It became apparent to us as parents of triplets, from the first time we ventured out of the house with them that we were going to attract a lot of attention.
And understandably. There are times I remember being out with them in the supermarket on my own and being surrounded in the isle, unable to move, blocked by cooing onlookers, whilst the babies cried and got upset with people staring at the them, and with all the hands reaching down to squeeze their cheeks, If I was a baby it would probably upset me too.
It becomes difficult at times. Especially when the girls are tired, and we’re tired and we are just trying to get a shop done as fast as possible so we can get them back home to nap.
There have been situations when we are feeding them in a cafe or restaurant and we have had strangers come over to our table and ask questions while we have mouths full of food and the babies are eating.
Although the babies have got somewhat used to being stared at and approached by people they don’t know they can still get upset by it, especially when they are tired. And neither my wife and I have mastered having a conversation with a mouthful of sandwich, which can also make things awkward.
The problem is that sometimes we have to explain to people that the babies can be upset by strangers getting in their faces and touching them. We have people look at us like were being rude and walk off at being asked by us to stop. It happens a lot. It can ruin a trip out for us when the attention doesn’t stop and were just trying to have a meal or take care of our children.
Getting out is difficult enough, more-so alone with them which my wife has to when I’m at work, so the added stress of having to deal with trying not to offend strangers who want to pick up the babies from their high chairs to pacify them while my wife is feeding them can ruin her day.
So maybe if you see a mum out with tired babies, and you want to get involved. Think about the mum who is dealing with a stressful situation, perhaps instead of walking over to ask her a handful of questions over the top of tired upset babies, ask her if she want’s a cup of tea. Ask her if there is anything she needs.
We don’t like to have to ask people not to touch our babies, we don’t like to ask people not to try to pick them up while they are eating and get in their faces. And it’s not nice to be made to feel like we’re horrible people for asking this.
It’s nice that they bring so much happiness to others, and we’re happy to answer questions but a bit of common sense, consideration and timing doesn’t go a miss.
Have you had experience with this as a parent?