Miss Debrett on... Baby Boomers
The streets are thronged with baby buggies,
piloted with relentless egotism by the new
breed of super-mums. Festooned with
equipment - changing bags, bottle
carriers, organic baby food supplies -
their vast bulk seems out of all
proportion to their diminutive
incumbents. Sometimes there's
a buggy pile-up as several
mums congregate, and
baby mayhem is the result.
Or sometimes you find your
heels being nipped by an impatient
mum who deploys her buggy as an
instrument of aggression, designed to cut a swathe through the crowded pavements.
Great crowds of mothers are gathered together in cafes, on pavement tables, on park benches. They address their babies, and each other, in booming voices, creating a circus wherever they go.
It's easy to feel that the world has been taken over by babies, or rather by their loud-mouthed, inconsiderate mothers. It seems that, for some mothers at least, the very act of having a baby gives them a feeling of self-importance and entitlement. Motherhood is seen as a licence to behave boorishly, disregard the non-baby-pushing, and aggressively assert the rights of mothers over everyone else.
Obviously, no one would argue that life should be made difficult for mothers and babies. We applaud the special facilities, the changing tables in loos, the high chairs in restaurants, the crèches in shopping centres. But consideration works both ways, and other people need to walk the pavements, get on the buses, sit in crowded cafes. A mother of a babe in arms should never take precedence over a frail, elderly person.
Babies - with their helpless dependence and mounds of equipment - soon develop into toddlers. And that's when the trouble really starts…
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- Motherhood is not a passport to feelings of self-importance and entitlement, so don't behave boorishly.
- While mothers can certainly expect certain facilities and accommodations to be made, they should respect the rights of other people to walk the pavement, sit in the restaurant, use the cloakrooms and so on.
- A mother with a baby in a pushchair should never take precedence over a frail, elderly person.