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.
I can see that it would irritate! It would me but given that it is meant kindly and she is friends with mil who let's you rent for free I guess you are kinda stuck.
I wonder if you could say to her that you are not rushing to the baby every time he cries but giving him a few minutes to see if he settles?
If it bothers you that much I would shut the window before you leave the room where you think he might cry so she can’t do it in your absence but I agree she sounds like she is being kind and trying to assist in her own small way.
Yes it's intrusive and would make me irritated and feeling "watched". I don't agree with the comments that's she's just being a concerned neighbour. She's overstepped the line by a considerable margin.
I don't know what you can do about it though, except maybe get your DH to wander round naked to dissuade her from looking through your windows.
Have you been to the doctors ? I mean this kindly as that is not a normal conclusion to jump to.
^^ oh for god sake she was using it as a comparison. She didn't say she thought the woman was grooming her child.
I thought you were going to say she had come into the house. I think you need to let this go for the time being.
I don't find this bad at all. To me she is doing it as a gesture of care, trying to soothe your baby through her voice while you are getting off the loo. I'd probably pick my baby up then say hi and thank you.
😂😂😂 that would be super intrusive !!
I don’t want to dripfeed but part of the reason why I feel judged is because a month or two ago, she spoke to my DH and told him that she hardly ever hears DS cry and was wondering if he was OK because she never heard him.
And that I should let him cry more often as its good for his lungs.
Around that time I was still struggling with PND (I still have bad days sometimes but my mood swings have massively improved ever since) and was feeling quite hurt about that comment. I knew despite struggling myself I never neglected DS’s needs (I want to emphasize that I do NOT see parents of babies who cry a lot as neglectful) and it felt like she was doubting me because I managed always to prevent my son’s crying or comfort him quite easily. After that was the first time I heard her calling his name trough the window. At that time I was definitely feeling very often a shit mum because of my PND and sometimes the idea still pops up in my head.
Again, I know she probably means well but I wish she would mind her own business and wouldnt get involved with how much my baby cries or doesn’t cry.
Make friends with your neighbour OP.
Most old people love babies, she's probably desperate to come round and give the baby a cuddle.
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.
Yes this totally.
Thank you, you understood well, it was a comparison.
In this country, people tend to mind their own business as much as possible, privacy is very very important here and being intrusive towards others’ business is seriously frowned upon.
So I don’t think it’s a very normal thing to do here.
DH is a local and though he shrugged it off, he did say he finds it behavior of a nosy neighbor.
I would have loved having a lovely, caring neighbour like this when my children were babies.
I'd just think she was trying to help. Wouldn't bother me. Sounds quite kind to try and calm him whilst you are on your way.
Oh OP I remember the early stages of DSs life, the dealing with PND as well but I say this with kindness. You are over reacting. I think this is mainly due to the PND.
How is your health now? Are you on meds, seeing the health visitor/GP regularly? Do you have outside support ie friends and family. This neighbour may be a blessing is disguise. A real support for you.
That is exactly the sort of this my DM would do.It would be meant well but sometimes I think she oversteps boundaries.
Perhaps your neighbour misses having a young child, or possibly never had a young child. Nothing to worry about here.
I don't think you're going to get consensus here that your neighbour is or isn't being intrusive as it sounds like there are lots of factors here including the cultural differences of the country where you live and the UK, your own past experiences of your ex-mil, your Pnd and your own level of what is and isn't intrusive. Fwiw I think if you find it intrusive, that's fine but try and have a wider view of the situation and why you find it intrusive.
I think I see where you’re coming from. It’s not like your neighbour is a guest in your home, in which case, comforting your baby whilst you pop to the loo makes sense. It almost seems like she is loitering outside and waiting for her moment which I’d find odd too. I do agree with previous posters that you could probably just get around the awkwardness by inviting her in and making friends though.
She may have been trying to reassure you that it's ok if the baby cries, she won't complain.
I talk back when next door's dog barks. It feels rude not to! I'm sure it's a similar reaction from her, it's just a gut response- and evolutionary response in fact, that ensures children get looked after.
Lord she is just trying to be helpful and offer your baby some comfort when he is crying! I’m not sure about ‘cultural differences’, as this seems an entirely normal thing to do to me. If you don’t want it close the window when you leave the room.
My neighbour is very similar. She doesn't work and sits in the house most of the day. If DS shouts I'll often get a text message along the lines of oooh, little man isn't happy is he!
Seconds later she'll knock on the door and say she wants to help.
I feel bad and let her in, except DS hates her as she is so loud and in his face. He then starts screaming even more and she will tut that he's spoilt.
To be honest I don't know how to deal with it while still remaining on good terms with her.. can only offer a bit of solidarity!
I think you are looking too much into this. a child iscrying and her instinct is to soothe him. she prob thinks she is helping you
I don't understand this kind of attitude, OP. I don't have kids, and if I see a small child or baby crying in public, it's an automatic impulse to try and make it smile in passing. It's not coming from a place of judgement at all, people just feel a lot of empathy for babies and their upset, because they're so fragile. I understand this was a bit different as it was through your window, but it doesn't sound ill-intentioned. Other countries are often far more hands on with kids too, they'll even be told off by strangers if they're misbehaving.
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