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To not want to see any parents with babies or toddlers?

73 replies

Tumtimes1 · 23/10/2018 22:37

I’m a mum of 2 (2 year old and 4 year old) and I really struggle when I see parents with babies or toddlers in public incase their behaviour with their kids makes me uncomfortable.
Here are a couple of examples of things I’ve seen.
Case 1
Mum and dad come into bar and have three children. Two older boys (maybe 6 and 8) and a 1 year old. Mum and dad go up to bar and leave kids in seats. The older boys proceed to ‘hold’ and lift the 1 year old in a way that makes me worried the child could be dropped. They pull and push him about (not being mean or anything but they are children and just can’t handle this) The mum and dad continue to have their backs turned and don’t seem bothered that a 1 year old is managed by essentially children.
Case 2: parent actively screaming at child and scaring him and also is violent to child - I step in. It turns nasty toward me. But ultimately I stand my ground but when they leave venue I feel extremely shaky and teary for many days.

I am writing this post and thinking - how do I explain this? But for example if I’m getting on the tube or something and I see a mum with a child in push chair I will purposely get into a separate carriage in case the mum isn’t cool with her kid and it upsets me. Do you think this is my anxiety or is this a ‘thing’ that parent’s feel?
My husband is used to this with me - for context, case 1 had me in tears as well. Is this my anxiety or is this normal?

Thanks for any comments x

OP posts:
HarrietKettleWasHere · 23/10/2018 22:39

No, I think you might have some quite serious anxiety problems.

HelloSnow · 23/10/2018 22:40

YANBU about the situations you witnessed but to have an anxiety about seeing any parents with young children and actively avoiding them does not sound healthy.

99RedBalloonsFloating · 23/10/2018 22:40

It's horrible seeing people treating children badly. But I am wondering if this is triggering anything in particular for you?

Cheeeeislifenow · 23/10/2018 22:41

Nope that sounds like anxiety.. case 2 far wlenough but the rest is extreme

Mookatron · 23/10/2018 22:41

Not normal sorry. I think you should practise being around parents with babies and children as much as possible - without sticking your oar in (case 2 sounds different depending on actual circs.)

FittonTower · 23/10/2018 22:42

Being so anxious that another parent will be violent with their child that you can't be on the tube with any other parents and children isn't normal, I'd probably talk to your GP or something.

Spudlet · 23/10/2018 22:42

Those do sound like very unpleasant situations to witness, but if it is affecting your life to such an extent as you describe, I do think you should consider what steps you can take to deal with this. I speak as someone who also has and continues to suffer from a fair degree of anxiety, so no judgement - but you can't live your life like this, and you don't have to.

Jeanclaudejackety · 23/10/2018 22:44

This really isn't a normal or healthy way to feel

Chwaraeteg · 23/10/2018 22:44

I don't think this is normal at all I'm afraid. It must be having a huge affect on your life though if you struggle to go anywhere with children and parents. This level of anxiety must be exhausting for you. Please talk to your GP and see if there is anything g they can do to help Flowers

SharedLife · 23/10/2018 22:44

Sounds like hypervigilance. I had this before I had my anxiety at a manageable level. I would be very aware of the behaviour of everyone around me and feel a sense if responsibly about what others were doing. Now thanks to CBD oil and counselling I have better boundaries about these things.
Are there any talking services in your area for treating anxiety? Maybe ask GP. Flowers

Osirus · 23/10/2018 22:45

I actually understand how you feel as I have these emotions watching other people with their children. I remember being on a bus when a toddler the same age as mine (mine wasn’t there at the time) was crying with tiredness and I was in tears, trying desperately to hide it of course! Being a mother has taken me into a whole new world of emotions and sometimes it is overwhelming.

I don’t avoid these situations though, and I think you need to address this issue before it takes over your life.

YANBU to have these feelings though.

Kintan · 23/10/2018 22:46

I’m sorry but these aren’t normal reactions. I think anyone would be upset to see children being mistreated, but to avoid being around any parents and children just in case sounds like you’d probably be wise to seek professional help.

Iaimtomisbehave1 · 23/10/2018 22:48

Feel anger or upset when you see a child being abused is normal.

Feeling that level of anger at something minor is not normal. We aren't all perfect all the time.

Feeling like that simply at the thought of being in the same area as parents with children is not normal or healthy.

Tumtimes1 · 23/10/2018 22:52

Ok so the hyper viligance sense of anxiety I haven’t explored. This is very interesting to me - I really appreciate you posting. It’s so hard for me - and worries me daily.
Another case - an elderly woman in Waitrose the other day had a baby sat in one of those shallow trollies - the baby was in my opinion extremely docile. No restraints in a shallow trolley but the baby didn’t seem to
Want to get out. I immediately wanted to be away from them as something didn’t feel right - however when I got to the till there they were. The lady asked me to watch her baby while she went to the car ‘to check on his older sister’??!!! I was like wtf. Why is a child being left in the car??? I spoke to the baby but he didn’t really engage - it felt wrong to me.
After I left the store I called my husband in tears and he told me I was looking too much into it. It wasn’t right to leave the other child in her care in the car but wasn’t worth reporting.
I don’t know - I know I’m hyper aware here and perhaps it is the above. But yes I’m definitely a sufferer or anxiety and the above just doesn’t help.

OP posts:
LivininaBox · 23/10/2018 22:53

It sounds like anxiety, although the situations you describe do sound upsetting.

When my DS was a baby I used to get super stressed about seeing newborns inside well-heated shops wearing winter hats, I had to hold myself back from giving the parents a lecture about SIDS.

HarrietKettleWasHere · 23/10/2018 22:56

OP honestly you need to stop looking for problems, I’m sure the baby was fine.

Tumtimes1 · 23/10/2018 22:57

Yes! @liviniabox this is what I’m trying to describe. I feel like I want to give a lecture on babies thermostat and that they can’t control and thus could over heat. But I feel like what I feel is too much. And I guess that’s what I’m trying to understand. Is my behaviour normal? Perhaps it’s my anxiety.

OP posts:
Iaimtomisbehave1 · 23/10/2018 23:01

Calling your husband in tears because a baby was calm is not normal.

Leaving a child in the car = bad bad bad. Leaving baby with a stranger = bad bad bad. But crying over it? Go see your GP.

limpbizkit · 23/10/2018 23:02

In the final example his older sister was likely much older wasn't she? Unlikely to be say 2 or 3? I'd be more worried about a stranger asking another stranger to watch her baby. Although that's besides the point. I sympathise with your anxiety. It's a horrible imprisonment. I suffered for years. Im not one that responds to talking therapies etc. But I did finally seek help and the medication I take as an when has been a life changer. Plus I cut down on caffeine and any stimulant type food or drinks. That helped massively. I hope you find some help for your anxiety

newmumwithquestions · 23/10/2018 23:02

I don’t see case 1 as that bad.

PerspicaciaTick · 23/10/2018 23:03

It sounds like you maybe are almost feeling some responsibility for fixing these families' problems? And that you feel upset because you can't make things better?
I think it is normal to occasionally see situations that are concerning or linger in your thoughts, but to be regularly brought to tears and to feel the need to avoid other families in case you see parenting choices you feel are not OK - that is an extreme reaction.

meow1989 · 23/10/2018 23:05

I think you might be best speaking to your GP or HV, do you have a history of anxiety @Tumtimes1 ? I have anxiety and can find myself having flashes of scenarios from time to time (what if when I'm handing him to someone I drop him and he hits his head? What if my duvet ends up in his cot at night) but these are brief and easily ignored (safety compliance aside!).

Its normal to be affected by the ill treatment of children. I don't think it's normal to be so affected by the things you are (although the second example would absolutely shake anyone up). It sounds like you might be having small panic attacks?


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SharedLife · 23/10/2018 23:06

It was normal for me- when my anxiety was untreated. Your anxiety is high, you go into a hypervigilant state to protect yourself but as you're not in danger you're focusing that attention and adrenalin on how other people's behaviour is impacting the children around you. The problem is you don't have any control or influence over other's behaviour, so you're left with anguished impotence.

These things are not your responsibility. They don't being to you, so don't pick them up. Definitely seek out some support for anxiety, you don't have to just accept feeling/thinking this way xxx

Tumtimes1 · 23/10/2018 23:06

Clearly I didn’t call my husband because the baby was calm or docile although it was odd believe me - he wasn’t focussing etc or engaging. - I called my husband crying because a child (approx 4) was left in a car. But yes I did cry. So that means it’s anxiety. I guess that’s what I’m trying to assess. I mean I know it’s bad but probably my behaviour and wanting to be away from this is abnormal? I’m trying to work out what is normal.
I appreciate the kind comments x

OP posts:
anniehm · 23/10/2018 23:09

I sort of get it, my heart sinks when a family with young kids is seated next to us in nice restaurants (fortunately our favourite has a no under 12's policy!) but I don't have kids anymore, they are adults. I also hate seeing kids being ignored and handed electronic babysitters rather than parents engaging with their kids drawing perhaps, but crucially talking.

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