I’m a first-time mom, and I have gained a level of anxiety that I can not fully explain. I worry all the time about my precious baby girl. I’m worried about the color of her poop; I fear that she is not gaining enough weight, and I’m concerned if she will have struggles being social in a world that is currently socially distancing. These thoughts and more flood my mind daily, and with all the worry comes being very protective of my child. Next time I’ll be her voice – protecting my child’s personal space.
Well… Recently my husband and I decided that we needed to beat the “quarantine” cabin fever by exploring downtown Round Rock. We just moved to this city, and we wanted to see and learn more about it.
As we walked around and gazed at historic buildings, people stopped and told us how cute and beautiful our baby was. It made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside with all the compliments. Everyone that stopped was being normal and respectful of our little girl and us. It wasn’t until we stopped for lunch at a popular local pizza shop when things got weird. As soon as we walked in and were seated our waitress poured our kind words about our daughter. We said thank you and continued to search the menu for what we wanted to eat. The waiter continued to check on us and ask the normal questions that restaurant employees ask but also giving more compliments about our baby. I became annoyed because all I wanted is to pick out a yummy meal from the menu and enjoy the needed family outing time but I remained kind and continued to smile and say thank you with every accolade she gave.
Hmmm… well after the waitress brought our food to the table and refilled our drinks she stopped by our daughter’s stroller and pulled her mask down and began to talk to her than she proceeded to rub on my daughter’s arm. In my mind, I lost my cool but outwardly I was showing a calming shock. I could not believe that this lady that we do not know decided to invade my daughter’s personal space! I quickly took my daughter out of the stroller and set her on my lap in the booth and I gave the waitress a fake smile. But.. I wish I would have handled that situation differently.
My daughter was only five months at the time and she has no voice quite yet to defend herself when her personal space is being invaded. It is important for me as her parent to be that voice for her. I can not sit back in shock again when something like this happens again. COVID or no COVID, friend, family, or strange it is important to me to protect my child.
Next time I will not just pull my child away and give a fake smile but I will pull my child away being her voice and telling the person that invaded her personal space to move away and do not touch my child in the most respectful, but serious way. And as she grows up I will teach her the importance of self-respect, how to respect others, and how to protect herself when others in the world do not show respect towards her. As a new mom, I will give myself some grace and of course forgive the waitress (I think she meant no harm) but I will continue to learn how to stand up for my daughter in crazy circumstances when she can not stand up for herself.
By the way, my husband feels the same way about this situation but it always amazes how calm he remains. LOL