The shock of unsolicited comments/advice - wow! - Mothering Forums
November 2011 > The shock of unsolicited comments/advice - wow!
birdhappy85's Avatar birdhappy85 08:58 PM 07-16-2011

I just had to share this craziness I experienced yesterday! nut.gif I'm sure many of you can relate to the unsolicited comments from other people about everything from pregnancy to childbirth to parenting. I learned quickly in early pregnancy that unwelcome advice comes from all over way before the baby even arrives. I'm completely shocked at the level that some people will overstep, though! ~


I missed a few days of work in the past few weeks because I'm having trouble functioning at this stage of my pregnancy. I have several physical and mental health issues that are being exacerbated by the hormone shifts. But the baby and pregnancy are still 100% healthy and low risk! I can't stress that enough to people. Well anyway, I got into work yesterday after having missed work the previous day. This coworker who I pretty much never talk to and really don't care for (big gossiper, distrustful, etc) emailed me when I got in and asked how I was doing, if the baby was okay, and was basically being supportive (although it felt like her primary motive was maybe to just be nosy). I haven't been informing anyone except HR and my boss what is going on and why I've been missing work. I don't feel it's anyone else's business. So I vaguely responded to this coworker that the pregnancy is taking a toll on me myself but the baby and pregnancy are great and healthy. I thanked her for her concern.


Get this! Her response was to first start out by saying, "Don't you think you should have the baby in a hospital?" and proceeded to put in her two cents that she doesn't think midwifery care is bad or anything but if I've been having such a hard time with the pregnancy then maybe I should have doctors around and extra care just in case during the delivery.


THEN she actually said to me --- and I am not kidding here --- "Has your doctor recommended you reconsider having future children?" She suggested that my husband and I think about it more because pregnancy has been so hard on me.


My first reaction was to get furious that someone who barely knows me and who I barely talk to would even overstep in such a way, even though my rational mind can understand she's probably just saying those things out of concern and not to be mean. I do realize she was working with limited information. But still, I would never even dream of saying anything like that to a close friend if they were going through something similar, let alone a near stranger at work! I ended up shedding a few tears at my desk. It really hurt for someone to say that stuff!


When I calmed down, I responded to her calmly by just explaining that the pregnancy itself is low risk and we're taking all the necessary precautions with a home birth as the next person, and that none of my personal health conditions are dangerous in any way to me or babies so there's no reason we couldn't consider having more children. The way my husband and I see it, we're just more prepared now going into future pregnancies! I thanked my coworker again for her concern and was insanely polite. I just didn't want to give her any reason to talk behind my back. My husband later said to me, "Why the hell were you so nice to her? I would've snapped on the b****!" LOL! I love him.


What crazy, inconsiderate, and/or random things have people said to you that you just couldn't believe would come out of their mouths? blahblah.gif

meb2's Avatar meb2 09:47 PM 07-16-2011

WOW! I totally would not have been that patient / kind with her. I would have told her to mind her own business and that if she has a problem with the way that I choose to deliver / raise my own children, then she should just not ask any further questions and probably throw in a few more mean remarks about how you have done your research and are following what YOU believe / know / feel is the best for yourself and YOUR baby. I would not have listened to that. 


I haven't really had anyone say anything negative to me or given me too much unwanted advice. I've had SO many people tell me that "they could never have a birth without medicine", but I just tell them politely that, yes, they could indeed do it - it's what women's bodies were designed for and it's just about he mindset you go into it with. I've also gotten a few remarks about the fact that we're cosleeping when they ask about the nursery and stuff... But other than that, everyone has been really supportive and great. :( I'm so sorry that you are having trouble and having to deal with people that are that rude to you. 

birdhappy85's Avatar birdhappy85 03:33 AM 07-17-2011

My husband and I just started learning more about the benefits of cosleeping and we're interested in doing it. I haven't told anyone yet, and thank goodness I haven't! I was in a brief casual meeting with the aforementioned coworker, a supervisor, and my boss one day about a work matter and we all got to talking about pregnancy and childbirth stuff. The supervisor suddenly stated at one point, "Oh, and one more tip! Don't let your kids sleep in your room! They'll NEVER get used to their own bedroom and will be trying to sleep in your bed as they get older and older." She said it so vehemently and then the other women were agreeing with her, and in that moment I was just thanking God that she wasn't making this statement to more than just the 3 of us in the room because I would've been more than a little ticked off at her trying to convince people of that!!! I wanted to chime in and tell her how wonderful and non-dangerous cosleeping can be - that it's not a black and white world out there where children can't wean from it! - but there's no way I would've entered that into the conversation with all three of them in the room. LOL!


By the way, I haven't looked into this much, but for people who choose to cosleep.... at what age do you have your children sleep in their own bed? Is cosleeping just usually done during the infancy stage?

Mal85's Avatar Mal85 07:17 AM 07-17-2011

My mom is constantly asking me if we're going to let this baby sleep in bed with us, she knows we did cosleep with our first daughter and thought it was a horrible idea. I heard all the horror stories about babies never learning to sleep on their own and having them in your bed for years and years. My daughter must not have gotten that memo, because she started sleeping through the night in her own crib at 14 months old, I didn't anything to make her do that. We had been starting her in the crib for several months and bringing her into bed with us the first time she woke, so we could have a little time in the evening to hang out together. And after she turned one, she started going longer and longer stretches in her bed, by 14 months was sleeping through until 6:30-7 in the morning. So, not every kid gets dependent on the cosleeping. A lot of them want their own space eventually just like the rest of us.

Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 08:29 AM 07-17-2011

Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post
By the way, I haven't looked into this much, but for people who choose to cosleep.... at what age do you have your children sleep in their own bed? Is cosleeping just usually done during the infancy stage?

You could probably start a whole other thread on this subject if you wanted more responses.  winky.gif   We tried having my first sleep in a co-sleeper from birth, but she was having nothing to do with it.  She ended up in our bed quickly or we wouldn't get any sleep.  We also experimented in the opposite direction- trying out a crib and a pack 'n play in the room and in another room.  Totally unsuccessful.  Dd bedshared with dh and I for about 8 months.  Then we got her a bed that we put up against our bed so she had her own sleeping surface.  She slept like that until she was 2.5 years old.  She nightweaned at 2 years and fully weaned at 28 months. We were moving and naturally transitioned her to her own room when we moved into the new  house.  Worked like a charm.  No issues at all.


Ds also started in the co-sleeper... unsuccessfully.  And since I had the previous experience of dd, I just immediately brought him into our bed.  We kept that up until he was about 9 months and then got him his own bed up against ours.  That also did not work well  for him or me.  So he came back into our bed and dh went into the guest room b/c there just wasn't enough room in our bed for rolling dh and ds.  Around 14 months old, I got pg again and the nightweaning process began.  As soon as he was solidly nightweaned (and now weaned during the day), I wanted dh to start taking over night comforting duties.  Ds is 18 months now.  We got ds' bed back out and tried again.  Success! Now ds sleeps on his own surface and dh comforts him back to sleep if he is unsettled.  We are moving  again- in just two weeks- and I have high hopes of transitioning him to his sister's room or his own room (depending on what works better) very soon.  I would be fine waiting longer if we weren't expecting another baby, but I will be thrilled to have him happily transitioned in the next few months if that's possible (so just shy of 2 years).


I just want to throw out there, though, that the success of sleep arrangements depends so greatly on all the people involved.  In other words, what works for one baby or one couple may be very different than what works for another.  I feel strongly that the trick to low stress sleeping is to go with the flow and remain flexible.  You might have a baby that sleeps so much better on his/her own sleep surface or in his/her own room.  You might have a baby that needs constant nursing, constant contact for years.  You never know!  But please stay strong in what works for you and ignore all the negative advice in either direction.  Good sleep is vital to good parenting, find what works best (...short of CIO, which I feel has detrimental physical and emotional effects, but that's a whole other thread too!).


seraf's Avatar seraf 08:56 AM 07-17-2011
I haven't gotten a lot of negative comments. Most of my co-workers know my kids were born at home, nursed til preschool age, co slept til first grade and homeschool. When I do get comments, I usually just shift the focus to the other person. Like if someone gets cranky talking about how necessary epidurals are, I might ask if they had a hard labor. Or when they ask if I think 3 is enough already, I smile and say I'm not planning on being done yet, but how many kids do they have? How are they spaced and what do they like or dislike about that spacing.
Abraisme's Avatar Abraisme 09:29 AM 07-17-2011

Each child is different.  Some never really like co-sleeping and others need to sleep near another person for a long time.  My DH has always needed to be sleeping with another person.  When he was young (his mom did co-sleep with him for a while as an infant) he would sneak into bed with one of his brothers every night..


My DS co-slept with me in my bed until he was 2, then I got him a toddler bed next to mine.  He was probably ready to go into his own room at this age, but I was in a small apartment where it wasn't an option.  He ended up going to his own room at 4 very easily and never gets in bed with us at night.


My DD is 23mo and currently sleeps in a toddler bed next to ours.  She started sleeping in her own bed (on her own) around 18mo.  I still don't think she's ready to go to her own room though, she seeks me out nearly every night for comfort.

Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

By the way, I haven't looked into this much, but for people who choose to cosleep.... at what age do you have your children sleep in their own bed? Is cosleeping just usually done during the infancy stage?


IwannaBanRN's Avatar IwannaBanRN 11:16 AM 07-17-2011

Oh haha I think I would have walked to her desk and throttled her. My experiences haven't been that great with people asking me about my pregnancies. I was pregnant at 16 with my DS and then pregnant with DD at age 19. An old schoolmate from middle school who I hadn't seen up until I was heavily pregnant with DD recognized me and said "how many do you think you'll have by the time you're 25? 6 of them? You should get your tubes tied or seriously consider birth control." jaw2.gif WHA?!?! I knew I would say something rather profane so I turned and walked away.

Another one I got was with this one from an aquaintence. So this person looks at me, then at my DP, then at my daughter and asks DP "Is she yours?" Well no. Then they point at my stomach and ask "Is that one yours?" UGH! *seeth*

MrsKatie's Avatar MrsKatie 01:56 PM 07-17-2011

I started a thread about this kinda thing just the other day! I mostly get comments about my size/weight.  I thought I'd get a lot more comments about my diet (I'm vegan), but most people don't seem to care about that.  Some people have concerns that I plan an all-natural birth at a birth center, so I emphasize that the hospital is just a couple hundred yards away, and bite my tongue when it comes to telling people about the mother/infant death rates at hospitals vs. at home or in birth centers... not worth it to engage people on that topic!

justamama's Avatar justamama 01:58 PM 07-17-2011

My 5 year old and three year old's just stopped sleeping in MY bed and now co-sleep together on a twin bed in their room. We had a trundle in there for a while but it was never pulled out. The one year old is my super independent kid. She prefers to fall asleep alone, but will cuddle once she's been asleep for a bit. So she starts the night alone in my room or her room and I bring her in when I go to sleep since she isn't just quite STTN.



MrsKatie's Avatar MrsKatie 07:51 PM 07-17-2011

Great, I just got back from going out to dinner with DH's grandmothers (one of my least favorite things to do anyway - sorry if I sound rude - but I have endless patience with little kids and virtually none with old people), and I was having a hard time at the table.  It's a very long story - there was some buildup to this - but I started to tear up right there at the dinner table.  Embarrassing enough already.  And I kind of squeaked out "I just feel like my emotions are a little more than I can handle these days."  And one of DH's grandmothers responded (laughing): "Well, just wait till the baby's born, then your emotions will REALLY be more than you can handle!"  I couldn't help myself, I just said "Thanks. That's really encouraging."  Been crying ever since.  Ugh.

birdhappy85's Avatar birdhappy85 08:40 PM 07-17-2011

I'm sorry that happened, MrsKatie! hug2.gif That was so insensitive of your DH's grandmother. I've heard similar responses when I comment about how tired I am or how poor of sleep I've been getting. I don't bother complaining to anyone other than my husband now because I know I'll hear the inevitable, "You think you're not sleeping now, just wait until the baby is born!" Yeah, that sure is a helpful statement. I wonder if it's just our American culture that has created this seemingly unconscious negativity that is dished out to pregnant women or if it happens all over no matter where you live. Although, it kind of reminds me of how the typical American viewpoint of childbirth is centered around fear and pain, rather than empowerment and joy. In an ideal world, everyone would let women experience things for themselves with an untainted idea of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting! Nobody wants to go into such exciting times with a dark cloud over their head. COME ON, PEOPLE! lol


And to IwannaBanRN - I can't believe that someone would say anything that rude out loud! WOW. That totally trumps my coworker's rude comments. You're probably the only woman in the world with the self control to turn around and walk away without having seriously b****ed out the girl. LOL! Good for you!

2011mama's Avatar 2011mama 09:27 PM 07-17-2011

How rude!! I would have wanted to slap her but I'm much too timid for that!


The rude things I've had said to me are:


Boss: People who have home births don't realize how stupid they are. [In her defense I have never actually told her I'm having a home birth. I think she suspects it though and keeps asking me which hospital I'm going to, which doctor I picked. One time she flat out said, "Are you having a home birth?" and I told her no. I was not lying. At the time I had not found my current midwife, a CPM, and was with a CNM, who said I had to have my baby in the hospital simply because I'm overweight - no other reason. So I think my boss was trying to get a reaction out of me with this comment. FAIL.]


DH's friend's wife (who was about 7-8 months pregnant at the time): Are you getting an epidural? [She does not know about the home birth because we know how they'd react.] And when I smiled sweetly and said, "I don't plan to" her response was: Well, you're going to change your mind and make sure you let them know early because there becomes a point where they can't give it to you. [If she felt that way that I'd change my mind, why did she even ask? Just so she could push her unsolicited advice on me.]


MIL: Ewww, you're going to breastfeed? That's disgusting! And did you know you can't do it when you're out? [DH told her and I didn't want him to. We're around her so infrequently I didn't think it ever needed to come up. She is disabled and will not ever be able to have the baby unattended. She cannot get into our house due to the steps and we can only visit her for maybe 15 minutes at a time because her house is so hot I almost faint each time we're there.]


Sasha's Mama's Avatar Sasha's Mama 10:53 PM 07-17-2011

Ugh. I was talking with a small group of birthy women the other day and it came up where/with whom I was going to give birth. I told them the name of my CPM and the CNM there had her eyes rolling back in her head and was making all these crazy grimaces. Then came a bunch of ridiculous awkward questions that were said under the guise of concern for my VBAC and my well being, etc. Her comments were really out of line - things like "is she going to have time to attend your birth, because you know she has to go to class" Uhm... I think my midwife can set her own schedule - last time I checked she was a grown woman... and "well I hope she just doesn't wait a long time to transfer because I've seen so many women come in and their CPMs won't even come in with them and they're left without medical records and all alone (and on and on)" and "where are you going to transfer to? Who's your backup ob? You should get a backup ob" and "I just really want you to get the best care you can get" like that was going to happen from an OB in a hospital w/a 35% c-section rate and a 15% VBAC rate. 


I just wanted to crawl in a hole afterwards and have my baby by myself! Then I had my prenatal and remembered all the wonderful reasons why I've chosen my midwives and that the woman was talking from more of a defensive CNM vs. CPM standpoint and not about my situation in particular. 

justamama's Avatar justamama 11:35 PM 07-17-2011

With dd2, my mom's aunt said I needed to get induced because I AND the baby would die if I even STARTED labor at home. The craziest part is HER MOTHER was a granny midwife in rural Oklahoma!!! Her and her siblings were all born at home.


When I was pregnant with dd2 another aunt, who was a cattle farmer, told me that nursing dd1 would take all my nutrients and starve the baby. dd2, at 37w1d, is still the largest baby I've had (only 7lbs, and only by 3-8oz between her sisters, but still!). In her defense, she was taking what she knew from animals and applying it to me, lol. And she meant it sweetly.


My grandmother, who I've had a very rocky relationship with my entire life (she has been verbally abusive, slapped my DH *then BF* in the face their first meeting, and once after that, etc), after dd1 was born told my mom "For all she's not, at least she's a good mom." From her, it was actually a compliment. :/ But she's calmed down now and ADORES my girls.


When hugely pregnant in late June with dd1, I was at Wal-Mart with my mom shopping. Now, I look VERY young. VERY young. I was 20, but easily could've passed for 12 or 13 (at 27 I still could pass for 15 or 16 easily). A man passed with his two pre-teen daughters and said loudly while looking at me "THAT IS WHY YOU CAN NOT DATE UNTIL YOU ARE 18!"


When DD1 was 5 weeks we were again at Wal-Mart for family pictures. I had dd1 in the ring sling while DH was paying. We were sitting on a bench when 2 girls about my age walked past "That's what's wrong with the country these days."


I've had people ask me if I know what causes that, apologize when they find out we weren't having a boy for the 2nd or 3rd baby, say "well you're finally done now, right?"


The most hurtful was from a co-worker who I know would've felt terrible if she knew how it hurt me. It was never her intention and I knew that. But when I got pregnant with DD2, DD1 was 2.5. She kept making silly comments about how I was popping kids out one after another. I'd lost 3 pregnancies between the two girls.

Sasha's Mama's Avatar Sasha's Mama 12:18 AM 07-18-2011

It's hard when people close to you make comments that they think are jokes but that really hurt. When I had bad morning sickness my mom kept asking me if I was "trying to throw up that baby" and it really made me feel bad, like she thought I didn't want the pregnancy or something. I told her she needed to stop saying it and she felt really awful because she had been trying to make me laugh about MS, not feel worse.

IwannaBanRN's Avatar IwannaBanRN 03:59 AM 07-18-2011

I've gotten comments like this from my mom, Katie. Things like if I complain about being tired or sick and needing help "welcome to motherhood," she'd say. It mostly irritated me when I had the flu while staying at her house with the kids and she had 2 days off and I got zero help from her with the kids. "Oh you're not THAT sick!" I was too sick to walk to the fridge to get my daughter's sippy cup. I know this sounds kinda mean, but I found it bitter sweet when I left 2 days later and she was coming down with what I had and called into work for the next three days. So I threw her comment in her face when she mentioned calling into work "Oh mom, you're not THAT sick!"

IwannaBanRN's Avatar IwannaBanRN 04:01 AM 07-18-2011


Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post


And to IwannaBanRN - I can't believe that someone would say anything that rude out loud! WOW. That totally trumps my coworker's rude comments. You're probably the only woman in the world with the self control to turn around and walk away without having seriously b****ed out the girl. LOL! Good for you!

Believe me, I was shaking and seeing red, and I knew that it would be nothing but incoherent screaming if I did say something. lol


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 07:40 AM 07-21-2011


Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

I've heard similar responses when I comment about how tired I am or how poor of sleep I've been getting. I don't bother complaining to anyone other than my husband now because I know I'll hear the inevitable, "You think you're not sleeping now, just wait until the baby is born!" Yeah, that sure is a helpful statement.


This one made me laugh and then feel bad b/c I totally get it.  I remember when I was pregnant with my first and I got this comment a LOT.  Especially the "it's just practice for motherhood!" statement, which really makes no sense.  If you're preparing for no sleep you should try and get as much sleep as you can now!  Anyway, I used to be so annoyed b/c I WAS tired.  I had dislocated ribs and a dislocated tailbone that kept me up most of the night and caused pain all day.  So I didn't appreciate hearing how much more tired I was going to be when the baby was born... like my current feelings were not valid.   Then dd was born and MAN if those people weren't right!  irked.gif  However it doesn't mean that they have to say it to your face while your pregnant- maybe you'll be blessed with an awesome sleeper!  I try my hardest to remember this now when I'm talking with other pregnant women who are dealing with frequent night peeing, aches and pains, etc.  I go for the sympathetic smile instead. 


birdhappy85's Avatar birdhappy85 08:00 AM 07-21-2011

Jaimee - You hit the nail on the head when you said it's as if our current feelings are not valid in those moments! I have felt so invalidated throughout this pregnancy, even though everyone is happy for us. Some people jump in from time to time and give me enough validation to make it through the next day and the next day... but all of the invalidation being thrown at me is bringing me down! Since my hormones are doing crazy things to me mentally, I can't even cope like I normally would and instead have become so insecure. It's just a crappy situation. nut.gif I wish I were experiencing a typical pregnancy. It's a lot harder to be dealing with multiple problems like pubic symphysis, sleep apnea, food intolerances, thyroid disorder, anxiety, etc etc and losing my ability to function at work now. You'd think people would be more sympathetic, but I actually feel like it's the opposite. Sorry for the generalization here, but I swear people - even women themselves! - are less sympathetic of pregnant women than ever before in history. Some people don't understand any extra strains while pregnant because they just plain haven't been through it! I totally understand where you're coming from with having pain and difficulty sleeping. If it were a normal "pregnancy tired" then that's one thing, but when other forces are at work - give us a dang break! lol *the end* redface.gif

jasmin85's Avatar jasmin85 10:13 AM 07-21-2011

My friend and I are both pregnant, due only weeks apart, and we had a chance to go out to lunch without our kiddos in tow.  A woman was at the cafe and had twin 3 year old boys and was trying to give us the "preview of coming events" speech, which I have been guilty of if I'm being honest.  But, we just nicely told her we have kids and boy do we know.  So then after we order and go sit down, she comes over to us and pulls up a chair and asks her 3 year olds to "tell us what it's like to have a 3 year old", and one of them looks at me for a second then hits my belly and punches my arm and then walks away.  These kids were bat-shit-crazy-hyped up....uhh, yeah, I've got a 5 year old and my friend has 3 and 7 year old boys....thaaaaanks for the update.  And then when she couldn't "school" us on having 3 year olds OR boys she goes on to talk about how she's glad that she's "so old" because she doesn't have anything else she's wanting to do other than be there for her sweet boys....ummm...kaaaaaaaaaaay.  Just. Weird.


Oh, and an update on my grandma, she topped herself this time:  I was sharing a small ice cream with my daughter and she says, "Remember, you'll have to take that OFF later!".  Yup.  Thaaaanks, I'm doing just fine.


Most of the time, people really mean well and are trying to relate or be helpful in a situation where they can't currently relate.  But, it always seems to be a bad time, and I hope I remember that when I'm not pregnant.  It's also hard for us because we're kind of exposed, even if we don't want to talk about it people know at least one thing about you immediately by looking at you, so instead of talking weather they talk baby.  Also, I recognize that those with small children really need to feel useful, too, hence the "advice"...but still.  duh.gif

talktomenow's Avatar talktomenow 10:27 AM 07-21-2011

Weird story, Jasmin! How odd.


I've noticed that no one says anything to me when I have my kids with me. If I'm alone, however, that's when I get comments. I think first time moms must be targets! I guess when people see me with kids they think, "Darn! She's done this before. Can't give her any of my 'wisdom'". lol.gif


I think my favorite thing is the size comments and how the vary from person to person. In the same day I'll hear that I'm tiny from one person and huge from another. Random.

birdhappy85's Avatar birdhappy85 10:38 AM 07-21-2011

ROTFLMAO.gif Sorry to laugh but wow, Jasmin, that story is insane. I can't believe that woman had the guts to just pull up a chair and do that!!! And that comment from your grandma too, jeez....

kaypea's Avatar kaypea 04:16 PM 07-21-2011

Yeah, I feel like I'm getting much less "advice" the second time around. Mostly just sympathy - "Oh, it must be SO HARD to be pregnant and have to chase after a toddler."  


But the first time? Hoo boy. I got all the usual ones mentioned above, plus what I thought to be the most annoying one "Better get lots of sleep now, because you won't once the baby comes!" Like sleep was just something I could bank up and save for those sleep-deprived early days.  


The best one from the first pregnancy though: I was on my way home from a midwives appointment, and stopped in at Value Village to see what was there. The woman behind me was APPALLED at how swollen my ankles were (they were, I couldn't shove my feet into any real shoes, and was wearing flip flops in March.) and practically pushed me out the door saying in a panicky voice "You have to go to the hospital NOW - you DEFINITELY have preeclampsia. Did you know that can KILL YOU? And your BABY? GO NOW!" 


I was kind of shocked by this, and replied snappishly "Thanks, but I just had my blood pressure taken 20 minutes ago, and it was perfectly fine."


And the thing was, she kept insisting that I was going to die unless I went to the hospital, until I finished paying and left the store. I'm glad she was so ridiculous that I had to just laugh. 

IwannaBanRN's Avatar IwannaBanRN 06:11 PM 07-21-2011

UGH! Jasmin, what a horrible way to tell someone how to be a mom! Basically, by saying she had nothing better to do than be with her boys, she was insulting you cuz you didn't have your kids with you. I HATE things like that. My son is visiting my mom for a month this summer, partly because he is a tyrant(lol) and partly because the situation I was in was unstable and since he's old enough to remember, I didn't want him around that. I get people ALL the time, saying I've abandoned him because I think he's a bad kid, and this is NOT the case at all. I miss my son badly enough without horrible assumptions such as these from either complete strangers or from misinformed, gossipy family. It's just..... *Growl*