Dear shopping centre staff. You are not police officers.
There are no trolleys for mums who are trying to shop with a toddler and a baby. Some shops have trolleys for twins, but they are few and far between. So we put the baby in the little seat and put our toddler in the big part of the shopping trolley so we can get a few things – bread, milk, headache medication – without them running off or knocking over a display of peeled tomatoes. (Why do they stack them like that?)
Now it seems the days of using, or misusing shopping trolleys are O-V-E-R thanks to some well-meaning if not over-zealous shopping centre staff and some seemingly innocuous stickers.
Wait. It gets better:
Can of worms; OPEN.
I've already confessed to my tendency to do the same. I am my children's mother and if there is a risk to take, I take it in a measured way. I am not trying to risk my children's life, I'm just trying to grab a few things without my toddler running off and after measuring the risk of my toddler running off or sitting in the trolley, I decided the trolley was safer.
This debate went on for hours with mums discussing and debating trolley-use and it almost, just almost took away from the fact the shopping centre staff had the audacity to use a sticker such as this. For a so-called 'family friendly' store it is incredibly obnoxious.
However it seems the use of stickers to shame mums is a new thing so watch out! Just two weeks ago this photo was shared on my Facebook page by a mum who had her child's school snack sent back with a 'sticker of shame'.
Who thought it was a good idea to use stickers as a weapon against parents? It's bad enough that we are preached to constantly by everyone over everything single parenting decision we make, but stickers of shame? Get real, or better still, get lost.
At the end of the day we are the parents and the decisions we make are ours to make. We are not intentionally putting our children in harm's way however the decisions we make are our business, so long as we are not placing ours or other's children in harms way.
The fact is they don't even make trolleys for parents with a baby and a toddler. As those of us with kids close in age know, shopping is a total nightmare. Mine youngest are just 16-months apart - I suffered through this hell for years.
So put your damn stickers way, okay? Being a parent is hard. We spend majority of each and every day second-guessing ourselves. We need support, not shame, when it comes to our parenting decisions.
Have you ever received a parenting 'sticker of shame'? What for? Do you think they are a good idea?
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