Dear woman in Target, it is time to STOP judging that mother and child you know nothing about!

Kelly Dirkes has shared a very powerful message on Facebook that we feel everyone needs to read. It is a good reminder that we have NO IDEA of each mother and child’s situation…. “If you only knew how she spent the first ten months of her life utterly alone inside a sterile metal crib.”

“Dear Woman in Target,

I’ve heard it before, you know. That I “spoil that baby”. You were convinced that she’d never learn to be “independent”. I smiled at you, kissed her head, and continued my shopping.

If you only knew what I know.

If you only knew how she spent the first ten months of her life utterly alone inside a sterile metal crib, with nothing to comfort her other than sucking her fingers.

If you only knew what her face looked like the moment her caregiver handed her to me to cradle for the very first time–fleeting moments of serenity commingled with sheer terror. No one had ever held her that way before, and she had no idea what she was supposed to do.

If you only knew that she would lay in her crib after waking and never cry–because up until now, no one would respond.

If you only knew that anxiety was a standard part of her day, along with banging her head on her crib rails and rocking herself for sensory input and comfort.


If you only knew that that baby in the carrier is heartbreakingly “independent” –and how we will spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years trying to override the part of her brain that screams “trauma” and “not safe”.

If you only knew what I know.

If you only knew that that baby now whimpers when she’s put down instead of when she is picked up.

If you only knew that that baby “sings” at the top of her lungs in the mornings and after her nap, because she knows that her chatter will bring someone to lift her out of her crib and change her diaper.

If you only knew that that baby rocks to sleep in her Mama’s or her Papa’s arms instead of rocking herself.

If you only knew that that baby made everyone cry the day she reached out for comfort, totally unprompted.

If you only knew what I know.

“Spoiling that baby” is the most important job I will ever have, and it is a privilege. I will carry her for a little while longer–or as long as she’ll let me–because she is learning that she is safe. That she belongs. That she is loved.

If you only knew…”

Kelly’s post has been shared over 1000 times.

Well said, Kelly. You are doing a great job!

Share your comments below.

Via Kelly Dirkes, Facebook

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  • Spot on Kelly, well done and well written.


  • This is beautiful we live in a world where people are quick to judge and don’t take a minute to actually think x


  • Beautiful. This brought tears to my eyes. Good on you mumma x


  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if other parents could just support other parents. We’re all trying to do our best and really, who cares if people are doing things differently to you. If it’s not dangerous and not hurting the child, who are you to comment or judge others. I think the world would be a kinder place if we all tried to think of one lovely thing another parent was doing rather than tearing others down to make yourself feel better.


  • Well posted momma..


  • I’ve just read your letter to the Target Mum and it made me cry. Why do people feel the need to judge, to interfere? I cannot understand it. If they were offering to help or give a compliment then sure, say something, otherwise shut up and move on. None of us have the foggiest idea of anyone else\’s life or circumstances. Besides the time you get to carry and cuddle your baby is short enough, you keep going it sounds like that baby has found the perfect place to grow up and be spoiled.


  • This not only applies to parents but to anyone. Don’t assume that grumpy person is always like that. Maybe they have heard bad news.


  • Well said walk a mile in someone else shoes before you comment


  • Has that lady ever heard of silence is golden? You can spoil your kids anyway you need to as a parent and it is no one else’s business. Love and affection never harmed anyone.


  • Beautifully said. Has tears in my eyes while reading that.


  • Love your kids and don’t judge others who show affection, something normally, necessary and needed! End of story.


  • Why have kids if you don’t intend to ‘spoil’ them with love? That’s beyond me!
    I was told by a midwife when I had just had my daughter that i shouldn’t nurse her too much or she will be a sooky baby. She told my husband not to hold his newborn baby when he came to visit. How utterly ridiculous is that?!!!


  • What is wrong with carrying a baby around while you are shopping? That is not spoiling a child, it is perfectly natural whether they are born prematurely or not. I used to always carry my son with me, because that was when he was the most happy, he was breastfed until he was a toddler, and he wasn’t a great sleeper so often I would let him fall asleep in my arms until he was one. It wasn’t spoiling him, it was what worked best for us and kept him happy and healthy. Now he is in school and he is a happy, independent kid, that is at ease in social situations and really adaptable to change and new situations. Having your child with you all the time as a baby can work the opposite as to what ‘spoiling a child’ does, in the long run it makes them more resilient, secure and form better relationships. Good on this mum for treating her child this way, it is a perfectly natural part of parenting.


  • I agree with Kelly. No-one knows anything about the child or the parents apart from what they see. People should learn not to criticise things they no nothing about. Keep doing what you’re doing Kelly. All that matters is that you have made a big difference in this child’s life and that’s the most important thing in the world.


  • That made me cry, we don’t have our babies long enough, spoiling them with love is not a bad thing :)


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