it just dills my pickle

... when people try to make parents feel lame or hysterical for looking out for their kids.

We've heard a lot about slut-shaming lately. This post is about safety-shaming.

I can't tell you how many comments I've heard that are designed to safety-shame - from strangers, from "friends," and sometimes, most bafflingly, from other parents.

It starts when you're pregnant, and you make choices to protect your fetus.

Are you seriously not having coffee? People have been drinking coffee forever and we're still here...
I'm going to be the coolest pregnant lady. I'm totally going to have wine...
Crackheads have babies. You can eat some soft cheese for God's sake...

It only gets worse when people observe you actually safeguarding your child.

You're so funny that you worry about that...
Seriously? I have to wash my hands before touching the baby? Okaaaaay...
When I was raising my kids, we never worried about...
You won't worry so much when you've had your second...

I guess if I were a COOL mom I'd be like, "YEAH Chicken, chew on those rusty nails! It's good for your immune system," or "there's only one way he's going to learn not to run in the street. And that's by spending 14 months in a full body cast," or "has anyone seen Chicken? No? Well, he'll find his way home when he gets hungry."

But apparently I'm not a cool mom. Because I hold Chicken's hand when he climbs stairs since he's still a little drunky-stair-climby and those stairs are made of fucking rock, which tends to disagree with Chicken's tenders.

Because I don't let him wander off unattended in a public park, or a mall, or even someone else's house, as much out of concern for that house and it's nice things as out of fear for my son's safety.

Because I care what he eats and drinks. Because I care how I talk to him, and how other people talk to him.


I'm not cool.

No shocker there, at least to anyone who ever knew me as "the girl who reads wizard books during class pizza parties." True story. I'd post photographic evidence but nobody takes pictures of a girl sitting at a table alone reading wizard books during class pizza parties.

On behalf of moms who've been labeled hysterical, silly, picky, high-maintenance, naive worrywarts, I'm asking a favor.

Stop suggesting that our parenting is a product of hysterical judgment or watching too much local news.

Stop treating our choices like they're a cute phase we'll grow out of when we get a lick of sense.

Stop belittling our fears. They are real to us even if you think they're silly or unlikely to ever happen. If we fail to do everything in our power to protect our children, the potential consequences are unthinkable.

If we change our minds, or loosen a previously stringent standard, resist the urge to say "I told you so." If you say anything resembling "I told you so," we reserve the right to swiftly and mercilessly cut you and all your descendants out of our lives forever. We will wipe you away etch-a-sketch style.

Recognize that we spend every day wondering if we're doing this right.

Understand that we know how hard, fast, and dangerous this world is.

Sympathize that it's scary to send our tiny, innocent, downy little chicks out into the fray.

Oh. And one more thing.

How about if you just do you.

I said it. You do you.

Good night.


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