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Was I little harsh in what I said to this group of mums, they were BU but I feel bad now and wonder were we all really that naive once?

(101 Posts)
Deedaadeedaadee Sat 23-Aug-14 20:03:43

At a soft play area with DH, DS1 (3 years) and DS2 (1 year). I was in the little baby area with DS2, next to what sounded like a group of mums from a NCT class or similar, they all had babies around 5-6mths and from what they were saying all seemed to be their first child. BTW wasn't massively earwigging but DS2 was playing right next to them so impossible not to hear! Anyway they were discussing parenting techniques to teach their children manners as they grow up, cue DS1 to launch into a temper tantrum in the adjacent area as DH had just told him we needed to leave in a few minutes. Now DS1 is a relatively well behaved, very normal 3 year old, we have the odd temper tantrum when he is tired, unwell or just in a mood but overall I can't complain, he is a lovely boy. This group of mums were looking over to him and DH discussing how their children would never behave like that and it all came down to the parenting. They made a whole list of assumptions about how my son obviously had no boundaries, no consistency and was probably playing up for his dad as his parents must be separated and he was struggling to come to terms with it so giving dad hell on his 'contact day'. I kid not! I was gobsmacked - and the tantrum wasn't even that bad! I was rather annoyed and felt very protective of ds1, we're by no means the perfect parents, but we think very carefully about our parenting, give it our all and have two thriving, healthy, lovely boys so can't be too bad. I got up and made it very clear DS1 was my son by calling him over to me and DS2, this broke his attention from tantrum (all you really need to do to get him to move on from it) and he came over with DH, gave me a hug and DH a hug, and then (thank goodness!) was wonderfully cute helping his baby brother climb out the ball pit and to his pushchair. One of the mum's looked at me horrified realising I must have heard everything and started to apologise. I just calmly said (something along the lines of) 'just remember this conversation when your child is kicking off in the supermarket or park or wherever and you feel everyone is staring at you and judging you as a terrible mother, and from the corner of the place you will get a knowing smile of support from a mum who has been there. You will be so grateful to that mum at that point and it'll make all the stares and comments of judgements feel less important. It'd be nice if parents could stick together rather than passing absurd judgements. No child is perfect all the time and if you really expect your children to be I think you will be hugely disappointed.' I just walked off with the children and a confused DH and that was that. DH said their faces were a picture - though he at that point had no idea what I was going on about!

After we left though I had to chuckle to myself - I am sure I had thought DS1 would always be an easy and perfect child and if I just parented him right he would always be polite, well behaved etc, though I thought this group of mums very rude - I did wonder if we all start out a little naive?!

rosemaryfuchsia Sat 23-Aug-14 20:07:04

Nowt more judgey than a coven of NCT new mums out for coffee...

JudysPriest Sat 23-Aug-14 20:07:23

I think you put it quite well. They engaged you first by apologising. They were also very rude. DH thinks it's funny when I try to always stop and give the 'they do challenge us don't they smile' to Mums with children at that age, DS has never had a tantrum but it wasn't parenting, it was autism!

LoveBeingInTheSun Sat 23-Aug-14 20:09:11

I think most people think they know a better way. Good for you though

MrsAtticus Sat 23-Aug-14 20:09:23

YANBU yes we all start out naive but they were not being nice discussing a specific child. Well done!

WaitingForMe Sat 23-Aug-14 20:10:18

I think that was a brilliant response.

RaisinGirls Sat 23-Aug-14 20:10:59

No you were not being unreasonable at all. Strange though, my NCT group- also new mums of 4-5 month olds and all first timers never have conversations like that. Mostly, we talk about how incompetent we are - I guess we are too obsessed to notice tantrums! grin

pictish Sat 23-Aug-14 20:13:05

Yay - good for you!

LimBeeHoon Sat 23-Aug-14 20:13:07

Oh how they will learn.

plinth Sat 23-Aug-14 20:13:17

What you said was more than justified!

What a nasty, sanctimonious group of mums smile

brokenhearted55a Sat 23-Aug-14 20:13:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FindoGask Sat 23-Aug-14 20:16:16

Did you really say all that to them? That sounds exactly like the thought of perfectly balanced, well-thought out speech I would make in my head about five minutes after the event, rather than something I could spontaneously throw together at the time. Hats off to you, if so!

FryOneFatManic Sat 23-Aug-14 20:16:30


I think we all have had moments of naivety before our PFBs were born.

It sounded like a polite, reasonable response.

LemonBreeland Sat 23-Aug-14 20:16:31

I think you were very polite and restrained considering. They sound very bitchy and judgy.

KnackeredMuchly Sat 23-Aug-14 20:17:14

They were horribly rude - it was good you stuck up for yourself

FindoGask Sat 23-Aug-14 20:17:29

*the sort of, not "the thought of"

Greythorne Sat 23-Aug-14 20:17:36

I do not bieve this happened as described.

IceBeing Sat 23-Aug-14 20:18:11

Likewise, my little NCT gang were always saying things like 'that'll be us in 2 years time'. Nobody seemed under any impression they were doing things right/better at all. Even the person who tried Gina Ford said 'well its helping at the moment but I'm not holding out much hope for next week'.

divingoffthebalcony Sat 23-Aug-14 20:18:16

I think you reacted brilliantly!

I didn't do NCT classes for exactly this reason - there's nothing more tedious than a group of first time mums endlessly picking over the relative merits of Jumperoos and door bouncers like it's vitally important.

Yeah, I once earwigged on an NCT group too grin

MammaTJ Sat 23-Aug-14 20:18:36

rosemaryfuchsia has it right in describing them as a coven! They can be total witches with a B

You did well OP and you were nice about it too.

Deedaadeedaadee Sat 23-Aug-14 20:18:52

Pretty much findo though maybe not word for word but along the lines of - I was amazed at myself as usually I am totally useless at that sort of thing, mumble something and then feel stupid.

StrawberryMojito Sat 23-Aug-14 20:19:12

I agree with raisin, the only conversations our group had about tantrums was how the hell we would deal with them. In fact, I don't think I've ever met anyone who thought that toddlers didn't throw random tantrums.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 23-Aug-14 20:20:11

Good on you, that showed them. Fast forward 2 years and see how they get on.

Katie2489 Sat 23-Aug-14 20:20:47

Yeah I think everyone probably does. I know i did. My DD is only 10mo and can imagine thinking the very same thing only a few short months ago! She is already becoming 'spirited' and I only sympathise when i see toddlers getting so! I simply smile and nod when (childless) friends and sisters comment on these things.

MyFairyKing Sat 23-Aug-14 20:23:26

They were very rude and judgy. You were quite restrained actually IMO.

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