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'R U A young mum????' AIBU?

(101 Posts)
NirvanaSmellsLikeTeenMother Sun 22-Sep-13 08:54:59

Hello all, I'm an lurker/occasional poster, this is my first AIBU thread so I'm a little bit scared grin

I received a letter and flyer in the post yesterday inviting me to attend a 'young mums group'
In large font (comic sans shock) at the top of the flyer it reads:

R U A Young mum or young mum 2 B???
R U 19 or under???
R U looking 2 make friends???

AIBU to be extremely put off by this and to find it a little patronising? It's as if they are trying to communicate with Vicky Pollard.

I bet there's no way on earth they would use 'R U???' On a flyer for a group which wasn't specifically targeted at 'young mums'.
Also AIBU to find the term 'young mums' a little annoying too? Aren't all mums just mums? You wouldn't see a flyer advertising a group for 'old mums' would you? confused

mrsjay Sun 22-Sep-13 11:59:05

you know sometimes younger mum especially if they are teens find older mum a wee bit intimidating and a young parents group does benefit them but I do think once people are a bit more confident then they should be mixing with all mums, I work with parents and their children and we have some younger mums and they do feel that some of the older mums are judging them but they really are not, takes thema while to get used to it,

EduCated Sun 22-Sep-13 12:05:24

Argh, I hate this. My workplace deals with a lot of 18-21yo. Faux txt spk is rife. I don't know who ever thought it was a good idea.

mrsjay Sun 22-Sep-13 12:12:22

my dds get things like this in the post dd1 gets one from the young persons health service (or what ever it is called) it is all and the text speak and down with the kids pictures really irritate her , she is 20 not 12

Boobybeau Sun 22-Sep-13 12:13:40

I agree that you're probably not their target audience but I'd still give it a go. Sounds like a great opportunity to give your feed back on their services so they dont put others off in the future and you'd be a good role model to others who may be struggling maybe? I can totally see how the stereo typing annoys you though

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 22-Sep-13 12:18:20

I was 20 when I had DS and found this kind of thing patronising too. We didn't have an under-19 group but an under 21 group. That was "R U Under 21?" as well.

Plus when I was at school all of the safe sex etc websites, always in "txt spk, coz it's cool innit hun"


I went along to the group precisely once. It was full of Vicki Pollard types and they all glared at me because I was dressed in some scratty old clothes I'd had for years, they looked like they'd just walked out of a high street shop window.

The woman who ran it was lovely, though.

Birdsgottafly Sun 22-Sep-13 12:21:59

I have a relative who is currently living in a Mum and Baby unit, they had their babies between the ages of 13-18, I was a Mum at 18, but many years ago.

This leaflet would appeal to them and a also many of the younger Mums who use the Children's Centre that I work closely with. This group and "our" group feel judged and intimated by slightly older Mums and don't want to mix at all with Mums over 30.

Normally, before new style leaflets go out, focus groups are used, they are not created by 40 something's thinking they know what will work. Our community outreach workers work hard to get the groups that really need the services into the Centres etc. Unless you are working in the community, it is ridiculous to think that you know better.

I get leaflets through that don't appeal to me (in my 40's) that would do to many, I am into fitness and tech savy, I don't need most "over 40" activities, but I can see why some activities are marketed as such.

efffy Sun 22-Sep-13 12:30:45

I had dd1 at 19 too, cue lots of txt spk invites. Erm no thank you.

My hv couldn't understand that not all mothers below the age of 21 were Vicky Pollard types.

The worst though was she gave mine and dps address out to fellow under 21 year old parents without my knowledge/permission. This was because 'we were all in the same boat...' But that's another story...

Boosterseat Sun 22-Sep-13 12:37:17

DS at 17 here, the very well meaning health visitor kept passing me those leaflets.

I did go to one group, unfortunately I got my changing bag stolen, had the pass taken out of me for enrolling on a first aid and baby massage course and to top it all off I was spat on when I read 2 of them the riot act for purchasing cigs with milk vouchers.

The health visitor told me (wrongly) the mothers in the normal group might shun me because of my age. They were absolutely lovely and provided a wealth of advice and experice and glad I kept in touch when we moved away.

That kind of talk is just infantising young mums, it's condescending and a bit cringeworthy.

hettienne Sun 22-Sep-13 12:43:23

Young mums group = great
Fake txt spk = patronising

Why wouldn't the OP be the target audience? She's a young mother, so surely she is confused

It's like invites to dads' groups that are all about football and bacon sandwiches, as if that's the only way to entice men in.

hackmum Sun 22-Sep-13 12:56:50

So much that is wrong here. The text speak. The Comic Sans. The multiple question marks. I mean, why? How many question marks do you need to illustrate it's a question?

Also, perhaps a little pedantically, why one question that ask if you're a "young mum" and then another one that asks if you're "under 19"?

Buswanker Sun 22-Sep-13 13:06:41

I didn't go to the young mums group near me because the flyers/posters were the same. I found them quite rude.
When I did go to the mums group they were all older mums and they were rude, I was 17 and looked about 12 I am in my 30s now and look about 50 I was with the father of my child, we worked, we were both studying, we had our own house and my family were supportive.
They were judgement of me even thought I thought, and still think it doesn't matter how old you are when you have a baby as long as you look after it well.
Looking back I wish I had gone to some ANY baby groups.
I did complain to mothercare once when they did some kind of advertising campaign where the young mum was a typical teen, the older mum was a working mum who wanted a csection, there was a hippy mum who wanted a homebirth, it was awful. I will try and find a link to it. I don't think they would get away with it now!

roughtyping Sun 22-Sep-13 13:10:43

Very cringeworthy!

Do wish I'd had a young mums group though. I had DS at 17, the only 'teen mum' antenatal group was on one of my college days. At the breast feeding support group I ran into my friend's step mum; she was lovely but her experiences and worries (and those of the majority of ladies at the group, due to the lovely area I live in!) were a million miles from mine.

PlotTwist Sun 22-Sep-13 13:18:57

I was a teen mum, had my first two at 17 and 19 and I felt very judged by older mothers, but I wasn't a typical teen either, so I'm not sure how well I would have got on with a group specifically for teens.

Ironically, the most fish-out-of-water experience was when I took my third baby along to baby massage. Quite affluent area and all the conversation was about range-rovers and roof boxes, and prams that cost half a grand. I wasn't even a teen then, I was 25. Still younger and a whole lot poorer than the other mums.

I think you give the group a try, you may find a like-minded mother with who you can bitch about the patronising leaflets grin

monkeymamma Sun 22-Sep-13 13:23:20

Nirvana that's a great idea about helping the with the flyers! There's really never an excuse for comic sans in my view :-)

mrsjay Sun 22-Sep-13 14:18:52

I guess the group organisers just want to reach out to new young parents but this text speak getting down with the kids is condescending but if the leaflet was in black and white and used real words then maybe it would go straight in the bin

SugarHut Sun 22-Sep-13 14:38:33

I love that this leaflet actually exists!!! Some plank sat, designed, and published this thinking how terribly in touch they were. I think it's so fucking awful, it's rather cute.

Yanbu to want to roll it up and insert it back into said designer. Personally, it's the sort of thing I'd keep and show my friends, it's really made me laugh grin

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Sun 22-Sep-13 15:39:24

YANBU - it does seem extremely patronising. I was 19 when my oldest DC was born, a leaflet like that would have gone straight in the bin. And yes, Comic sans is the work of the devil.

SPBisResisting Sun 22-Sep-13 22:01:29

Nirvana I cqnt think of a way to say this without sounding like im trollhunting and im not promise! Just, havent you been round for ages? There's definitely a 'nirvana' in n yorks, are you her?

whatshallwedo Mon 23-Sep-13 07:35:58

hettienne those 'dads' groups really get on my nerves.
Why should a dad only take his child to a baby group because there is a free bacon sandwich??!! angry

At the same Surestart the groups during the week don't even get offered a glass of water but it's ok to bribe the dads.

Also why are they allowed a group on a saturday? Mums also work and there are times when I would love to take dd to a free group at the weekend.

Plus (can you tell this annoys me yet?) they tend to do exciting things such as den making which the weekday groups don't angry

JakeBullet Mon 23-Sep-13 07:51:16

The reason for the bacon sarnie is that Dads are often harder to engage. They need the sweetner of the bacon sarnie to get em there wink.

But I get your point, women get very little in comparison. The only place I have seen such Dads groups though have been areas where the community as a whole are hard to engage and have poor health and social outcomes. Getting the Dads in is often vital in supporting what is being sad to the Mums.

EduCated Mon 23-Sep-13 08:16:15

Also, by being so patronising, they're almost making it worse. If young mothers are feeling judged for their age, something as patronising as this is surely making it worse? As the target market it's put the OP off.

HolaGuapo Mon 23-Sep-13 08:21:11

YANBU. I'm 18 and expecting my first (very unexpected!) child in January and I get leaflets like this. No thanks, I'd rather go to a mum and baby group that's for everyone!
I'm engaged to my partner and we're saving for a mortgage, I've completed my A-levels and I'm going to uni next year and there is nothing at all that sets my situation apart from anyone else's apart from the fact that I was a bit young when I fell pregnant.
It really winds me up especially when I get treated like a child. The sure start advisor told me 'there's lots of support in place for girls like you', I asked what she meant by girls like me and she just assumed I wasn't with the baby's father and was struggling financially without even asking. hmm

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 08:22:35

I used to get annoyed about the dad groups thing - then I realised that they weren't trying to attract the kind of dads who are involved with their DC already, they are trying to attract the kind of dads who aren't. If you make a group unisex, then those kind of dads will probably opt out and send their DW instead. Plus they have to really hammer home the "dad image" by using the bacon sandwich and den-making etc.

Sad but true sad It's not because men are inherently reluctant or less inclined to play with their DC or whatever, but that society is constructed around enabling this, especially in certain areas/communities. So it's the most immediate way of going about it even if it is reinforcing stereotypes in the long term.

I wonder if it's a bit of the same for the "young mums" groups TBH? The stereotype is damning but stereotypes exist for a reason, they don't appear out of thin air. Statistically not all young mums are as mature as each other.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 08:26:17

Because in fact, all of us on this thread saying "Well I was a young mum and I have a degree/husband/million pound house" isn't really the point is it? We're fortunate to have those things. Actually quite a lot of young mums will be single parents (due to immaturity of their relationship/the father) and struggling financially because they don't have a partner or parents to support them and they can't get a job because of the DC.

Health visitors shouldn't assume, but then health visitors can be a bit blinkered and unable to see the nuances of a situation at the best of times.

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 08:47:11

Dads groups can be vital it isn't about the dads who do with their children it is about the dads who don't or don't know how to engage with their kids,

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