This Isn’t My Village

Here’s the thing. I didn’t choose to have kids. I don’t want kids. I don’t even really like kids. If you choose to have kids, that’s great. I hope you’re super happy with that decision. But don’t try to drag me into raising your child.

Like the writer of this article:

“I looked around in disappointment at the people surrounding me. Where has the village gone? Where were all of the villagers? Why didn’t they help? Why did they just stand there?”

The post appears on a site called Scary Mommy, which also features articles such as It’s Not Your Job To Discipline Someone Else’s Child and Cafe Owner To Parents: Discipline Your Kids Or I Will which was, predictably, not a popular sentiment amongst the readership. There’s other bloggers who feel the same. In fact, that post ends with:

“Unless you are part of my village or willing to shoot me either a sympathetic glance or just say something as simple as, “You are doing a good job. You got this!” don’t say anything at all. I don’t expect my kids to listen to random strangers telling them what to do.”

So who is right?

I have no idea. I’m not in your village. I don’t know how to tell if your kid is actually dying or just mad you won’t give them a cookie. I have no idea what to do with a toddler who is bleeding or running around or breaking stuff. I’ve opted out. I don’t want to be a part of this narrative. I’m not an expert on when a child is causing themselves to be in actual danger.

Sure, as I’m not a total sociopath, if your kid is running to traffic, I’ll grab them. The same way I would with an adult. I’ve grabbed the shirt of the occasional grown up human being before when a crazy taxi driver runs a red light. I’ve had others do the same for me in similar situations. I’d do it for a pint sized human as well.

But stopping a toddler from out of a grocery store? My local grocery store is a busy place. How am I supposed to keep track of whether or not your kid is running towards you or away from you or towards their sibling/babysitter/grandparent while also not dropping the case of wine and Ben and Jerry’s I just bought?

Rather than whining on the internet, maybe get your kid a leash?