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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:

notyourmummy · 24/10/2018 07:11

No, I wouldn't class that as normal parental anxiety. Everyone notices other kids when they're a parent, and most people occasionally feel like other parents aren't doing things right, but what you're describing is obsessive and suggests something much deeper rooted. See you GP.


Thenewdoctor · 24/10/2018 07:15

You sound very very anxious and hyper. That’s how I got when my anxiety was at its height.

Please go and talk to your GP.


Blondebakingmumma · 24/10/2018 07:25

I’ve witnessed horrible parenting, but sadly there any many terrible parents out there but ultimately not my place to step in. I know I have anxiety but not to the levels you do. Have you spoken to your GP?


kaytee87 · 24/10/2018 07:27

As a pp asked, how do you know the child in the car was 4?

I don't think the way you're feeling is normal at all, try to see your gp


LittleBookofCalm · 24/10/2018 07:45

I wonder if you are suffering with some form of depression op, please go to GP and explain your worries.


Lalaisloopsy · 24/10/2018 07:47

A woman was at the till but asked you to look after a baby so she could go to the car?



Llanali · 24/10/2018 08:06

How do you know the child in the car was 4? They were in the car..::: you were in the shop. And they were ahead of you in the queue..... so would have been paid and out before you?

But yes, not normal. Seek some help, you must be exhausting yourself. Appreciate you don’t mean to and it’s anxiety/hyper vigilance/ assumed responsibility etc but you sound incredibly judgemental and it’s hot healthy for you or those your critising so heavily.


InDubiousBattle · 24/10/2018 08:14

Not normal. Gp would be your first port of call.


kaytee87 · 24/10/2018 08:20

A woman was at the till but asked you to look after a baby so she could go to the car?

I did think this was very odd too


Tumtimes1 · 24/10/2018 08:26

Hi guys thanks for your responses. One of the reasons I posted was because I too feel/know deep down that how upset I get is too much.

So to clarify the situation in the shop. Elderly lady walking around shops with baby in shallow trolley.
When I go to pay for my shopping she is next in queue. I turn to her and smile at the baby as you do and she then asks me to watch him while she runs out to her car to check on other child!??
When I paid I stalled and waited so we went to our cars together. I observed from my view point that said child in car was approx 4 years of age.

Anyway - thanks for your responses I will pop along to my GP as I agree that this is anxiety. Thanks all x

OP posts:

SamanthaJayne4 · 24/10/2018 08:35

OP I think you are a very sensitive person. You need to develop some coping strategies to protect yourself. I am a bit the same but have toughened up a bit as I have got (much) older. One day not long ago I was driving behind a car and they had a Westie hanging out of the window. I had to drive home via a different and less convenient route as I couldn't bear to see it in case it fell out.


Louloup20 · 24/10/2018 08:45

I do get this to a point...since having my daughter I have shy'd away from certain things that will get my maternal anxiety going. Stopped reading the news as much for fear that I will read about abuse or murder of children, can not watch things like criminal minds or scary films where children are involved.

I think there is a certain amount of natural anxiety that comes with being a parent, but you do seem to be on the higher scale. I have gone home worried about things I have seen or heard but remember we are all different.

The only reason I would suggest to you that maybe you should talk to a GP is because it is ruining your day when it happens and seems to be happening often. Do not stop being you and caring as much as you do, but maybe learn some coping mechanisms so that you do not get so emotionally invested.


WonderTweek · 24/10/2018 08:49

Good luck with the GP, OP. I hope they can help decrease the anxiety. Flowers


Bluntness100 · 24/10/2018 08:53

Good luck with your gp. The immediate reaction you have is normal, as in when you witness something concerning, it's normal to be concerned or bothered by it.

What's not normal is the depth of your reaction, and the duration of it, as well as your determination to try to stay away from parents and kids (the overwhelming majority of children are treated well) and not watch things like the news.

So yes I'd also say anxiety, possibly depression, only your gp can diagnose, what we canall say is your reactions are not healthy or the norm.


RandomObject · 24/10/2018 08:55

Unfortunately, when there are situations that make you feel anxious, avoiding them is pretty much the worst thing you can do. It creates a cycle of anxiety and prevents coping mechanisms. It's horrible, but to move past it and control the anxiety you need to expose yourself to situations that make you feel stressed. A mental health practitioner can explain how to do this better than I can!


Heatherjayne1972 · 24/10/2018 09:00

It is horrible when you see other parents treating small children badly
But it’s tiny snapshot of their life
My friend has one child single mum loves the bones of him and would die for him
But in a shop once she had a need to speak sharply to him - only to be confronted by a stranger She was very upset as she struggles with anxiety
I’m just telling you the other side of the coin


Quartz2208 · 24/10/2018 09:01

Its your anxiety - anything that causes you to stop everyday life isnt normal.

In the examples - case 1 its one of those things that the parents are used to the interactions between their children: would not even cross my mind about it. YEsterday we went out for dinner with friends and the older ones were playing with the younger one in a similar but controlled manner)

The other two are upsetting I agree but you are actively avoiding people in case they dont parent like you. Nobody parents exactly the same!


ZackPizzazz · 24/10/2018 09:06

Abusers are becoming more and more depraved

No, they aren't. Human beings have always been capable of plumbing depths of depravity. Depraved acts are described in the classics written thousands of years ago. All that has changed is media penetration, and your awareness.

OP, yes, as others have said, your reaction is really not normal. Especially to numbers 1 and 3, which are perhaps non-ideal but so is much of parenting. Older siblings manhandle younger ones all the time, and the parents were in the room, and asking another mother with kids to watch a baby is a pretty safe bet. Your incident #2 would upset anyone.

You need treatment and support. You can't live this way and being exposed to your anxiety and hypervigilance isn't the best for your kids either.


florafawna · 24/10/2018 09:11

Learn to chill out.


Tawdrylocalbrouhaha · 24/10/2018 09:13

Not normal. It sounds as though your previously generalized sense of anxiety has become focused onto young children (probably due to the need to be constantly vigilant about your two). Do you ever get a break from being responsible for yours? Do you find it easy to step back and let your DH or others look after them?

If the thoughts are becoming intrusive it might be wise to speak to your GP or a counselor. The fact that you can see what you are doing is really positive in terms of working through it.


Nutkins24 · 24/10/2018 09:18

OP I think it’s normal when you become a parent to start seeing danger everywhere. For instance immediately being on high alert in a situation that might be dangerous such as toddler running by road/child by lake etc or momentarily foreseeing the most catastrophic outcome to a scenario (so it can be avoided) Some women get a sort of ‘hyper’ danger snese when they have a young baby, it’s fairly common and of course largely irrational but I’d probably expect it to wane a little by the time your child reached toddlerhood. But your focus seems to be in other parents mistreating their children, which I’d say isn’t normal. Of course it’s upsetting to witness parents treating their kids badly but as others have said it’s a snapshot of their day. I don’t think it’s normal to be so mistrusting of other parents. I i were you, deoending on how badly you feel it’s affecting your life and if I had other anxiety symptoms I’d probably see gp or try some kind of counselling.


stiltonontoast · 24/10/2018 09:34

OP just wanted to say I completely understand. I have anxiety and it often manifests itself this way - worrying about things out of my control / other people, especially innocents like children or animals.

Agree with others about seeing your GP, a combination of medicine and CBT really helped me.


brighton19 · 24/10/2018 21:03

Really important to see your gp I think. It may be stemming from anxiety rather than unreasonableness but if you took it upon yourself to pass comment upon my parenting choices if you saw me out in public somewhere I'd be fairly seriously unimpressed. Like a pp said, you have no idea of the context of these incidents and it seems that some of them are simply different choices being made rather than potential cases of abuse.

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