Your concern has been noted. Now fuck off.

The kids and I drove Will to work today and had breakfast with him. He showed off Gracie to several people, and most of them just had to share some variation on “It’s too cold for her!” One of them asked how old she is, and when I said, “Three and a half weeks,” she replied, “And you’re out already?” Will responded as though she meant that she was impressed that I was feeling recovered enough to be out, and it’s possible that’s what she meant. Except it isn’t. She was criticizing me for bringing the baby out. Not Will–she looked right at me when she said it.

PEOPLE. The idea that newborns must never leave the house and their mothers must stay with them is outdated and ridiculously sexist. KNOCK IT OFF. My daughter is healthy (premature babies and unwell babies probably should be kept at home). My baby has a hat and a sweater and oh by the way IT IS ONLY 50 DEGREES OUT, NOT SUB-ZERO. Also you should keep your opinions to your damn self.

There. I feel better, don’t you?

29 thoughts on “Your concern has been noted. Now fuck off.

  1. Angella

    January 22, 2010 at 1:01pm

    What is it with those people who have to give unsolicited advice? For some reason they think it’s OK when there’s a (perfectly warm and safe) baby involved.

    I’m angry on your behalf.

  2. Eileen

    January 22, 2010 at 1:02pm

    Why would people have issues with you being out with your baby after three weeks? I’d totally be out showing her off to everyone! I didb’t even know some outdated idea of keeping them at home even existed.

  3. Jessica

    January 22, 2010 at 1:03pm

    I started taking Miss C out when she was about 2 weeks old. So, early February. In NH. Where it was sub-zero. She was fine. And, you know, going out kept me slightly closer to sane.

    Enjoy your future outings :)

  4. Laurie Ann

    January 22, 2010 at 1:05pm

    Honestly, what do these people think women did back in the old days?

  5. Annika

    January 22, 2010 at 1:06pm

    Eileen, I wonder if it’s an American idea? Or maybe you just haven’t come across it because you’re not a mum. I don’t remember hearing any such thing until I was pregnant the first time. And my first thought was how absurd it is that we’re expected to take newborns to the doctor (where there are SICK PEOPLE) but not to the grocery store or wherever.

  6. Annika

    January 22, 2010 at 1:07pm

    Laurie, I’m thinking the women of old stayed in the caves while their men went out and hunted and gathered and had a good time with the boys. Golly, can you imagine the echo of a colicky baby in a cave? (Yes I know you didn’t mean quite so very old days.)

  7. georgia

    January 22, 2010 at 1:07pm

    people are idiots. and 50 degrees is too cold? hahaha. i didn’t even put a jacket on my baby if it was 50 degrees out.

  8. amie

    January 22, 2010 at 1:11pm

    I love to see moms out and about with the newborn. I think it shows they are getting on with things and in a good frame of mind. I barely went out and looking back it was a sign of my poor state of mental health. I say, show that baby off. And you are right about people being freaks about the weather on the west coast. I mean they DO have babies in Chicago, Alaska, New England…..!

  9. uccellina

    January 22, 2010 at 1:20pm

    Just wait for the sock trolls to show up. “Socks? Socks? Why doesn’t that child have socks on? Her toes will fall off! Don’t you realize it’s only 65 degrees out? Socks! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSS!”

    Okay, maybe I’m still traumatized from when my own kids were newish.

  10. oslowe

    January 22, 2010 at 1:24pm

    Just start telling ppl the baby has Viking blood and scowl at them. Then Sam and I will go “FJORD!!!” and high-five.

    Now I gotta come home so I can teach sam to high-five after I shout FJORD!!!

  11. bethany actually

    January 22, 2010 at 1:29pm

    My baby WAS premature (but perfectly healthy) and I took her out of the house every chance I got starting around the time she was a week and a half old, WITH my doctor’s encouragement.

    Maybe it’s because you live in California where all the natives are treating this rainy weather like it’s the end of the world, and you’re not from California so it doesn’t seem strange at all to you that you’d have your baby out in anything but 80-degree sunshine?

  12. Rachel

    January 22, 2010 at 1:35pm

    My Doc said to take baby out when we were comfortable doing so. So we took her out when she was less than a week old. Its also healthy for the mommy to get active as soon as she feels she can. No need to wait six weeks.

  13. Craptina

    January 22, 2010 at 1:35pm

    My MIL put her firstborn outside in the snow for 30 minutes as a baby. To this day, he NEVER gets a cold.

    Fuck that jerk.

  14. Nana

    January 22, 2010 at 3:13pm

    Strangely enough, when you were just a wee little thing and we lived in NYC the same thing happened!!! Some stranger came up and said you were too young and that babies shouldn’t go out for 40 days. Your Dad and I still snigger about it.

  15. Lisa

    January 22, 2010 at 3:14pm

    Unsolicited advice is the worst part about having a new baby. I always took mine out within a few days (in the Oregon rain, even!), because I felt fine and I had to get out or I’d probably go nuts. We even went out to eat with our second the night we left the hospital. My kids are also some of the healthiest kids I know. Go figure.

  16. Nell

    January 22, 2010 at 3:16pm

    I found all those people who like to tell young mothers what to do with their babies started to back off faster after the second child. I think they figured I either kind of knew what I was doing with the second one, or I that I was a lost cause. Either way, less know-it-alls works for me!

  17. Jess

    January 22, 2010 at 3:20pm

    Wow, every time someone I know has a baby, I hear more and more ridiculous superstitious prohibitions about what you must or cannot do. It would never even have occurred to me that you weren’t supposed to take the baby out! I would just have thought ‘good for you’ for getting out and about.

  18. Cindy

    January 22, 2010 at 3:23pm

    Patrick was born on a Thursday. We came home on Friday and had tons of company on Saturday. On Sunday, I took him to the mall. Yes, I drove myself and my new born in a pickup truck to the mall,BY MYSELF.

    Megan was born in November and within a week I was back to walking to the post office to get our mail. November. New England. COLD AS A MOTHERFUCKER! She always slept quite nicely.

    My mother used to put me down for a nap in my carriage outside in the after noon when they lived in NEW HAMPSHIRE. I was born in OCTOBER and she did it even when it was snowing (I was on the porch). This was in 1963.

    People are stupid and it isn’t us.

  19. Jennifer

    January 22, 2010 at 3:27pm

    A story from Canada – where the weather is definitely colder than California!

    Both of my kids were born in wintertime – one in December, one in February. We’ve taken a 3-day old to a restaurant (immediately after being discharged from the hospital), a 1-week old to kindergarten as her brother’s show & tell, a 3-week old on a hike through a sugar bush for the local Maple Syrup festival, as well as the usual trips to grocery store, Starbucks, family get-togethers…you get the picture. If anyone disapproved, I don’t remember them saying anything to us.

    Life has to go one after baby is born. I agree whole-heartedly with the earlier comments that being out is a sign that mom is in a good frame of mind.

    Fortunately, inventions such as automatic washers, dryers etc., mean that the household chores take significantly less time now than a generation or two ago, so we CAN get out & about with our babies.

    I read that in one of the earlier editions of Dr. Spock, he advocated putting baby in pram outside in the back yard for an hour every day. His point was that moms may be stuck inside ironing, waxing floors and so on, but that babies need fresh air. Every day.

    Or maybe his point was to get the baby away from the floor wax fumes?

  20. Jenn

    January 22, 2010 at 3:40pm

    I took preemie Mal out when he was 7 days old. And yeah, I had never heard anything like that until I birthed my own, then the wing-nuts come out. To make it tougher, some doctors/websites keep it going with a “six week” suggestion.

    Oh yes, I also love the sock nazis. Mal never wore socks. He was born in May. It was ninetykabillion degrees outside. Asshats.

  21. Annika

    January 22, 2010 at 5:51pm

    I would love it if someone could tell me what it is, exactly, that is supposed to MAGICALLY CHANGE for both mother and baby at six weeks. It must be something really fantastic!

  22. Jenn

    January 22, 2010 at 6:58pm

    Thats when the magic immuno-fairies come down from heaven (or um, something) and wave a wand over the beebers thus making them into their mini-super-hero forms. This is also when they get their own special powers.

    Few people mention that part. And that this is the age they can start wearing a sword or crossbow, as need be.

  23. allison

    January 22, 2010 at 7:49pm

    Gee, I wonder what women in cold climates did a hundred years ago, when the only heat was a fire or stove. And most likely the inside temperature was about 50 degrees at best.

    Idiots.

  24. Katherine

    January 22, 2010 at 11:16pm

    Shit. Is it up to parents or other family members to start arming babies with swords and/or crossbows? Do people register for weapons along with breast pumps (also, technically, a weapon)? I am so glad I’m not having kids! This is terribly complicated!

  25. Lucretia

    January 23, 2010 at 5:27am

    Annika, like Eileen I am genuinely confused, I’ve never heard of that before! I think it’s excellent that Grace and you are out and about and sharing the cuteness.

  26. Anne

    January 23, 2010 at 9:06am

    My kids were born in Virginia, in May, and it was at least 70 degrees, and I was still asked about socks, etc.!!!

  27. Amy

    January 23, 2010 at 9:24pm

    Katherine – true story, apparently Edward III worried that the citizenry wouldn’t be skilled enough to fight off potential enemy attacks, so he encouraged families to practice archery and sword-fighting in lieu of other pastimes.

    So, to answer your question, it so totally is.

  28. oslowe

    January 24, 2010 at 6:44am

    Well, Sam loves swords, so I guess I’m hoping Grace will be the crossbow baby. Since she IS a Goblin Princess, it should be a particularly nasty looking crossbow with jagged bolts. Maybe a 2-shot deal, like Rutger Haur’s in Ladyhawke?

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