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?

BranchingOut Sat 31-Aug-13 08:10:25

I have one child, now a bit older, but I did find the few months leading up to three very difficult.

I do see lots of three year olds in double buggies, so don't worry if you do decide to go down the double buggy route.

However, I think at the first sign of being 'free ranging' or 'all over the place' I probably would have picked him up or been holding his hand extremely tightly, combined with a sharp word, ("you do NOT run away from me!!") mostly because I am terrified of hazards in that kind of public area. The 'carpet roll across the body' or 'sack over your shoulder' holds are useful here! smile Or strapped him into a highchair, or just gone home, there and then. We have definitely done that at times.

I think that unfortunately you did not win friends with the queue jumping and getting back the buggy - I realise that you were in a panic, but suspect that you may need to watch your tone of voice or something about your manner in the way you were asking then...No offence, but I think that something must have been getting the other people's backs up, for that many people to react badly. I have quite a 'soft' polite manner which helps in some situations, although it is next to useless at other times.

But overall, try to put it behind you and make a plan for next time.
Wishing you a better day today.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 31-Aug-13 08:27:39

My 2 year old would have clung on to the buggy until it was prised off him, he would probably then have had a tantrum, difference is if someone had said it belonged to them id have taken it off him myself.

The op has said she should have reacted differently, she was obviously stressed and panicked, I think most of us with similar age gaps have had moments like this, I've forgotten to pack snacks, juice, had to go out without the back pack, misjudged nap times or stayed out a little too long. No ones perfect.

Op if you can afford to id take him to kiddicare and let him pick a back pack, mine has the dinosaur. He loves it and we put his snacks, little toys and juice in the back. He came out of the double at 2.3 so because i already had the baby it was the back pack or back in the pushchair, he knows that unless he puts it on, he won't be going out.

HaroldLloyd Sat 31-Aug-13 13:42:21

Whistle, how am I trying to normalise her behaviour?

If you talk to people like this in real life id be gobsmacked. Have you no empathy at all?

It's possible to think that you probably wouldn't have done something, whilst showing basic human empathy to a lady who was very stressed.

It's very easy to do the wrong thing at times when your stressed.

Your like a dog with a bone, or a toddler with a pram.

Bowlersarm Sat 31-Aug-13 13:49:06

You don't need to come back and justify your actions OP.

You had a bad day. We all have them (except whistlestop who clearly is perfect).

You have learnt from your mistakes. Your DS will forget it by ooh 10 minutes after it happened.

Move on, and have a lovely day today.

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 15:18:17

Suggested homework this week for everyone is to actively make another mother's life easier for 5 minutes when out.

IMO many queues are signs of inefficiency, and if the British were less happy to queue arbitrarily whilst treating it like some sort of necessary virtue, there would be no need for many of them.wink

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 15:19:33

I would not enjoy mixing with the likes of Whistlestop in RL as I often demonstrate imperfection as well. wink

Boffin - if I see a parent in a supermarket, whose child is acting up or whinging or screaming, I do try to stop and say something nice or encouraging to them. Does that count?

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 15:40:25

Yes, or say to the children 'come on, do what your mother says, there's good children'?

See - I would worry that I was overstepping the mark by saying that to the children, but would make some comment like - 'Oh dear, he's really not enjoying the shopping, is he? - it does get better, I promise'. Though when a little boy was about to kick off in Tesco the other week - because his sister had got the bottle of milk that his mum wanted, and she didn't need another one and he really, really WANTED to get the milk, I asked him to get me one instead, and thanked him for being so helpful when he did.

monkeymamma Sat 31-Aug-13 16:33:38

YANBU for thinking these other women were unnecessarily judgey and critical - yes you did need to grab your ds1 as they said, but none of them offered you any help or encouragement. I've had a few rather public struggles with my ds (not yet 2) and on occasion people have stopped to help - evn just a 'now then young man, what's all the fuss about?' can stop him in his tracks and buy me time to get him into the buggy/get his shoes on/whatever. If it doesn't work at least you feel supported and not criticised. It takes a village to raise a child, parenting is bloody hard work some days and IMO shocked looks/tutting/making you feel shit about it is Just Not On...

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 17:15:10

Once DD was throwing a strop in Waitrose and a wonderful lady traffic warden in full uniform told her to stop being silly and do what her mummy said. She immediately obliged at which point the woman winked and said she was a mother of four and the uniform always worked on strange children as they thought she was the police!!

Thinkingofmyfabfour Sat 31-Aug-13 17:28:35

I haven't read the whole thread so sorry if its already been mentioned, but could you try a buggy board? I find it great to contain ds3, and is also good if he's tired and doesn't want to walk.

Days like that are really hard and if you are stressed these comments hurt even more-someone nearly made me cry at soft play the other day, she was so damned rude!

If the set up of that soft play isn't ideal I'd avoid it in future. It takes a while to work out what is manageable on your own with 2 wee ones, I'm sure a better timed visit at a better laid out place will be fine

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 21:24:11

I can understand why you

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 21:32:26

Aargh pressed send too soon! I can understand that you had a crap day, but I can also understand the reaction of the other people there. It sounds like things totally spiralled out of control for you. However you have to find a way to stop your toddler running off, especially if you have a baby as well. Chalk it down to experience and have wine and cake

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 21:34:27

And sorry but letting your toddler run off and the way you acted in the cafe does sound like you were a bit unreasonable.

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