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to stop myself from offering a potentially tiny helpful suggestion to harrassed-looking mum on the bus today?

(77 Posts)
Mintyy Wed 04-Sep-13 21:39:59

because you lot have forever put me off that kind of thing for fear of being told I am an interfering old bat?

Seriously, a few years ago I would have spoken up. Today (because of Mumsnet and the outrage I have seen towards strangers saying anything whatsoever about your baby) I kept quiet.

Feel a bit shock at self, tbh.

MissMuesli Wed 04-Sep-13 21:43:14

It kind if depends on how the mum seems to be coping, if the mum is dealing with it "well" then I sometimes offer one of my daughters books or stickers or play dough etc, my daughters two so often have these bits in my bag. If the Kim seems a little rough (sorry but you do know the type- swearing, "shut up" etc then I don't. I want to but definitely don't want a gob ful infront of my two year old.

phantomnamechanger Wed 04-Sep-13 21:47:12

Yep, you gotta watch out for all those "rough Kims" LOL!

OP - maybe a friendly "been there" smile would have helped, let her know its not just her without feeling judged or undermined?

YouTheCat Wed 04-Sep-13 21:47:40

I saw someone do something really nice in Sainsburys today.

There was a mum with a very tiny baby. Baby was crying and mum was trying to unload her stuff onto the belt and hold baby as it was having a good old scream by this point.

The woman in front at the checkout, who was finished packing her own stuff, then offered to put the new mum's stuff on the belt and packed it all for her as well.

Jengnr Wed 04-Sep-13 21:56:41

What was the suggestion and why?

MissMuesli Wed 04-Sep-13 21:59:24

iPhone you giant piece of wank

Mintyy Wed 04-Sep-13 22:03:29

Well, the mum had a toddler in a puschair on a crowded rush hour bus. She pushed her into the wheelchair space and parked her up but toddler cried and grizzled for 45 minutes solid. But she was facing outwards towards the window with the evening sun coming in full pelt on her face, so she was very hot and couldn't see properly. I would have faced the puschair the other way but was honestly reluctant to suggest that cos I have seen a thousand "you'll never believe what an ancient old hag said to me on the bus today!" threads on Mumsnet.

Thurlow Wed 04-Sep-13 22:09:01

Ooh.. personally, if someone had said that to me on a bus, I think I would have been annoyed.

There's a line. Telling a mum whose child is having a meltdown in the supermarket that you always found giving them something to hold or count would distract them is one thing, but there's something about the 'your child is overheating' etc that's a little too far. Though I agree with you, if I had seen that I would have thought the child was in the sun.

Mintyy Wed 04-Sep-13 22:09:44

See what I mean?

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 04-Sep-13 22:15:05

I was once helped to the car with my shopping when pregnant by someone. Can't remember why it was such a tough day and I was demurring but he had a wife and child there and said, simply "I would have liked someone to helped X when pregnant.". It depends how help is offered.

drinkyourmilk Wed 04-Sep-13 22:16:41

If I was near enough I would have had a wee chat to the toddler and said " is that sun in your eyes? It's hot isn't it? Never mind. You'll soon be home." Etc etc.

NutcrackerFairy Wed 04-Sep-13 22:18:23

Yes but surely the child's actual physical discomfort should trump their parent's potential discomfort at 'being told'...

Personally if this was me I would be grateful that someone had pointed out that my child was getting the full glare of the sun on their face.

But it would depend on how I was told... if it was said in a gentle smiley way I would feel okay. But if it was said with a glare and some tutting I would feel judged and annoyed.

Thurlow Wed 04-Sep-13 22:19:14

It's a line between helping and sounding like you are criticising. Helping is the mum who comes up to you when your toddler is having a public meltdown and sympathises - criticising is someone telling you you are doing something wrong.

pigsDOfly Wed 04-Sep-13 22:19:36

I've been reluctant to make remarks of the opposite kind thanks to MN.

One is a mother and her lovely well behaved children who I have seen on about 4 occasions over the summer holidays. I would have loved to have said something to her about what lovely children she has but apparently, according to everyone on here, that would be patronising and make the mother feel incredibly cross.

However, I couldn't resist it yesterday with a young mother I met in the park and chatted to for a very long time. Her DD was coming up to two and was delightful. I'm afraid I told her so. Hope she didn't hate me.

ceeveebee Wed 04-Sep-13 22:19:38

Drink, that would drive me mad, I would prefer someone to just say it straight, rather than talk through my child!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 04-Sep-13 22:21:37

Same here Ceevee OP I wouldn't have minded you telling me...but then I wouldn't have been so daft as to park the poor child in that fashion. grin So...

delurked Wed 04-Sep-13 22:24:08

I also hate the talk through the child thing, my mil does it and it drives me crazy!

drinkyourmilk Wed 04-Sep-13 22:24:43

cee I know some people would prefer to be told, others not. Id prefer to be told straight too, but don't have the confidence to say something that could be taken as a criticism directly. Silly really considering my own preferences!

Jengnr Wed 04-Sep-13 22:25:09

I'm leaning towards interfering there. If the mum had engaged you in conversation about how they're grizzling then maybe but otherwise keep out of that one - there's as much chance the child's been a whinging little get all afternoon and the Mum's at the end of her rope and it'd seem like serious criticism than the sun is the actual problem.

(Not saying it was or wasn't, just saying it could have been)

One of those things, you might have been right, you might not. Ultimately it doesn't matter and I think you did the right thing leaving it.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 04-Sep-13 22:26:00

I think it's lovely when people offer to help or give you a sympathetic look but sometimes unsolicited advice can make you feel like you are being criticised.

I think if you phrased it 'would you like a hand turning your buggy round so she doesn't have so much sun in her eyes?' I would think you were being kind and thoughtful, but if it was just a statement accompanied by tutting or headshaking I would feel like you were interfering and implying I was neglectful and I would be sad .

Jengnr Wed 04-Sep-13 22:27:24

The talking through the child is a definite no no.

My Mum does that too. She gets very upset with what 'he' says back to her.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Wed 04-Sep-13 22:28:24

Its hard isn't it, because you can't tell how the person would react. I would have appreciated you telling me if dd's face was in the sun and I hadnt noticed. But then the next person might rage at you.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 04-Sep-13 22:28:32

X post with everyone! I am a slow typer but don't tell me

epic78 Wed 04-Sep-13 22:29:20

My dd always used to be fine in Sainsbury s until the checkout. One day an older lady offered to pack my shopping or hold dd. I was so grateful. .

DeathByTray Wed 04-Sep-13 22:34:08

If it was quite a long bus journey, I might have tried striking up a conversation with the mum first of all. Something neutral like a moan about how crowded the bus is, the weather, that type of thing.

If she came across as friendly, I would then make the suggestion about turning the buggy around.

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