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To feel slightly offended by odd encounter

(60 Posts)
RuncibleSp00n Tue 24-Oct-17 09:49:45

I’ll preface this by saying I’m very sleep-deprived and a bit stressed due to a few issues this morning. So I’m fully prepared to be told (nicely!) that IABU due to over-sensitivity caused by tiredness. Just wondered what others opinions are tho, because I’m not v good at standing up for myself or being assertive if someone crosses a line, and wondered if I should’ve been a bit more assertive here...

On way to drop DS(4) at nursery earlier (just me and youngest, as oldest was already at school) a random stranger calls over the road to me, shouting “you got two then?”. I was initially confused but realised she too had a DD with her of about same age so I crossed rd to walk with her to answer her, and ascertained through deduction that our youngest are both at same nursery (although she didn’t actually tell me this, just seemed to assume I knew this despite fact I’d not seen her before). She told me she “assumes I work” because I always look harried and like I don’t have enough time in the day. I sort-of laughed in surprise and I was a bit caught off-guard because I’ve honestly never seen this woman or her DCs before (despite me being v sociable with all local parents and being the kind of person who’ll always chat to all other parents at school/nursery etc). She went on to tell me (unsolicited) that I always look like I’m rushing and stressed, and that she doesn’t know how or why I’d live like that. She told me “I didn’t go back to work after having mine, so I can’t imagine rushing around like you do- you never look like you’re managing to juggle everything”. This was said in a really blunt, matter-of-fact way, not with any concern or compassion, just a sort-of voyeuristic bluntness which seemed a bit at-odds with what I’d feel appropriate to say to a complete stranger.

I’m all for having a good off-load to other mums and/or offering sympathy or help with school-runs etc and discussing the complex jigsaw of family life, but this woman wasn’t offering any smiles/sympathy/tips/solidarity, she just seemed to want to approach a stranger, tell them she’s basically been watching them and they appear to have their hands too full & be poor at being places on time, outline that she herself doesn’t understand why I do this because she doesn’t have this problem what with being a SAHM, and then not get the hint at all when she saw me blushing and looking a bit embarrassed/taken-aback.

I found myself pathetically explaining why this term’s been a bit less organised than usual (a change in my job, trialling a different permutation of breakfast club provision, youngest starting pre-School and having a major operation etc... and felt I was sort-of defending myself against insinuations that I am poor at coping or inadequate.

The fact is, having two kids at two different schools, a demanding professional job (albeit part-time) and lots of volunteering/fund-raising duties for the school etc does make life busy for anyone. It’s not insurmountable or deserving of pity or condemnation from strangers, it’s jusf how life is for a lot of parents (everyone I know!). We cut eachother some slack, not call-out strangers in the street to tell them we think they’re effectively hapless and disorganised.

So, AIBU to have come away feeling a bit odd about this encounter and this fellow parent? And should I grow a backbone when next I see her, and have something assertive but clear to say to her about the realities of being a working parent, in case if any further unsolicited sly digs? If so, what??! grin

PompholyxOfUnknownOrigin Tue 24-Oct-17 09:54:09

She’s a twat. Don’t engage her in any further conversations. If she tries to speak to you, just smile and nod, get busy doing something with your child and walk away from her.

Pengggwn Tue 24-Oct-17 09:57:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dancinfeet Tue 24-Oct-17 10:05:23

What a strange woman! Maybe you do always look rushed and disorganised - so what if you do, it's not like she is offering to help out in any way. I am still rushed and disorganised and I have one child in secondary school and one in sixth form. Single parent, working 50+ hours a week in termtime (self employed, and trying to do everything by myself). Usually it's the housework that suffers more than anything else!!

She is bonkers, and rude to say that SHE chose to give up work after having kids. Who gives a flying fuck?! Not everyone has the luxury to choose. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a SAHM, but being smug and rude about it to a working parent is crap. Next time, I would suggest either telling her straight that she is being a twat or avoid and block because you are too busy (!!)

user1493413286 Tue 24-Oct-17 10:10:28

Sounds very odd and perhaps she’s a bit socially awkward. Also possibly she’s a bit jealous as sometimes it comes out like that from people.

buckeejit Tue 24-Oct-17 10:12:51

Yanbu, at best she has no sensitivity or social skills, at worst, she's just a twat

WinteryWalk Tue 24-Oct-17 10:15:16

Cheeky cow! Ignore! God knows what she’d say if she saw me in the morning!

ggirl Tue 24-Oct-17 10:20:41

she has no social skills
she's a twat

trixymalixy Tue 24-Oct-17 10:20:42

i wonder if she was just trying to make conversation but hasn't got particularly good social skills and trying to be sympathetic, but it all came out wrong.

whiskyowl Tue 24-Oct-17 10:20:57

Oh my God, she's unbelievably rude!! I think most people would be put out by that OP.

BalloonSlayer Tue 24-Oct-17 10:21:16

A bit odd!

I would wonder whether she was stinging from a row with her DH along the lines of "Why can't you go back to work? Other women do!" and was trying to justify herself.

MoodyMumOfOne Tue 24-Oct-17 10:23:41

Rude cow. I would imagine she is jealous of you and feels inadequate for some reason. Her behavior says a lot about her and nothing about you so ignore her and if she persists in trying to talk to you, tell her that you have reflected on your last encounter and found her to be rude and unkind so you would prefer not to engage further.

problembottom Tue 24-Oct-17 10:25:44

If people are weird like this it's usually about their own issues. If she's banging on about how great being a SAHM is she may be trying to convince herself.

MadMags Tue 24-Oct-17 10:27:22

If you were in Ireland I'd swear I knew this woman.

She too is a rude cow and nobody likes her.

I'd just avoid her from now on. Life is way too short to waste time being polite to twats!

RuncibleSp00n Tue 24-Oct-17 10:28:10

Thank you everyone! flowerssmile

I’m pathetically grateful for your kind responses and for having been assured that IWNBU. Phew!

Been sat alone stewing since it happened and couldn’t ask anyone IRL what their opinion was, so it’s hreat to have you wise MN-ers to reassure me and to help me find my backbone! I feel completely justified now in giving her the polite brush-off henceforth! I’ll report back if I have any further bonkers dealings with the woman grin

KH369 Tue 24-Oct-17 10:31:25

Cheeky twat! I only have the one child to take to nursery (literally a minute down the road) and I still don't even managed to get myself dressed properly - i just shove a coat on over my pj's and have once walked down in my slippers! I don't care what other people think or say though, if i want to look like a tramp to take my son anywhere then I will. Ignore her in future, or if she does try to talk to you again and says anything rude tell her straight to keep her nose out, you don't know her from Adam so you certainly shouldn't be having to listen to her waffle on about your life when she knows nothings of it

EdgarAllanPO Tue 24-Oct-17 10:32:31

She's just one of those people who don't engage their brain before they speak.
Think no more about it. You don't need to avoid her just understand that she is most likely projecting.

Dreams16 Tue 24-Oct-17 10:33:20

Wow op she was beyond rude she shouldn’t have said any of that none of her business and really whilst she may act all high and mighty about being a sahm there is nothing wrong with a working Mum either

Ignore this freak and stay away and if she feels it’s her job to point out everything about your personal life or make assumptions kindly tell her to mind her own business cheeky cow you weren’t being over sensitive you were being verbally attacked by this leech

cupofcake Tue 24-Oct-17 10:34:13

She sounds very awkward and socially unaware. You were definitely not BU. She probably has no idea how insensitive she has been.
The Mumsnet staple "Do you mean to be so rude?" Would come in handy here.

EdgarAllanPO Tue 24-Oct-17 10:34:43

*doesn't I think my grammar is a bit off today.

CardinalCat Tue 24-Oct-17 10:37:31

Please don't stew for a second longer over this. She either expressed herself very badly or she has a chip on her shoulder/ jealousy issues.

You should probably feel a bit sorry for her, if anything!

Now, get back to your day and think no more of it, you superwoman!

kateandme Tue 24-Oct-17 10:39:54

don't think about it a second more.this has nothing to do with you.whatever she was saying was clearly a problem with her.
dwelling on it will give it ownership and make her stupid comments hold a place.for which they shouldn't or don't.
poor you. don't change.dont let any niggles now for the rest of the day mean you thinking you should act or be different tomorrow.again that give cruel woman credit. she doesn't deserve that from you.
go on now doing exactly as you have been.
your a mum.you look busy.good what an inspiration not anything to be feeling bad bout there.

Littleraincloud Tue 24-Oct-17 10:40:49

She sounds very odd!

Ttbb Tue 24-Oct-17 10:41:06

In these kinds of situations I usually just involuntarily grimace while my head explodes trying to understand wtf just happened. I mean who even shouts at people from across the road? Forget the other stuff (to rude for my brain to compute ATM)

kateandme Tue 24-Oct-17 10:41:10

please don't stew on it.go on about ur day as if it was some strange dream.you awake now.real world.be happy smile

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