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Top tips dealing with busy bodies :)

(57 Posts)
cookiemonster100 Fri 17-May-13 18:50:33

Hi all,

PG with our 1st child & I have noticed that a lot of people seem to offer advice / lectures / preach to you. For examples I have had one woman give me a lecture today on the cons of epidurals , ( not requested by me just another interfering busy body) & another ask " should you be eating that" i am very aware this gets worse once kiddies are on the scene.
So what are your come back lines / tactics with dealing with these people? I am looking for more for a verbal route because bashing them over the head is not allowed (shame) ;)
Thanks x

amazingmumof6 Tue 21-May-13 12:17:43

my most tactful deflecting is "that's a good question!" then nothing.

EldritchCleavage Tue 21-May-13 12:14:48

I found just saying "What?!" in a very brisk Joyce Grenfell way would put most people off continuing. Though I once got cornered by a woman in the shop where I was buying maternity bras who asked if I had any cravings, then ticked me off for succumbing to them (apparently oranges are very acid and if you eat them regularly in pregnancy it ^could harm your baby^). I think I just wandered off.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 21-May-13 12:08:56

Bunnylion- I do agree that telling pregnant women horror stories is tactless.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 21-May-13 12:08:11

Dildals, you see I think your response sounds rude and sarcastic

I don't thinking asking someone that question is rude, it's just small talk and to be sarcastic just sounds wrong to me.

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 23:54:02

dildalsgrin I've done that too!

also had fun with telling people stupid names we might call baby.
I love sewing so my favourite tease was: Button for a boy, Ribbon for a girl.
Problem is that I said that so many times I fell in love with those names! thank goodness we never had twins, -imagine!

Dildals Mon 20-May-13 22:51:47

Someone asked me the other day 'do you know what you're having?'. My deadpan response 'a baby'. Quite pleased with myself.

Bunnylion Mon 20-May-13 19:25:36

I'm gearing up for a natural hypnobirth.

For months I've been working hard at conditioning my mind to really know that I will be in control and am able to birth the baby confidently and calmly, without relying on other people to get the baby out - obviously as long as there are no complications.

But I can't go 2 days without a random person feeling the need to remind me of the fear, the pain and the horror that some women suffer, including..."god it was the worse day of my life", "you will fell like you're gonna die", "he can't look at his wife the same now", "you'll be screaming for an epidural, everyone does"", "don't worry you'll forget the unbelievable pain once you see the baby", "Maria needed 5 pints of blood", "the doctor had to sit on her to squeeze the giant baby out", "it got stuck", "so glad I'm not a woman (shudders)".

I've taken all these comments gently and let them pass with a nod and a smile up till now, but if some comment like that pops into my head during labour it could really make me panic.

I know people really don't realise they are doing any harm but from today I decided to just cut them off with, "sorry to interrupt but if you're not about to say anything positive then please stop there".

gertrudestein Mon 20-May-13 16:58:44

Wow amazingmumof6, I think you've earned your nickname!

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 16:54:40

yes chocs I agree that nod and smile works, but not forever.
especially not when pg and busy and tired and have a migraine etc.

the more kids I had the less patience I had in general, so even less to suffer fools gladly.

I don't see why I have to be polite when the other person isn't.
not my fault they have no emotional intelligence.

And the problem is that there is no end, unless busybodies go shock and shut up.


amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 16:28:14

sorry last post was meant for gertrudestein

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 20-May-13 16:28:03

Kittenkatzen I agree. Deflect and change the subject with a platitude.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 20-May-13 16:27:01

amazingmumof6. I quite agree.

When pregnant I was able to deflect comments and advice and nod and smile.

Once my boy was born, I did get pissed off with MIL "I was hoping for a girl, but never mind" Still she lives hundreds of miles away so it's not very often I have to listen to her drivel! I can play nice a few times a year when we see her.

Anyway, I thought this thread was about remarks when pregnant? If so yes, I would be polite to well meaning misguided people.

However once the baby is born, it's just as bad! the first time DH and I were uptight, but the 2nd time we were more blase about it, saying stuff like "well the first one turned out OK, so I guess we're doing something right!"

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 16:26:41

Laquila you can tell your mum that a normal birth doesn't neccesary mean you can't sit down afterwards.

my 6th was born with no tearing so no stitches needed. she was 8lb 3oz.

I was so well and pain free within days. it was great! smile

(I had unavoidable ELSC with DS4, massive episiotomy and foreceps with DS1, plus a variety of experiences with the others. I'm ok sitting down grin )

and congrats on being pg!

Kittenkatzen Mon 20-May-13 16:21:40

I may have to invest in one f iamci's babygros grin

Kittenkatzen Mon 20-May-13 16:19:34

I've found that I'm not really getting advice as such (yet!) but more more being "informed" what will and won't be happening to me - always with a smug, derisive chuckle at whatever I might have said - so far I've been told by various people that I will "definitely"...

give up bf by 6wks to "get my life back"
be feeding baby rice at 4mths (I want to blw at 6mths) just to get my child to sleep more than an hour
have an epidural
not have an epidural
want my mum to come and stay (not a chance!)
....and on and on and on...

My new response to all helpful advice, interested conversations is "well, we're just going to see how it goes...."

If you refuse to be drawn in the subject they soon lose interest!

gertrudestein Mon 20-May-13 16:09:33

YY to Laquila - it was MUCH more annoying and genuinely hurtful when I was ttc (with lots of problems) and people asked me when I was going to have children. The only thing that really upsets me at the moment is 'when do you think you'll have a second?' I've not had this one yet! Also, I have had a difficult pregnancy so far, so am hastily rethinking my plans for a large family ...!

I think this thread is mostly good natured - thank god we have MN to vent on. I'm sure we're all balanced and very polite in real life! There's no way I could actually tell my mother that I am going to scream if she encourages me, one more time, to manipulate the NHS into giving me an ELCS because 'it's easier to sit down afterwards.' Smile. Nod. Ignore.

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 16:03:41

had versions of this through all my pgs and after MC.

the most horrible one? after loosing baby girl someone close to me said they were happy that baby died, because they thought it would've been hard to look after 5 kids and it's better that way.
I most certainly did not smile and nod!

no sympathy from me for "well-meaning" strangers.
they can just fuck off, then fuck off some more to the far side of fuck

and we have 6 now and doing fab.

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 15:58:34

I dare you to nod and smile when having had 3 boys someone sees your newborn DS4 says "oh, you've had another boy! what a shame...a girl would've been lovely!"shock angry

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 20-May-13 14:40:38

*chocsaway but being pregnant is one of those times when you are oversensitive, hormonal, irrational etc

leave them be*

I have been pregnant five times. I have two children. I still managed to nod and smile. Nobody "forced advice down my throat" I was free to ignore it or discard it.

People offering or handing our advice are not evil, just thoughtless, so belittling them and using sarcasm to make them look small is not something I would like to do.

ChunkyPickle Mon 20-May-13 12:51:30

Perhaps I need to get out more...

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 12:46:55

chunkypickle have my mum, my MIL, some so-called friends and the pretty much the whole fricking neighbourhood, including most healthcare workers and Tesco stuff grin

you are welcome

ChunkyPickle Mon 20-May-13 12:42:33

I really want to find some of these people - no-one offers me advise on anything! (Although MIL is itching to I think - but she's too nice to actually do it)

I would class myself as little and cuddly, but perhaps other people have a different perception?

OP, smile and ignore (unless you have a perfect smartarse comment). No point engaging at all, as anyone who feels strongly about anything just won't change their mind

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 12:25:38

chocsaway but being pregnant is one of those times when you are oversensitive, hormonal, irrational etc

leave them be

froubylou Mon 20-May-13 12:10:29

But being pregnant is not an excuse to have advice (well meaning or otherwise) shoved down your throat, unless you ask for it.

And I'm sure most of us for the most part will nod and smile and agree with most people. My theory is opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has got one and the only one that really matters is my own!

But some people whether they be friends, relatives or strangers feel compelled to force unwanted advice upon hormonal, emotional ladies who are already going through one of the most worrying times of their lives whether they are first time mums or old hands. Chuck someone speaking AT you rather than with you over an issue that is probably completely non of their business and you are bound to get a snotty answer sooner or later.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 20-May-13 09:15:44

I don't think being pregnant is any excuse to be rude to anyone. People generally mean well, and everyone gets excited by a pregnancy.

When my MIL offered shit advice I'd just say something like "they don't do that now", or "it's different now"

I don't think there's ever an excuse to belittle people or be a smart arse just because they are misguided but well meaning.

You might be that lonely old lady one day.

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