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Judgemental non-parents - what's your worst experience?

(30 Posts)
Gemini1974 Fri 17-May-13 16:43:34

Met up with an old friend recently (childless), in a pub restaurant. No children herself but obviously knows all about parenting and where everyone else is going wrong! Comments include

"Why is he not using a knife properly, he is 3, he should be used to full size cutlery by now. Is he 'behind?"

"Why can't he sit still for 5 minutes?" Er because he is 3?

"If he were my child, he would be sitting quietly. I would control him" er good luck with that then!

"Tell him people are staring at him when he misbehaves, that will embarrass him into behaving" Er, he doesn't give a shit, he is 3. He is only aware of himself and his immediate requirements!

To put this into perspective, this was a child friendly pub and empty apart from one other couple with kids. My boy wasnt running around, wasn't damaging anything , just bouncy and excitable.

Anybody else have to deal with judgemental comments from people with no experience if kids at all!!

Foxred10 Fri 17-May-13 16:46:33

Wow. Your 'friend' sounds like a dick!

emsyj Fri 17-May-13 16:48:53

A pregnant former friend posted on Facebook that I was 'degrading' my child by using reins (DD1 is a bolter, she was just over 2 at the time and would not get in a buggy - always wanted to walk, but couldn't be trusted to stay with me/hold hands). When I gently challenged her on what one should do if one's child tends to run away, I was told that I should strap her in a buggy (how is that better than reins?? confused) or carry her (hahahahhahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa - she has clearly never felt the weight of a large toddler!) or hold her hand (yep, tried that one - fine for a few minutes but quickly becomes a wrestling match). She went on to say that it was equivalent to putting a disabled person on a lead hmm. I was so filled with the red rage that I posted, 'I was a perfect parent before I had kids too - good luck with that!' and deleted and blocked her. She will have had her baby by now - I'm almost sorry I dumped her as I would love to hear how she's getting on with her Perfect Parenting!

Gemini1974 Fri 17-May-13 16:56:24

Foxred10 - she has, in the past, been very kind and supportive, but she has very fixed views and is convinced that hers is always the only view. Difficult sometimes!

Emsyj - oh I bet she will be regretting those comments now! Especially nasty to post criticisms on a public forum though? Not a nice person by the sounds of it.

emsyj Fri 17-May-13 17:16:11

I think she is just very opinionated and outspoken - and clearly a bit ignorant given that she had no experience of getting out and about with a bolting toddler. Ah, she will learn...

plantsitter Fri 17-May-13 17:20:37

I took my nephew to the park once when he was 2 and I didn't have my own kids. You had to cross a v busy road to get there and I was TERRIFIED he would run under a car so I had him on reins. A woman walking her dog smiled in a really passive aggressive way and says 'at least mine is a dog!'. I can't believe she had her own kids or she would've clocked me as an inexperienced auntie straight away.

Your friend sounds annoying.

Gemini1974 Fri 17-May-13 18:40:48

I think that in future I should only meet up with her without the kids. She did say that if we visit her house it's "her rules" and no running around hmm. Well, unless we put them in a cupboard under the stairs, Harry potter style, that's not workable!

legomom Fri 17-May-13 19:29:34

my childless friend seems to nearly enjoy offering up opinions of my ds2 even when he is not around..last time I met her for coffee while ds was at school she commented out of the blue 'oh I see your ds is just as messy as ever'
she has eaten with him twice in 2 yearshmm as we only recently moved to the area she lives in so previously would only see her once a year.

Other comments included' he(ds2) is jealous of his younger sibling thats why he whinges so much' and 'he needs to stop annoying his older brother (ds1)( for example not look at him ever)' and DS1 is the way he is (ASD) bcos of ds2 he wont stop annoying him'

I just dont know what I'm suppose to say to all that: ok thanks hmm
I'll keep that in glad I have your wisdom now, what did I do the previous 15 years I've been a Mum without you around angry angry

I'm beginning to feel its time to let this friendship go

Gemini1974 Fri 17-May-13 20:02:42

Legomom - those comments are even worse than mine!! I don't know how you managed to keep your temper! She sounds like a proper smug <bleep>. Life's too short..

noisytoys Fri 17-May-13 20:08:21

DD2 has ASD all your judgy friends would have a field day with her. Thankfully I drop anyone with a hint of judginess because they aren't worth my time

legomom Fri 17-May-13 20:11:58

I thought it was just me being over sensitive and thinking in my own head that yes my ds is a bit of a messy eater. But then I thought well no matter how messy someone esles child is I dont actually say anything bcos its not my business.

DH is also good friends her too but agrees its not nice and feels she is completely intolerant of just one of our DC's it seems for whatever reason I really dont know.

NoWayPedro Fri 17-May-13 20:18:16

Colleague is/was generally disgusted by children; the snot, the poo etc. Would go on and on about it. I say was as she's now pg - found out v late apparently. Sometimes I think people say all these things out of ignorance (bliss naively) but also to throw people off the scent they are desperate for a baby of their own just to show off its polished clean nose

mummy2benji Fri 17-May-13 20:28:53

How inappropriately rude! Very saintly of you not to tip your dinner in her lap and high tail it out of there with your behaving-perfectly-normally-3yo.

I had a woman come up to me in a supermarket cafe and tell me that chips wasn't a healthy lunch for my 18mo. This was on a background of ds1 having had severe feeding difficulties, numerous hospital admissions, feeding tubes, and not weaned until 15mo. I was thrilled he was eating anything solid. I told her not to worry, we were going to get a burger from Burger King on our way home.

legomom Fri 17-May-13 20:36:11

My friend would like to have kids of her own and for aslong as i've known her even has the names of these future dcs picked out but hasnt found the right man as yet.
She use to have strict views about kids outside of wedlock /sex before marriage and commented when ds2 was a newborn how she didnt believe in that sort of thing(DH and I weren't married at the time)confused
I feel stupid now picking a friend who seems so polar to who I fairly easy going and quiet which may be my downfall I think sad

It didnt seem to matter when I rarely saw her(once every year or two) but now she lives 5 mins away

sherbetpips Fri 17-May-13 20:39:57

If and when she has them, make sure you reciprocate.....

legomom Fri 17-May-13 20:42:33

mummy2benji how rude of that women to comment on what your child was eating.
People dont just offer up their opinion on other peoples food in restaurants so why is it ok to comment on what a child is eating.

I dont understand why kids are fair game to make snide remarks and comments about esp to the person (their parent) who loves them the most.

But fair play to you for having an answer ready.

legomom Fri 17-May-13 20:49:39

sherbetpips I dont think she will have any she has alot of health issues and is same age as me late 30's.
But I'd be more than happy to give her my 2cents worth if and when she has any. Maybe she might realise then that sometimes kids just dont listen and yes can be messy and can annoy their siblings( i think thats a rite of passage with all siblings).

Gemini1974 Fri 17-May-13 21:25:15

Let's face it, we none of us had the slightest clue what the reality of coping with children would mean, before we had them. But some of us had the sense to keep our gobs shut! I had romantic ideas of crafting mornings with my sons (they eat the fecking crayons?!) and afternoons sauntering through playgrounds listening to the joyful sound of their happy voices (no toilets, emergency piss behind a tree anyone?). But rather a harassed messy mother than a know it all ignoramus! Rant over!

legomom Fri 17-May-13 23:15:25

I had no clue about kids til I had them and tbh never really took notice of other kids before I had any. I'm still in no ways perfect.
Somedays just getting through the day with my sanity intact is a job well done grin

kids are such hard work even on the best of days and I just wish my friend & others would realise we dont need judgements and comments added to our own guilt of 'are we doing it right'
And being a Mum is also nothing like babysitting hmm

iloveweetos Fri 17-May-13 23:20:33

My sister in law to be when dd was being abit naughty: 'don't you use a naughty step?'

Yes we've all watched supernanny thanks.

FairyArmadillo Fri 17-May-13 23:26:14

Childless friend called my DS "really violent" when at 1 and a bit he knocked a toy on the floor and banged the table on his high chair in a restaurant.

Embarrassed a girl to silence when she was making fun of those silly parents who keep their kids on backpacks with leashes (Little Lites) and I calmly piped up- "I have one of those for DS. They're great. It makes sure DS doesn't run into the street and get killed."

Don't get me started on the friend who asked me when I was going to start smacking my then 4 month old baby, as smacking would be her choice and obviously the best choice for discipline. She went on and on about how smacking keeps them from crime. She used to go to my church and criticized all the parents including myself who kept their small kids from frustrated boredom by letting them play on our phones, Nintendos etc during the preach because even toddlers should be forced to listen.

Secondme Sat 18-May-13 08:40:06

Wow, Fairy your friend sounds dreadful. Smacking is the best form of discipline? shock

LadyLech Sat 18-May-13 22:05:40

My DD1 was (and still is) quite demanding. She used to give me a 10 second cry to tell me she was hungry and then I had a full blown scream. The number of old ladies who used to stop me and tell me that they thought she was hungry! It used to make me so cross - what did they expect me to do, flop my tits out in the middle of the shopping queue in M&S??

CatsRule Sun 19-May-13 14:06:22

Aparently my sil is the best, most knowledgeable parent in the world. Knows everything and has an opinion on everything...and feels entitled to it!

Oh, yes, she doesn't have children I can't wait for her to put her judgements into practice grin silly cow

PrincessScrumpy Sun 19-May-13 14:08:12

I never understood how people could let their children run round with snot on their faces when I had dd1... Now I also have dtds I don't understand why more children don't. Wouldn't have said anything out loud though.

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