AIBU to care what people think of me?

(21 Posts)
notgivingin789 Fri 26-Aug-16 17:59:01

Hey all;

Throughout my life I should say; I've always seem to care what others think of me. To the way I dress, the way I look, act - (I am a reserved person). This didn't help when I fell pregnant at 15 and had DS and felt utter total shame. Not of DS! I was very proud of DS, just ashamed of my age. But anyhow.

DS (6) has SEN, to some people his type of SEN is "mild" (it is not in the grand of schemes as it hugely affects him), but he has communication and speech and language difficulties- he is very socially immature and speaks unclearly/ youngish. He does not have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but presents very similar- minor the rigidity and has poor motor planning (Dyspraxia).

I went out today with DS, all was good as well, till he got frustrated about something and made a huge tantrum in the store. I can feel everyones eyes on me- and they were. I knew what they were thinking, oh shit balls she's very young and oh- her child is different. I managed to calm him down, but oh boy the majority of people were still looking at me; even when I left the store, even the shop assistant looked really sad (like she was pitying me) and asked how old DS was.

I'm proud of DS and in no way ashamed of his disability, but I feel like people are feeling pitying, or they think that I'm a bad young mum who cannot handle her child and the constant stares it really brings my day down.

I feel like I'm not doing anything right. I recently graduated this summer; and bumped into an old mate who knows me, who knew what I went through with DS and so forth and we were just basically catching up. I told her that I finally graduated now, so using this summer holiday as a good break. She congratulated but said that she wished I stopped studying, in some point in my life and focussed on DS and his needs ( I have been continuously studying since DS was born). I guess she is right in a way; but I did manage to secure DS into a specialist school which took about 6 months to sort out as thats the reason why I stayed in Uni for 4 years as suppose to 3 years. But; I need my education so that I can support my DS.

I'm just not getting it right at all.

Mumsnetters, how can I learn to stop caring what others think of me and what I do as a parent as it does really drags me down. I want to be able to enjoy my life, and DS without allowing myself to dictate my life around what others think.

I hope this post doesn't sound silly !

Thank you.

Energumene Fri 26-Aug-16 18:28:17

Not silly at all, but the truth is that whatever you do, whoever you are, someone will always feel they're in a position to judge you. Rightly or wrongly. All you can do is your best: research the important stuff, make your decisions based on the best evidence you have available, and with love for your son and yourself, and you won't go too far wrong. You sound considerate of others, so there's not much else you can do.

flowers congrats on graduating, btw

notgivingin789 Fri 26-Aug-16 18:43:19

Thanks Energumene, that is very true. I guess it's more accepting what I know what;s best for DS and I, regardless of what others think.

missbishi Fri 26-Aug-16 18:43:35

She congratulated but said that she wished I stopped studying, in some point in my life and focussed on DS and his needs
Sounds very jealous and resentful to me. Silly cow. You should be proud of yourself flowers

NewStartNewName Fri 26-Aug-16 18:51:33

My DS was exactly the same as yours - speech and language problems with suspected dyspraxia so know how you feel, although not as young as you. You haven't let your DS down, you are providing a future for him.

I'm glad you've managed to secure a specialist school place for him, I managed to for mine too and he came on leaps and bounds. He's starting high school next week - mainstream school with no adjustments and he just achieved his levels at SATs. Your DS may be "different", but he will grow and shine in many various ways.

Don't let others judgements get you down, unfortunately people seem to make a hobby out of it.

Best of luck for the both of you flowers

Summer23 Fri 26-Aug-16 18:53:48

It sounds to me like the shop assistant and other staff were perhaps admiring your response as opposed to pitying. Not that it really matters either way. It's totally natural to worry about what people think of you but don't dwell on it too much, especially the comments from your mate.

MatildaTheCat Fri 26-Aug-16 19:02:15

When a child has a tantrum in public please believe me that unless the parents are clearly making it worse then everyone is looking with sympathy. Every parent has been there and knows just what a parental low it is. It also passes.

Please accept my sincere congratulations for your achievements which are astounding given the difficulties you have faced. You sound like a super parent and need to perhaps give yourself a little pat on the back. The views of others who have not walked in your shoes just don't matter.

Perhaps read a little about improving your self esteem? Very good luck with whatever you chose to do next. wine flowers

MoonDuke Fri 26-Aug-16 19:12:33

I think it's amazing what you've achieved!

I too am reserved plus I was bullied all through school.

It took me a very long time to stop caring what people think, suddenly one day i realized that I didn't like a colleague so why should I be bothered what she thinks of me?

I honestly now care a lot less. Yes I feel uncomfortable if the DCs are playing up outside and people are looking but generally I just get on with it.

You are doing the right thing securing the future for your DS

molyholy Fri 26-Aug-16 19:20:28

I think you sound amazing OP!!! Young mum, managing to keep up studies with a child with special needs, for whom you have managed to secure the education he needs to achieve his potential.

Please focus on your achievements. It is admirable.

Your 'friend' does sound jealous as another poster has said.

It really does not matter what judgey people think of you. Sorry, but fuck'em!!

Nandocushion Fri 26-Aug-16 19:20:36

You actually sound to me like you are getting it completely right - looking after your DS's best interests by studying so you can look after the two of you. Summer is right - usually when people look at you during a tantrum it's because many of us have been there, one way or another, and we know how you are feeling.

Your mate sounds as if she has very little experience compared to you. I'd smile politely and ignore her advice.

TheProblemOfSusan Fri 26-Aug-16 19:27:12

If I've got the maths right, you've had a baby with extra needs very young, perhaps with less support than others have, and done all your exams and degree and only taken a tiny bit longer?

You're a bloody superhero.

I still suffer from self esteem issues but I can say it has got much better with age and with concentrating on positive self talk. So if I catch myself going "Oh god you're so ugly and everyone hates you" I literally think to myself "actually you looked really nice this morning and didn't come tell you only last week that she was really pleased to see you".

Keep on rocking on.

notgivingin789 Fri 26-Aug-16 19:29:59

Thanks all for your comments. But the minute DS spoke, like I said above, he sounds delayed...a bit young, they were instantly looking at him and acted a bit atypical when angry (not what you expect from a typical 6 year old). But I really appreciate the comments! I forget that from time to time that I need to look at what I achieved. I wonder if there's a book about- accepting yourself, not caring what others think and lik a poster said above--boosting self esteem.

Thanks all once again.

notgivingin789 Fri 26-Aug-16 19:45:26

NewStartNewName I'm happy for you and your DS! What age did he went to a specialist school?

junebirthdaygirl Fri 26-Aug-16 19:46:03

Chatting to a young mum recently. Baby at 18. She had to take her little one to the hospital as had a vomiting bug. She felt all the nurses were thinking no wonder that child is sick with such a young mother. Of course they weren't. She is an amazing mum.
You have done amazingly well. Getting such a good education is the absolute right thing to do for you and your ds. You are a strong person to achieve that so hold your head up. You have nothing to apologise for. As a teacher l see all ages of parents and believe me special needs are no respecter of age in the mum. They pop up in all ages. What you have learnt and experienced will stand to you forever.

notgivingin789 Fri 26-Aug-16 19:47:52

Thank you the problemofSusan; yes I'm 22 now, Well I suspected DS had SEN when he was 2, but he was just 3 when he received his diagnosis.

NavyandWhite Fri 26-Aug-16 19:48:21

Gosh you sound so strong. Without sounding patronising " well done " flowers

Bloopbleep Fri 26-Aug-16 19:53:52

Congratulations on graduating OP - that is an amazing feat for a parent of any age but given you have the added complication of a son with SN and doing it all so young, you should be extremely proud of yourself and your dedication. You sound like an amazing mother!

It's hard not to let people get to you but if they don't matter to you then don't give a shit what they say or think. Even if they do matter and you don't like what you hear, ignore them. It's your D life and your rules. No one knows the problems others have in their lives and if people have so little going on in their life that they have to judge and pass comment then pity them.

NewStartNewName Sat 27-Aug-16 02:50:03

Sorry OP got side tracked! He started at the speech and language school when he was in year 1 and stayed there until he started year 3. Having specialists to help him really will make the world of difference, my DS was labelled lazy and uninterested at his mainstream school, but I fought to get him therapists and then the school place.

His confidence grew and grew and I'm sure it can be the same for you and your DS, please don't let anyone pull you down or make you feel bad - what you have achieved is amazing.

biggles50 Sat 27-Aug-16 09:02:37

You sound like you're doing a great job and as the mother of a wonderful young man who had/has similar diagnosis I understand. When your son is displaying challenging behaviour block out other people and concentrate solely on him. I can't recommend enough a book called " your erroneous zones " by Wayne Dyer. Free on YouTube on audio. It's life changing and will boost your confidence and ability to feel comfortable in your own skin.

DeadGood Mon 29-Aug-16 07:38:32

OP you're doing great.

I hope you can release yourself from worry/fear of your son's SENs being 'discovered'. I know you are not at all ashamed but you do say for example "the minute DS spoke, like I said above, he sounds delayed...a bit young, they were instantly looking at him and acted a bit atypical when angry (not what you expect from a typical 6 year old)"

The fact is, he is a little different, and I hope you can 'own' that as it's who he is, and you are the age you are, nothing wrong with it, nothing can change it either, and nobody should judge or make you feel bad or small. I am not explaining myself very well but I do hope you don't feel you have to hide or explain yourself or justify yourself, that's all.

Also - it's great you are providing for your child's future. It's all very well for your friend to say "stop studying and focus on your son" but that's not playing the long game, is it? You are doing amazingly. x

kurlique Mon 29-Aug-16 09:11:56

Wow OP I am in awe of your achievements! Please realise that you are being an amazing mum and getting your son sorted with diagnosis and education so promptly is brilliant, so many parents would still be in denial at his age IME... And those that weren't would still take much longer to get the powers that be to move into action. Please remember most people are on your side and looks are often really sympathetic because they have been at the receiving end of a tantrum (all kids have them at some point I promise!) though I know it doesn't feel like that at the time. Quite frankly if I knew you in RL I would be upholding you as a shining example to others, you're a🌟

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