An Uncomplicated Life Blog: To The Woman Who Publicly Shamed My Mothering Skills

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To The Woman Who Publicly Shamed My Mothering Skills

You read that title right. This past weekend, I was publicly shamed by a woman for my "dangerous" mothering skills.

Allow me to explain:

Hubs had been gone the entire previous week. Whenever he's gone for more than a day or two, we have a bit of a "transition" period with Henry, as he's old enough to know daddy is gone and he does not like it. We had plans to go to the Rahr & Sons Brewery Oktoberfest/5k event. Hubs was going to run, and I was going to hang with H. Being seven months pregnant, I'm not running much! Well, that morning was the first time Henry had seen daddy in five days, and it was the dreaded "transition" time... Aka, toddler tantrum hell.

We got to the event and H was out of control. He didn't want to be in the stroller and he didn't want to be out of it; he didn't want daddy to carry him and he didn't want me to carry him and he certainly didn't want to be on the ground and heck no was he walking anywhere. He didn't want a bottle of water but man oh man, he didn't want you to take it away from him either! It was, without a doubt, the worst tantrum I've ever seen my normally calm and well behaved child throw.

I told hubs to just head off to the start line; sometimes Henry calms down when it's just him and me again. I thought returning him to that familiar situation might help. So hubs left. I let Henry SCREAM at my feet for several minutes (we were outside and a band was playing so we weren't disturbing anyone who wasn't immediately near us. And trust me, people walked away! Quickly, too.) Henry was not calming down, despite my best efforts. Then he started to crawl away, banging his head into the cement purposely as he went. Just a complete hot mess of a toddler.



"Ok!" I thought. "Ignoring is doing nothing - I need to take away all his stimulus until he's under control again. This child is completely out of it and will hurt himself!" So I grabbed him to pick him up, and he lunged this 30 pound body nearly out of my arms. I squeezed him into me, and gave him a whop on his butt to get his attention. Then I looked him in the eyes and said, "No sir. That is ENOUGH. You need to calm down and get yourself under control!" I strapped him into his stroller, tightening his shoulder harness so he couldn't squirm out. I pulled the over-sized sunscreen down and faced the stroller into a wall so he couldn't see anything - you know, taking away all stimulus. I handed him a bottle so that he could self-soothe himself calm.

It worked within 30 seconds. He stopped kicking and screaming and crying and drank some water while he chilled out.

I had just taken a my first breath of non-tantrum, peace-filled-air when a woman came about 10 feet away from me. "You know, that is NOT how you handle a baby. You are a DANGEROUS mother," she spat at me, practically shaking with rage. Then she turned on her heels and ran away. Literally, ran away.

My jaw dropped the nearly 6 feet to the ground. I was flabbergasted. I was aghast. Never am I rendered speechless, but this woman managed to take the wind right out of my sails. I could not believe that someone would watch me, then {poorly} deliver her unwanted, unwarranted opinion on my mothering skills!

Was this woman serious?! 

Here's what, friends and readers: Toddlers are HARD. Parenting a toddler is even more hard. But parents know their own children. I know that, most times, ignoring H's fits gets him to calm down the second he realizes I'm not paying attention to him. In this instance, he was so out of control, I knew he had to be corrected and then have some alone time to settle himself. I knew this, I did what I saw fit, and it worked almost immediately.

This woman doesn't know me. She doesn't know Henry. I'm guessing by her rude, judgmental comments that she doesn't have children. Why? Because no mother, IN HER RIGHT MIND, would say something so disgraceful to another mother who had just managed her tantrum toddler. Not a single mother would do that, regardless of whether or not that woman felt the mother handled the situation well. Heck, I see mom's all the time do things I would never do with Henry. You know what I do? I move on. Because I'm not her and that's not my child. She doesn't need my stares and she certainly doesn't need my judgment.

What this woman did didn't make the situation any better. In fact, she kicked another woman when she was down. I was clearly by myself with an out of control child, trying to manage him, a stroller, a diaper bag, an over-sized purse, a cup of coffee, and my husbands belongings all at 7 months pregnant in a huge crowd. And she felt like her opinion was so important, she had to come and belittle me not but a few moments after I had regained control of the situation.

I'm going to go out on a limb and give some advice to everyone, but especially to those who don't have children: if a parent is correcting a behavioral issue with their child, it is NOT OK FOR YOU TO COMMENT. Your opinion simply doesn't matter. There's attachment parenting and there's free-reign parenting, there's spanking, there's co-sleeping, there's women who breastfeed in public and there's women who breastfeed 6 year olds, and there's parents who don't believe in saying "no" to their children. Your opinion on all of this simply doesn't matter if it's not the relationship between you and your own child. Yes, it really is that simple.

To the woman who publicly shamed my mothering skills, congratulations. You completely ruined not only the event for me, you ruined my day. You could have sent some positive energy my way with a "hang in there mama!" But no, you decided to stick it to a pregnant mom while she was struggling. You felt the need to make her feel more embarrassed than she already did with her terribly behaved toddler. You not only thought you were important and self righteous enough to correct my parenting style, you had the gall to shame me. Well, shame on you! I saw you sitting at a table drinking a beer by yourself an hour after you yelled at me like I was your own child. I wasn't surprised you were alone. Who wants someone like you to be their friend? I also thought about confronting you. But I only needed my son to see one example of a poor excuse for a woman that day. There is something deeply wrong with those who thrive off making others feel less than, and I hope you get the therapy you need. 

28 comments:

  1. I would have chased her - I'm dead serious. Like, here's me *running after rude lady, yelling as loudly as possible* "Excuse me, miss...yes, you...miss? Miss? Please help me, as you clearly have better parenting skills as you walk around childless. Excuuuuuse me, miss??" I'm not even kidding.

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  2. "There is something deeply wrong with those who thrive off making others feel less than, and I hope you get the therapy you need." THIS!!!!! 100%.

    I couldn't believe that happened when you told me about it. That's seriously just not cool. Why do women feel the need to belittle other women?

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  3. People like that are not worth it, every mum has at one point or another had to deal with that sort of drama from a toddler ( last my 6 year old had a meltdown in the shop and my 8 year screamed at me in the playground after school so kids of all ages can make us feel crappy in public) but the key is to take a deep breath do what you have to do for your child in that minute then move on. Sounds to me like you did a great job, you stopped him from hurting himself, you corrected his behaviour and you calmed him down. So please don't let one ignorant woman make you feel bad

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  4. Ewwwww, what's a gross thing for a person to do. I would have flown into a white hot rage - bravo to you for staying calm and rational through it. That deflated feeling is awful, and I'm so sorry you dealt with that.

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  5. The nerve! I am so mad for you! I'm so sorry she ruined your day and made you question your abilities as a parent. You did exactly what I would have done, what a million other fantastic mothers would have done.
    I'm proud of you for not pouring a beer on her head, as that's totally what I would have done. Well, maybe I would have used ice water, why waste a perfectly good beer on a total hag.

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  6. Whoa. I had a woman pull up next to me in traffic and berate my driving skills and I burst into tears / it ruined my day (it ended with me saying "I'm so sorry!" and her yelling "YEAH WELL, I'M SORRY FOR YOU TOO" and skidding off). I can't imagine something as personal as parenting. Probably would've lost it in a MAJOR way.

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  7. That is crazy--I dont understand what makes people think that other people's parenting (especially in situations of high stress like a tantrum) gives them ANY right to come up and tell you that you're doing a crap job. If you were publicly hurting your child, that is one story, but that's not what was happening. I'm sorry that she did that to you, instead of helping or giving encouraging words. There are LOTS of people out there who think that their way is the BEST and ONLY way...in all kinds of situations (I dealt with this with one particular ex-friend around planning our weddings...). You just have to do you and try to move forward, knowing that you are a GREAT mom and you knew exactly what your child needed in that moment. Good for you for not hauling off and slapping her! :)

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  8. Oh lady, I do not know where people get this idea that their opinions and comments are necessary and appropriate. Totally unrelated except for the fact that it left me feeling the same: I was out with my dog, who REFUSES to poop while on a leash. It's annoying and frustrating and less than ideal. We live in an apartment complex that is hugely pet friendly, and everyone seems to understand that each pet comes with their own weird idiosyncrasies. Luckily, we've found a spot up by a popular walking path that's mostly mulch, and 3/4th fenced in (we live in a gated community, the walking path is outside of the gate, there's no where for the dog to run). We've been able to let her do her business off leash there, eliminating the headache and keeping her away from anything she might chase after. Well, this particular morning, a woman was out walking her two dogs on the path, outside of the gate. Bailey, a NORMAL dog, ran up to the fence, wagging her tail excitedly and started "talking" (i.e. barking) at the two dogs, who wagged and barked back. The owner and I exchanged a happy smile, dogs like dogs. WELL! There was a woman walking about 3FT behind the pet owner, who had the freaking audacity to yell at me "how dare you let your dog roam around off the leash when she's barking at everyone like that." WHAT. THE. HECK!? What was my dog going to do? CHASE AFTER YOU?!?! It's a fenced in area, woman! It's the exact same as if I were in my OWN BACK YARD WITH A FENCE AND YOU WALKED BY! Why, oh why, did she think her comment was necessary, appropriate, or fair? Why do people feel the need to spew hate for no good reason? Sorry for writing you a novel, but I feel you! I so, so feel you. And like you, that woman ruined my day. And what for?

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  9. Oh my goodness. What a shoddy thing to do to a person. :( Sorry you experienced that. You knew what you were doing and did it. I don't understand why people give these unsolicited opinions! I actually wrote about this as well recently, maybe there's an epidemic!!:)
    Know you're doing a great job!!!:)

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  10. I cannot even imagine what I would have done!! You handle the situation with grace which is a wonderful example of your character!! Why don't people understand that the only thing they can control is themselves? Everything else is none of their business, especially if they don't even know the person!! UGH!!

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  11. Wow, that's awful! I don't have kids, and I can't even presume to know how difficult it is to deal with a temperamental kid. Whenever I'm out and about and see a mom dealing with a difficult kiddo situation, I try to give her a friendly smile. I sure as heck don't judge her!

    Very Erin (http://veryerin.com)

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  12. Oh my goodness that is terrible! I think you did the right thing and the best thing you could do at the present time. I hate it when other mothers tear down other mothers! We should be building each other up and offering support, not kicking each other when we are down. I had a similar incident happen at a restaurant. Little Man was in the phase of not wanting to sit in his high chair so when you put him in it he would scream for a couple of minutes. So we are at this restaurant and sure enough as soon as I put him in the chair he screamed. I apologized to those around me and promised he would stop and be perfectly good in a few minutes. Well this one women lost it. She said we had to right to be there and he was out of control, and we were ruining their family dinner. I was surprised and shocked! She was still carrying on long after Little Man did indeed stop his fit. I finally turned around to the lady and said, "Ma'am you have been throwing a much greater fit for much longer than my 2 year old and you are an adult." I then turned around and was done with her and she ended her fit.

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  13. I had to read your story twice in a row to fully comprehend the situation and rage I just felt by that. WTF?!?!!? You are 7 months pregnant and disciplining a toddler and that is the time she feels the need to spit that bullshit comment at you? I can't even. I swear, the minute people have children, try to become pregnant basically anything to do with children.....it's like the flood gates open and people feel the need to over step social norms and share their extremely unhelpful opinions. Like hey instead of shaming what about helping? That is the thing I can never understand. Hey you have two hands and aren't 7 months pregnant trying to push a stroller, sling a diaper bag and control a 30 lb beast child. I wish I would have been there. Damn I agree I probably would have chased her ass down afterwards.

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  14. Say whhhhaaattt???!!!! I'm shocked that someone would have the gall to do that. What a bitch and what a poor excuse for a woman. What happened to building each other up?! And she obviously has no idea who you are or how your child behaves normally so for her to insert herself into your situation is insane to me. Why do people feel like they can just say whatever the f they want to people with kids? When I was kid-less you never had anything to say to me about my life, but now that I'm a parent it's like a free for all for criticism. I'm so, so sorry that happened to you Paige. I hope you've been able to let it roll off your back, as hard as it may be. That lady is freaking cray.

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  15. :|
    Some people need to take a long walk off a short pier...

    HANG IN THERE MAMA! that lady sounds crazy

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  16. That is ridiculous! Paige, I'm so sorry you had to experience that. I don't know why some people feel the need to cut others down. I'm not a mother but I know how hard it must be and would NEVER say anything like that to a mother. If anything, she could have said something to encourage you. It would have derailed my day too. Some people just don't get it. You are a wonderful mother, Paige. She's obviously alone for a reason.

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  17. Oh sweet mama, I'm so sorry you had to deal with someone so rude and cruel. It's funny that people feel the need to tell people their every thought when they should just keep their mouths shut. I'll admit it here, I've seen children behaving poorly and thought IN MY HEAD SILENTLY "I would totally handle that situation differently". But, I'd NEVER tell someone what to do if I've never been in their shoes. There's giving advice when it's asked for and their is holding your tongue when it's not, people just don't seem to know the difference. Hugs and props to you for keeping on and handling the situation like the wonderful mother you are, kudos!

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  18. What a jerk! I am so angry on your behalf! You are a great Mom and it sounds like you handled a tricky situation expertly. I also give you props for not wandering around the event, finding her and flipping the eff out like I would have. My preggo hormones were nothing to mess with.

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  19. Instead of being an unmentionable, she could have given you advice or approached you in a far different way. I'm not a parent, so of course I see screaming kids and I'm just like "get them away from me" but the reality is I don't know how difficult it is to be a parent and therefore won't criticize anyone for their parenting choices (unless of course the child is in danger).

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  20. This makes me sooooo mad! When I was that pregnant and dealing with my toddler I had some major rage and would not have handled that as well. You said it right, every parent and every child needs to be handled differently and have their own style, that often change by the hour, unless you are giving a comforting hug and telling someone it gets easier and they are doing a good job butt out! Being a mom is so stressful and hard, especially with a toddler, being a pregnant mom with a toddler can be living hell. Shame on her indeed!

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  21. Stuff like this makes me so mad! People simply need to MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS!!! I have had a few times like that, my husband also works out of town so we have the same sort of issues happen and frankly Mama gets tired after playing single parent for a few days. You have no idea what has gone on in my day to judge my reaction to something or how I choose to parent MY CHILDREN!

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  22. So sorry for your experience. That woman was way out of line and I hope you know that you're doing a great job of parenting your children and I'm sure they'll thank you (one day!). - Svetlana @Life With a Side of Wine

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  23. Whhhhhat!?! That's a fkn coward ass person who has nothing better to do than to insert herself into a situation where it isn't needed, wanted or even welcomed. How fkn rude. Part of me thinks I'd lose it and go after her like many others have stated or the other part of me would've been like how you reacted. Shocked, apalled, dumbfounded.

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  24. Wow. I am disgusted by her! I would have been shaking and crying instantly. I can't handle that sort of thing. But at the same time wow would I have loved to have given her a piece of my mind!!! You were the better person showing your son the proper way to behave by NOT getting in to it with her. The nerve of some people.

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  25. I don't have kids and I WOULD NEVER say anything to another woman, mother or otherwise. Even if I didn't agree with what she was doing, I have no idea what is really going on.
    Scuse my language but fuck that bitch. What an idiot. What an absolute idiot.

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  26. LOL to Kristen's comment above. For real, she's not worth it. But I know she would've ruined my day too, and probably would've made me cry. How dare her. But on the upside, look how many supportive ladies you've got here on this little blogger world!

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