10.03.2010

To Speak or Not to Speak? -Gimme your opinions and SOUND OFF!

Believe it or not, there are times when I'm unsure whether or not I should say something. Yes, shocking, I know but really, there are situtaions in my life where I have to wonder whether opening my mouth is going to be WORTH the outcome. Usually, yes, it is because I don't care if people don't like me for the fact that I share information (fact based, scientifically supported information). A favorite quote of mine:

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt

It is *so* true. You can't feel guilty because someone tells you that there is information that PROVES that breastfeeding is a superior infant choice unless you LET that make you feel guilty...and why on earth would you? Because you'd rather NOT know so that you can CHOOSE not to do it? I'm not sure, I honestly can't imagine (and remember, I have done it all and formula fed my other children, but when I learned more, I didn't feel guilty and start a mommy war, I took that information and did better). And this is, of course, just an example. Obviously formula exists for a reason and I would love to see it improved, regulated more strictly and, of course, for more breastfeeding information/support/breastmilk donors/etc were available.

But this is taking us FAR away from the point of my blogpost. :)

Sadly, you'd think the only things parents would argue about would be infant feeding, discipline, perhaps toys/devices and maybe sleeping arrangements. You might be surprised to know that another hot button issue in the momosphere is carseats. Yea, carseats. And not just the "Evenflo vs. Graco" type debate but people who ACTUALLY get offended when you tell them the LAW on infant/child carseats/restraints. (For carseat laws go here This lists the most basic information and needs to be read carefull and should also be cross-referenced. Also remember that MINIMUMS aren't the safest.)

While at Target this weekend, a woman was pushing her cart in front of me. She had with her a toddler and an infant, perched on the cart in his infant carrier. The straps on the carrier were so loose they were sagging, hanging off his shoulders and the chest clip was down by his groin. Now, it is likely she loosened this and pushed the clip down as soon as she got him out of the car (although that's a little scary too, considering he was teetering on top of the cart...) but I couldn't help but wonder, "What if he was in the car like that? What if she doesn't know (or worse, doesn't care) that it's incredibly dangerous?" and as I followed her (incidentally, we were just taking the same route through Target for about 5 mintues) I just couldn't muster up something to say to her. I didn't want to come off as rude, know-it-all, condescending etc. Part of my problem was trying to figure out HOW to say something to her. What would I start with? How would I broach that topic without her feeling totally defensive or insulted. And that wasn't my intention, by any means. And so, I contemplated so long that she took a different turn and then, it was too late. Still kicking myself for that one.

And what would have happened? Likely, she would have either told me she loosened it as soon as they got out of the car; told me to f*ck off and mind my own business (ouch); thanked me for my concern or said she didn't know and (hopefully) put it in effect. I sadly must admit I let that second possibility affect me too much and for whatever reason, I let it make me a bit nervous.

Hopefully next time I won't let my nerves get the better of me, after all, it really was a matter of life and death if her infant was riding in the car restrained (I use the term loosely) like that. And so my question to all of you fellow mommies is this:

What would you do in this situation and have you ever been in a similar situation where you felt compelled to say something? Did you? How did that go?

I think this could be a great discussion and, of course, needs to be kept civil and respectful. So sound off!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I babysit two boys, one is 9 months and in an infant seat. When I saw how loose the straps were in his seat I tightened them! And this was just to go out for a walk! His father came to pick him up, put him in the car seat, complained about how tight they were AND LOOSENED THEM!!! I wanted to scream! Next day I talked to the mom about how dangerously loose they were( I could fold the straps in HALF!) she checked and said "yeah they're a bit loose.) Next day they were tighter but still way too loose! This is just the tip of the iceberg...

Yet I get made fun of for "wasting" $300 on each of the boys car seat!

Stephanie said...

It's funny you should bring this up. I was leaving the grocery store on Thursday and saw a grandmother with her two grandchildren, who were, at most, 6 years old. They were parked right next to us, and I saw them climb into the back seat, sit down SANS car OR booster seat, and then, WITHOUT EVEN BUCKLING the children or making sure they were buckled, the grandmother drove away. I stood there watching them, dumbfounded, instead of saying something, because I didn't know what I *could* say.