Hey y’all! Jess again! Let’s talk about consent. I’ll explain more on this with a story.
With cooler weather come the dreaded germs that all moms fear. You know what I’m talking about. This is the time when you get extra paranoid about anyone coming near your baby!
I don’t blame you. I am the exact same. My daughter was born in December at the height of the flu season last year and I was terrified.
From the very beginning, I was adamant about everyone washing their hands and using hand sanitizer before touching my precious tiny baby.
As time has passed and my daughter has grown, I have become a little less stressed about germs (which led to her getting hand, foot, and mouth. Can you say annoying?).
I saw a meme a few days ago that reminded me of how difficult it is to parent when there are so many fears- including germs.
My daughter is almost 11 months. Last week, there was a small but meaningful incident that once again reassured me I should always stand up for what I believe!
Let me tell you a story.
I went to a party store with my mom. I knew there would be a lot of people so I put my daughter in her lillebaby carrier and strapped her to the front of my body. I normally babywear my girl and have been doing so on my back more often as she is basically a mini hulk and that way is easier on my body.
My mom was curious why I wasn’t backcarrying (wearing on my back) ans I simply told her I didn’t want people touching her. It is much easier to referee when she is on my front. I knew what I was doing. I have been in large crowds before.
My daughter is very smiley and friendly so people love talking to her. They also love to touch her. WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE TOUCHING BABIES??
An older woman walked up to me and said my daughter was gorgeous and asked if she could have her all while reaching for her arm. I simply smiled and gently moved my daughter out of reach. BUT SHE DIDNT GET IT!
She continued on “esta tan bella! Se la compro? Vendamela que está tan chula.” This basically translates to “she is so beautiful! Can I buy her from you? Sell her to me she is just so cute. (this is less weird in Spanish than it sounds). I once again smiled with and gently asked her to please not touch my daughter.
She was completely taken aback. My grandma who was with us was so embarrassed that she walked away.
I was not. I was proud.
Normally, things happen and I kick myself all day thinking about what I should have said. This time I did it! I said what I was thinking and what I wanted while it was happening.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the woman talking to a younger woman about me and how I wouldn’t let her touch my daughter. I was still not embarrassed. Why?
YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TOUCH ANY BABY. It doesn’t matter if you think they are cute or the baby reached out for you. You can’t just hold them or touch their hand because you want to. You have to have consent from their parent, or if they’re old enough, from the child. You have to ask. And just because you ask, doesn’t mean it’s an automatic yes. Parents and children have every right to say no.
As soon as we left the place, I called my husband excited that I had finally spoken up! We continued shopping at other nearby stores. A few hours later, the SAME lady came up to me. She asked if it would be okay if she asked me a question.
She then proceeded to ask why I didn’t want her to touch my baby. She told me all about how she doesn’t have anything and how I made her feel so bad. I explained that it is flu season and it was no offense to her but I don’t want to risk my daughter with extra unnecessary germs.
She kept going on and on about how bad I had made her feel and now she didn’t have anything but I did not back down. My mom even stepped in and told her I even asked her to wash her hands before touching my sweet baby.
This lady then had the gall to ask if my daughter was very sensitive or delicate and that’s why I didn’t want anyone to touch her? I decided enough was enough and told her she is perfectly healthy and that she didn’t need the extra exposure.
I also told her that for future reference, adults don’t show flu symptoms until two days after they have been infected so she COULD be carrying something (How Flu Spread). We parted ways and I am sure she continued on to tell everyone about how awful I was.
You know what though? I DON’T CARE. You shouldn’t either!
Never let anyone make you feel like you’re doing anything wrong by protecting your babies! Protect on mamas.
This attitude should be applied to any choice you make for your baby especially those regarding consent! Don’t let anyone make you feel like they have a right to your baby. To let everyone touch your baby or let no one touch your baby is your decision and there is no wrong answer. You do you mama ♥️
Have you had any encounters like this before? If so, did you speak up or hold your tongue? How did that make you feel? Speak up below!