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Mother guilt

(69 Posts)
user1497814823 Sat 11-Nov-17 05:38:24

Just found out that I can't go to either of ds1's school Christmas performances.

Dh just found out that he's away with work when the performances are. We have a baby who will be 12 wks at time of performances who isn't allowed to go along (no siblings under 16- fair enough). The original plan was for us to tag team and one have the baby whilst other went to the school concert then swap, but sadly no longer an option.

We don't have family close by and anyone else I'd trust with my baby will be at the performance themselves or busy with their own family / be at work at the times.

I could look into getting a babysitter- but I'm just not sure I can leave the baby that young with a stranger. Plus he's ebf so although I'll try to pump milk and get him taking it from a bottle by then, it's an unknown variable in the mix.

The Aibu is my dh attitude. He doesn't feel bad about this at all. The work thing is beyond his control- But he seems to feel no real guilt about this situation. I on the other hand feel awful for my ds1. I feel like it's putting the needs of baby ahead of needs of ds1 (who is in year 1). I know this is motherhood with more than one child, but I feel terrible about it. Maybe because I'll have to manage the fall out in December when nobody goes to his Christmas play!

Aibu to feel annoyed that dh doesn't feel bad? And more generally that I regularly have mother guilt about stuff child related whereas it just floats over dh head?

Pengggwn Sat 11-Nov-17 06:12:04

I would feel bad, but I don't think he's wrong for not feeling guilty about things outside his control, no. You are projecting your own guilt on my opinion.

Newmanwannabe Sat 11-Nov-17 06:15:58

The only thing that's bad is the school policy. A babe in arms should be allowed. Can you get a fabric sling and put baby in that? If he makes a noise you could either BF him straight away or leave.
If you felt so inclined you could talk to your MP as if policticians are allowing babies in parliament (well they do in Aus) you should be allowed your baby at a bloody school nativity. angry (for you)

And not that it should be normal that you feel mother guilt and it floats over DH's head I do think that is what a lot of men are like, and that we enable them to a degree.

AnnaT45 Sat 11-Nov-17 06:17:25

Could you explain this situation to the school and ask if you could take the baby and be at the back? A12 week old isn’t really a problem!

My DH would be the same. Probably say ‘what’s the point in getting upset as there’s nothing you can do. It is what it is’

BTW my parents rarely came to anything like this as I was one of five and they worked full time. Yes, I was probably bothered a bit at the time but I don’t remember being upset by it

Pengggwn Sat 11-Nov-17 06:19:03

I wish people wouldn't immediately start in on the school. hmm

If they say 'babes in arms' are fine they will have a room full of crying babies and parents not taking them out because they don't want to miss their child's big moment. They will have parents carrying big strapping one year olds and saying they are 'babes in arms' - where do they draw the line? The OP has said the issue is that DH is away with work so it wouldn't matter if the other child was older, the issue is no childcare, not that she can't be separated from the baby. That isn't the school's problem.

Newmanwannabe Sat 11-Nov-17 06:25:43

Penggwn it's a SCHOOL. For children. That have siblings. It's not a production of the lion king or broadway. Seriously. Every child wants their parent to see their big moment. Unless you have screamers, and honestly I have never gone to a horrific screamy school production yet in eight years; of four different schools so you can't say it's the school I really can't see it being that much of a drama to let siblings attend

Pengggwn Sat 11-Nov-17 06:29:29

NewmanwannabeM

I'm not an idiot, you don't need to speak to me like I am. hmm Inknow it is a school. They still want a reasonable level of quiet for a production and you can't have that with fifty babies and toddlers in the audience. I know not everyone agrees that quiet is a priority but J think it is. Little children on stage get very nervous, they sometimes don't speak up, they get stage fright. It's better for them if there is a fairly calm atmosphere.

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 11-Nov-17 06:34:10

Could you ask the school if you could wait in the reception with baby until it was DS's turn on stage and then just go in for his bit?

Ausparent Sat 11-Nov-17 06:39:55

The most important question about guilt or worry for me is "is it useful?" if it is a situation you can't change then feeling guilty is isn't productive and just makes you feel bad.

Can you get the babysitter to go to the play with you and hold the baby outside? Or is there anyone on the PTA who has to be there for the before and after bit who would hold her so you can pop in for little snippets? That's what I did when I was in the same situation for my ds and my dd was only 6 weeks old.

I think for the kids it is more imprtant that they feel you are there than for you to see the whole performance.

My DH has missed most of our dc' s performances and events because of work but the kids don't seem to mind. He gives them loads of attention and gets them to perform their bits at home for him and they seem happy with that.

Don't feel guilty. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter x

Newmanwannabe Sat 11-Nov-17 06:43:56

I'm sorry if you thought I was being condescending, it was in response to your eye roll comment. No one said you're an idiot but I just don't agree. I think little children feel more confident when their loved ones are there to watch and I have never been to any school production with fifty babies screaming and crying. The school my children goes to has three classes for each year group, including nursery and reception. At our school Christmas concert, which takes forever, (and the assemblies actually) the biggest problem is parents with bloody iPhones and iPads videoing everything and holding them up high so you can't see over their heads. That is far worse than any sibling disturbance.

Pengggwn Sat 11-Nov-17 06:47:39

Newmanwannabe

Fair enough. But the school makes the final call.

speakout Sat 11-Nov-17 06:49:17

I think this is hugely discriminatory.

You are breastfeeding a tiny child. I would speak to the head at the school.

This idea of having a hall full of screaming babes in arms is ridiculous.
Realistically there will be one or two.

Twooter Sat 11-Nov-17 06:52:52

More shocked by no siblings under 16.could understand it if no kids under 4, but under 16 seems excessive.
Can you ask to go to the dress rehearsal?

Pommes Sat 11-Nov-17 06:54:46

I’m taking my babe-in-arms to two professional family pantomimes this year.
Absolutely speak to the school.

winterstail Sat 11-Nov-17 07:03:34

Definitely ask, but if it makes you feel better my parents never came to mine and I always understood flowers

deptfordgirl Sat 11-Nov-17 07:05:59

Definitely speak to the school. I can see why they would have it as a general policy as I have been to school performances where children were totally drowned out by screaming babies, but I think they would let you bring the baby as an exception. The baby is so young, is breastfed and you could sit at the back or next to the door.

Pengggwn Sat 11-Nov-17 07:09:07

deptfordgirl

But naturally, every parent who wasn't allowed to bring their other children will complain about that exception. Schools just don't have time to field ten complaints after the fact, then argue about the basis for the exception.

Newmanwannabe Sat 11-Nov-17 07:12:27

One thought OP. Have you discussed this with the school? If not do you feel confident enough to just turn up with your baby in a sling and if your questioned just say you didn't think a 12week old exclusively breastfed infant counted as an exclusion, and say you'll stand by the door and if need be step out, but being a newborn he'll probably stay asleep the whole time. or wear a big enough coat and you could smuggle him in like contraband grin

nuttyknitter Sat 11-Nov-17 07:16:36

At my school we have a dress rehearsal that siblings can come to - it’s pandemonium but does mean that every child has the chance to have a parent watching them. Is it worth asking your school if they’d consider that? I certainly agree with no siblings at actual performances - some parents are extraordinarily inconsiderate (one year a toddler was allowed to join Mary and Joseph on the stage while mum smiled indulgently!) and it’s so unfair on the children performing.

AJPTaylor Sat 11-Nov-17 07:22:34

It is a shame. Its also a shame that there isnt a noisy performance/dress rehersal that parents with babies cant go to. At dds last school the pta did a creche for the daytime performance.
If none of this works a little white lie, if you cant see mummy i will have popped out because of baby, but xs mummy is going to give you a special wave x

Newmanwannabe Sat 11-Nov-17 07:22:57

nutty. shock. No way. I think pengggwn who sounds very much like a teacher- am I right?.. should start off a CF parent nativity thread to enlighten us (well me) as to why some schools are so strict with their no sibling policies. I bet you have some stories that have made you feel the way you do. And my lack of stories would be why I feel like I do!

Sofabitch Sat 11-Nov-17 07:25:54

I get the no small children thing. Its really hard to hear and health and safety usually restricts numbers.
But our school used to offer an extra day time one when younger children could go.

Pengggwn Sat 11-Nov-17 07:26:04

Newmanwannabe

I sound like a teacher? How so?

HelenaJustina Sat 11-Nov-17 07:26:58

I think speaking to the school and asking for an exception to be made will probably not get you anywhere. It puts them in an impossible position when other people complain that exceptions weren’t made for them.

You could ask the school if a babysitter could sit with the baby in an empty classroom, the staff room, the library, so that they are close at hand.

Can you find another parent who has a child in a different year and isn’t performing, or a parent who planned to attend the other performance? It’s exactly the kind of thing I would help someone out with (love a baby squish!) They could be on site if the school allow it or even in a cafe v nearby if not. These concerts aren’t hours and hours and you could leave after DS does his bit.

With regards to the guilt... it’s not unusual for you to feel it more, that doesn’t make it right. I think some men are more practised at prioritising without feeling guilty, and that society often makes allowances for them that wouldn’t necessarily be made for a mother. You can get annoyed by that, but there is no point getting annoyed with DH (you can’t make him feel something).

I really hope you sort something out, if you are local to me and I’m free, I’d be very willing to help out.

Newmanwannabe Sat 11-Nov-17 07:29:24

Penggwn. Am I wrong?

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