Lovely neighbour but this behavior is intrusive, isn’t it?(108 Posts)
Not brave enough for AIBU
Me, DH and DS who is nearly 6 months old live in a detached house outside the UK.
House is pretty small and we live next to an elderly couple who are actually very lovely people. The garden on right side of our house borders ours, both gardens are very small so whenever the lady next door is working in her garden/ tinkering around her house, which she seems to be doing all day, she is very close to our house.
DS doesnt cry that much fortunately and during the day, he is with me in the living room, either in the cot we put there for daytime sleeping or in his playpen. The living room has a window on the side that opens to our garden, which is bordering on neighbours garden.
I usually leave the window open to air the room but close it asap when DS starts to cry as I don’t want to be a nuisance to the neighbours. Today I was on the toilet as I hear DS starts to cry in the living room, not crying very loud but a typical ‘I am bored, where are you mummy’ cry. It took me about 3 minutes to finish my toilet business and when I came in the living room, I hear my neighbour calling my son’s name trough the open window. This hasnt been the first time that she did this. I do not let my DS cry for a long time, but sometimes I am on the toilet/in the shower etc so I am not immediately there when he starts to cry. This is the third time I heard her doing this. The first time I was sure I didn’t hear it correctly as I couldn’t believe she would do that. I think it’s quite intrusive to start speaking to my child trough my house’s window. I have dealt with PND in the past months and though now it only annoys me as I find it very cheeky, it would have made me feel very anxious as it would have contributed to my feelings at that time that I was a failure as a mum.
Plus it gives me the creeps as it kind of feels like she is watching our home all the time as he never cries more then a few minutes. Surely if my DS was old enough to walk to the window and talk back and the male neighbour did this, many people would find that creepy and possibly a sign of grooming?
I have to add though that I am sure she has no malicious intentions, she is otherwise a very lovely lady but I feel uncomfortable about her doing this.
It's not a sign of grooming.
But I would feel judged and find it infuriating.
I think she's just trying to help rather than being creepy but it would probably annoy me a bit too to be honest. I really don't think she's hanging about in her garden all day for an opportunity to watch you though, it's obviously just how she spends her day. Have you spoken to her about it or do you acknowledge her when she's done this?
Thank you I don’t see it as a sign of grooming but I meant It as comparison, if the situation had been a little different re the people involved it would have freaked many mums out I guess.
I understand why you find it intrusive.
Maybe she knows you're busy so is just trying to help. She obviously knows he's not going to call back and the grooming comment is a bit of a leap...
Neighbours willing to help are worth their weight in gold.
My ds used to have really bad colic and screamed every evening for 2 hours. He didn't make a peep the other 22!
My neighbour came round one evening and offered to take him to give my ears a break!
None of this sounds like a big deal. Maybe she knows that you are in the toilet and thinks she is trying to.help by settling him before he starts properly screaming. What happens when you return to the room? Does she acknowledge you or just scurry away?
No havent yet as she is a good friend of MIL who owns this home and lets us live here for free, plus being our neighbours ofcourse we don’t want to possibly jeopardize the relationship. I complained about it to DH and he just shrugged it off, says its just behavior of a nosey neighbour with nothing to do all day.
As I mentioned in the OP, we live outside the UK . Its 15/16 degrees here and quite sunny.
The times I heard it, I immediately close the window as a non verbal message to her that I don’t like what she is doing. Unfortunately she hasn’t picked up on it yet.
I think you are over reacting, she sounds like she's just trying to be a good neighbour.
The fact she is a good friend of MiL explains her behaviour even more, as she might feel more of a ‘bond’ with your family than is usual.
I don’t know the solution, apart from gently closing the window if she does it, in a “ooops, disturbing the neighbours!” way.
think you will have to let it go op,
concentrate on something else.
dont let it worry you. no point in falling out.
To me it sounds like she’s trying to comfort your baby. She hears him, realises you’re not in the room, which is fine, and is saying his name to let him know it’s all ok.
Yes I agree she has probably no malicious intentions and means well but so had my ex MIL when she decided to reorganize my underwear drawer without asking when I was on holiday.
I don’t mean to compare those situations, I mean that despite good intentions some behavior can be intrusive and unpleasant.
It feels like an invasion on my privacy and yes. I also feel judged. It just makes me highly uncomfortable.
To me it sounds like she’s trying to comfort your baby. She hears him, realises you’re not in the room, which is fine, and is saying his name to let him know it’s all ok
She's probably had babies of her own and instinctively feels the need to comfort a crying baby.
I remember our neighbours coming round when DS was about 6 weeks old, in the middle of his witching hour one evening. They were retired SEN teachers, and some of the nicest people I’d ever met. They brought a cup of tea and a plate shepherds pie, and popped DS in the pram a wheeled him up and down the garden while I ate. They did this at least weekly until he grew out of it.
Knowing someone so close by cared and wanted to help was lovely.
Elderly people don't have much to do except watch their neighbours I'm afraid. My Dad is exactly the same and seems obsessed by the neighbours children kicking a football onto his lawn and has kept a few balls to stop them. I have said that he has forgotten what I was like as a child and he should not be so intolerant of small children but he takes no notice.
I think she’s trying to be helpful. You are too busy worrying if you are a good parent and doing the right things and not offending people and wanting to be judged well not being thought of as a bad parent just coz you needed the toilet and wondering if you need to justify your shocking leaving the baby for three whole long minutes to go to the toilet..... (head explodes)!!! Stop!! Calm down.
You are way overthinking this. Stop judging yourself. She’s not judging you. She knows it’s a hard job. She wants to be helpful. She’s not trying to be offensive. However you are in the verge of being offensive to her.
Calm down and be nice to this old woman whose probably seen it all before and thinks you’re a great mum. I bet when dc is older she will be inviting him or her round to learn about plants and things and you’ll be glad of the half hour break!
If you are worried she’s telling tales to your mil as you are not the owner et if the house she is, don’t worry. What would she say. Once a day the baby cries when you are in the shower? Stop stressing. Your dp is right. Shrug it off. Good neighbours are a boon.
She sounds kind and is trying to be helpful - your ‘grooming’ comment shows that maybe you are overthinking this as a result of your PND.
I agree, I think she is trying to be kind OP, especially as she is friends with MIL. She probably loves the idea of a young family living next door. Babies cry fact, even well cared for babies, she will know that, try to relax and don’t worry when your baby cry. DS2 was a very difficult baby he literally screamed every night, numerous trips to GP, our neighbours were fab, never said a word of complaint, I think she felt really sorry for us, she told me one of her sons was like that too and she knew how tough it was.
I do understand that you find it unpleasant, and I probably would feel the same, but I also think you may be over-reacting a little. Does she come over to window and call in from just outside, or does she just speak from where she happens to be at the time?
Is she’s otherwise a good neighbour, I think it would be best to try to see this in a more positive light.
I think you are massively over-reacting. She is being lovely trying to comfort your child who is upset. She realises you are busy elsewhere and will get to him when you can.
If you said she had climbed in through the window, then yes, that would be intrusive.
Are you allowing for cultural differences, given that you are not in the UK? Are you British living abroad? The majority of opinions here will be British about the same circumatances but in Britain. I think it is important to adjust and allow for the behaviours normal to other countries, as many countries will have people "friendlier" and more interactive than may be typical than in many parts of the UK, especially London.
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