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!

LahleeMooloo Sat 30-Mar-13 18:31:05

Some people just can't fucking help sticking their nose in, even with older children. Ds is 7 and a waitress today told him to take his hood down when we were eating lunch. I didn't say anything but just rolled my eyes at ds and when she was gone I told him to ignore the weird woman.

Weissbier Sat 30-Mar-13 18:45:04

I love the idea of saying 'really? Wow, thanks' grin

DD was crying in the pushchair once because she was tired, so I was keeping walking so she could settle down and sleep. A passing woman said "I think baby is saying 'take me out and give me a cuddle.' " "Really?", said I, "I think she's saying 'I'm ever so tired and I need to be walked quietly down the road so I can go to sleep.'" "oh", simpered the woman, "I'm not criticising." "Of course you're criticising", I said, "otherwise you'd've said 'what a lovely baby and what a wonderful mother you are', or something like that." Humph.

DH got told on the bus the way he was speaking to DD was "disgusting"(he was telling her to stop kicking the seat back or something). DH said 'shut up, you old cow', prompting a group bus discussion about whether he should've said that or not...

OP you sound like you're doing a fab job !!

hwjm1945 Sat 30-Mar-13 18:50:49

I once had someone reach into pram and grab eight so old baby hand and ram thumb in mouth. Saying she needs to find her hands..that will stop the crying...........

hwjm1945 Sat 30-Mar-13 18:51:02

Eight week old

abbyfromoz Sat 30-Mar-13 19:09:49

Just realised i wrote 'there' instead of 'their'..blushgrammar 101! Brain gone to mush...but you get my point...

Dinkysmummy Sat 30-Mar-13 19:48:21

It really sucks and no yanbu to be upset by this.
My dd (5) has SN and I'm always getting stupid remarks by people, what's worse is them saying stuff to dd, which only makes her worse!

Ignore them, they are idiots. You are doing what is best for your bubba.
Nod, smile and agree... Then bitch about them to people who know what a great parent you are!

flowers

Doodledumdums Sat 30-Mar-13 21:40:54

Thank you all so much for your messages, you have made me feel so much better! Although I am sorry that some of you have also had irritating and very unreasonable comments, I am glad that I am not the only one, and have certainly picked up some tips on how to deal with it.

People really do need to learn to keep their noses out don't they? You shouldn't need to justify your parenting to anyone!

I am glad I am not the only one with a hot baby, before I had him I was under the impression that babies needed to be wrapped in blankets and kept toasty all the time, but I quickly learned that some of them clearly do not need this! The older generation really do not get this though, my mother in law is convinced that I don't keep him warm enough. I was round her house earlier and my DS got hot and upset and had beads of sweat on his forehead, so I took his dungarees off and exposed his legs to cool him down a bit (which worked!), but she kept fussing over him with a fleecy blanket and wrapping it around him. She also does it if I am changing his nappy, she is on standby with a blanket to cover him up so that none of him is exposed to the air. By nature of changing a nappy, it is fairly important to remove clothes, unfortunately even if you have a cold baby, changing a nappy is fairly essential!

Anyway, I have digressed from the original topic...my MIL is a whole different kettle of fish!

abbyfromoz Sat 30-Mar-13 21:53:03

OP- i was told by the visiting midwife after DD was born these words-
Cold baby cries
Hot baby dies.
She was referring to SIDS and not having too many blankets etc while sleeping but it is indeed very easy and extremely dangerous for a baby to overheat. It can result in serious implications such as seizures and permanent brain damage. Not trying to scare anyone but perhaps you can remind people of this when cooling your little one down.

Sheshelob Sat 30-Mar-13 22:24:44

Ha! Do we have the same MIL, OP?

Mine once threw a blanket over DS's 6 week old face bc it was drizzling outside... Michael Jackson much?

Doodledumdums Sat 30-Mar-13 22:32:32

abbyfromoz- that is a really good phrase and I am definitely going to repeat it to anyone who questions what my little one is wearing/how many blankets he has etc. You are right, overheating is far more dangerous than babies being cold, so I would much rather be overcautious and cool him down when I think it is necessary.

Sheshelob, she threw a blanket over his face?!!! I think it is a distinct possibility that we have the same MIL!

blackcurrantjan Sun 31-Mar-13 00:45:15

I would suggest that they were the abusive ones, verbally assaulting a mother and her new baby. i'm sure also that they were not concerned about your baby being cold but just looking for an excuse to be aggressive. A mother and a baby = easy target. you sound like a fab mum flowers

Angelico Sun 31-Mar-13 02:00:23

We have a warm baby too. Not a sweaty betty, she just doesn't seem to get cold when out and about (her hands overnight are like ice cubes mind you but that's a different story...) Family members are obsessed with her needing to be wrapped in snowsuits, dozens of blankets etc. As if I don't take her out every frigging day in the cold and bring her home toasty...

Ignore them. And those women just sound like scumbags picking a fight. They probably saw you looking all nicely dressed and made up and just felt that bullying need to be nasty so they could feel better about themselves. Some people are just twats smile

MidniteScribbler Sun 31-Mar-13 02:21:10

"Really, you're supposed to feed them?"

"Why should I spend my benefits on clothes for him? I need grog you know."

Or just a very simple "Oh do fuck off, there's a dear."

SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 31-Mar-13 02:29:16

The amount of times I got "those are hungry cries" from total strangers every times DS cried when we were out. I was tempted too just get my boob out there and then at Saimsburys checkout.

Worse one was thre
Practice Nurse doing his injections. he had a sore infected itchy neck and I said, I thougt it was probably sore and bothering him. I was hoping for advice, maybe a cream recommended, I got "Ofcourse it is, how would you feel if it was you." As if empathy for my baby son had never crossed my mind. I was too shocked to reply. everytime I saw her picture in reception after that's I threw mental darts at it.

Fraggle3112 Sun 31-Mar-13 02:38:07

My baby is also 12 weeks and I've had the same thing. It's either that or strangers asking for 'a cuddle' (one over amorous woman actually kissed his head without even asking!!) or strangers coming over when immbfing and congratulating me on the fact I am doing so! People are very strange! Its a PITA so YADNBU to be annoyed bu but its always been well meaning when it's happens to me so I just ignore I would have gone mad at the horrible people at the wedding tho how rude and abusive!

Fraggle3112 Sun 31-Mar-13 02:39:33

Immbfing should be when I'm breast feeding, daft phone!

scottishmummy Sun 31-Mar-13 02:46:46

Ok,so you know your disposition is sensitive,upset by comments
So you manage that by thinking of coping strategies that protect you
Anticipate,and deflect comment.rationalize you know you're good mum -and that's it

Tolly81 Sun 31-Mar-13 03:17:08

Yep, happens all the time. I'm lucky in that I've generally just had the weird ones - it was quite muggy and I'd put a muslin over the pram to stop the sun going in as the baby was asleep and was walking quite quickly and some random said "that's how they do it on the continent!". I think I've probably not had as many because of the speed I walk tbh grin friend if mine had "you wouldn't swap him though would you?" when her baby was crying. Er, no, she wouldn't! My baby also gets a lot of unwelcome touching which does my head in. My MIL also obsessed with excessive warmth - there was one (yes, one) hot day last summer. It was 28 deg, my baby was probably 8wo, and was asleep in the house with the doors open in as cool a place as I could find. She was in a vest and I had a muslin over her and whenever I got up my MILkept wrapping a woollen blanket round her! Crazy. Anyhow, ignore it, and don't take it to heart. Just give them a look like they are the lunatics they are!

JenaiMorris Sun 31-Mar-13 06:17:26

There are a lot of rude and hostile people about if this thread is anything to go by.

And I'm not referring to the strangers making conversation.

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 06:49:51

You know,mi always try to talk to people with upset babies - I wonder if I'm often the subject of these "interfering old cow" posts? I always try and say something sympathetic so they don't worry about the baby disturbing people- and it could be something inane like "oh dear,mis she tired?" I'm not judging-I'm trying to empathise. And yesterday there was a very fretful toddler in a high chair in the pub with flustered parents trying to cram their lunch as fast as they could- I went across and talked to the baby and entertained her ( for a while!) so they could eat- once again,I suppose I could have been interpreted as thinking they were not entertaining her properly themselves......

JenaiMorris Sun 31-Mar-13 06:55:11

Have people always been this touchy and insular, I wonder?

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 31-Mar-13 06:58:37

Nod and smile and then go home and make voodoo dolls. You will need a lot of plasticine and pins over the next 18 years.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Sun 31-Mar-13 08:28:38

InnKeepersCat please tell your mum that my children always eat the stale, leftover breadcrumbs when we go on a day out to feed the ducks.
Why eat the lovely meal at the posh cafe we usually go to when there is mouldy bread from the depths of the breadbin <has strange children>

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 08:31:14

Mine did that too. Somehow seeing the ducks eat it made it irresistible!

SneakyNinja Sun 31-Mar-13 08:47:01

Seeker I always appreciated intervening strangers if my DS was going for it.I can't really say I ever experienced hostile or judgey comments but the sympathetic 'I remember that' or someone actually offering to help! (shck horror) is so much easier to take than the embarassed glances from people as they would walk past and completely ignore me. That is what makes me feel like a shit Mother, not the ones who would actually acknowledge that sometimes children will just cry for reasons out of our control ( like your tired comment)
So don't let some people put you off, I may need your assistance with the next one wink

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