Can you just please get over yourself? (In honour of World Breastfeeding Week)

Yes, it’s World Seat belt Wearing Week, and I know that wearing a seat belt is a good thing to do, and strapping your baby into a car is lovely. I get it.

But you know what? I’m sick of all those mothers taking photos of themselves strapping their kid into the car, and posting it on facebook. I’m sick of reading all about the joys of seatbelts all over the internet. There was even a woman on television this morning showing how she straps her baby into the car seat.

They act as if seat belts are the only way to be a good parent. And they are just rubbing it in to anyone who is different.

I didn’t use seat belts for my children. There, go ahead and judge me.

I tried. I had read all the stuff about how it would keep them safe and was the best thing for them.  So I tried. I bought an expensive car seat and tried to strap my screaming little baby into it. And she hated it. No matter how often I tried, she screamed, her little body convulsing. I realised that seat belts were not going to work for my baby.

Seat belts are just not for everyone.

She sat on my hubby’s lap and was perfectly happy. So did all her sisters. They love the car. There is no screaming and fighting the car seat or the seat belt, they have big smiles on their faces and everyone is happy while they play in the car.

Except for the seat-belt Nazis. They actually stop me in the street to say my child is unbelted in the car. It’s not their business how I drive my children. I won’t succumb to the belt pressure, or Beltsure, as I call it.

Yes, before you ask, I know the stuff about how a seat belt will keep them safe. But all my children were driven everywhere without a belt, and they are fine. And I know two children who were strapped in, and were in accidents, which just proves that seat belts are not all they are cracked up to be.

Look, I get it that in some parts of the world, where people drive rickety old bangers,  seat belts are important. But this is Ireland. Cars here are safe, they have to pass the NCT, and drivers have to pass a driving test. Children are safe in cars here even if they are unbelted.

Seat belts are a nice luxury, if you have time to strap your child in every single journey, but they are not a necessity. They are not the sign of a good parent.

Besides, has anyone considered the long term implication of all this seat belt wearing? We’re not just talking about strapping a tiny baby into a car seat. No, we are supposed to put big toddlers into special seats and strap them in too. How on earth are they ever going to learn to look after themselves if we are pandering to them like this?

And how can it be healthy for a toddler to believe that the only way to travel is to be strapped into the car? They are going t o grow up thinking that if they are not tied down, then nobody loves them. If that’s not a recipe for a pervert, I don’t know what is.

Or they’ll refuse to go on a pony or a bicycle because there is no seat belt. That’s no way to bring up a child.

So sure, have your World Seat Belt Wearing Week, and post your Beltfies all over facebook, but don’t try to make me feel guilty about how I drive my children.

About Eileen Gormley

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