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!

scottishtablet Sat 30-Mar-13 11:48:37

Nod and smile. For the next eighteen years.

Dilidali Sat 30-Mar-13 11:50:39

Yeap, as scottishtablet says, nod and smile!

elQuintoConyo Sat 30-Mar-13 11:52:06

Move to a child-friendly country.

Or just smile and nod, as PP suggested.

I do find "mind your own business you interfering old <insert expletive of choice>" works wonders on most people. They tend to get a cat's bums mouth and walk off in a huff.

MrsWolowitz Sat 30-Mar-13 11:54:02

What horrible people!

Don't worry OP. you'll meet total idiot who think they know better but just ignore.

Once I was out struggling with my 4yo DD and my 2yo DTs on reins. One DT lay on the floor having a tantrum and I just ignored her (if I try and pacify her it makes her worse). A woman came up to me and told me that DT was obviously scared and needed a hug from me. I told her no, DT is having a tantrum and the best way to deal with her tantrums is to fjord her until she gives up. This woman wouldn't have it to be and insisted I was handling the situation wrong. I just ignored.

You know your child better than some stranger.

Pancakeflipper Sat 30-Mar-13 11:54:51

Another one who has developed the nod and smile technique.

mummymeister Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:10

people keep judging you because just as there is only ever one perfect baby in the world (mine obviously- all 3 consecutively as well!) there is also only one perfect mother and that is them. get used to it. it carries on and on and on. mine are teenagers and i still get "advice" on what shoes they should wear, how short their top, skirt etc should be. You will get less anxious and they will get less irritating.

ruledbyheart Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:10

Oh yes you can expect this on every choice you make for the next 18 years, although you do tend to learn to just shrug it off, just keep doing what you think is best and ignore.

BlueberryHill Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:34

I haven't had that amount or level of aggressive comments, mostly they have been well meaning ones, in which case nod and smile and move away. A lot of people seem to think that they can pass comment on you now that you have a child, weird. I do think that you need to get used to it and ignore, there just seems to be so much judging and pressure on being a parent, so don't engage with it and do what you think best. However, maybe develop a death stare or sharp comeback for those saying 'he needs feeding, take him out and give him a cuddle. It is very rude of them, they don't know your child.

For the 'ladies' shouting expletives at you from the other side of the street, anyone who does that isn't going to listen to a rational explanation, go inside and ignore.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 30-Mar-13 11:56:42

Yep, nod and smile. Let it go in one ear and out the other.
You will soon not give a crap what others say.
I wish I'd been at that wedding, I would have loved to tell those nosy cows to get f***ed.
Keep doing what you're doing smile

MsAkimbo Sat 30-Mar-13 12:01:06

Been there many, many times; though never as bad as that re: the wedding angry Bitches.

Sarcasm works best I find.

"Your baby is crying"
<look around> "Oh, really? You've got good ears!"

"You're baby's hungry."
"I just fed him yesterday!"

"Give him a cuddle."
"I'd rather not get attached to this one."

Failing that, ignoring is best.

ScrambledSmegs Sat 30-Mar-13 12:02:18

Nod and smile. Luckily this rarely happens to me - just as well as I'm not the type to take my own advice! I've been very rude to busybodies in the past. 'Piss off you interfering git' was one choice example blush

Ginformation Sat 30-Mar-13 12:02:28

I recently tried the shocked face 'really? Wow thanks' approach. Worked a treat wink.

Or just plain 'fuck off'.

Depending on how stressed I am.

Maggie111 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:02:51

You could always try "Gosh, this thing needs food?!" and then tell them to mind their own business - he's clearly well fed and well loved.

My baby's due very soon, I'm astonished I could be getting so many unwarranted comments!

Just remember that these morons genuinely think they're doing the right thing and looking out for the welfare of your baby - so don't let it upset you.

TheDetective Sat 30-Mar-13 12:05:09

I've got a 17 week old. Perhaps it is the way I carry myself, but no one has said anything to me about my parenting.

I'd probably tell them to fuck off, and call them a cunt, but not everyone would be comfortable doing that. But do it so that no one else but them can hear, and deny you ever said anything.

I'm an antagonist though. I really shouldn't do it. But I can't help it!

If I were you, I'd of said I was going to ring the police and report them for threatening behaviour, abuse, and being total twats disturbance of the peace.

I too have a hot baby, he rarely wears a snow suit - his is a thin fleece one - or a coat (he doesn't have a coat at the moment at all). He wears thick cardigans, and blankets, with a hat and mittens if it is pretty cold. I often wonder if anyone would say something to me, as we have been out like that in the snow. No one does.

Hes just like his father a sweaty bastard hot and sticky!

ipswichwitch Sat 30-Mar-13 12:07:48

Smile and ignore for the nicer ones.
Death stare for the twats.
It does irritate me that so many people seem to think they have the right to interfere and make out you don't know your own child though.

Tee2072 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:08:02

I have never had an unwanted comment. I would love one so I could say 'fuck off you nosy old bag and leave me the fuck alone'.

Callisto Sat 30-Mar-13 12:09:08

I've never had anyone comment negatively about my parenting and that isn't a stealth boast, i'm just amazed that this is your experience. Are you misinterpreting some of the comments maybe? EG, the 'he needs a cuddle' one could just be a comment not a criticism.

MDA Sat 30-Mar-13 12:10:32

You sound really defensive - like you care what these people think. This will pass you will find!

ZZZenEggain Sat 30-Mar-13 12:11:40

are you young? Maybe people feel they can do this with a young mum and not get flak back. I got told my baby was too hot once and another woman advised me not to let her use a dummy but they were not unkind in tone and may have been right. I don't know why people have been so nasty to you about it.

This happens a lot I'm afraid. Thicken your skin and ignore them.

I used to be quite tempted to take people up on their 'offer of help', and reply "Oh I'm so glad you came and said something. You sound like a very experienced parent, so can you come home with me and show me how to look after them properly?"

Sheshelob Sat 30-Mar-13 12:15:06

Wow! classy souls, those ladies. Shouting abuse at a new mum. At a wedding.

Comments would drive me mad when DS was tiny but the funny thing is I now can't remember anyone saying anything in public. The older DC get, the easier it is to see that no-one knows your child better than you (and DP).

My DS was a hot baby, too, which tended to confuse the older generation, who are obsessed with keeping babies warm overheated. My MIL was the worst, constantly chucking blankets on him whenever my back was turned. In the end I told her that they say overheating isn't good for babies now, just as a lot of things she may have done are not considered right anymore. Bit harsh but she shut up after that.

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Sat 30-Mar-13 12:15:26

I never, ever had unwanted comments by strangers on the street either.
The ones at the wedding sound like utter loons.hmm
Were they drunk?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 30-Mar-13 12:17:54

Not only to me but also to my mum when I was a baby grin

Since time began strangers have felt that mothers and their children are public property

Smile and nod!

ZZZenEggain Sat 30-Mar-13 12:23:10

it is hard for a lot of people to see a crying baby and think you are not doing anything to help the dc. Maybe it is that sometimes

blueballoon79 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:26:08

I've had extremely rude comments about my parenting too from complete strangers.

When my son was very little, I was crossing a road with him and he pulled the hat he was wearing over his eyes. I noticed this but obviously didn't stop to sort it out until we had safely crossed the road.

As I was halfway over the road a woman who was crossing in the opposite direction grabbed hold of my arm and told me that I shouldn't be allowed to have children as my sons hat was over his eyes and I'm a neglectful mother!

I wasn't too upset about it to be honest as I thought she must have been crazy!

I've also had people telling me I was cruel for keeping him sitting down at meal in a pub as all the other children were playing. These people kept saying to me "He wants to get down and play", "He needs to be able to have a run around", I nodded and smiled for several minutes until I got really annoyed and told them "actually my son is disabled, he can't get down and run about, so please keep your opinions to yourself.

They apologised and said they were sorry but they didn't realise and I said "No, why would you? You're complete strangers who know nothing about my family so it's perhaps best not to comment on my parenting strategies when you know nothing of my situation"

Beautifulbabyboy Sat 30-Mar-13 12:28:20

This Is just what I needed to read today. I love the nod and smile comments. At least it is strangers giving bad advice, I have to put up
With my mother in law constantly having some form of an opinion and how she would do it differently.

Will keep nodding and smiling!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sat 30-Mar-13 12:31:07

Ignore them all! Your baby. Your choices. Have to say, can be hard not to snap back at times though when you're sleep deprived.

I've found that super polite bordering on sarcastic can work as a retort, because people can't always tell whether you're being serious or not so generally don't say much back.

You sound like a great mum and you know your baby best, remember!

CocktailQueen Sat 30-Mar-13 12:32:12

Wow. I have NEVER had any comments like that. How bizarre. The people are the wedding were cleared drunk/lunatics so wouldn't listen to reason anyway,. Best thing is to ignore. The others, smile and nod. Or tell them to f off, depending on your mood <helpful>

CocktailQueen Sat 30-Mar-13 12:32:22

clearly, not cleared!

Finola1step Sat 30-Mar-13 12:34:37

Hi Doodle. As other posters have said, you do just learn to smile on nod. Or in my case, develop a death stare to stop them in their tracks.

Your little boy sounds just like how mine was. My ds (first baby) was born in the spring of 2008 which was also a really cold spring. We still had snow in the April and I remember vividly how he was only truly happy out in the freezing cold in his pram. At just a few weeks old. The looks I used to get from all and sundry! I can only suggest you ignore such comments; anyone who is brazen enough to comment in the first place is not going to listen to your reasons. Death stare every time.

Doodledumdums Sat 30-Mar-13 12:38:53

Thank you for all of your replies :-)

MsAkimbo I am definitely going to try those, your post made me laugh so much!

I guess I could be being overly sensitive to some of the comments, but there is no doubt about the situation yesterday, they were being very nasty! I don't think they were drunk, it was only about 3pm, but I guess that doesn't mean anything, people can get drunk at any time of the day!

ZZZenEggain- I am 26, so not young enough for them to think I wouldn't answer back I wouldn't think. Though I was standing there in a floor length bridesmaid dress with my hair and make up all done, so maybe they thought I was an ideal candidate to pick a fight with because I clearly wasn't going to fight back?! (Not that I would EVER fight back anyway, regardless of what I was wearing!)

I am finding myself more able to deal with the 'helpful' comments, and usually if people tell me he needs feeding then I tell them that he has just eaten (which 99% of the time is true, as he is a very hungry baby who loves a bit of boob very regularly!), but yesterday was a whole new level, I was horrified that anyone could be so judgemental and downright nasty to a complete stranger holding a clearly well loved baby! I would never be so rude to someone about their own child. Well, unless they were doing something outrageous like dangling them by their foot out of a window or something!

I am glad I am not the only one who has received judgements from people, clearly if you are a mother then you are public property! I think that the women were just lucky that my husband wasn't there, he may not have taken the comments as well as I did!

skratta Sat 30-Mar-13 12:42:46

I would do the smile and nod thing. I never had comments about my parenting though, as such (although plenty of 'fucking foreigner' and 'fuck off to your stinking home' comments when I moved countries...) so I have been very lucky...I think most people who do this do it with a caring motive...b have no sense and can be incredibly aggressive....luckily I haven't met them yet, but I've been lucky!

My friend had one person tell her she needed to feed her baby (it was crying in Tesco...) because she was clearly neglecting it, and if she didn't, the woman would tell the managers and SS might have Ti be involved! hmm

She just went 'Oh my god! Are you being serious? Like, you aren't joking? Because...woah...I never knew we were supposed to feed these things. Why the hell did nobody tell me?' grin

JenaiMorris Sat 30-Mar-13 12:43:42

Does anyone else have similar experiences?

Er, no. Either I have been a consistently excellent parent for the past 12 ½ years, I'm completely unaware of anyone around me or I live in a parallel universe.

Often (and I'm not suggesting this to be the case here) posters have clearly been far to quick to take offence at innocuous small talk.

Shelly32 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:54:20

Re: the 'undressed look' in winter, I feel for you!I'm a mum to twins and had to take one poorly girl to the Drs with a raging temperature. It was Jan last year and as the advice was to keep her undressed and as cool as possible. On the way back I kept her coat off as she was sweating(5 min walk from house to surgery) and an old woman tutted at me and rolled her eyes as if I was the worst mother in the world. I felt really hurt esp as I was trying to do the best by my daughter. Ignore people's comments. Most will be trying to help and don't realise that their comments are unnecessary/patronising/unhelpful etc. Try not to let it get you down. As a first time mum you regularly feel unsure if what you are doing is the best possible thing. The last thing you need is other's comments making you more confused and anxious. You sound like a great mum by the way!

Smithsgirl88 Sat 30-Mar-13 13:07:59

One thing I hate seeing is parents all snug and warm and their kid with trousers on too short, no coat etc...In the middle of winter. You, of course, had an adequate reason, and I wouldn't dream of saying anything, anyway. I get it with my son, he's 2 and very fiery so I tend to ignore him when he's throwing a tantrum. The looks I get for not acknowledging my son!! But then I'd rather put up with that and teach my son that he gets ignored if he plays up than give in to what he wants and set myself up for worse tantrums just because of what other people think.

Jengnr Sat 30-Mar-13 13:10:04

My Mum's the worst for it. I'm constantly being told he's too cold/too hot/something else equally ridiculous.

I just tell her to shut up usually. I'd have told those bitches at the wedding to fuck off though.

thebody Sat 30-Mar-13 13:16:47

Sweetheart yes smile and nod thats great for 20s

Now wait till your 40s and you will find you are far far more assertive and confident and surprisingly noone makes remarks to you.

Seriously ignore. I expect you looked gorgeous in your bridesmaid dress and they were jealous and drunk.

Your baby your rules and if push comes to shove try 'oh please just fuck off will you' works a treat.

thezebrawearspurple Sat 30-Mar-13 14:02:25

Thank God I don't live near any horrible people, round here everyone minds their own business because most people wouldn't tolerate that kind of shite. 'Go fuck yourself, you ignorant cunt', is the only response they need. As for those women who abused you, how pathetic to pick on a mother with a tiny baby, you should told them to go fuck themselves or you'd be calling the police to have them done for abusive and threatening behaviour.

thezebrawearspurple Sat 30-Mar-13 14:03:23

And ffs, don't smile at these obnoxious people, that's why there's so many of them.

abbyfromoz Sat 30-Mar-13 14:13:04

Fwiw you sound like a wonderful mother. You are definitely not the only one this has happened to and won't be the last- and it has NOTHING to do with your parenting skills. There are just a lot of sad people out there who have what i would call a personality disorder feeling the need to have (and make known) there opinion on other people. Yes there is always the odd negligent mother and circumstances in which you really should speak up- or want to but don't... But most of the time they are just sad pathetic busy bodies with nothing better to do with their time but thrust upon you their unwelcome advice. You are right- they are wrong. The end.

midastouch Sat 30-Mar-13 15:05:41

I haven't had that many judgey comments but I find I do this face [Buhmm] rather than smiling.

Whatalotofpiffle Sat 30-Mar-13 15:11:36

It gets easier, well it did for me. First few months I cried when things like this happen, now I either smile and nod or tell them to bog off ... Politely sometimes, other times not so!

quietbatperson Sat 30-Mar-13 15:21:42

"I'll call Social Services" only deserves one response - go on then! Calling their bluff works rather well.

I have rarely had comments like this though: I think I give a "fuck off and myob" vibe smile

MrsDeVere Sat 30-Mar-13 15:23:01

Some of it will be judginess, some of it will be kindly meant burble.

I have seen posts on MN about babies crying in shops and posters have suggested the OP should have phoned the police ffs!

For example:

'I was in Aldi yesterday and this baby was crying and the mother didn't do anything, she just carried on shopping, paid and went home' shock

'OMG what a heartless cow, some people don't deserve children'
'So what did YOU do OP? Did you call social services?'
'I would have walked over and told her to stop being so selfish'
'next time just call the police, this is child abuse pure and simple'

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't of seen it on here.

I am one of those burbling baby bothers though. Can't help myself. I will always say something. I am always meaning to be friendly but I dare say I have been misinterpreted on many an occasion. Specially now I am older and look ancient to some young mums sad

Gosh, I think you've been a bit unlucky in the amount of criticism and comments, especially from those women yesterday. How dare they ?!
I'm very sorry if they've understandably upset you - however you had very clear and straight-forward reasons for your perfectly harmless actions and
You obviously know your son and his individual needs much better than they do so try to take no notice smile

MrsDeVere Sat 30-Mar-13 15:24:46

I was once waiting for a bus in Camden Town. It was cold and DD was in a sling with a snow suit, hat, mits, etc on

This woman kept staring at me. I knew she was dying to say something.
The best she could come up with?

'You should cover up that baby's face, its very cold' <glare>

Even in my hormonal, pfb state I had to laugh at that old bollocks grin

Oh, I often say something too MrsDeV !

Like the other day I was walking round the lake at the park and a couple and their child were walking towards me, child started having a tantrum about something. So I just said to her (the toddler) there are some lovely ducks just back there on the wobbly bridge and she slightly huffily walked on to see what I was on about. So, it might have helped fend off a full-blown meltdown, and eased things just a little for them all ?

So, I'm a meddler, but a well-meaning expert one grin

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Sat 30-Mar-13 18:27:57

I feel for you OP. I've got a 7 month old who is a hot baby and awful for fighting sleep. He used to frequently scream at the checkout in supermarkets as he was tired, hot and the pram wasn't moving. If I took him out for a cuddle, he would calm for 2 mins before screaming blue murder again - only solution was to pay ASAP and get back outside again.

I had a couple of comments (luckily not the torrent of abuse you suffered), so if he kicks off now (rarely, thankfully) I do the annoying loud parent thing for the benefit of potential busybodies: "yes, I know you're tired sweetie and it's too hot in here. We're nearly finished and then we'll be outside where you'll feel better."

The worst my mum had was when my sister was a toddler. She was a very ill child having contracted measles as a baby and was in and out of Great Ormond Street, resulting in her being very skinny. Mum had taken DSIS to feed the ducks in the park. She ate some of bread while throwing some and a woman told Mum she was neglectful and obviously starving her, so that she could only eat stale bread. My Mum was distraught and thinking about it now, it still upsets her.

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!


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 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

MsAkimbo Sun 31-Mar-13 09:21:17

smile Glad I could make you laugh. I am going to be needing to take my own advice today-Easter dinner with my grandmother. confused wine

You sound like an awesome mum. Keep doing what you're doing!

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 10:43:25

I have to restrain myself from kissing strange babies. I work with small children so its quite a strain, I can tell you!

Their dear little heads just sitting there, inviting me to snuggle and smooch...

I am quite exhausted after a day of behaving myself.

Have a care for us baby botherers, our lives are not easy.grin

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 10:47:51

Seriously, though, I do hate it when mumsnet makes me question what I think of as perfectly normal behaviour. I have been saying things like "oh, is he tired, poor pet, would you like me to rock the pram while you drink your coffee?" "Oh, you are having a tough day, arent't you!" "Do you think she'll come to me for a bit?"on a regular basis to total strangers for years. Strange to think I might have been thought interfering and judgy and an old bat and so on........

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 11:00:17

I know what you mean Seeker.
I still think of myself as young but I am becoming more and more aware that I do not seem that way to loads of younger mothers.

I am always friendly and helpful but its quite gutting to realise (via the internet) that I am probably the target of a load of bile once I leave the scene of my crime.

My crime being to say 'aww bless him, he looks tired' or 'is there anything I can do?'

Think on young 'uns.

It will happen to you one day.

riverboat Sun 31-Mar-13 11:00:30

I get enraged with 'smile, love' comments from random (male) passers by. So can only imagine how angry I'd feel about the comments you describe.

A surprising number of people just HAVE to be right and will never ever admit their initial impression of something could have been wrong no matter what. There is nothing you can do to reason with these people, whatever you say will just make it worse, frustrating as it is.

It sounds like you have been very unlucky with the people you've encountered - hope that changes, and happy easter!

weightlessbabysdaddy Sun 31-Mar-13 12:09:58

Thereb are clearly a great many stupid, stupid people in the world. When my DD was a few months old, my wife and I took her to lunch in a local pub. She was absolutely charming the whole time, and I felt rather proud so was making something of a fuss of her when I put her back into her pram afterwards. At the table a particularly sour old woman tutted at me and muttered 'for goodness sake' at this apparently unacceptable display of a father showing affection for his child. I repeat, people are stupid. Best to ignore them; they will get what is coming to them in a life that is, I imagine, starved of any sort of joy.

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:15:38

Do please avoid the "sour old woman" riff. Age is immaterial.

weightlessbabysdaddy Sun 31-Mar-13 12:20:55

Why should I avoid describing someone who is old as old. And she was a woman. And she was very sour. I'm sorry, seeker, but you really do need to get off your high horse

JenaiMorris Sun 31-Mar-13 12:23:44

How do you know it was the display of affection this woman objected to? Did she say?

The trouble with putting them all together is it does slightly suggest that it's natural or inevitable for old women to be sour. Personally, in my rapidly approaching dotage, that's something I'm hoping to avoid. I'd like to be dear, kind, little old lady. Hopefully there's a handy template of that version for me to follow too wink
Am sorry your old lady couldn't find any joy in your DD and her interactions with her father weightless - I agree that's a shame and it would seem she hadn't got the hang of life yet !

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:39:25

But why did you pick "old" as a descriptor? You could just as well and with as much relevance have said "short" or "black haired" or "wearing a brown coat".

But no, so much better to maintain the mumsnet stereotype of old women.

And I don't believe for a second that she tutted at a father showing affection for his child. Not for one single, solitary second.

LittleBairn Sun 31-Mar-13 12:44:33

There is a big difference between people who engage with babies try to calm the situation and those who offer critism dressed as advice no one really needs to be sneered at that their baby is hungry or needs held, how on earth would a stranger know what the Baby needs?

My friend responded perfectly when a guy behind her moaned telling her she needs to stay at home and feed her baby not be out galavanting around shops.
She turned to him with a OMG look told him he was sooo right She will just get her boob out (fumbled with shirt) while telling him he would have to hold it in her sons mouth so she could pack up her shopping grin
Needless to say he shut up and the sales assistant could barely contain her laughter.

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 12:44:59

Me neither.
If she did it had nothing to do with her age.

Fed up of the nastiness to women deemed as 'old' on MN and other parenting forums.
Old seems to be anything over 35 btw.
As in 'I think its really selfish for old women to have babies. You shouldn't have one over 35' hmm

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 12:48:23

I was once given a good talking to by a woman in H&M (she was younger than me as it happens).
I was looking at the clothes, hand on buggy, DC5 asleep and wrapped up.

She came up to specially tell me that I should have the baby facing me all the time because 'anyone could come and take him and you wouldn't know'

FFS. Really? Unwrap and unstrap a sleeping baby from a buggy whilst his mother is holding on to it?

I like H&M but their clothes are really not that mesmerizing hmm

Fortunately by no 5 you tend to be ready with your replies when people talk arse like this.

JenaiMorris Sun 31-Mar-13 12:53:58

But you're old, MrsD. Young people know so much more about babies and children generally than the over-35s.

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 13:16:13

Sorry dear? I didn't quite catch that....these old ears...

weightlessbabysdaddy Sun 31-Mar-13 13:17:42

I withdraw my use of the word 'old'. Feel free to replace it in your minds with 'dried up' or 'crone'.

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 13:25:56

How very, very icky.

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 13:26:07

awww what a sweet young man you are

DuttyWine Sun 31-Mar-13 13:33:32

How bizarre op! What area do you live in if you feel able to say, I don't think strangers or people I know have ever passed judgement on me and my baby, even when I had dd at 18! Or maybe they have and it's gone over my head! Maybe I'm just lucky. People often stop and chat to me and my ds I live in a village in a northern town and lots of older ladies chat to us at the bus stop but it's always nice things.

Try not to let it get you down its really them with the problem if they care enough about remarking on a mother and baby they don't even know in a rude way!

I am really shocked that people walking past just started swearing and having a go! I doubt I'd even notice what someone across a road was doing with a baby. Did they seem drunk?

I've got a hot baby too - it's freezing today, and when we just went out for a walk in the buggy, he was wearing a vest, t-shirt and jumper. Refused to wear a hat. Indoors, he often only wears a vest, nappy and t-shirt.

It's hard, but ignore or nod and smile.

GeoffVader Sun 31-Mar-13 13:38:20

That was one of the things I learnt when I first had DD, that babies do in fact sweat, everyone told me that babies cannot sweat, they can. It is odourless though as HV told me the sweat only starts smelling when they go through puberty.

MrsDeVere Sun 31-Mar-13 13:41:54

My MIL was utterly scandalised at what she saw as DD's inadequate clothing.
Bless her, she never said.
But I knew

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 31-Mar-13 13:50:35

The only unreasonable thing about your post is that someone referred to a fucking baby. Ignore - totally.

OTH I think I'm also guilty of Seekerisms and DeVereisms. I even turned round to the pew behind me where a desperate mummy was trying to keep a very small baby quiet and said "just feed her" and she did with a sigh of relief and peace swept over the back pews.

And at the end it was lovely to say that lots of us had been in the same position and it was lovely to see them there on Easter Sunday when they were doing the hardest yards of all.

I had a hot baby too - he's still a hot baby - all 6'2" of him. He didn't wear a hat or keep his coat on and it doesn't seem to have harmed him.

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 14:25:07

I still remember the relief when dd was tiny and crying in a cafe and a woman asked me if I was breastfeeding, and when I said yes, said "well, feed her then!"
Somebody giving me "permission" was wonderful.

Ahh, that's so nice of you marriedinwhiteagain - to recognise and encourage those doing the "hardest yards". I'm glad I have those early years under my belt now, though teenage ones can still be tricky at times ! Hope you are enjoying your Easter weekend ? Love to all thanks smile

Pandemoniaa Sun 31-Mar-13 14:38:36

Do please avoid the "sour old woman" riff. Age is immaterial.

Can I second this? Only I am "the older generation". We are not all interfering old bats who spend their days looking for younger mothers to upset with unhelpful comments. The people that do are being insensitive, unhelpful and downright nosy. But age has nothing to do with it. Incidentally, when I had ds1 (nearly 32 years ago) I was also told of the dangers of allowing babies to get overheated. ds1, being a hot baby anyway, and born in a warm summer, wore very little. That didn't stop the occasional person tutting.

Ultimately, you need to ignore other people's unwanted comments only any complete stranger who wants to pass on judgemental "advice" is the one with the problem. Not you.

Thumbwitch Sun 31-Mar-13 14:48:14

OP - I had a hot baby in DS1 as well. Born in early December in the UK, but I had to be really careful that he didn't overheat, as he was prone to it! Only ever had a singlet vest on under his sleepsuit and then a hooded fleecy coat over that, and a blanket to keep his legs warm. I used to feel his hands to check - they were usually toasty, so no need for gloves (yep, got Looks for that) and he couldn't have a hat on as well as the hood or he'd be dripping with sweat. Yes, he sweated buckets (and still does, sweats through his head like me) and it was hard to persuade others that he was quite warm enough, thank you. Someone gave me a snowsuit for him - he overheated in about 30secs, so he never wore it.

DS2 is a funny temp baby - also an overheater, but he chills down very fast as well. Now we're in Australia it's been bloody difficult to regulate his temp, because he gets hot and sweaty in the muggy heat outdoors, but then chills down in the airconditioned indoors, so he feels like he's cold-sweating - really hard to deal with in terms of clothing!

As for the comments, you just have to learn to ignore them - or you could try the sarcastic responses, or possibly just the angry ones. Or something like: "I'm glad you know so much about MY baby, how incredible that YOU know more about him than I do!"

Mine has NEVER worn gloves - I live where it's very cold and snowy, and the amount of looks I get when he's got no gloves or no hat on is silly. Honestly, if you fold the mittens on his jacket over his hands he'll throw the biggest tantrum. I'd rather he had no gloves on and be happy than wearing gloves and crying the place down.

On a train once, where the air-conditioning had broken, I stripped baby all the way down to his nappy, and he still wouldn't settle. I was starting to go slightly mad when the lovely (old) woman next to me took him off me and stood up, rocking him for about 20 minutes. I could've cried. I bought her a cold drink instead smile

I've never had anything as downright aggressive and I would be upset too but as other posters have said it's your baby you know best ignore those ignorant people. To the woman who said the baby needed feeding I would have said 'he's just been fed'..put her in her place.

However though I do tend to do the nod and agree thing, I did have to go hmm at one lady who said she thought it was 'cruel' to take children out in the cold. I didn't have my dc's with me she was just commenting on the weather and her gc etc but I just thought 'cruel?' Get real lady! Some folk live in the dark ages thank god you don't op ignore ignore ignore hopefully you won't get any more nasty ones and try not to be sensitive to the ones that are expressing a bit of a worthless opinion totally crazy. I don't mean that disrespectfully, I am very sensitive, especially when I was a new mum, but to let them bother you is to let them win, especially when they know fuck all anyway.

Kaekae Sun 31-Mar-13 15:13:13

Those women sound vile and I would have probably told them to p off!

What I find even more strange are the comments from people who don't actually have children but seem to know best!

minesapintofwine - we have some friends who think you catch a cold from being in cold weather, and were aghast when I was babysitting their child and took her out in -2 weather (she was 18 months at the time, and had a hat, coat, gloves, snowboots etc on). I think they are bonkers. They are constantly saying to their little girl 'don't splash in the puddles, you'll get wet feet and catch a cold'. What's even odder is that they are from a very snowy and cold country, even more so than where they live now.

Kaekae Sun 31-Mar-13 15:21:05

Goodness I am 35 this year please don't say this is deemed old! I am also considering having a third baby next year! shock

Thumbwitch Sun 31-Mar-13 15:24:13

God don't worry about it Kaekae! I had Ds2 last year at 45 - I'm not bothered about other people's thoughts on this, least of all the idiot doctor who told me, 4w after my first MC at 42, that as I already had DS1 I should stop bothering to try to have another child, given my age. Had to see him again a week ago for DS1's cough - the temptation to brandish DS2 in his face was enormous, but I knew he wouldn't remember being so fucking rude to me so I'd just look like a crazy lady.

slatternlymother Sun 31-Mar-13 15:27:30

Oh my goodness, I've never had anything like this; I only read about judginess like this on MN!

Either I've been really fortunate, or I walk around with a face that says 'fuck with me and I'll smack you in the teeth', most of the time. grin

DorcasDelIcatessen Sun 31-Mar-13 15:41:13

Memorise this. It will help no end. <clears throat>

Lo siento, pero la sola idea de que existe un niño criado por ti es un concepto tan ajeno a mí me han olvidado temporalmente la forma de responder a usted en Inglés. tratar con él.

Thumbwitch Sun 31-Mar-13 15:45:47

I had to have that translated but it's pretty funny. Shame the person you say it to wouldn't have a clue. grin

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 31-Mar-13 15:46:23

What does it mean dorcas.

Just knows that I would like to say to some of the old biddies who clucked - look, he turned into a brilliant flanker grin. Having just swept his balcony clean of Marlboro Lights, agreed he can have a g/f to stay, and he's gone soft coz no-one makes a bacon sarnie and cuppa like his mum blush.

attilascupcakes Sun 31-Mar-13 15:46:51

I have had this too, and sadly its always been from much older women. I used to tolerate it when I was a nervous new mum. Now I just look them in the eye and say "Mind your own business".

Thumbwitch Sun 31-Mar-13 15:50:58

This is what I got from the translation site:
"Sorry, but the idea that there is a child raised by you is a concept so alien to me I have forgotten temporarily how to respond to you in English. Deal with it."

Doodledumdums Sun 31-Mar-13 17:23:10

Dorcas, that is hilarious! Will definitely remember that!

To be fair, My post wasn't picking at people who are nice and helpful, it was about people who clearly judge negatively, and the experiences I have described can hardly be considered nice and helpful can they?! I would have no objection to people being nice, like the lady behind me in a queue this morning who was lovely about my baby and said in a very non judgemental tone 'oh dear little one, that sounds like a tired cry!' I had no problem with this, she was nice and was clearly just making conversation and being nice about my son, I object to the people who are not making conversation, but are interfering unnecessarily. No one needs to remind any mother that their baby needs to be fed. There is a major difference between saying 'oh dear, is someone hungry?!' In a nice friendly tone, to saying 'take that baby home and give him a bottle immediately,' the first is conversational and acceptable, the second is hostile and judgemental.

I live in Oxford, but was in London for the wedding. I don't think the women were drunk, I think they were just nasty women looking to pick on someone, and unfortunately that was me. I hate people like that, it really upset me and I am an over anxious person anyway, pick on someone else!!

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Sun 31-Mar-13 17:45:26

Thanks icedgems!

"There is a major difference between saying 'oh dear, is someone hungry?!' In a nice friendly tone, to saying 'take that baby home and give him a bottle immediately,' the first is conversational and acceptable, the second is hostile and judgemental. "

^^ yy OP.

I've met lots of lovely people who've smiled at DS, tried to distract him when he's cried, walked him round in restaurants etc. They help make the world a nicer place! It's the people who treat you like you're stupid and that you don't understand what your baby needs, which are the irritants.

youarewinning Sun 31-Mar-13 18:11:48


I even had a comment about being a bad mum the other day - my DS is 8!!!!

My crime? Nope - not lack of food/water/clothing but to re question adult about the assault on my son as she had changed her story. (btw the assault was by another child and not even her own!)

Opportunity for her to clarify? Nope - opportunity to accuse me of shouting and to state she's concerned about what type of upbringing he has?!

When he was 8 weeks/ 8 months I would have crumbled - thank to MN I've learnt so simply replied "one where my DS knows he's loved and protected and he knows he can tell me anything - your point?!"

Sorry off topic and slight hijack but needed to get that off my chest.

I do find though simple statements given calmly do work - or a simple 'thank for your advice/opinion' as you walk away clearly show you actually have no intention of listening to their ramblings!

You sound very in tune with your DS' needs - enjoy him grin

youarewinning Sun 31-Mar-13 18:15:41

Dorcas that is hysterical. Sadly DS was born and raised in tenerife so it would have been a useless retort! Can I have the chinese translation please? wink

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