Leave Children Alone

I know it sound strange to read this title, especially from the mouth of a parent. But, believe me it comes straight from my heart, as a appeal for everyone who likes to interfere with my parenting and my child’s well-being.

I’m talking about the so-called ‘noises’ that get to the brains of new parents from all directions. I have a 5 years old son and a niece of 13 months. They are both wonderful children and the joy of our lives. Parenting so far has been challenging and a tremendous change, but the part I like the least are advice and ‘ultimatums’ I’ve heard non-stop since people came to know I was pregnant. At first there were all kinds of ‘wise advice’ about what to eat and what to do during pregnancy. Everyone had something to say, some of them came as ultimatums, mainly from older women. Normally, I don’t really pay attention to such things, but while pregnant hormones and fears do not really help.

The biggest nagging discussion was whether I would have a boy or a girl. Everyone kept telling me I would have a baby-girl. Only doctors and the ultrasound stand apart from the crowd, and confirmed I was having a baby-boy. It was so amazingly strange why everyone was so keen to comment about this issue. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard the argument about how the shape of my belly was typical when having baby-girls. And when I said that doctors confirmed I was having a boy the answer was the same “What do doctors know!” Then, they told me stories when doctors did mistakes and confirmed the wrong gender of the baby. For some time I was nervous about this issue and it was like a funny joke for the doctor in every ultrasound check, to smile while repeating: “The baby continues to be a boy”. It was during one of my NST sessions I finally felt fully assure about this issue. There were two beds in the same room and one day I found there another mother-to-be who was having a baby-girl. You could make the difference of our bellies, mine was more directed for ahead, while her belly was more spread on the sides. From that moment, I just smiled when people kept commenting the shape of my belly and its relation to my baby gender.

Post-partum period was very difficult. I recall difficulties with no-sleeping or very little sleeping, vaccines, high fever nights, first foods for the baby, and all other things when you have a little baby. But even my beautiful boy could not distract people from their unremitting remarks: “Your boy is too short”, “The baby is skinny”, “Baby is drinking too much”, “Baby is eating too much”, “How come is not speaking still”, “He should stand on his feet by now”, “His father was stronger”, “His uncle was more lively”, “Do not feed the baby with fish, it is danger from fish needles”, “My son did walk faster” … and other bullshits like this (apology for the vocabulary). I read a lot to get ready for my duties as parent, and I knew people talk in vain. Still, their remarks could not pass without disturbing me time-to-time.

Now we are in phase of argues about reading issue. People are so worried why my son is not reading yet, like all cousins and neighbors around. And he is only 5. The other issue bothering people is why my 13 months old niece is not walking yet. The strong argument being: ‘girls are more agile than boys’, so everyone is wondering was she is not walking by herself yet.

“Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.” 

– Arabic Proverb

I am amazed with people being so keen to say not-nice words about such a beautiful event like having a baby, or about babies themselves. Really, I don’t get them. They have been parents before and I guess they felt the same fears and concerns about their children. They know what does it mean to have your soul tremble when your child is sick, could not sleep or cannot eat. They know the malady feeling parents experience when they think something is wrong with their child. So, tell me why they choose to add the suffering of parents instead of supporting them with nice words and real help.

This is even more unmeaning considering these are the people closely related to parents, that stay around us most of the time. So people, please stop vomiting your wonderful wisdom to parents ears. Leave our children alone! Leave as parents, alone! Instead of losing time teaching new parents how to raise their children, focus on your own family instead. Life is not a race with others, rather is a race with self. Each child is blessed with own talents and abilities and only through love and support could reach their potential and enjoy their journey.

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