a rant about projected feelings - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
bruna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

There some some mothers who I run into in my neighbourhood who consistantly project their parenting insecurities on to me and my child.

For example, I am in the thrift store looking at toys with my son. This mom says to me, "Oh, look how he stays close to you, that won't last." Uh? Really. I don't think so.

Meanwhile, her son is running around the store, and she keeps losing track of him.

Hey Mama, its not my problem, its yours!!!!!

 

I try to be very considerate about what I say to other Mama's about their children or parenting. I just don't do this crap!

I know its just a way of relating, but bah, I feel like have to correct people if I don't want to get drawn into their assumptions about parenting being so hard, and children being oppositional by nature, I just do not agree with this perspective!

Just pay attention to your children and yourself, and stop projecting at me!

mareseatoats likes this.

familybed1.gifbftoddler.gif homebirth.jpgcd.gif  kid.gif 
bruna is online now  
#2 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 05:10 PM
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
People like that drive me crazy too. I call them the "must be nicers" and the "just you waiters."

They say things like, "Oh, you can take your toddler out to a restaurant? Must be nice to have such an easy child!" and, "Oh, you still read for pleasure? Just you wait, you won't have time for that soon!"

Meanwhile, 9 years and 2 kids later I still take my kids to restaurants regularly, and read for pleasure every single day. And yeah, it is pretty damn nice. orngbiggrin.gif
AAK, swede and pepin like this.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is online now  
#3 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
bruna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Love the names, Limabean!

I'll add the "enjoy it while it last-ers" and the "good luck with that-ers" to the list.

 

Yes, the point is, I am enjoying what I am doing, and it is working great for both my child and myself, and for some reason, that bothers you and you want me to know it.

 

It is fun to rant, I find this very hard to confront people about, and rarely worth it, there is just too little self-awareness going to to make a person think twice generally.


familybed1.gifbftoddler.gif homebirth.jpgcd.gif  kid.gif 
bruna is online now  
#4 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 09:34 AM
 
mariamadly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)

When our sons left home, MIL said things along the lines of "you'll have to get over how sad you are about it and move on to enjoying the next stage of your life" and so on.  Except we were thrilled for them, had fun when they lived with us, have fun both with them and on our own now.  On the surface it sounds like empathy, but MIL has a multi-decade history of dismissing any conclusions and opinions other than her own.  She was just too invested in believing that we were miserable; of course, this meant we needed her advice and that she was indispensable.

 

There are people out there who just can't stand to see things going well for someone.


Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), an underachieving Bernese Mountain Dog (2006-2014), and an overachieving mother (1930).  Married to DH since 1986.
mariamadly is online now  
#5 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 02:07 PM
 
Galatea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 7,149
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)

I hate this kind of comment, too, but I also see, like you, that they are just talking about themselves.  My least favorite is "You must have your hands full" because it's not true at all, and it makes having kids sound like a chore.  I have tons of time to derp.  I quite like it!


DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
Galatea is online now  
#6 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 08:00 PM
 
Vermillion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Ugh, hate this! I got pregnant with my first at 18... Heard all the time how hard it was going to be for me! Going to breastfeed? We'll see how long that lasts! Stay home with him? You'll be itching to get away! Planning to homeschool? Oh, you'll be begging to send him to school when the time comes! And so and so on! Well, almost 12 years later and it's been pretty great and I've stayed on track with what I've wanted to do! 

 

I think this is simply an envy thing at best, a misery loves company at worst. I just smile and nod now, and say "you could be right!" And move on with my life. So not worth the effort arguing with people who probably would love to see you fail so that they can feel better about themselves. 

 

Maybe I sound way pessimistic, but I truly believe those kinds of comments are not coming from a nice or helpful place... 


Liz om.gif Lovin' DH partners.gif DS (12) coolshine.gif and forever missing DD angel3.gif (12/02/07) ribbonpb.gif
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my  rainbow1284.gif  boy!!! 12/14/11 luxlove.gif fly-by-nursing1.gif

Vermillion is offline  
#7 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
bruna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I don't think it's pessimism, Vermillion, I think it is recognizing a nasty and competitive, yet totally normalized and commonplace, way of conversing between, dare I say it, women.

I think it is also sometimes a form of bullying.

familybed1.gifbftoddler.gif homebirth.jpgcd.gif  kid.gif 
bruna is online now  
#8 of 25 Old 02-20-2014, 05:00 PM
 
alpenglow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,699
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruna View Post

I don't think it's pessimism, Vermillion, I think it is recognizing a nasty and competitive, yet totally normalized and commonplace, way of conversing between, dare I say it, women.

I think it is also sometimes a form of bullying.

I think this is such an insightful comment.   I suspect unconscious envy is at the root of comments like that, that end with a provocative "it won't last"....as though to diminish your parenting skills and imply it is luck (maybe to ease their own insecurities and need to compare?).  

 

Isn't it wonderful when we can do things with our little ones and it actually be an enjoyable experience? :-)

bruna likes this.
alpenglow is offline  
#9 of 25 Old 02-22-2014, 09:48 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
 

I think this is such an insightful comment.   I suspect unconscious envy is at the root of comments like that, that end with a provocative "it won't last"....as though to diminish your parenting skills and imply it is luck (maybe to ease their own insecurities and need to compare?).  

Although I think a fair bit of it is luck... My ds loved to hold hands and stay close when he was a toddler. It wasn't anything I did to make him that way. Other loving parents had kids who were more exploratory. At 12, ds still will hold hands when we go for a walk. Now that may have something to do with parenting since many parents would be pushing their children to act more independant.

 

It's really hard to fathom how a child can be so different from your own. We get used to our own kids and it's hard to believe that other people's kids won't behave similarly, eventually. Some of these types of comments might really be their attempt to remind you to appreciate your children's qualities or stages. Or simply envy. I know I'd get a little jealous of parents whose kids could be patient while they ran errands... My 12 yo still is not patient on errands. But I can leave him at home, now. 


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#10 of 25 Old 02-24-2014, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
bruna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Op here - I am so glad I found the time to rant about this issue in the original post, and that it resonates with you all.

 I think there are a lot of factors at play here.

 

To really understand where someone is coming from, you need to spend some time with somebody, to figure out what their social goals are, like, I'm wondering of this mama is into building a casual friendship, or is trying to compete for space on the playground with me, lol. 

Without the broader context, little comments can seem aggressive, or provocative, and with out follow up, it is hard to say what the she was getting at.

 

In social scenarios where a Mother is moving in the same space as you, and bound to connect with you again, comments that seem cutting have to be noted.

I took notice because this mother and I run into each other maybe once a month, and seem to be engaging in a little not so friendly competition.

 

Envy, between women and moms, is so little discussed, but in my experience, quite often experienced. 

If I pay close enough attention, I can sometimes pick it up right away with another mom, in the way she refers to my child, myself, or our relationship. I have tried to fine tune my mama radar for this, as there seems to be a bit of a competitive mommy culture at work in my hood that I am totally interested in observing. My sociological view is fascinated, but I am wary of getting caught up in it!

ballerina85 likes this.

familybed1.gifbftoddler.gif homebirth.jpgcd.gif  kid.gif 
bruna is online now  
#11 of 25 Old 02-26-2014, 07:10 AM
 
meowmix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 828
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

People like that drive me crazy too. I call them the "must be nicers" and the "just you waiters."

They say things like, "Oh, you can take your toddler out to a restaurant? Must be nice to have such an easy child!" and, "Oh, you still read for pleasure? Just you wait, you won't have time for that soon!"

Meanwhile, 9 years and 2 kids later I still take my kids to restaurants regularly, and read for pleasure every single day. And yeah, it is pretty damn nice. orngbiggrin.gif

 

I love your answer!  I, too, don't understand those crazy comments.. especially the "you must have your hands full!"  I don't get them anymore now that the kids are older and I'm not out with all of them at once.  But I used to get comments like that all the time.  And, you know, for a while I couldn't really go eat at a restaurant.  It was just too stressful with 3 kids under 5 years old.  But that was a personal choice and I didn't see it as a problem, really.  We just got take out.. or, rarely, ate at noisy places where rambunctious kids would be okay. It's all about the way we think about things and I think sometimes parents look at everything a child does as one big challenging issue that is meant to be a personal vendetta against the parent.  I don't get that pervasive thought in our society.. that children are a burden and totally cramp our style as adults.  

 

I admit, now that the kids are older and have friends they play with and, much of the time, do their own thing, I sometimes do find myself standing in the middle of the room thinking "Wow.  What should I do?  Laundry?  Yuck.  Not appealing.  Read a book?  Hmm... I don't have anything good to read.  Hey... kids?  Does someone want to play Uno or bake cookies?" :lol

 

I always felt bad for negative people who said things like that to me.  I feel like they can't enjoy parenting and being with their kids fully.  


Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
meowmix is offline  
#12 of 25 Old 02-26-2014, 01:34 PM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,084
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)

I never minded the "hands full" comment--and I still get it from some people.  I did feel like my hands were full--but I would have it no other way.  So, as long as the tone was ok, I would smile and say "yes, I do, but I love it!".  

 

Amy

 

ETA:  what was worse was once I was at the library and I needed to remind my child how to behave. . . I did this by bringing her to the side and reminding her that we don't run or shout in the library.  It was no big deal.  However, another person (older woman) saw this and came up to me.  She thought it was wonderful that I was teaching my children to behave.  Now, I realize that she was meaning to be complimentary, but it put me on edge the rest of the trip.  I don't require militant behavior in the library.  I felt like my kids were constantly being watched/scrutinized.  This was probably my own problem -- I think she meant well but it still bothers me.


Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
AAK is offline  
#13 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 01:02 PM
 
contactmaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruna View Post

I don't think it's pessimism, Vermillion, I think it is recognizing a nasty and competitive, yet totally normalized and commonplace, way of conversing between, dare I say it, women.

I think it is also sometimes a form of bullying.

I think its just what it is-people making an observation from their own experience. Is it possible to do otherwise? The more experience they have, the less likely they are to assume they are the same as you. But bullying? Thats going overboard.

 

Ive had the kid the runs all over  the place, and its exhausting. People will always have something to say about that. If its in AP circles then its because youre child isnt 'attached' enough because you were somehow not emotionally present for them. If its from other random strangers, its because you dont 'control' your child. Either way, as exhausted as you are from chasing, or empathizing, or anticipating needs, you get no points for good parenting.

 

Then theres the child who simply wont leave my side(my current 2yo) I thought that would be easier, its a little easier, but its still hard because i cant leave her in the indoor playground anymore (parents arent allowed) And forget any babysitter.

 

Admittedly, people 2nd guess my parenting less with her because i guess she bothers them less.

 

My point is, people often comment, and most of the time its with good intentions.

 

Try having a kid who refuses to wear a coat in the dead of winter-threats of calling the police, and name calling, not to mention the constant barrage of unwelcome advice....try that. That'd closer to bullying, but then , those people were just concerned for my son. So i would say ' I know you have good intentions, but please dont talk to me...' (i admit people didnt take that very well)

 

I do remember someone saying with my first, 'wait till you get to toilet training', as if that would be harder than anything i had to endure with a newborn. I

 

I never found toilet training hard, since i ec'd my kids. If i had known about it then, i may have pointed that out...

NiteNicole likes this.
contactmaya is offline  
#14 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 01:05 PM
 
contactmaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post
 

I never minded the "hands full" comment--and I still get it from some people.  I did feel like my hands were full--but I would have it no other way.  

I get that comment alot too. I find it annoying, but, as i said i think of it as coming from a place of good intentions.  Like you, i dont think of my kids as a chore.

contactmaya is offline  
#15 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 01:08 PM
 
contactmaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vermillion View Post
 

Ugh, hate this! I got pregnant with my first at 18...

I though you said, "..With my first 18.." , i thought, now wonder she got that comment.... :lol

Vermillion likes this.
contactmaya is offline  
#16 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 01:29 PM
 
here we are's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bump smile.gif
here we are is offline  
#17 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 01:34 PM
 
3lilchunklins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: western NC
Posts: 1,535
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
I don't think calling it "bullying" is going over board. While it may not always be bullying there are definitely times when it is.
I had a "friend" awhile ago, she was very toxic in her nature. We had *very* different styles of parenting and she frequently made the little comments that sound benign to DH but I knew were meant as a looking down on you type of way. Certain people love dropping hints and causing you to fish around for the hidden meanings behind what they say!
bruna likes this.

bfinfant.gif  Breastfeeding, non-vaxing, homeschooling, baby wearing, cosleeping, non-cic'ing mama to CJsuperhero.gifAGdust.gifJJnono02.gifSDbabyboy.gif  And married my highschool sweetheart lovestory.gif

And expecting #5 in Nov. 2014 heartbeat.gif
3lilchunklins is offline  
#18 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 06:39 PM
 
alpenglow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,699
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)

Yeah it all depends on the context and intent behind the comments.  Some people (myself included) can be plain awkward and say things that I later realize might have been misinterpreted, then feel badly worrying if I offended someone!  But some people are truly passive aggressive (or have an underlying personality disorder).

alpenglow is offline  
#19 of 25 Old 02-27-2014, 09:15 PM
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post

Yeah it all depends on the context and intent behind the comments.  Some people (myself included) can be plain awkward and say things that I later realize might have been misinterpreted, then feel badly worrying if I offended someone!  But some people are truly passive aggressive (or have an underlying personality disorder).

I agree. For me, unless it's a blatantly horrid remark, it usually has to be part of a larger pattern of unpleasant behavior from someone before I'll be bothered by it. Everyone says dumb things now and then, and everyone takes offense where none was intended now and then.
alpenglow likes this.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is online now  
#20 of 25 Old 02-28-2014, 12:22 AM
 
farmermomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 896
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Yep my hands are full. And My heart is so full it's darn near bursting.
alpenglow likes this.
farmermomma is offline  
#21 of 25 Old 02-28-2014, 07:56 AM
 
contactmaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)

People often make comments about my stroller when helping me up the subway steps. Now, i agree its nice of them to help, but do i make comments on their clothes or bag, or whatever else they have? And maybe a stroller is awkward going up the stairs, but the rest of the time, its carrying my shopping, and maybe even my sleeping toddler. Thats dam convenient! I get to sit down and have a break, maybe get a coffee (not often i admit) So dont comment on my stroller lady!

 

You see, when you're a parent, comments on your person your belongings, and your children, is fair game to the random stranger.

contactmaya is offline  
#22 of 25 Old 02-28-2014, 06:45 PM
 
Mulvah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,974
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
 

Yeah it all depends on the context and intent behind the comments.  Some people (myself included) can be plain awkward and say things that I later realize might have been misinterpreted, then feel badly worrying if I offended someone!  But some people are truly passive aggressive (or have an underlying personality disorder).

 

This.

 

Some of the examples and comments in this thread are interesting.  I'm working on seeing the positive in people and hope they do the same with me.

Mulvah is offline  
#23 of 25 Old 03-03-2014, 09:28 AM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I know I have said stupid things. Most of it just in an effort to try and make myself feel better. Am I envious of the child that will just stand next to his mother? Oh yeah. So envious I just want to cry! I'm also envious of those mamas that have their hands full and enjoy it so much and make it look so easy. I wish I could be like them. Being a parent to small children/babies is very difficult for me.

So, I might say something stupid, but I do know its about me and I don't mean anything by it!

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#24 of 25 Old 03-03-2014, 06:19 PM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

I think if you're determined to look for the insult in every comment, it's going to be a long hard slog through parenthood.

dalia likes this.
NiteNicole is online now  
#25 of 25 Old 03-03-2014, 06:44 PM
 
alpenglow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,699
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)

I think in most cases (with some exceptions), people are coming from a place of just trying to make a connection with others, and comments such as "My your hands are full" are sometimes just a way of validating the challenges of parent and saying, "Hey, I see you are a mama and I recognize the hard work you do".  So much of what we do goes unnoticed, and sometimes people (like myself) just want to acknowledge that (and occasionally it comes out in shy, awkward ways!).  Or sometimes it is just a way of trying to spark a little bit of sharing from the other person to start a conversation.  I couldn't imagine making a comment to someone else about their kids unless I wanted to get to know that person a bit or just be friendly (in case they were having a bad day or feeling isolated).

NiteNicole likes this.
alpenglow is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off