Jen Fulwiler reminds people to be kinder in a culture that "sees babies as a burden" instead of coming together to show support for struggling moms.
Long flights take a toll on the best of us, but it is probably worse for little kids who, no wonder, express their discomfort in loud protest. While it's not easy to fly with a screaming toddler, it's easy to forget that it must be even harder for the parents trying to calm their child down. Giving them dirty looks and trying to make the parents feel bad will only add to their already stressful situation. A kind smile or even a helping hand is what they need. Jen Fulwiler, a stand-up comedian, and mom of six shares this sentiment in a sketch she uploaded on Instagram.
Fulwiler shares a "very important flying tip" in the video and says, "If you are flying with young children this summer and they become noisy, please take a minute to say to the other passengers around you, 'I am so sorry...that this is not something that you are used to.'" After that dramatic plot twist, she goes on to explain how in a lot of cultures, "the sound of fussing babies is seen as a sign of abundance and God's blessing. Instead," she says, "our dumb, postmodern culture sees babies as a burden." Fulwiler adds, "We expect women not to bring their babies into public spaces like restaurants, churches, or planes or to get them to behave perfectly when they do."
If children misbehave, it is wrongly assumed that their parents are doing a bad job. The pressure for perfection is especially higher when it comes to moms. "This philosophy is not only sad and the sign of a dying culture, but it places insanely unreasonable expectations on moms," Fulwiler states. "A truly thriving culture would welcome these babies and all the inconveniences that come with them and see their upbringing as something the entire community should joyfully support." She then reminds those people who scowl in flights when her baby is having a melting down is that she is way more stressed than they are.
No one wants the baby crying on the plane to stop crying more than it's mama.— Student Dr. Mom (@wifemomfuturemd) May 26, 2021
She urges people to "maybe just give me a kind smile that says, 'Hey girl, you're doing a great job. Your babies are welcome on this flight and we are all in this together.'" Many mothers appreciated Fulwiler for taking a stand for them and their kids. One Instagram user commented, Yes!!! The eye rolls I received from my fellow passengers when bringing a baby (or 2) on a plane used to intimidate me. After a few flights, I realized my kids were often better behaved than the adults so I stopped letting it bother me. Another user wrote: Wow imagine if that scenario was life. How different it would be, I almost can’t imagine it, a tribe embracing children and all be joyful in God's blessings!
Speaking to Good Morning America, Fulwiler said, "I think a lot of women feel like nobody has their back on this, that even other parents or whoever would expect them to have their kids behave absolutely perfectly if they take them on a plane but they probably shouldn't take them on a plane at all. I think they see all the comments [on the post] and they're like, 'I'm not alone.'" She even shared an incident when her child was creating a fuss on a plane and one woman would not stop glaring at her. "I remember I started crying on that flight," she said. "[Her glare] just added to the stress and I just felt like I should have stayed home. I shouldn't have done this ... even though [being on the flight] was the right thing to do."
The next time she was on a flight and there was a screaming toddler next to her, she decided to do better. "I thought this is what it looks like to build up women, me just giving that mom a smile and accepting this inconvenience of the baby crying with grace and with love towards that mom, who is doing nothing wrong," she explained.
My wife used to be annoyed by crying babies in public places. One time it was happening on a plane, I just loudly replied "Mood."— A View From the Peanut Gallery (@MeatballNonner) May 29, 2021
Now that's her reaction to a kid crying on a plane.