Monday, April 12, 2010

I Guess People Assume I'm "Crazy"

Okay, I realize that some people out there are going to tell me to "get a sense of humor" and "don't take things so personally" and in all honesty, I'm not really hurt or upset, but I am at least a little appalled at the level of ignorance being demonstrated on a so-called "mom" website.  Momlogic, who I just started following recently on twitter and whose bio on twitter is "Real advice.  Real stories.  Real moms." just posted a link to her "momstrosity" post titled, "10 Must Have Products for Paranoid Parents" and thinking it would be funny, I tuned in.  The first item was semi-funny - mostly because of the ears on it...then the second item popped up and lo and behold, it was the sign that I have hanging on Bean's carseat and stroller - its the one in the very upper-left corner of the picture included with this post.  It reads, "Please wash your hands before touching mine" and it is a little pink stop sign.  The entry on Momlogic reads"
Here’s a product for those nervous parents who never let another human being touch their baby … unless that person has scrubbed down like a doctor before surgery. My Tiny Hands tells the great unwashed to keep their greasy mitts off your pristine child. Do they sell one for Mom that says “Control Freak?”

Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2010/04/10_must-have_products_for_para.php#tags#ixzz0kvjZwQGE
Awesome.  That is totally who I am - a control freak who has a pristine child.  Except not at all...I guess the lesson to be learned from this is one should never assume to know why a parent is doing something.  And it aggravates me that a mom's website would further the myth that these signs are nothing more than just paranoia to be ridiculed and ignored if the parent is not around (people thinking - oh, I don't need to wash my hands - that is just a paranoid parent speaking...and then touching the child - preemie, immuno-suppressed, whatever the situation).  I am just as bad as others at making assumptions about things and people, but we should all remember what happens when we assume things...

The story behind these pink stop signs is truly special and meaningful, and I for one am very much appreciative of the mother who took the time and risked the ridicule to create these signs.  Her daughter was born at 35 weeks.  She speaks on her website, My Tiny Hands about how "awkward" she felt about asking her friends and family, let alone strangers, not to touch the baby without washing their hands first.  She discussed RSV, which is what sent Bean to the hospital the first time and how flu season was such a threat.  I hope that people will take the time to visit the website and realize that these are actually very useful and for some of us parents, very necessary signs rather than just accepting how ridiculous and overprotective the request is.

Sorry for the rant...this one just touched something off in me!

6 comments:

  1. I have one of these too. Rachel was sick for 2 weeks just because I brought home a cold and since she was born in November, I wanted to remind people to keep their germs to themselves!

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  2. This is a very good reminder to stop and think first... both for the touching babies thing AND the sensitivity to what might possibly be behind a parent choosing to use a sign like that.

    I encourage you to leave a comment over at Momlogic. It would be good (in my opinion) for them to hear a counterpoint.

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  3. Thank Mary-LUE! I actually left a comment before I wrote this post and I saw there were other parents who also commented similarly. Hopefully people are reading the comments as well as the post!

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  4. Assumptions like that annoy me too! My son just started ACTH injection therapy which makes him severely immuno-suppressed--more so than usual (because of his genetic/neurological condition). He's not allowed in public for 4 weeks, but once he is I'll have one of these signs on his stroller just in case! Better safe than sorry. I'd rather be labeled "crazy" than risk my child ending up in the PICU!

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  5. I just found this blog today and am eager to read more. So far this article is hitting close to home and makes me feel so not alone.... My daughter is 6 months old and just had a heart transplant 10 days ago, she's doing awesome and we're anticipating her coming home in the next few weeks, but I'm FREAKING out about germs and people wanting to come over and touch her and colds and flu. It's driving me bonkers because like you said, people don't understand and I feel uncomfortable having to constantly eagle eye everyone and be the hand washing dictator. I'm so happy my daughter is doing well and can't wait to bring her home, but I hope finding some blogs and forums can help me find answers to my fears......

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  6. Sara Jane - I can't seem to access your email address, but feel free to email me at bk2nocal@gmail.com to chat. There are some great online resources out there for parents of transplant recipients - and you're lucky that your daughter will be coming home after most of the flu season is over! We found it best to keep a blanket with us whenever out in public and keep it over her in the car seat. People tend to leave babies alone if they think they're asleep or you're trying to get them to go to sleep...so, it made it much easier. We also hung signs up all over our house when she came home from the NICU - baby's room, bathrooms, etc. that reminded people to wash hands with hot water and soap and then use antibacterial gel. That way, we didn't have to constantly remind people. We were lucky to be at the Ronald McDonald House for a while where they take care of all that. Good luck and please feel free to get in touch with me anytime!

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