Since I published my post about carseat safety for the #CarseatFullstop campaign I’ve been amazed at the extreme perceptions and comments being received from the general parenting community in South Africa. Yes for the most part, I have been encouraged by the majority of moms who are genuinely invested in learning about the requirements of carseat safety for their children, asking every question they need to- ANYTHING that will help protect their child in the case of an accident. (YAY for you mamas!)
But oh my goodness gracious, there have been some pretty ridiculous people who have come out of the woodwork over on some of my fellow blogger’s posts. I have been lucky enough to have escaped the scorn and wrath of some of these irrational mothers who, seem to be going out of their way to attack this campaign and all it stands for, trying desperately to strip it of it’s credibility, relevance and purpose.
I’ve racked my brain for days trying to come up with a valid reason why any mother would not stand behind the values and purpose of a campaign like this and who rather choose to respond with pure and utter contempt. And then I remembered the very reason why my fellow blogger Mandy Miller made it her mission to start a campaign like this in the first place. She noticed how many moms (especially those with money at their disposal) were not even strapping their kids up at all. It’s made me realise, that ignorance certainly is bliss and it goes hand in hand with a massive dose of stupidity. If there can exist a mom who doesn’t care to even strap her child in at all, there can exist a mom troll who will argue these PROVEN facts at any given chance.
*Disclaimer: This article is aimed at the middle to upper class citizens of SA. I realise that poverty stricken areas will need a much more hands on approach in helping moms on a larger scale travel safely with their babies. I also realise that many of these moms are travelling by taxi which make carseats almost impossible. (Something that very much pulls on our heartstrings and something we hope to see change in the near future!) We are simply referring to the average middle to upper-class mother who simply chooses not to follow these guidelines. Because she knows better, or lives with her head in the clouds. Or whatever.
This is what I want to say to these moms, the ones who feel the need to make us feel bad that we care enough about YOUR children to bring awareness to this area of car safety in South Africa.
- I beg you to take a step back and ask yourself why we are pushing for these laws and regulations to be implemented? Do you think we are horrible, self-righteous people who don’t have anything better to do with our time? Ask yourself why it bothers you so much. Perhaps its because it shows we care more about the safety of your children than you do.
- Stop projecting your own guilt on to us. I cannot wrap my head around this mentality: We care and want to fight for your child’s protection, you feel it’s not necessary and simply unaffordable so you bash us and tell us we are stupid. You make us feel bad for caring? Our “crime” is that we care? I get that carseats are expensive. Holly crap balls, kids are expensive. Why don’t you consider these things before having children? As a parent, you need to make sure you do everything in your power to protect your children. Your children did not ask to be here, that was your choice. Children require many things to be looked after and cared for, to live and stay alive. Food, housing, schooling. A carseat is one of these vital things that needs to be considered when starting a family. Up there with nappies, cots, clothes and formula. And yes they are more important that photoshoots, over the top nurseries and your monthly beauty treatments. Plus we are trying to help give those who REALLY can’t afford a carseat, the chance to receive a free second-hand one through Wheel Well (See more below)
- Instead of attacking us and defending your irrational thoughts and feelings around the topic why don’t you ask us how we can help you? How about admitting that you have been negligent and thoughtless around the issue and ask us for assistance. We care. ALOT. Which is why we are spending time fighting for the cause. And we are happy to help point you in all the right directions and answer amy questions you may have. (granted they are not sarcastic and rude)
- At the end of the day, we are moms ourselves! Every single woman who is part of this campaign is a mom and not one of us profess to be a perfect one. We are all at different stages of our parenting journey and will admit we are always learning. But this is something we feel passionately about and something we trust will make a difference and in doing so, save precious lives. Stop wasting your energy bringing us down and just be lekker – jump on board so this campaign can have the far reaching impact it deserves.
For the moms who responded with positivity and posted insightful comments and asked some practical questions this is for you!! (And the previously negative Nancy’s mentioned above who are slowly making their way out of Delusionville)
- Wheel Well is here to help!! – this wonderful little Non-Profit Organisation are all about helping those who simply cannot afford a carseat. Wheel Well runs the Car Seat for Kids campaign annually (the last few years with Imperial and KFM, this year with Imperial and Jacaranda.) They collect second hand car seats in any condition and clean and refurbish the seats that can be made safe, or dispose of those that cannot be safely used responsibly. There are parents that can’t afford this vital investment new. That used seat gathering dust in a garage can be the difference between life and death for a less fortunate child. So if you are a no longer needing your carseats, donate them by dropping them off at any Renault dealership country wide! And if you are in need of a used carseat, please make contact with them!! They would love to help!
- Peggie Mars is the lady you will want to speak to about any Wheel Well related enquiries. Her number is 0723857121. She knows knows everything there is to know about carseats and will happily answer any questions you may have.
For those of you who struggle to get all your kids carseats to fit (if you have three kids in the back), most garages will help you fit them! Alternatively ask Peggy where you can get some assistance.
- The screenshots below are from the VOLVO website and demonstrate why carseats are important at the different stages and how carseats should be fitted at these different stages.
#CarseatFullstop is sponsored by Volvo Cars. You can download the free Children and Cars Manual by clicking on the link. Seriously guys, such helpful information in one place!
I urge you to take a step back before posting things can can be damaging to the purpose of this campaign. By all means, ask questions and we will help you find the answers you are looking for. But I beg all you keyboard warriors out there to put down your pitchforks and stop with your pessimistic, cynical and critical rants. It’s getting old and you are coming off as an ignorant mother who simply doesn’t care.
Don’t worry we still do. And thats why we are sticking around and standing our ground. With or without you.