she has sensory issues) but the coat was indeed in the carriage next to her. The cashier proceeded to tell me Quinn was sick because she wasn’t wearing a coat and she needed to put it on. I tried to explain she has sensory issues and she takes off her coat as soon as we get anywhere. The cashier replied I shouldn’t let my child make the rules and I needed to be more firm as a parent so other kids don’t become contaminated by her germs that could’ve so easily been avoided…

Quinn then began playing with her elf, Snowflake. You see, Quinn has severe anxiety. The idea of having the elf sitting all day in one spot spying on her and not being able to touch her was completely overwhelming. When we explained this concept she had a panic attack and begged Snowflake go back to the North Pole. We wanted her to be able to enjoy this tradition as all her friends do at school, so one night Santa wrote Quinn a letter saying she had permission to touch Snowflake and play with her, as long as she was good and didn’t lose her. She brings Snowflake everywhere. The cashier caught eye of Snowflake and began to reprimand Quinn, telling her the elf’s magic was gone and she had ruined her. I tried to explain Quinn has special needs and it was too much for her to handle, so she asked Santa and he gave her permission. The cashier then told me there was nothing wrong with my child and by letting her touch Snowflake and bring her out in public, Quinn was ruining the essence of it for all the other kids and that wasn’t fair, I needed to be more firm with my child and stop babying her. Now at this point I should’ve stopped engaging with this woman, but I continued to try to explain Quinn’s history so she would understand why my husband and I do what we do. She told me again there was nothing wrong with my child and she had two premature babies who had REAL issues growing up, everything Quinn “has” (yes she actually made “air-quotes”) she will outgrow because there’s really nothing wrong … I told her she has had 3 seizures in the past week and assured her the best doctors in the world are not wrong. She then told me her friends kid has seizures and I probably don’t even know what real seizures look like.

Why do people think it’s ok to mom-shame this way? Everyone is going through something. What we go through with Quinn isn’t any more or any less than what someone else may be going through. It is simply different. I shouldn’t have to defend my parenting choices. I shouldn’t have to carry around Quinn’s complex list of diagnoses and medical history from Boston Children’s Hospital to prove all the struggles Quinn has been through in her short life, because quite frankly, it’s not your business.

If you see a child in a store not wearing a coat, instead of jumping to accuse a parent of neglect, assume something else may likely be going on. If you see my child out in public with her elf and your child gets upset about it, come talk to us. We will happily explain our special circumstances so we don’t “ruin” the fun for your child. If a mother opens up to you about her child’s struggles, don’t get into a “pissing contest” about “who has it worse,” lend an empathetic and listening ear. We all have our own stuff, don’t belittle my journey or question my parenting choices until you live a day in my shoes. I’ll do you the same courtesy.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. So sorry you had to experience that abuse. God bless you and your lovely daughter Quinn.

  2. Oh my goodness I feel this on such a deep level. I was at walmart one day and was on the phone with my dad, having an important conversation about a family member and I had been trying tonget in contact with him all day. My 2 babjes were in the shopping cart crying, there was nothing wrong with them it was just one of those days and k was watching them as I pushed the cart and was on the phone. And someone yelled out that I needed to get off the phone and pay attention to my children. It was something so simple but that person driving through the parking lot just struck a chord with me..this was a good 2 years ago but it still bothers me. They probably dont even remember they said anything to me. People are so rude and sometimes it just bothers me!

    Or my 4 year old son has leukemia and sometimes he gets tired so I hold him or push him in the stroller and my 3 year old daughter has to walk and you wouldnt believe the glares I get when people see my older son being carried or pushed and my younger daughter walking. They dont know the circumstance. Its truly sad.

Leave a Reply

Share

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on email
Christina
Gina
Lauren
Tiffany
Emily
Theresa
AJ
Kendra
Jacqulyn
Bree profile
Bree

I Almost Missed The Love I Need Most

My youngest child turned two a few days ago and ever since, I can see the difficulty it can be dealing with me sometimes! One second it’s all smiles and laughs and with the blink of an eye it’s screeching and tears. You cannot predict moods or the outcome of each day.

Read More »
Family hands

Coming In Last For A Reason

There’s an age old phrase “the last one is the last one for a reason,” I’m sure you’ve heard it before. But what was your reason, or your mom’s, …

Read More »

Leaving On A Jet Plane

For weeks now, I’ve convinced myself today would be a relieving one. The future nine days will be kid free, when was the last time that happened?!…

Read More »
16 and Pregnant

When Life Hands You Lemons

December 2007, I was tall, tan, and toned, halfway through my sophomore year of high school and had just gotten myself a brand new boyfriend named Guy.

Read More »
Imagine

Imagine The Possibility

My husband is an immigrant. A first-born Australian to a British father and Filipino mother, he’s darker-skinned than all of his friends, but lighter than half…

Read More »
Woman and Baby

There Is Work To Be Done

Both times I’ve had babies, whether in a hospital in Rochester, NY or on my own bed in western Colorado, my desire for empowered birth experiences for everyone…

Read More »
Stack of Pennies

Four Quarters, or 100 Pennies?

I have gone over and over in my mind what the word ”tribe” means to me. Different situations call out your tribe, but to me, figuring out who truly loves you is…

Read More »
Close Menu