to stop myself from offering a potentially tiny helpful suggestion to harrassed-looking mum on the bus today?

(77 Posts)
Mintyy Wed 04-Sep-13 21:39:59

because you lot have forever put me off that kind of thing for fear of being told I am an interfering old bat?

Seriously, a few years ago I would have spoken up. Today (because of Mumsnet and the outrage I have seen towards strangers saying anything whatsoever about your baby) I kept quiet.

Feel a bit shock at self, tbh.

fifi669 Sun 08-Sep-13 00:12:42

I think I would of gone down the strike up a conversation route. She's got a good set of lungs on her! Is she teething? You must be worn out etc.

A bit of getting the mother onside with flattery and how well she's coping followed by mentioning the sun and asking if she wanted her turned round.

Some people crush you when your child is misbehaving. We tried introducing DS to church. He wasn't impressed. The women sat a few rows in front turned, tutted and moved away. I felt like crap. However a lady afterwards said these things happen, it'll get easier and sod them. Lifted me a little. Never been back though.

MichaelBubleBath Sat 07-Sep-13 01:52:14

Maybe something like "the sun's so bright on this bus. <roll eyes> you'd think they'd invent sun shades or something to stop us going blind <roll eyes some more>"

Now this I like. flowers for Peppermint it blames the game not the player. Alerts the mum to the problem without judging her whilst criticising the bus company not her/offering solidarity with use of the word 'us'. Very subtle.

Soditall Wish I met people like you when at the end of my rope.

I live in Germany. Maybe other German mumsnetters can confirm this but the bottom line is that the majority of people here particularly Omas are very direct. and hate air conditioning or barenaked babies but love staring

It is not always refreshing. When you have the 99th person saying Aren't her feet cold? you sometimes want to snap and say IT'S 29 DEGREES FFS ARE YOU ON GLUE?!!! angry grin hi tidy D

As with all things it is usually down to timing and approach.

If you are genuinely trying to be kind and helpful usually this will show so the response usually will be mellow/gentle/amiable even if you 'agree to disagree' or pathetically grateful in my case if you are spot on with your observations and I need help. I will thank you 100x over

If you however are judgy and have a go at me when you know neither me nor my circumstances you may well unwittingly unleash hell.

Sometimes I fuck up. Screaming at me that I have fucked up and won't someone think of the poor baby is not going to end well. I may well tell you that the sun has surprised me and I left my parasol at home by mistake. That I have been in the sun vit D for approximately ten seconds and am heading to the shade as we speak scream.
That I am off to the U-Bahn and I have raised two other children already thank you.

You may well reply Warum ficken Sie soviel? (why do you fuck so much?) at which point I will dismiss you as a loon, tell you to mind your own fecking business and to lick mine*. (My DD would have replied to the hag Warum ficken Sie so wenig? but as I am less quick on my sleep-deprived feet Sie können mich mal* was all I could manage).

Yes, this happened to me yesterday. It was sunny, not 29 degrees yet! that came later but sunny. Having been taught to respect my elders and heard the abyss to music that was 'everyone wears sunscreen'...pointing out children + sunshine = bad combo would not usually end with anything other than

Yes, i am dealing with it, My Bad... blush as a response.

Screeching at me on the other hand at defcon 1 will bring out the reptilian receptors in my brain and I will count 2,3,4 before a measured response - but if you keep going I will bite your head off.

Sorry OP needed to vent. YANBU by the way wink but also you sound nice in rl cake and not a Hexe who screams at random strangers.

exoticfruits Fri 06-Sep-13 13:27:26

I think that I was thinking of another thread where someone was serious.

exoticfruits Fri 06-Sep-13 13:25:05

Actually, reading it through again she was being ironic-but it was along the lines of people not being able to make small talk- and it amazes me on MN how people take a friendly comment that is rather meaningless and analyse it to death!

exoticfruits Fri 06-Sep-13 13:22:25

Yes, the weather! I kid you not! grinhere She was fed up with complete strangers saying 'lovely weather'. When you can't even comment on the weather, in case it upsets people, it makes you wary of commenting on their children. Luckily common sense kicked in and the majority thought she was unreasonable.

HandMini Fri 06-Sep-13 12:56:33

Yellow, that's an admirable stance, but its really hard to assess every situation correctly. Toddler being a bit overheated and grizzly on a bus for 15 minutes vs. crushing a mothers self esteem with a "helpful" comment. I know which of the toddler or the mother would get over that more quickly.

yellowballoons Fri 06-Sep-13 12:43:15

Getting personally told off, mother getting angry, whatever, all comes second to the baby.

Beechview Fri 06-Sep-13 10:21:58

I saw a man pushing a buggy on one of our recent v.hot days with the plastic rain cover over the buggy. I really wanted to tell him that his child could get too hot but I just didn't dare.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Fri 06-Sep-13 10:17:39

Helping and complimenting is one thing, and always gratefully received. But anything that even hinges on judging my mothering ability (from my point of view) will make me angry If it had been me with the toddler facing the sun (although it wouldn't because I'd never be that unaware) I'm not sure any way of phrasing it would help.

I wish I lived near some of you though! I have been in nearly all the below situations and rarely received help.

However once I was on the bus, 9 months pg. having manhandled 2 yo DD on. The bus driver was arguing with me about my bus pass and I was in floods of tears. A lovely lady in one of the front seats took DD by the hand and sat her down, chatting to her and looking after her.

oldgrandmama Fri 06-Sep-13 09:59:55

Oh dear - I always help mums manhandle pushchairs off the bus ... is this disapproved of by MNers?

Rooners Fri 06-Sep-13 09:57:04

Or maybe just go for it - you know - 'Oh I think the sun's in her eyes! Shall I help you move the pram a bit?' sorta thing.

You need balls to do this, but then you're owning the problem, making yourself the one to blame if they get annoyed, they can just go hmm and ignore you once it is sorted out.

Rooners Fri 06-Sep-13 09:55:30

I'd have felt a bit wary but I'd have said something tbh.

Just like someone suggested - very casual - smile - that sun's hard to keep out of their eyes isn't it! Just so the mum knew someone had noticed and to make sure she was aware.

HandMini Fri 06-Sep-13 09:47:07

I'm very bad at responding to stuff "in the moment" so criticism/offers of help/even compliments I tend to say no, no, thank you, we're fine. I know it's a bit dismissive but I find it hard to process criticism / suggestion quickly, so I'm sorry if I ever appear chippy when people offer help/support, it's more just my brain doesn't work very fast.

If someone gives me criticism "outside the moment", ie, after the event I am good at analysing it rationally and making changes. Not that helpful in screaming toddler at the till situations I admit.

JeffActually Fri 06-Sep-13 09:31:07

I was unpacking the toddler from car in car park this week having just rammed the sleeping 10 week old into his sling in preparation for a trip to see the estate agent.
Everyone was was really calm, no screaming, everyone happy and a lady stopped and asked if I needed a hand.
It was lovely of her to ask but I replied No thank you I'm okay.
Then it hit home....i was okay...for the first time in ten weeks I was really okay...i am actually finally coping!
So thank you to that lovely lady - I didn't need a physical 'hand' - but it was almost as if she had been sent to me to show me everything is going to be just fine!

yellowballoons Fri 06-Sep-13 09:12:09

the weather! grin

Rosesarebeautiful Fri 06-Sep-13 09:10:32

I once told a stressed out mum how well she was doing. She was out in a park with 2 young kids and a baby. Her answer was to sigh & say 'it doesn't feel it.' And I surprised myself by saying 'that's why I'm telling you'.

I think it came about because all along no one has told me how well I'm doing as a mum, and sometimes a little bit of praise goes such a long way. I recognised that in her, and I think the short conversation did help us both.

TwoTearsInABucket Fri 06-Sep-13 09:01:57

silverapples - I know she was trying to be supportive. My point was that sometimes it doesn't matter what you say, people will still be grumpy (including me). It was nice of her to say it I agree, but I was just soooo grumpy with the whole situation. And, I didn't say anything to her I just smiled.

Shouldn't stop people saying things though. Its nice to have someone show a bit of support. I was just feeling spectacularly ungrateful at the time...

exoticfruits Fri 06-Sep-13 07:51:42

I think that you largely have to ignore MN, in RL people are generally much more relaxed.
I have had people complement me on the behaviour of my children and it was lovely.
You can put it in such a way that it isn't critical.
If you took MN into account you would never dare open your mouth! Some people over analyse every simple off the cuff remark. I remember one poster getting upset by strangers making comments on the weather!

pining Thu 05-Sep-13 22:06:38

I'd have grabbed the pram, turned it round, given the poor child a drink of water and then given the mother a full on COMMON SENSE?? Kind of stare maybe just a kind smile would have done the trick. wink

DanicaJones Thu 05-Sep-13 22:06:06

Or Peppermint's suggestions.

DanicaJones Thu 05-Sep-13 21:58:45

I think something like the first part of Tantrum's suggestion would be good as it would get the message across without making the mum defensive. ie "Oh my DCs used to hate being on the bus in the buggy when it was hot, especially with the sun in their eyes, I used to hate it."

BlackholesAndRevelations Thu 05-Sep-13 21:33:18

When my toddler dd was having a tantrum in a supermarket once, a nice old lady offered to help. I thought, "thank god for that!" and thanked her, thinking she was going to pack my shopping for me. Instead she went right up to my daughter's face and said "what's wrong? Stop crying now, etc etc" at which dd flung her head back and SCREAMED "muuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!" I said, "I think you're making her worse actually", and she huffed off. Made me think, if ever I am in that situation, I'll offer to help with the practical stuff like the shipping and leave the kid to the parent! That said, I have offered my dcs toy cars to a screaming toddler once and his mum was incredibly grateful. It helps to know others know what you're going through and have been there themselves.

Re: the op, I'd probably have said something along the lines of wanting help to turn the buggy round.

BrianTheMole Thu 05-Sep-13 20:40:45

Crikey, I would have just said the sun seems to be in her eyes. I'd be grateful if someone had said it to me and I hadn't noticed. And I'd offer to help her move it.

Maybe something like "the sun's so bright on this bus. <roll eyes> you'd think they'd invent sun shades or something to stop us going blind <roll eyes some more>"

Or "my son hated sunlight in his eyes too. soon be winter."

Awomansworth Thu 05-Sep-13 20:36:22

In your situation I would have said "Was you aware your child looks uncomfortable with the sun shining in their eyes".

She may or may not have responded well to me, but I'm damn sure she would have moved the child which is a result IMO.

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