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.
@Honeybee85 You should talk to your DH. Tell him how isolated you are feeling and ask if he can facilitate any further help. Would it be so terrible to spend some of your savings on more babysitting if it means you feel more confident with the local language for example? Or can his parents come and babysit once in a while?
Are you near to a town? I live in the countryside but I can get to major city in 45 minutes and a town which is 20 minutes away. My daughter has a toddler and she had a very high pressure job before she gave it up to look after him. She goes to various toddler groups and visits petting farms etc. but I know she finds it hard and sometimes boring. I live an 1 hour 30 minutes from her but if she needs me I can get on the motorway and go and stay for a few days to help her out.
I live in a quiet neighborhood of a city of 1,5 million inhabitants. Unfortunately it’s hard to find/join babygroups as I have to speak the local language quite well and though I am making progress, it takes a while. I study every day but for some reason whilst pregnant and after birth I couldn’t remember anything! It was like my memory stopped working. It’s getting better though.
What language is it? Both my husband and I speak French me rather badly and him fluently lol
You can always use a translation app on your phone that's what I do if I need to speak to someone who is from another country. Also I find a lot of people speak English so you need to find someone in your area who can speak the same language as you there must be someone if you look hard enough.
Yes, the neighbour's behaviour is intrusive, no matter how well meant. Putting it alongside your DH's caution not to make friends with the neighbours because they are nosy, the situation begins to look rather as if you have the sensation of being trapped/ under undue scrutiny. I think you are justified to feel that way.
Re being isolated. It sounds very, very hard and I'm in awe of your energy to be able to single handedly look after a baby and study.
I'm wondering whether you could go to baby groups, Libraries etc despite not yet being proficient in the language? No one there is likely to start a philosophical debate, there will be small talk mainly. If it feels awkward, could you try to see it as 'fieldwork' for your language study? After all the more you are exposed to it, the quicker you might learn.
It will also be stimulating for your baby.
Wishing you well, OP.
Oh OP, I have been where you with the neighbour and I am with you. It is nice, as other posters say, to have a friendly neighbour, but feeling observed is awful. It is really hard to not feel that they are watching every little thing you do. Mine used to stand on her side of the fence and call me loudly to offer advice while Inwas trying to calm DD. It drove me crazy.
Added to this, you have the isolation if being far from home in a country where you dont speak the language. That is SO hard I am sure. Are there any expat groups around?
JoObrien7 and Catmint
Thanks both for your kind words.
It’s an Asian language, notorious for being very difficult to learn, locals can unfortunately barely speak English (for what it’s worth, I can communicate/ make myself understandable in 3 European languages other then English, including my own native language, but locals rarely speak anything other then their mothertongue so it makes no difference). I actually have asked DH to speak his language to me when we’re at home but usually we’re too exhausted to do effort to speak any other language then English.
After DS was born and we had left the hospital, midwife came to visit us to check upon DS and I asked her about any babygroups for foreign mums, or to mention to other foreign mums she’d visit that I was looking for some friends. She promised me to do so but haven’t heard from her.
DH works in the city’s welfare department as a public servant and therefor knows well what ways of finding support there might be but so far nothing, and he says it will get better when DS will go to nursery school in a few years but I don’t want to wait a few years! Btw, he is a wonderful husband and a great father who is really supportive and if my marriage with him weren’t so strong, I’d probably would have gotten on a plane back home with DS months ago to permanently go back.
I am thinking now to find some expat meet up group but most of them are about drinking and going to bars, which is lovely ofcourse but I can’t fit in my old clothes yet and I feel really selfconcious. I sound superficial, I know.
Promised myself to go to such an event as soon as I have dropped the pregnancy weight (a few kilos to go).
Sounds like she's a bit lonely and was trying to calm him to help you. Rather than seeing it as intrusive why not talk to your neighbour, perhaps it could be mutually beneficial ... she gets to talk to someone, perhaps cuddle and play with your son and you can get on with your jobs. My neighbour was great at that age, he would keep an eye on dd whilst I ran to the communal laundry room, he spend most his day in summer sitting on the shared balcony so I wasn't putting him out parking the pram next to him, but I didn't leave her unattended
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