Argh! Why do people stare at me so much? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 44 Old 02-07-2007, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went to Target with DD in a ring sling, facing out.

I got *the* dirtiest looks from two moms with kiddos in strollers. I just smiled at them and smiled at the kiddos. I mean, what do I know, maybe they've got back problems and can't babywear. I don't care that their kiddos are in strollers! My DD and I are happy with a sling, for our reasons.

Maybe it was my scarf. I've gotten a few dirty looks about it since 9/11. Maybe the combination of my scarf and the sling makes me look too foreign, and in these xenophobic times that justifies a dirty look.

I did get really sweet smiles from two elder couples though. That makes me feel better but it doesn't erase those other looks.

</vent> Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 44 Old 02-07-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Sorry to hear that..
I get stared at also, but it's more like people are doing a double take... Now I had to wear my old Bjorn the other day, and no one did a double take at all? Only when I wear my wraps...I think it's jealousy
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#3 of 44 Old 02-07-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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I get that all the time also! I am the only person I've ever seen - EVER - in our area wearing a sling. I've seen Bjorn's a couple of times, but noone using slings. Well I take that back, when I first had my first I saw a girl at the peds one day wearing one. But that's it.
However, everywhere you go girls are pushing big SUV strollers and running people down. Noone gives them a second glance. I don't understand this.
I was at the mall the other day and a younger pregnant girl asked me where I got my sling. I hope to see her out in it one day.

Sorry you got the ugly looks! Yeah- I bet they were jealous! HAHA!
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#4 of 44 Old 02-08-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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I don't wear a hajib (am catholic LOL) and I get the same dirty looks from moms with kids in strollers and the same nice looks from the elderly.
I think the "young" are way too wrapped up in needing to fit in a box and are very threatened by those that don't and the old know there are more important things in life, like precious babies

Kelly
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#5 of 44 Old 02-08-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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I think some people really are trying to figure out how I got her in there....
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#6 of 44 Old 02-08-2007, 01:13 AM
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I haven't gotten many dirty looks this time around, but I have gotten a lot of compliments and some people have seemed jealous. It's a a nice change. I think people in my little town are *finally* getting used to me after having lived here my entire life

I expect to get the dirty looks the first time I go to STL with the baby in the sling.
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#7 of 44 Old 02-08-2007, 01:24 AM
 
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I agree that most people are just in awe and are too afraid to ask about it.
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#8 of 44 Old 02-08-2007, 01:39 AM
 
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I stare at people with slings. Where there's a sling, there might be a cute baby! Plus, I'm trying to tell if the sling is homemade.

I stare at people in hajibs. Well, okay, only if I love the color, there's just something about silken fabric that makes things more beautiful. Plus, I do 12th century dress up (SCA) and it's cool to see how veils are worn modernly. (Same reason I stare at nuns.)

I don't mean to stare, it just happens because I get caught up in thinking about things and forget to move my eyes. As soon as I realize I'm staring I stop.

But, I am thinking, and my default expression looks very glum or dour. As a kid I kept getting that "it takes 14 muscles to frown but only 7 to smile" line when I *wasn't* frowning.

So give people like that a big grin. If they're accidentally staring, they'll look a bit embarassed and smile back--and stop staring. If they're being deliberately rude, well, at least they might stop glaring at you.
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#9 of 44 Old 02-08-2007, 03:38 AM
 
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I like to look at mama's with babies in slings, wraps, even ergos! I just like to see little babies riding and moms. But I would have smiled at you, not glared! Maybe they just wanted to be out of target or something.
When I see you in target, I'll smile (I'll probably have a kid on me too, and one strapped in a stoller depending on the mood of my 3 year old son these days! He thinks it funny to see his mama running after him and he likes to hide and hear me looking for him... )

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#10 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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I say lift your chin up, pull your shoulders back and be proud! BW representing! LOL!
Listen, this is still a stroller nation. I have a blazing orange Bugaboo myself. (don't flame me pls) Yes, I would do it differently today.
If I could do it over again, I'd wear Devon from the first hour on.

My grandma carried me on her back in a mei tai way longer than she probably should.
She was still carrying me when I was old enough to have the most treasured memories of feeling incredibly safe and secured in the world.
I don't think I ever quite felt that way again.

I am Chinese from Hong Kong and my grandma was from China. The mei tai was crimson red silk with embroidery befitting Joseph's amazing dreamcoat of techincolor. I only wish I have it today.
Quite many a Chinese I know would not consider bw b.c it is considered old-fashioned and defeating to the purpose of technological advancement. Several of my family members feel this way.
Obviously, I am not one of them. My parents showed (still do) their love with a curt economy. I am an outwardly cuddly, huggy, lovey person today b.c my grandma carried me and in doing so, it instilled in me a sense that love in a sometimes cruel world can be possible. I can almost remember each step she took, the delicious sensation. And with each sway of her gait, I clung to her. I would've clung on closer if I knew what I know now.

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http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r.../marydevon.jpg

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#11 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PortraitPixie View Post
I think some people really are trying to figure out how I got her in there....
Me too, or like here it's still cool out but I can't carry her froggy style anymore so I put her in a fleece pouch on my hip with just her head sticking out. Then I put on a coat and her head is peeping from under my arm. Sometimes we walk this way with DS walkign or in stroller and I think sometimes people go home trying to figure out how there is a head poking out of my arm

Although I gotta say. I think maybe you are looking at things wrong. Why would woman pushing a stroller give you a dirty look? I think sometimes people who "baby wear" think: oh how could you use a stroller... everyone else must either wish they could be like me.... or think I'm weird...Why is everyone staring at me? I don't get it, and I've always wanted to say this so it's not directed at you. But there are alawys threads about "I was given such a dirty look" "why do I get so many weird/rude comments. Sometimes I think people who do carry their kids are just looking for something to see in people!

SO, not accusing you OP, but maybe you should think if maybe you're trying to read into everyone around you

I've never had anything but positive comments, or a strange look of confusion, maybe a chuckle (I assume cause they are so cute ). I've read here of people who are physically stopped on the street so someone can lecture them. I don't get it , nothing like this I've ever seen IRL
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#12 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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They could be thinking that you think of them as lesser for using a stroller. I know that sounds strange, but when I had Pi in the stroller (I had to go clothes shopping and try lots of stuff on- easier to have her in a stoller) and I saw moms wearing their babies, I would hide my head in shame because I would feel like a bad mom for not having her in the mei tai.
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#13 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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They could be thinking that you think of them as lesser for using a stroller. I know that sounds strange, but when I had Pi in the stroller (I had to go clothes shopping and try lots of stuff on- easier to have her in a stoller) and I saw moms wearing their babies, I would hide my head in shame because I would feel like a bad mom for not having her in the mei tai.
That's totally ridiculous! Don't hang your head in shame for nobody mama . People who walk with their noses up in the air have nothing better to do. And yes I agree, woman look down on each other for all sorts of things. It's totally pathetic.
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#14 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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No one stares or even looks twice at me for babywearing here in Oregon, but my oh my when we went to visit my parents in Washington DC it was a totally different scenario. We couldn't walk two feet without someone asking about the baby in the sling, or in many cases, what was that in that contraption? Is that really safe? All of the people who actually stopped us to ask were just curious, and in most cases had never seen a sling before.

In between being stopped by people asking about the sling, definitely every person stared at us! It was kind of funny, actually...Neither dh or I minded. It's all about getting the babywearing word out!

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#15 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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I've just recently started wearing my newborn out in public. (either in a RS or a pouch) So far, I've had several people stop me to ask if I had a baby in there or a PUPPY!!! I had never heard of such a thing!! Anyone else??
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#16 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lmartinx1 View Post
I've just recently started wearing my newborn out in public. (either in a RS or a pouch) So far, I've had several people stop me to ask if I had a baby in there or a PUPPY!!! I had never heard of such a thing!! Anyone else??
Ha! Never heard that, though before we had the babe, both myself & dh tried slinging with one of our cats. Didn't go out with them in it though. And she was surprisingly tolerant of it for a bit there too.
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#17 of 44 Old 02-09-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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Good!! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that thought that was a strange question!?!
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#18 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 07:07 PM
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I've just recently started wearing my newborn out in public. (either in a RS or a pouch) So far, I've had several people stop me to ask if I had a baby in there or a PUPPY!!! I had never heard of such a thing!! Anyone else??
People in France carry their dogs around in shopping bags...
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#19 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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My grandma carried me on her back in a mei tai way longer than she probably should.
She was still carrying me when I was old enough to have the most treasured memories of feeling incredibly safe and secured in the world.
I don't think I ever quite felt that way again.

I am Chinese from Hong Kong and my grandma was from China. The mei tai was crimson red silk with embroidery befitting Joseph's amazing dreamcoat of techincolor. I only wish I have it today.
Quite many a Chinese I know would not consider bw b.c it is considered old-fashioned and defeating to the purpose of technological advancement. Several of my family members feel this way.
Obviously, I am not one of them. My parents showed (still do) their love with a curt economy. I am an outwardly cuddly, huggy, lovey person today b.c my grandma carried me and in doing so, it instilled in me a sense that love in a sometimes cruel world can be possible. I can almost remember each step she took, the delicious sensation. And with each sway of her gait, I clung to her. I would've clung on closer if I knew what I know now.
Thanks for sharing that beautiful memory of your grandma wearing you, it made me smile.

Keeping busy with 2 boys & 1 girl ('04, '06, '08)
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#20 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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People trip over themselves to talk with me when I have the baby in our wrap. I've seen nothing but 100% positive reaction.

Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12 2ndtri.gif

 
       

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#21 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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They're jealous
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#22 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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Serena - I've wondered, "Is it the hijab and niqab or the sling?" a few times myself when I got random dirty looks from strangers. I just shrug it off, though, because for all I know, they lost their glasses and have to give an evil squinty death glare. LOL. And I've gotten more positive comments on the sling from the older generation too.
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#23 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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I get stares a lot, but no dirty looks. When dh wears a sling he REALLY gets stares!! I think people just don't know what to think of it.
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#24 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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I'm sorry to hear of the mamas who get dirty looks. I try to look sneakily because I think seeing a mama (or dad!) with a baby strapped to them is so beautiful and precious!
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#25 of 44 Old 02-11-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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If you ever see a petite, pregnant lady with a round face and brown hair sneek a peek, it's just me! Although, I'm not shy, so as soon as I knew you caught my look, I'd be over asking what type of sling it was, where you got it, etc. I'm trying to find out all I need to know about babywearing!

Mama to a beautiful little girl, born July 18, 2007
Eager for a VBAC some time around April 10, 2010!
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#26 of 44 Old 02-12-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I stare at people with slings. Where there's a sling, there might be a cute baby! Plus, I'm trying to tell if the sling is homemade.

I stare at people in hajibs. Well, okay, only if I love the color, there's just something about silken fabric that makes things more beautiful. Plus, I do 12th century dress up (SCA) and it's cool to see how veils are worn modernly. (Same reason I stare at nuns.)

I don't mean to stare, it just happens because I get caught up in thinking about things and forget to move my eyes. As soon as I realize I'm staring I stop.
I find myself doing that too. I LOVE the wonderful fabrics patterns and lace trims I see on the scarves and wish I had a reason to wear them. I also try to figure out how they keep them on. I have a drawer full of scarves and feel I never have any reason to wear them. They are so lovely in the box, but I can never figure out how to wear them.

I also look at women who are baby wearing to see how they are doing it and to see if I can learn something new.

I hope they don't think I'm giving them a dirty look but I'm sure they may think I'm rather odd.

Sorry about the dirty looks. There is no excuse for that. I've been on the recieving end of these when out with DH in his uniform. Mostly people are very nice, but we had one koot go off about the Iraq war in the airport. It was really sad as I was so excited to show DH that DD had learned to nurse and he had been gone for some time. It put a bit of a damper on our reunion, and that was the first time I told someone to F-off in front of DD.
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#27 of 44 Old 02-12-2007, 12:18 AM
 
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I'll bet I would have looked too long at you because you sound like an interesting person. A sling and a scarf? I'd be thinking, what a cool lady she must be! And I'd forget not to stare. Sorry. I'm kind of a hopeless people watcher. But I'd probably have my kid in a sutemi carrier so it would be obvious that I'm down.
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#28 of 44 Old 02-12-2007, 03:15 AM
 
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I just can't comprehend anyone glaring at a sling wearer. It makes no sense to me. But I'm in Portland where "normal" is not the norm.
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#29 of 44 Old 02-12-2007, 03:25 AM
 
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I am in a place where babywearing is not so unusual. What gets the people staring at me is when dd and I do our toddler/mama acrobatics to get her onto my back and into her Ergo (she's a pro)! I swear, if I had a dime for everytime I heard, "Need some help?"...I usually say, "No thanks, it might screw us up and cause dd to fall!"

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#30 of 44 Old 02-12-2007, 03:32 AM
 
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People have stared at me too. I live in a very rural area, everybody knows everyone's business if ykim? I don't like it. Part of the reason why I want to move!!

Anyway be proud mama for doing the best for your child!! Truly maybe they are just curious?? Hopefully that is the case.
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