Parenthood

Dear (thoughtless/unwise) neighbour – don’t critisize

You have no right to walk up to a parent and tell them to keep their kids quiet...
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You don’t know how lucky you were to have left the front of my door in one piece this morning…

On a beautiful summer’s morning in Johannesburg, before 7, I heard a knock on my front door. It was my downstairs neighbour, a young guy who lives with his young girlfriend. I had been sitting in the living room with the kids playing since 6. They were playing with a packet of wipes, laughing and running around. 

I had to wrap myself in a kids blanket to answer the door, I was still in pajamas. I haven’t even had a chance to wash my face.

He was upset. “Your kids wake me up early every day”, he said. “They are too noisy early in the morning. The other day your baby was screaming for hours”. He then asked if I couldn’t keep them quiet… and maybe take them to the upstairs of my house to minimize the noise that reaches his ears…

I stayed calm and just said that unfortunately dude, they’re kids and no I can’t take them to my upstairs bedroom with no safety features. They are kids, they just need to outgrow their teething and threenager temper tantrums.

He stormed off.

Just under the surface I was fuming. I was young once and other people’s kids crying or screaming irritated me – but I would never ever have dared to knock on someone’s door to complain. My mother had raised me better than that. she raised me with empathy and understanding for parents that may actually suffer more than my amazing self.

My dear neighbour, as I had mentioned before you were lucky to leave my front door in one piece… and I’m not joking. I haven’t slept in 3 years and I have a legendary temper. You think being woken and having to listen to my kids is bad, try being trapped in the house 24/7 with them while you run a business and are responsible for the livelihood of employees… 

You are so lucky that I didn’t rip your pipsqueak entitled @ss to shreds and used your tiny little brain as a ball. You were so lucky that there was a locked steel gate protecting you. Next time you think you can knock on my door and complain about my kids that cost half a mil each, you will regret it. 

Love, your neighbour who is a mom, businesswoman and fire breathing dragon with ninja skills – and who hasn’t slept in 3 years… By the way, I hope that wherever you move, you live nextdoor to lively kids and that one day your own kids are the worst.

I am a Johannesburg based freelance writer, social media manager - and of course share bits from my life with you on this blog. We have 2 kids through surrogacy and 3 black cats.

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