When I go to a restaurant with my baby, I spend much of my time there stressing out about whether or not she will behave. Even if I am in a family restaurant with my child, I often feel extremely unwelcome. Not by the serving staff usually, but the other patrons will occasionally look at me and my baby like we have no right to be there. Most of the time I don't enjoy my dining experience, I'm too busy worrying about Mary, and about the other people in the restaurant. I mean, I try hard to be a good mother, but sometimes, my child gets cranky, and I'm certain it's going to get worse before it gets better. If we have ordered, our food is on the way, and my baby (or older child) gets crabby and whiney, am I required to get up and leave? Aren't family restaurants designed for families? I mean, I certainly won't be bringing Mary to The Keg for the next decade at least, but I really think that I should be able to go to a family restaurant with my family, and not feel bad if my baby cries. Certainly if, when she is older, if she gets up and tries to run around the restaurant I will deal with it, and punish her...but if she's just crabby and whiney, I don't know. I'll do what I can to hush her, but I'm not going to leave a meal that I have paid for. Anyways, that's what is on my mind today.
There seems to be a culture of "Blame the Mother" going on, and it is really starting to bother me. Being a Mum is hard work, and most of us do our best. Yes, there are bad mothers out there, I'm certainly arguing with that, but society seems to be pleased to put near impossible expectations on mothers. You need to be there for your children, but you should be working and bringing in an income too. You should breastfeed, but no one wants to see it, so don't do it in public. It's important to get out and run errands, but for heavens sake don't bring your crying baby, or crabby toddler, or whiney child out, we don't need to see that. Don't complain, you chose to do what you're doing. We can all talk about our jobs, but you cant, you're just a mother, no one wants to hear about it. Some once said to me "Boy, you talk about your baby a lot. Can't you talk about anything else?" Well...no, not really. I live with her, she is my job, 24 hours a day. I don't mind it, but why is it acceptable for you to complain or talk about your day in the office, but I'm being boring and selfish when I talk about my baby.
Christ, and now on "The View" (why oh why do I watch that show?) they are comparing smokers being allowed to smoke with crying children in public. If crying children are allowed in public, why shouldn't smokers be allowed to smoke in public. Jesus murphy.
Anyways, I seem to be crabby, and I'm not sure that I have expressed myself properly here, but I guess it's my blog, and I can be as disjointed and cranky as I wish. So there.
Oh, in other news, it looks like Ethiopia and Eritrea are possibly heading back to war. Lots of movement along the border, troops in the demilitarized zone, and Eritrea has banned UN movements there as well. It does look like the rioting has calmed in Addis though, possibly because today is a national Muslim holiday called Eid al Fitr (the end of Ramadan. I can't help but worry about my pen pal, Tigray is far from the Capital, but fairly close to the border with Eritrea I think.