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Entitlement-Minded Mommies (and their partners)

By K8

Posted: Apr 27, 2009


This started out as a Pukefest submission, but I quickly realized that I have so many examples of maddening mommy-entitlement behavior that I want to share, it might work better as an official Rant.


I am sick and tired of, and sickened and tired by, the Entitlement Disease that seems to afflict mothers--single mothers and mothers with partners and those partners themselves-- the second they give birth to their first precious Jack or Aiden or Bailey or Ethan. These men and women seem convinced that by succeeding in fulfilling the natural biological imperative called procreation, which nearly every teen and adult on the planet would fulfill if they weren't careful, they have become special, better, different, and more important than the rest of us to the point that they think that they should receive preference and special treatment in almost every conceivable situation.


Time for some stories.


Last week, I was patiently shuffling through security at a large international airport just like the rest of the herd hoping to catch a flight that day. One by one, we presented our driver's licenses, removed our shoes, doled our belongings into bins, and submitted to pat-downs and metal detectors for the sake of speedy travel. But, much to my dismay and the dismay of the ridiculously long line of people behind me, two people ahead of us had decided that they were different. I looked ahead to see a couple, man and woman, with a baby about a year old, screaming and yelling at the airport security officials, throwing what amounted to a two-person adult tantrum. They had with them two strollers (one small and compact, one the size of my Honda), bag after bag of baby-related plastic crap (all of which they apparently thought they were going to carry on...?), their own expensive Eddie Bauer backpacks, and the requisite bawling spawn. I gathered from their hysterical screams that they didn't think they should have to pass the loads of different baby-drinks, baby-foods, and baby-meds, strollers, and bags through the x-ray machine like everyone else. After ten minutes of yelling, they finally began to unpack their myriad bags and attempt to cram the luxury stroller through the x-ray machine, griping to each other and shooting nasty looks to the growing line behind them all the while. Having a baby does not mean you get to skip airport security. What the hell are you thinking?!


A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were at a bagel cafe, eating some bagels with schmear and working on papers for class (we're college students). We had a chosen a medium-sized table at the back of the restaurant where we could spread out our laptops, books, and printed articles without encroaching on anyone else's space or tripping them with our computer chargers. After a few minutes, a gaggle of mommies with giant-sized fluff-lined strollers came in and lined up at the counter. They were all the trophy-wife type, with manicured nails, highlighted hair, huge wedding and engagement rings, and designer tracksuits (not at all uncommon in the resort town where our college is randomly located). We soon noticed that they were all staring at us and whispering amongst themselves as they waited for their food. Finally, one of them approached our table, smiling in that condescending way that "successful", "sophisticated" women smile at younger, less carefully put-together ones. She said, "Excuse me, but my friend and I have a New Mothers Club. We meet here every Wednesday morning, and we usually use this table." We stared at her, not quite catching her meaning until she smiled even wider and raised her eyebrows. She wanted us to pack up all of our things and move to another table so that the New Mothers Club could have their "usual" spot. Realizing this, we both said, "Oh, that's nice", and went back to our work. She stood there for a moment, then snorted indignantly and stomped off. The New Mothers Club found another place to sit, of course. Having a baby does not mean that you get preference over anyone else in normal social settings when you don't actually need the preference and deference you're hoping for. What's the matter with you?!


Also a couple of weeks ago, I was at my favorite study spot, a Panera Bread with wireless internet close to campus. I was sitting quietly, minding my reading, when a mother, grandmother, and a small child came into the store. The brat was wandering freely, unsupervised by either woman as they ordered, aside from their occasional glances and, "Aww isn't he adorables?" as they watched the spawn stagger around harassing the other customers. To my horror, he soon fixated on me and wandered my way. The mother and grandmother watched as the kid reached repeatedly for my laptop and books, which I had to jerk out of his grasp, as he screamed and babbled at me incoherently, and as he sat down at my feet, removed his shoes, and flung them into my lap. They smiled at me, giggling, as if I should smile back, coo at their progeny, and baby-sit it free of cost while they waited for their food. I looked at them and the brat with my most icy-cold stare, set the thing's shoes on the ground, and proceeded to completely ignore it. Within seconds, the mother had swooped in and picked up the kid, who was still staring at me and drooling. The whole thing seemed like either laziness, or the women using the kid to get attention. Ew! Your child is not anyone's responsibility but your own, and you shouldn't assume that every stranger you run across in public will think your kid is adorable enough to watch after it and keep it safe for you. Get over yourself and your spawn! Neither of you are nearly that great.


There are countless other examples of similar entitlement-mindedness.... Parents bringing their offspring into public places and refusing to discipline them, supervise them, and/or even attempt to quiet them when they scream and cry. Parents shoving their shopping carts or strollers in front of anyone and everyone in their path. Parents sighing with exasperation and indignation if they, god forbid, ever have to wait their turn like normally-socialized high-functioning human beings. Parents looking outraged and appalled if someone doesn't express the utmost admiration for their spawn.


I could go on, but I'm sure you get my drift. It's ridiculous, and it needs to stop. Parents need to get over themselves and realize that they are by no means the first people to have a child, or go shopping with a child, or grab lunch with a child, or travel with a child in tow. Others have managed to do all of these things since the first society was formed, and they've been doing them on a daily basis ever since. You're not special, and neither is your kid.


Remember how you were expected to behave before you spawned? Yeah. 99% of the same rules still apply. Remember "manners", and "being polite"? Give them a try again, and maybe your kid will learn to be more considerate than you are.

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