To feel like breaking down when other mums are critical

(165 Posts)

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flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:24:41

Hi there,
I just had an awful experience at local council run leisure centre where I had taken DS1 age 2 yrs 11 months to soft play. I also had DS2 age 4M with me in buggy.
I think already off to bad start as DS1 has habit of late bedtime and needing to sleep in afternoons unless he is with childminder who has been away last 2 weeks (bring on the Valium...!!!).
So DS was tired but thought I would try and avoid afternoon sleep by stopping at leisure centre for lunch and soft play..(we had already been to singing thing in morning)
So DS insists on wheeling in his dolly size buggy..
We enter soft play and he manages to busy himself for about 20mins before being able to push open non child proof door into foyer of leisure centre where there is a cafe.
I figured he was hungry - I perhaps should have ordered food the minute we Arrived - I took a chance and paid consequences..
So I join queue - 1 lady making order and having leisurely chat with canteen lady. Another lady behind her.
DS runs out of cafe area and into main foyer and up stairs and is basically all over place.
I can't see him clearly from back of queue so move to other side and ask another staff member behind till area if I could make an order. 2nd lady in queue tells me there is a queue and I say I can't queue as need to watch son. 2nd lady tells me to stop standing still then and to "go after my child" and "control him". Lady behind till continues to serve oblivious to all this.

I go and retieve DS from swimming changing area, speak firmly to him and return him to cafe. Then I apologised to canteen lady for asking to skip queue adding that I hoped she could understand my predicament. She got quite defensive saying "we need to have a queue here to keep things orderly" she also said " Yes weve all been there" in a rather unsympathetic way when I continued to state how difficult it was to order food and watch DS in open uncontained space.
By now both DS's screaming +++.
I realise need to cut my losses and go home as need to wait to order food them long wait for it to come..
I realise left dolly buggy in soft play and rush in to retieve it leaving crying DS2 in cafe area.
DS1 rushes in ahead of me and jumps into soft play. I locate buggy with another child and claim it. Mum holding this child as I extract buggy from child's hand - child was holding quite strongly so I had to pull a little - all the while could hear DS2 screaming outside door. Mother with child totally loses it With me and tells me "not to snatch". I explained I was anxious that I had left my baby unattended ( mumsnetters please don't judge me for this latter faux pas- there were a handful of mums and kids in cafe area and did not feel baby at risk of being kidnapped over the 60 sec period I thought I'd be away!!)
Mother says "it doesn't matter ( re unattended baby) you don't snatch!"
I felt totally feel at my wits end and grab Ds1 and buggy and make a run for it. I was feeling totally desperate and persecuted from all angles.

DS1 playing up again on walk across cArpark and I really shouted at him again prompting lady from hotel next door to come out and shout something critical or even abusive at me but I was walking so fast did not make any any attempt to listen. But I must have been shouting quite loudly for her to get that angry!

But overall 3 diff women all had their share of telling me off over a short time and all because of my anxious and prob seemingly aggressive reaction to fear DS unsafe..

Whole experience left me feeling like I was an ineffectual and even dangerous and aggressive mother who needs professional help!!

I wonder whether maybe sometimes I should not take out both kids on my own as I as am unable to contain DS1.

(Note sorts of things don't happen to me very often - not usually aggressive person, just utterly exhausted from 2 weeks no childcare and very active and curious toddler)

But the criticism from others really added ladel of salt to the wound!

I also could not help feeling quite pissed with leisure centre for not being more childproof and also sympathetic.
AIBU?

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:25:47

Sorry this is so long!
I just needed to present entire scenario poss as a cathartic measure!
Just skim through if you can!

forevergreek Fri 30-Aug-13 14:31:58

Personally. I would be getting 2.11 to nap still, ideally baby at the same time, then you can rest

Otherwise very thing above sounds rather complicated and confusing so not sure how much help I can give

MrsWolowitz Fri 30-Aug-13 14:32:06

Take deep breath. Have a brew

We have all been there, I've even cried in M&S at the till so you're not alone.

My tip for you - reins.

It's not ok to let your DC run riot. It's dangerous for them, stressful for you and annoying for everyone else. I don't want to make you feel bad, you've had a tough day. However I do understand why you may have had a curt response to asking to cut in the queue.

Mother of the toddler who was clutching the pram was wrong, yes you shouldn't have snatched but she should have taken it off her kid and given it back to you once you'd explained it was your DS's.

It's done now. Don't dwell on it. It really does happen to us all. Stick cbeebies or a DVD on and rest.

flowers

YouTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 14:33:05

I'd invest in some good reins for your ds1.

CaptainCapybara Fri 30-Aug-13 14:34:21

You sound like you are very stressed, I hope you have had time to have a breather and some brew and cake.

Have you considered backpack reins for DS1? I think YAB a bit U to be pissed off at the leisure centre for not being childproof, you can't reasonably expect a multi use public building to be, you need to think of other ways to contain DS1 until he learns to listen.

ImAlpharius Fri 30-Aug-13 14:34:46

My first thought was reins as well.

MrsWolowitz Fri 30-Aug-13 14:35:38

These are great.

Reins really are a life (and sanity) saver.

Bowlersarm Fri 30-Aug-13 14:35:39

Oh dear!

I used to have days like this and a DS like this.

At aged about 3 my DS once in M and S ran to the fruit and vegetable section and started lobbing fruit at other customers. Then running to the other side and doing the same thing with me chasing him with my other two dses in the double buggy. i thought i would never ever leave the house again.The was 15 years ago and I still blush at the memory. And have the memory of people's faces which were shock..

Tomorrow is another day, and I hope it is a better one for you.

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 30-Aug-13 14:36:25

Oh I had many days like this when I had a toddler and a baby. Sympathies!

I think you need to not be so hard on yourself. You didnt do anything wrong - you were trying your best to deal with an active toddler and a baby. Most people with small children have hideous days when it just all goes wrong and people are grumpy and judgy and dont accomodate your mischevious kids. You are not alone.

But don't take it all too much to heart. Other people were a bit grumpy with you. There are all sorts of reasons for that. Some people are just grumpy gits, others dont remember what it was like when there kids were small, or just dont have the same values as you. Try to shrug it off. if someone is being really rude, I pull them up on it, but mostly its not worth it - who has the energy to fight pointless battles when you have two babies to look after?

If i were you, I'd have a quiet day or two pottering about at home or in the park, take a deep breath....and get on with doing whatever yopu want todo with your children when youre feeling brighter.

fwiw - softplay is my idea of hell. Lots of toddler scant cope with it. Ditto cafes - some toddlers just cant sit down and 'behave', so pick your outings according to what you know your children an cope with.

uselessinformation Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:04

you need to buy reins.

Bamboobambino Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:37

See my supermarket thread in multiple births forum. You're not alone. Have a cry and cup of tea, you will do ok next time. Other women can be bitches. It's a lot to cope with and you did better than me today, I was too scared to leave the car in case DTs had meltdown

SavoyCabbage Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:58

We have all had days like this. I've drawn a crown in B&Q before now.

Perhaps work on him staying with you, for safety reasons. And carry a snack at all times just in case you need it, then you don't have to go to feed him if it all feels a bit too complicated.

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 14:40:43

Double buggy or reins. You need to keep your ds1 contained. I understand the stress of two tiny kids and therefore hope you have the tv on and a cuppa/chocolate as we speak!

natwebb79 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:41:23

Bless you, no advice to add other than 'get DS1 to nap' makes me laugh as I also have a 2year old that WILL NOT 'just nap' other than for his child minder. In fact I'm typing this on my phone parked outside my house, in the car. With DS asleep in the back after driving laps of Norfolk to get him to bloody nap!! grin So unmumsnetty hugs.

Hi flat white, I think that you've got so upset about the criticisms because you feel you're not handling 2 kids very well. People will always have something to say, it's not always negative but you're feeling a bit sensitive about it perhaps? One of them did say 'we've all been there'. The first 6 months with a new baby much less with a sibling is hard, and some days just are rubbish like the one you've just had. It's difficult to maintain your cool when one dc is crying and you had 2 of them, so try to just laugh about your disaster of a day and let it go. If some places are too difficult to manage with 2 just now, then avoid them for a while to make it less stressful. I remember feeling exactly the same with my 2 older dc, they were 3 years apart. When you're stressed and tired, any comment from someone else can make you want to cry. I know you're trying to sort out naps etc, but maybe doing 2 things in a day plus getting lunch out is a bit much for now? It's all too easy to curse yourself for not getting things perfect all the time, but you're being the best mum you can be for your boys. Have a wineor a brew smile

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:42:13

Thanks mrs W!
Re Reins. We have tried them but DS just lies on floor and screams when you try to keep him still with them. In retrospect maybe should have purchased double buggy when preg with DS2 but really wanted to encourage Ds1 to walk more as was 23/4 when baby born. Also wanted facing buggy re DS 2.
You are right re keeping him under control I'm sure.
Should really have upped and left the moment he would not manage soft play. I have done that before -once got to front of queue at adventure park and turned straight back around to car as DS not able to stay by my side.

It was just an awful day!
:embarrassed:

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 14:42:55

Totally agree with the snack too, and a drink. The main triggers for my toddler terror's tantrums are hunger and thirst (besides tiredness of course!)

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:44:50

As I write so many lovely sympathetic replies.
Thank you!! :smiley face:
Feels like not alone now!

Lilicat1013 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:03

I have a baby who is six months and a child who is 3 and a half. My older son is autistic so his developmental age is probably closer to the age of your son. I deal with outings like this a lot, my older son will run if given the opportunity.

I wont deal with how you could have handled things better today as that wouldn't be helpful anyone can look back from a calm point of view and tell you how to do better but that is completely different that dealing with the situation there and then. However I would suggest you let your older son sleep in the afternoon if he needs to. A lot of children still nap at that age.

Trying to only do one proper activity thing a day might also be helpful so do the singing thing in the morning and just have a relaxed afternoon, maybe go to the park.

Finally reins, they are very useful if you have a child that runs. I wouldn't leave the house without reins on my oldest. I also have a rule that if we are out he holds on to the pushchair. He doesn't have enough communication for me to really explain that so to teach him I used to put his hand on the pushchair and every time he took it off I stopped walking and put it back on. After a while of that I just stopped and waited for him to hold on again before moving. Now he holds on automatically when we are out which makes it easier to keep track of him.

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:35

Bless you. We definitely all have awful days. I am so grateful for the sympathetic smiles from older ladies who remember what it's like. Miseries can sod off! grin

Parmarella Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:37

Just don't take such small kids to softplay, you need to be able to really supervise a 2 yr old.

Don't take dollie-prams into softplay, or any other toy all kids will pounce on

Only queue if DS stays with you ( pram, reins, hold hand)

Don't shout at such young children to correct them after an event. Just gets you more stressed.

All easier said than done!! B i know reality us tough but it will get easier, meanwhile we learn from our mistakes

usualsuspect Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:06

I think you need to pick your outings more carefully until your DS is a little older.

A park for him to run around in, with a snack for him if he's hungry.

Please don't feel you are a bad mum, we have all been there.

LingDiLong Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:15

Oh dear, you've had a pig of a day so far.

I agree with the others, reins or just wedging him in between you and buggy/counter so he can't run off. You need him at arms reach really if you're queueing - I can kind of see why the people in the queue got a bit funny with you. I think you were unlucky with the other 2 women though - the mother with the buggy should have just forced it out of her kids hands herself. And shouting abuse at someone for shouting at their child is stupid and hypocritical. Chin up, it'll get better!

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:38

Realised not doing smileys right as used to a diff forum - I am learning.
Hee hee! Need wine

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