‘If you see a parent with a toddler who isn’t wearing a coat, please don’t assume the parent is some monster who doesn’t care if their kids freeze.’: Mom’s winter PSA for people who are ‘judging, harassing’ parents in public

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“A winter PSA to anyone who hasn’t had a baby in the last 5(ish) years:

If you’re out and about and see a parent with a baby/toddler who isn’t wearing a coat, pleeeeease don’t assume that parent is some kinda monster who doesn’t care if their kids freeze.

New car seat guidelines avidly warn against children wearing coats in car seats, and this makes it really challenging for caregivers (particularly those with multiple small children) to get kids out of the house then in the car then out of the car again and into the destination.

Close up of baby asleep in carseat with gray hat on
Courtesy Nicky Campbell

I can’t count how many moms have told me their personal stories of being judged or harassed out in public because their kids weren’t wearing coats for this exact reason. It’s something we all are struggling with, but no one really seemed to be addressing. The no-coats-in-car-seats rule is still new enough that it isn’t widely known by everyone who isn’t actively dealing with it every day.

Mother smiles in selfie in hospital bed holding newborn baby to her chest
Courtesy Nicky Campbell

Seriously it’s chaos. And since there’s not a great commercial product to solve this issue yet, everyone comes up with their own solutions. Some use blankets. Some use lots of warm layers/hats/gloves. Some (God bless them) do the coat shuffle at every stop and decided their kid would survive the 12-second walk from the car into Best Buy without the bubble coat.

So, what I’m saying is, cut parents some slack. We’re trying. And we’re doing everything we can to make sure our kids are warm while maintaining what’s left of our sanity. I hope this post spreads a bit of awareness and people can respond more compassionately when they see a mom trying to shuffle her coatless kids around this winter.”

Mother who says mothers shouldn't judge each other stands in home with baby swaddled to her chest with hat on
Courtesy Nicky Campbell

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicky Campbell, 28, of Ohio. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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