I’ve noticed something since being pregnant. Our society values babies. The term ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ has taken on a new meaning for me. It’s always been so, I just hadn’t really noticed before. It seems that most cultures value babies in varying ways, but I wasn’t prepared for it. It’s not one of the perks of parenthood people talk about.
For my husband and I, having a baby was our choice. We did it for ourselves. If we didn’t have input or support from anyone, we were going to do it anyway, fate permitting.
So when I was pregnant, I was surprised by the support from strangers. People stopping to help me, ask questions, or even just smiling at me. I quickly became accustomed to people holding doors for me, giving up their seats for me. I, unknowingly, began to expect this special treatment.
Since having the baby, this special treatment has continued. People will go out of their way to make room for my stroller, sometimes allow me to go ahead of the line because of a fussy baby. Everywhere we go people are complimenting our child. Strangers constantly talk to us now. I expect stores to be easy to peruse with a stroller. I also expect high chairs in restaurants and change tables, too.
What began as a choice that my husband and I made to start a family, has turned into a type of privilege. One that I might have trouble giving up when my child grows up. I suppose that privilege will slowly fade and I will be weaned off of it.
Until then, though, I plan to enjoy this privilege and thank each stranger that insists on lending a helping hand.