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?

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 15:47:31

I just re-read your OP, I don't mean to offend (really) I just wondered if your DS has some kind of speech delay that's making it difficult for you to understand his needs?

It's just the way you said you figured he was hungry because he opened the cafe door. Is he able to communicate when he's hungry/thirsty? I just wondered if you could work on that if it was an issue (sign language or something maybe)?

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 15:53:38

we have all been there and then brought your best friend.. meet reins!!

2 years and 11 months is too young to be running free while you hold the buggy.

very dangerous. as a mum of 4 and ex cm advise again reins. your life will be calmer and your child safe.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 15:58:21

sorry just read your post re reins..

mmm tough really. your ds is nearly 3 so can understand you will and you won't? you can't and you can?

out them in him and just go out.

if he lies and kicks go home. tell him he's not going out to soft play or the park without them.

you are the parent and you will win.

a tantrum is a legitimate kid protest but one they can't always win.😃

hang in there. it gets better op.

Wuxiapian Fri 30-Aug-13 15:59:49

Sorry you had such a hard time. It is mortifying* when DC misbehaves in public.

My Asperger DS, 15, was an absolute rotter to take anywhere when he was younger - he'd kick other children/spit and clear the shelves in shops. I'd often end up in tears. Thankfully, he stopped these behaviours after afew years!

We've all been there. Please try not to let others responses upset you too much - people can forget how hard having little children are.

I hope you have a better weekend!

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 30-Aug-13 16:01:20

Hi Flatwhite, sympathies, I can almost picture you stressed and sweaty, trying to look after the two of them and getting glared at by unhelpful strangers.

DS was a bolter. Once he made it all the way out of the automatic opening doors (two sets) at the library and across a road to the play park whilst I sprinted after him. I don't have another DC but can only imagine how hard that situation must be when you also need to consider a baby. Oh and DS wouldn't entertain reins, he would throw himself in the middle of the road and not get up until I took them off. They aren't called the terrible twos for nothing !

You've had a rough experience, take some of the learnings from here and chalk it up to experience.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:05:16

Wow lots to talk about!
Yes tried buggy board. DS initially loved it but now feels restrained. Also I actually feel safer holding his hand with other hand on buggy as when he is on board have to wheel buggy from side as arms too short [smiley face]
Re my rudeness - you are right I was rude to expect to be served first. I was terrified harm would come to my son. It was my nerves talking. But snappy response to "control ur child" not helpful!
Also I hadn't realised I was being aggressive with dolly buggy! But still think mums response was bit OTT. But totally regret chain of events!!
Been talking things thru with Dh and we have agreed need to be more selective and strategic re outings. Not raising voice at DS also helpful advice. I totally lost it!

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:05:35

Big hugs, what an horrendous day.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 16:06:05

I think your day out was over ambitious with such young DC. Put it behind you and plan quieter, shorter outings in future. You and your DC are perfectly normal - you were just over stretching yourselves smile.

Floggingmolly Fri 30-Aug-13 16:07:09

So ds was tired but I thought I would try to avoid afternoon sleep by stopping at leisure centre.
Why? confused. Did you not suspect all would not go smoothly?

geekgal Fri 30-Aug-13 16:14:56

No advice to offer but just wanted to add to the sympathy - bummer of a day, dude, it happens, just try to relax, forget it, and pick up on a brighter note tomorrow!

wannaBe Fri 30-Aug-13 16:19:54

I think we've all been there in terms of having lost it with our kids and shouted at them. I blush when I think of times I've lost it with mine and I only have one.

Tbh expecting to be served first was never a workable solution because if the café took that stance and ten mothers with runner children showed up at once it would be chaos.

I know it's hard, but you really do need to take control here a bit. Your ds is nearly three, he's at an age where he can be reasoned with. "won't do/will only do" etc just isn't good enough - you are the parent, you are in charge, and if he needs to wear reins because he can't be trusted to stay with you without them then he needs to wear reins and to learn to do as he's told. After all where do we draw the line at making allowances because a child is stubborn and it's easier to give in for a quiet life than to tackle that? Too many children are allowed to run riot (and I'm not saying your ds was running riot but he did seem a bit out of control) because the parents won't tackle it because it's easier not to for a quiet life (and that's an easy route to take). The exception of course here is children with sn but we're not talking about a child with sn here are we?

If he still needs a nap then let him have a nap - it's not uncommon at this age. Don't try to over stimulate him with activities in the morning and afternoon, the child won't care in ten years if he went to soft play or sing-along every day for the first three years - in fact they won't remember the good activities and you will be left with the fvivid memories of the hell that was soft play. wink grin

if he's tired in the faafternoon stick the tv on and have a rest - all ofyou- and life will seem better in the morning.

MaMattoo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:21:17

I was driving back home from a disastrous tantrum filled trip yo the shops with my DS yesterday...know the feeling-sympathy!!
It happens, it's ok! Grow thick skin!!
Reins work well as exhausted or hungry (or god forbid both) toddlers are hard to handle but need to rain safe! Double buggies look cumbersome but my friends give them useful.
Why are you avoiding the nap? My 5am wake up call toddler crashes for a nap each afternoon and he is 3yo.

Chill and have a brew it's okay!

MaMattoo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:24:57

Forgot to add, I was driving back with tears streaming down my face yesterday, from a disastrous tantrum filled trip to the shops with DS yesterday..felt frustrated, disappointed and a tad heart broken about my own abilities or lack of....

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 16:26:17

My double buggy is my best friend and my oldest DD is 3.5 (bought it for impending dc3!! grin)

Katkins1 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:26:35

Sorry, but you were rude OP. I understand tired and so on, but you shouldn't have tried to skip the queue because your child was tired and understanably grouchy. You should have called him back when he walked off the first time, not followed him and let him have whatever he wanted. If you let him, he will do this a lot more as he gets older. Get some reins and trust yourself to be firm. You're in charge, not your children.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:29:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:30:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 16:32:06

You're sounding a little bit rude and entitled there, OP. Be careful, people have been largely kind so far but this is AIBU!

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 16:33:12

I always found reins were really useful for when they throw themselves on the ground in a paddy; you can lift them off the ground again without having to bend. In a worst case scenario you can haul them away with their feet dangling above the ground. grin Holding hands is much worse as arms can easily dislocate.

I would sit down and work out in your own mind a few ground rules that have to be observed however much he kicks off. The first being he has to under restraint (reins or buggy) in a shop, queue or while next to a busy road. Non-negotiable. Explain it to him every time as if it were something self evident: "now we are going to X so you have to put your reins on". Eventually he will get the idea that kicking off doesn't get him anywhere.

It would probably also help if you tried to see the other mums from your own perspective and that of your ds. How would he react if you swooped down and snatched a toy he was playing with? Would he be upset? Frigthened?

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:36:44

Oh sorry only being facetious. I totally appreciate all the love shown by everyone. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. I am so tired today - sorry to be rude about queues.
I think I a just trying to understand what drives me to be so unreasonable.

I think I have stated my gratitude in an earlier post but will say it again.
Thank you so much fellow mumsnetters! Really really really!

bigkidsdidit Fri 30-Aug-13 16:37:10

I went to soft play with my two boys this morning and I sympathise grin

I put baby in a sling when we go somewhere like that then all my attention can be on DS1. Could you do that?

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:39:56

Re snatching the buggy. I had called out calmly and with a smile i was so trying to maintain " kids does anyone know where the little buggy is"
I really didn't mean to snatch it - it was perceived as such.
The mum got very angry with me.
I would never scare a child. It was a misunderstanding

Katkins1 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:40:11

the problem in this situation was that you did not explain yourself properly to anyone OP . I know it's hard, but next t ok me, take a breath then ed explain to your child that his behaviour isn't acceptable. Then make him have a time out, remove yourself from the queue and wait until he is calm. As for the piling the you from the other child, to be frank, that was unreasonable and and if some one did that to my child I'd be very cross. You could have explained to the child and mum before pulling it. You need yo learn to communicate better. Sorry.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:40:55

Re sling - still lack confidence re using it but on my list of things to do to practise.
Thank you!xx

mrspremise Fri 30-Aug-13 16:44:16

If your little one won't tolerate reins, how sbout a wrist strap? That was the happy medium for my boy, somehow he felt less restricted by it, but I retained control over him slipping my hand and dashing off.

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