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Nosy Neighbour intimidating me re 15 months tantrums/crying

(268 Posts)
Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:32:32

Hello all,

I am a single mum of 27 years old. We have been battling with early morning risings and on advice from HV, she said if he wakes up at 5.30am, just don't get him out of the cot, go into reasure him, and say 'It's not time to get up yet', and leave him to cry.

More often than not after 20 mins of crying he would go back to sleep. I thought great, he just needs to learn that it's not time to get up.

I was aware that he was being quite noisy in the mornings, so I put a short note through the door of my next door neigbour, who is also a single mum to two teenage daughters.

A few days later I got a very strongly worded letter through the door, which I found quite offensive. She was saying that it was cruel to let DS cry, it was an acceptable time to get up, it is not unheard of for babies to get up this early, she thinks I should get up with him and give him milk/breakfast etc etc.... She said her family canot put up with the crying any more, and DS is waking them all up, and they cannot cope with having to wake up so early, so i should be getting up with him. It really was quite a strong letter and implied that I didn't know what I was doing. She refered to me as a young mum too, which she has done before, which I find offensive, while I AM young, I am not a YOUNG mum in teens or early twenties, I am a professional person, a Team Manager in a call centre, and I am perfectly competeant to deal with my son.

YES I know that I do need to respect the neighbours, and had she just said 'Could yoiu try to keep it down in the mornings' then I really wouldn't have been so upset. It's just the way she tried to tell me what I was doing wrong etc...

Anyways so I decided to go and see her, and tell her that I was very upset because I do not feel I am being cruel to DS and this was on HV advice etc.... trouble is, she was so 'nice to me' that all my 'strong will' intentions to stand up for myself went out the window. I told her I would try to minimise the crying in the mornings.

THEN, I was too upset to even stay at my house that night, that I went to stay at my EX's house... which I would never do, but I really didn't want to go back to my house, I didn't feel comfortable with going there and was scared in case DS was noisy.

Obviously I did have to go back the next day, and when DS woke at 5am, I was too scared to let him cry that I scooped him out of bed, and tried to cuddle him back to sleep in bed, but he just thought it was time toget up and I ended up getting up at this ridiculous hour!! Same thing happened the next day, and now he is getting in the habbit of getting up even earlier because I am too frightended for him to wake the neighbours up... Yes I tried giving him milk etc... but nothing helps if I take him o ut of the cot he thinks its time to start the day and wants to go downstairs...

The other day in the day time, DS was having a BIG tantrum - because I took the cherio packet away from him... it caused a huge meltdown.... absolutely kicking and screaming and rolling around hysterical. I was trying to give him the cheerios in a little pot rather than out of the packet. Nothing would calm him, i.e. Drink/Cuddles/the packet of cherios back/fruit ect.... he was just hysterical. NEXT thing I know - next door neighbour at the door banging...

She is come to see if everything is OK, and to say her 15 year old daugter can take DS out for a walk if I need a break. I was gobsmacked! Maybe she was being kind, but I felt like she is implying I can't handle DS and need time off!! I really woduln't want her 15 year old daughter to go out with him! If he was to go out for a walk I would be absolutely happy to take him myself! We weren't going for a walk because we were shortly going out to meet a friend for lunch and I wante dthe tantrum to pass so I could get DS ready. I really felt like she was checking up on me, and it made me feel like shit.

Maybe she is just trying to be nice, and helpful, but I felt - I can't even let DS have his tantrum without being 'checked up on'.

Later on I went round there because I wanted to make sure she knew that I wasn't a young mum, and that I am only 3 years off 30. I also talked to her about what a demanding child DS can be and he does cry a lot and I can't help that he has this type of personality, he has always been high need.

Has any one else had to deal with a anything like this before? What do I do about the mornings? Is it really unreasonable for me to let him cry if its before 6am? IMO beofre 6am its too early to get up.

Oh I Just feel like moving house! How dramatic is that!


ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 10:35:39

I don't know really. Just think they are obviously going to be FED UP with it, understandably and are yet trying to overcome this and be nice to you.

Must be really crap for the teenage dds to be woken up at 5.30 and then go off to school really tired, crap for the mum to especially if she works.

You're quite lucky in those neighbours I think.

Pawslikepaddington Sun 26-Jul-09 10:37:40

We had to deal with this last summer, but on a work placement in Rome, so at least I couldn't understand them!

She is being nosy, and should butt out-you cannot let him get up at 5am, and he will get the hang of it fairly quickly (although it will feel like an age) if you are persistent.

You may just have to be rude to her and tell her to butt out I'm afraid, but it is not you-it is her!

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:39:43

Yeah, I totally understand that it is not nice to be waken up, but my DS is not going to be a little child waking up early forever, and while I am happy to minimise the crying by getting up at 6am, I think earler than that is just too early. I think that what irritates me is the fact that she is trying to suggest I am being cruel to DS. So you think I should just get DS up at 5am? When if I leave him he will go to sleep again in 20 mins till 7am?

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 10:39:47

just trying to think back now(dd is nearly 9 so it's a bit of a blur), if dd had woken up at 5ish, I would have been there quick to stop her waking her dh tbh, since he had to go out to work and function. I don't know if that was right or wrong in the end but that's what I did. I would have been mortified if the neighbours had been woken up by dd crying that early tbh.

I know it is hard b ut it won't be forever. He will sleep longer eventually. I think I would bite thebullet at this stage, or if possible move where he sleeps?

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 10:43:49

depends what your question is.

Is it cruel to go and reassure him, tell him it isn't time to get up yet and then go back to bed and leave him to cry? I dunno, I wouldn't have done it but if it feels right to you, that's your business.

Is it fair to leave him to cry at that time in the morning when it means waking the neighbours at 5- 5.30, no that's inconsiderate.

nellie12 Sun 26-Jul-09 10:44:00

why did you let the neighbours know? I know you could cite courteousness but when her teenage dd's are slamming car doors and laughing at 3am (and they will at some point wink)will you be getting prior warning? I doubt it.

So its none of her business, if the offer of help is genuine consider it. If you feel uncomfortable over it then back off and tell her nothing. or to be wicked you could pick up on something with her kids and offer help as you are nearer in age and more likely to understand teenage girls grin

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:46:15

I wish I could move him, but only 2 bed house so no where to move him really!

I do feel upset that he waking the neighbours, but I just feel - well, thats just what happens when you have young children living next door, and its just one of those things.

If he would just regularly sleep till 6am, then although its way to early for my liking, I would be happy. I have to get up for work at 6.30am anyway..!

Thanks for advice x

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 10:47:15

"She said her family canot put up with the crying any more, and DS is waking them all up, and they cannot cope with having to wake up so early"

They've been suffering in silence for quite some time obviuosly and when you brought it up they responded, and even tried to be helpful to you. I can't see any way the neighbour is in the wrong here.

nellie12 Sun 26-Jul-09 10:47:48

blackout blinds are wonderful if you haven't already got them

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:49:28

Nellie - Thanks for your advice, thats a good idea about her girls!!x

ZZZenAgain - I would like to think that most people would be understanding if a 15 month old was going through sleep issues, so I am really not sure I am being inconsiderate. I think I was being considerate to put a note through the door in the first place to advice was going through an issue with early waking at the mo?x

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:51:27

Yep-have curtains with Black Out Linings :-)

Tried putting DS to bed later but makes NO difference at all...! Better to put him early (7pm is his bedtime) so at least he does get more sleep

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 10:52:25

most people get worn out from lack of sleep and find it hard to function. Her girls have a school day to get through etc. I think she is in the right to ask you to try and change things. The whole world cannot revolve around a mother and a child however much she might like to think so.

If she was playing loud music all night in the room next to your dc so that he could never get to sleep, it wouldn't be considerate either. I realise you cannot make your dc sleep longer but you are being entirely unreasonable in expecting her to put up with it. You should get up at 5 and deal with it, until he sleeps through longer, or he should sleep with you.

letsgostrawberrypicking Sun 26-Jul-09 10:52:48

She cant win can she! She is the one who has to put up with another child waking her and her dcs up at 5.30am and when she tries to help you dont like it.

How many times have we read about LO crying and being ignored by neighbours and then something bad happens and we think - why didnt they check the mother was ok/could cope/ do SOMETHING to help? (Not that I am saying anything like this with you - you sound like you are doing a great job, but ykwim)

The offer of her 15 year old to take him for a walk is so kind. It is the kind of thing I would have so appreciated when my first 2 were being difficult. I may not of said yes, that isnt the point, just the offer would have meant a lot.

She sounds like she wants to help, if only to get a lay in grin ask her advice. HV change their opinions so much. Over the years since i became a mum it has gone from for example "NEVER have your baby in bed - you teach them not to self settle" with dd1, to another HV telling me "Do whatever it takes to make her sleep, let her be in with you" dd3, to "Co-sleeping is bad for you and them" ds1.

You sound like you could and do get on fairly well, so give her your scenario and ask her what she did when hers were young. Us old mums love to spout forth give our advice!

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:55:14

Do you not think that by getting him up at 5am, he will continue to do this out of habbit, whereas a week of comforting, and telling him not to get up yet, and letting him cry for 20 minutes and then he will not be waking up at 5am any more becuase he knows it is too early?

It's like, a short time of being woken up, in the long term will be better because DS will have been trained to wake up at a reasonable hour.

He doesn't like sleeping with me, he will not settle in bed with me.

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 10:58:14

well you do seem very sure that you are in the right and your neighbour is nosy, interferingand should shut up and put up with things.

So you must be right? That must be a nice feeling for you.

She on the other hand, sounds quite nice.

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:58:25

Well - we do get on fine, and there has been no 'dispute' when we have talked in person, it has been pleasent enough, and she is a nice lady. HOWEVER, it HAS made me feel like I am being judged, and I do feel it patronising that she came round when DS was having a tantrum, because I can deal with my son, she has made me feel intimidated whether it was intentional or not!:-(

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 26-Jul-09 10:59:19

I would be really annnoyed if next door had a baby that started to cry at 5.30 and went on for 20 minutes (or however long). That might be unreasonable of me, because you're not dealing with something especially easy to fix, but I can understand why your neighbours are cross. And why you appear to be inconsiderate of them.

You need to tell her, not in a letter - and face-to-face you say she's nice - that you're struggling in the mornings. Whether it's cruel or not to leave him is a different matter - clearly you don't think it is, nor does your health visitor - but you have to be prepared to defend your stance here, and to try some different strategies to avoid this happening, especially if, as you say, you're not prepared to get up with him.

Why not try swapping rooms with him - assuming that his room is right next to the neighbours? Just until he gets the message and starts sleeping through.

(But be warned - some children are naturally early wakers, and you may find that you just have to bite the bullet and get up with him)

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 10:59:54

TO be honest ZZZenAagin, I do feel that in the past I have got support from posting in here, not necessarily people agree with other posters, but I have found your replies particularly the last one quite offensive!!

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 11:00:10

well if you're thinking of short term annoyance and long-term planning as you say, I would also spend a moment thinking about how to get on with your neighbour longer term. It's not much fun living back to back in neighbourhood warfare. I've seen some fun situations.

Lifeinagoldfishbowl Sun 26-Jul-09 11:00:45

You say it's a 2 bedroom house - could you move ds into the other bedroom if you think what you're doing (controlled crying is the best thing)?

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 11:01:03

that's ok bluebella, I think you sound unpleasant yourself. >I hope you hear what you want to hear from someone else then if that#s what you need.

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 11:02:26

BecauseImworth it - Yeah, I have been getting up with him, and I guess I will have to do that, still think before 6am a bit too early! :-)

I think he is just an early riser!:-)

I'm just trying to teach him good sleeping habbits .

Bluebella Sun 26-Jul-09 11:04:35

I sound unpleasent?

My goodness I have never ever ever come accross such nastiness in a forum before!!!

Makes me laugh really how you can call me unpleasent, when you don't know me! Strange.

I said that your previous post sounded offensive:
'So you must be right? That must be a nice feeling for you', it sounds like you are writing it with an attitude

I am only looking for friendly advice, be it 'For' or 'against' the situation!

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 11:06:20

I respond to your posts b luebella. Have another look at your OP

I'm not out to get you, maybe you're a nice person, I wouldn't know but you sound inconsiderate. I realise you are not getting enough sleep yourself but I don't see how you can read your OP and think you don't come across as unpleasant

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