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To wonder if I live in some kind of parallel universe

(36 Posts)
MrsLyman Wed 15-May-13 10:04:43

Firstly, apologies this is sort of a thread about a thread, or rather a thread about many threads.

I'm a long time lurker occassionally poster and time and time again the same theme women reporting that in their RL they are being judged for their life choices, whether it's ELCS, homebirth, epidurals, BFing, FFing, going back to work, staying at home, using a childminder, using a nursery, private school, eating ready meals, cooking everything from scratch, giving your child fruitshoots and sugar cubes as a snack and so on and so on and so on.

I've never come across anyone in RL who seems to give a shit what I do with my life or with my children, or if they do they keep it to themselves. It's almost disappointing.

ClementineKelandra Wed 15-May-13 10:06:05

You may just have thicker skin than some.

Sparklingbrook Wed 15-May-13 10:06:24

This realisation comes to us all Mrs.I live in hope of seeing a pram row on the bus. grin

CocacolaMum Wed 15-May-13 10:07:08

look around, I bet you can find it if you are looking..

mumblechum1 Wed 15-May-13 10:07:28

grin I'm in your universe too, Mrs L! Especially about the FF/BF thing. I think if I'd been aware there was anyone judging me on FFing my two (both couldn't BF for medical reasons) I would have felt awful, but no one batted an eye at me.

Same with Fruit shoots, till I came on MN I assumed they were just fruit juice and I was doing the healthy thing.

GailTheGoldfish Wed 15-May-13 10:10:38

I'll come over and judge you if you like, for anything at all! Or park carelessly near your house, then you can post to your heart's content! grin

YANBU. I often walk about town wondering if something is going to happen thats worthy of a thread to see AIBU?
Nothing ever happens. I dont even find any shopping lists. grin

magimedi Wed 15-May-13 10:15:18

You are not alone, MrsLyman

But maybe it is because I am old & don't give a toss for the opinions of others!

NotYouNaanBread Wed 15-May-13 10:17:58

Same here. All the bf-ing/babywearing stuff is the norm around where I live, I don't have any family here in the UK to pass comments on the way I do things. My MIL is a bit intimidated by me so wouldn't say anything anyway and although Dad (my Mum is dead) was initially convinced that I was too flat-chested to bf (thanks, Dad!), he was very supportive of all my choices.

I work flexibly on my own company and DH is a SAHD (which is far from unheard of around here), so nobody can really judge us for the work/children thing. That said, I don't actually know any women with small children who work full time without there being a SAHD in the picture. I imagine that some people have opinions about the SAHD concept, but I don't think any would dare to actually say anything (not to our faces, anyway).

Everybody I know has their own weird combination of doing things. There's no one standard approach, so less scope to judge. smile

MrsLyman Wed 15-May-13 10:20:08

I don't think my skin is particularly thick, but I tend not to give a fuck what others think of me, I too busy judging myself probably grin

gailthegoldfish you could judge me for starting threads on mumsnet when I should be getting on with my work.

AMumInScotland Wed 15-May-13 10:20:58

I live my life in blissful ignorance of people judging me or my choices.

But I didn't always - when I was younger I was very aware of perceived criticism, and I think received a lot more actual criticism. I suspect people will pick on those who react to their criticism, and STFU when you aren't bothered.

I don't mean the victim is to blame, they never are, but those who feel lacking in confidence about their choices, for whatever reason, are likely to find themselves on the wrong end of a lot more "judging", so they are right to feel they are being judged.

And of course, some people also have a collection of judgy cows amongst their family and friends!

MrsLyman Wed 15-May-13 10:21:10

You could also judge me for poor sentance construction/ lack of rereading before posting, that's meant to read I'm probably too busy judging myself.

Subjecttosurvey Wed 15-May-13 10:22:09

I could have written this....yanbu.

Startail Wed 15-May-13 10:22:34

I'm sure I'm judged for the schooling choices I make for my DDs by one group of DFs. There must be those who think I ought to get a job just as I silently wounded why the fuck people have DCs and then work full time in jobs they have to commute miles away to do.

However, non of us would say anything out loud.

The only faintly judgey comment I've ever had is your friends would be confused if they knew you were still BF, from DSIS. Which I suspected translated as I think your mad, but you've always been mad so there isn't any point saying anything.

However, I'm not in the least neurotic and have very thick skin. I'm sure my DF is quite the opposite and feels judged all the time.

My DM doesn't judge because she hates people interfering in the way she does things and sadly DMIL died when DD1 was tiny. We got on very well and like my mum I think she would have known not to say a word.

AlvinHallsGroupie Wed 15-May-13 10:24:03

Well I used the phrase parallel universe and made the same point on the SAHM thread yesterday so am inclined to agree with youwink

Noone has ever made snippy remarks to me or perhaps its because Im not reading seemingly mundane questions like "what do you do " as being an attack on me. I thought it was a polite conversation opener but apparently its notconfused

YonisAreForever Wed 15-May-13 10:25:46

I think MN shows how many people do keep things to themselves to be honest.

miffybun73 Wed 15-May-13 10:29:43

I think that YonisAreForever is right, it's just that people keep things to themselves more in RL out of fear of upsetting others, of confrontation and just out of politeness.

Eskino Wed 15-May-13 10:33:10

I know. Three prams on the bus yesterday. We all just budged up, laughing.

I did think of starting an outraged AIBU... "For thinking bus driver was out of order to let another pram on when there were already 2 on board" thread but really, it worked fine grin.

MrsLyman Wed 15-May-13 10:33:17

AlvinHallsGroupie I didn't get past the first four posts on that thread earlier, I thought I'd save it until gin o'clock and turn it into a drinking game necking a shot for everytime someone mentions how important it is to bring up your own children.

It's the FFing, BFing one that baffles me most though, just who is judging all the FFing when the majority of people FF?

SPsCliffingAllOverMN Wed 15-May-13 10:36:11

You aren't alone. I didn't believe in the 'wolef' fleeces til the other day when I witnessed one for my self.

Give it time

MrsLyman Wed 15-May-13 10:39:48

SPs there is a mother and daughter who go to my doctors who have co-ordinating wolf fleeces, I love them, they make me smile. They are also both seemed very nice whenever I've passed the time of day with them.

DoJo Wed 15-May-13 10:43:24

I with you OP - I take my son out most days, and have breast fed, bottle fed expressed milk and now feed him formula; I've taken him out in various states of undress (including pyjamas) and dress with a full range of food stuffs adhering to his face; he's pushed and been pushed at soft play; I went back to work when he was 9 months old, but work from home so still spend most of my time with him; he's not a brilliant sleeper, but we get enough between us to function without using any controlled crying or similar techniques plus I take him out in the evenings to gigs and parties and let him sleep on me when he gets tired; I haven't particularly encouraged him to reach any milestones except through what I would consider fairly normal interaction and he is allowed to do pretty much whatever he wants during the day so long as it's not dangerous or too annoying.
Not one single person, friend, family or other, has had a single word to say about my parenting either in praise or criticism, and I have been unable to muster so much as a glare from anyone at a soft play centre, let along a full blown row and people never feel the need to come up to me in the street or on the bus to offer their opinion beyond smiling at him and commenting that he looks like his dad (he really does - it's borderline uncanny). I am constantly surprised a) that people are friends with those who constantly criticise the way they do things b) that there are so many strangers who are apparently willing to venture an opinion without having been asked and c) that there seem to be a whole segment of society who are so confident in their parenting techniques that they proffer suggestions to all and sundry at the drop of a hat. I either live a very sheltered life or am so obviously an exceptional parent that nobody feels obliged to question me. grin

EasilyBored Wed 15-May-13 10:46:05

I only ever felt judged about mix feeding when I was at a BF support group, and that was only ever by one person (who is a bit odd anyway, so I didn't take it personally). I've never met anyone IRL who has been judgey, I tend to just nod and smile at unwanted advice or comments, but they always seem to be given in a nice way, rather than a judgey way. And my family and my inlaws are all sane, nice, not-toxic people. I read about some of the families and inlaws on here and I'm very shock that people like that exist. I must lead a very sheltered life.

ThreeDudesOnABus Wed 15-May-13 10:49:47

It sounds as though you don't give a shiny shite what anonymous women on the Internet say. Perhaps you've also failed to attend coffee mornings with your ante-natal group.

You're quite right of course, in the real world people don't care. Only on mn do we get told ludicrous lies about alleged slights on buses.

EasilyBored Wed 15-May-13 10:50:09

The only people who come up to me in the street/shop/supermarket to say anything are only interested in giving DS a bit of a squeeze and saying he's gorgeous. He does have very pinchable cheeks and a massive beaming smile which he uses to wrangle biscuits out of old ladies that people seem to love.

I've also only had positive comments about wearing him in a carrier/sling (which we do occasionally). Lots of 'ooh, that looks cozy' and wish someone would carry me around like that' type comments. I am beginning to wonder if I just live somewhere where everyone is too polite to comment?!

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