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To be sick of strangers judging my parenting?

(119 Posts)
Doodledumdums Sat 30-Mar-13 11:47:53

I have a beautiful 12 week old baby boy, who is absolutely the centre of my universe, but ever since I have had him, I have been absolutely shocked by the amount of strangers who think it is okay to comment on my parenting, and yesterday something happened which has really made me upset.

My little boy is a really hot baby, and sweats a lot and gets himself worked up very easily, which in turn makes him hotter and more agitated. I have established that the best way to help him when he gets hot and bothered is to cool him down quickly, and as soon as he is cool then he immediately calms down and is back to his beautiful, smiley self. (I have checked with my GP and health visitor, and there is nothing wrong with him, he is just a hot little thing.) It may seem odd to some people, especially as it is winter, but the best way for me to cool him down quickly is to stand outside with him for a minute or so, and it always always makes him much happier. Anyway, yesterday I was at a family wedding, and he got himself hot and bothered, so I just took him outside for a moment to cool him down, and we had been outside for about 20 seconds, when a group of women on the other side of the road started hurling abuse at me, telling me to get my f**** baby inside, and how I was an unfit mother because he wasn't wearing a hat and they were going to report me for child abuse etc etc- I tried calmly explaining what I was doing and that I would be taking him inside in a minute, but they carried on shouting at me until I had no choice but to just go inside to escape the abuse. Am I being unreasonable to be really upset by this? My baby was wearing a vest, a romper suit, socks and little soft shoes, so he wasn't just in a nappy or anything. I can't stop thinking about the fact that I was acused of child abuse yesterday, and I am so upset that anyone could think that of me.

Usually I just get the usual comments, such as 'That baby needs feeding,' when we are out and he is crying in his pram (despite the fact that he is 12 weeks old and weighs 16lb 10oz- so is clearly eating adequately!). Or comments such as 'Get him out and give him a cuddle,' when he is crying, as if I don't know what my own child needs. I did get a rather hostile comment the other day, when I was in a shop and he was crying and a woman said 'Take that baby home immediately and give him a bottle, he's hungry.' (Actually he wasn't, I had breastfed him about ten minutes before, he was actually crying because he was tired and fighting sleep!)

Does anyone else have similar experiences? I am naturally a very anxious person, and get really upset by things like this. My baby means everything to me, and I really do think i'm a good Mum, so why do people keep judging me? I don't understand!

scottishtablet Sat 30-Mar-13 11:48:37

Nod and smile. For the next eighteen years.

Dilidali Sat 30-Mar-13 11:50:39

Yeap, as scottishtablet says, nod and smile!

elQuintoConyo Sat 30-Mar-13 11:52:06

Move to a child-friendly country.

Or just smile and nod, as PP suggested.

I do find "mind your own business you interfering old <insert expletive of choice>" works wonders on most people. They tend to get a cat's bums mouth and walk off in a huff.

MrsWolowitz Sat 30-Mar-13 11:54:02

What horrible people!

Don't worry OP. you'll meet total idiot who think they know better but just ignore.

Once I was out struggling with my 4yo DD and my 2yo DTs on reins. One DT lay on the floor having a tantrum and I just ignored her (if I try and pacify her it makes her worse). A woman came up to me and told me that DT was obviously scared and needed a hug from me. I told her no, DT is having a tantrum and the best way to deal with her tantrums is to fjord her until she gives up. This woman wouldn't have it to be and insisted I was handling the situation wrong. I just ignored.

You know your child better than some stranger.

Pancakeflipper Sat 30-Mar-13 11:54:51

Another one who has developed the nod and smile technique.

mummymeister Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:10

people keep judging you because just as there is only ever one perfect baby in the world (mine obviously- all 3 consecutively as well!) there is also only one perfect mother and that is them. get used to it. it carries on and on and on. mine are teenagers and i still get "advice" on what shoes they should wear, how short their top, skirt etc should be. You will get less anxious and they will get less irritating.

ruledbyheart Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:10

Oh yes you can expect this on every choice you make for the next 18 years, although you do tend to learn to just shrug it off, just keep doing what you think is best and ignore.

BlueberryHill Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:34

I haven't had that amount or level of aggressive comments, mostly they have been well meaning ones, in which case nod and smile and move away. A lot of people seem to think that they can pass comment on you now that you have a child, weird. I do think that you need to get used to it and ignore, there just seems to be so much judging and pressure on being a parent, so don't engage with it and do what you think best. However, maybe develop a death stare or sharp comeback for those saying 'he needs feeding, take him out and give him a cuddle. It is very rude of them, they don't know your child.

For the 'ladies' shouting expletives at you from the other side of the street, anyone who does that isn't going to listen to a rational explanation, go inside and ignore.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:42

Yep, nod and smile. Let it go in one ear and out the other.
You will soon not give a crap what others say.
I wish I'd been at that wedding, I would have loved to tell those nosy cows to get f***ed.
Keep doing what you're doing smile

MsAkimbo Sat 30-Mar-13 12:01:06

Been there many, many times; though never as bad as that re: the wedding angry Bitches.

Sarcasm works best I find.

"Your baby is crying"
<look around> "Oh, really? You've got good ears!"

Or
"You're baby's hungry."
"I just fed him yesterday!"

"Give him a cuddle."
"I'd rather not get attached to this one."

Failing that, ignoring is best.

ScrambledSmegs Sat 30-Mar-13 12:02:18

Nod and smile. Luckily this rarely happens to me - just as well as I'm not the type to take my own advice! I've been very rude to busybodies in the past. 'Piss off you interfering git' was one choice example blush

Ginformation Sat 30-Mar-13 12:02:28

I recently tried the shocked face 'really? Wow thanks' approach. Worked a treat wink.

Or just plain 'fuck off'.

Depending on how stressed I am.

Maggie111 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:02:51

You could always try "Gosh, this thing needs food?!" and then tell them to mind their own business - he's clearly well fed and well loved.

My baby's due very soon, I'm astonished I could be getting so many unwarranted comments!

Just remember that these morons genuinely think they're doing the right thing and looking out for the welfare of your baby - so don't let it upset you.

TheDetective Sat 30-Mar-13 12:05:09

I've got a 17 week old. Perhaps it is the way I carry myself, but no one has said anything to me about my parenting.

I'd probably tell them to fuck off, and call them a cunt, but not everyone would be comfortable doing that. But do it so that no one else but them can hear, and deny you ever said anything.

I'm an antagonist though. I really shouldn't do it. But I can't help it!

If I were you, I'd of said I was going to ring the police and report them for threatening behaviour, abuse, and being total twats disturbance of the peace.

I too have a hot baby, he rarely wears a snow suit - his is a thin fleece one - or a coat (he doesn't have a coat at the moment at all). He wears thick cardigans, and blankets, with a hat and mittens if it is pretty cold. I often wonder if anyone would say something to me, as we have been out like that in the snow. No one does.

Hes just like his father a sweaty bastard hot and sticky!

ipswichwitch Sat 30-Mar-13 12:07:48

Smile and ignore for the nicer ones.
Death stare for the twats.
It does irritate me that so many people seem to think they have the right to interfere and make out you don't know your own child though.

Tee2072 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:08:02

I have never had an unwanted comment. I would love one so I could say 'fuck off you nosy old bag and leave me the fuck alone'.

Callisto Sat 30-Mar-13 12:09:08

I've never had anyone comment negatively about my parenting and that isn't a stealth boast, i'm just amazed that this is your experience. Are you misinterpreting some of the comments maybe? EG, the 'he needs a cuddle' one could just be a comment not a criticism.

MDA Sat 30-Mar-13 12:10:32

You sound really defensive - like you care what these people think. This will pass you will find!

ZZZenEggain Sat 30-Mar-13 12:11:40

are you young? Maybe people feel they can do this with a young mum and not get flak back. I got told my baby was too hot once and another woman advised me not to let her use a dummy but they were not unkind in tone and may have been right. I don't know why people have been so nasty to you about it.

This happens a lot I'm afraid. Thicken your skin and ignore them.

I used to be quite tempted to take people up on their 'offer of help', and reply "Oh I'm so glad you came and said something. You sound like a very experienced parent, so can you come home with me and show me how to look after them properly?"

Sheshelob Sat 30-Mar-13 12:15:06

Wow! classy souls, those ladies. Shouting abuse at a new mum. At a wedding.

Comments would drive me mad when DS was tiny but the funny thing is I now can't remember anyone saying anything in public. The older DC get, the easier it is to see that no-one knows your child better than you (and DP).

My DS was a hot baby, too, which tended to confuse the older generation, who are obsessed with keeping babies warm overheated. My MIL was the worst, constantly chucking blankets on him whenever my back was turned. In the end I told her that they say overheating isn't good for babies now, just as a lot of things she may have done are not considered right anymore. Bit harsh but she shut up after that.

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Sat 30-Mar-13 12:15:26

I never, ever had unwanted comments by strangers on the street either.
The ones at the wedding sound like utter loons.hmm
Were they drunk?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 30-Mar-13 12:17:54

Not only to me but also to my mum when I was a baby grin

Since time began strangers have felt that mothers and their children are public property

Smile and nod!

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