Were you ever incorrectly judged? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 03-19-2003, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's another question, also stemming from some of the heated threads here. Were you ever in a situation where, if another AP mom saw you and knew nothing about you, they may have thought poorly of your parenting?

I remember one time I was at a mall and dd was about a year old, and she was really tired and fell asleep in the stroller, and then a loud noise from some construction woke her up and she was all disoriented and started to scream. I tried everything - nursing, holding her close, distraction, a snack...nothing was working. I knew she would probably fall asleep again on the ride home, and I wanted to get her to the car. I tried carrying her in one arm and pushing the stroller with the other, but she was kicking so hard I almost dropped her, and I was worried about the parking lot, so I managed to get her back into the stroller and walked as fast as I could out of the mall - I was practically running. She was screaming the whole time. I felt like everyone was looking at me and thinking I was just ignoring my screaming kid!

Remembering this helps me stop myself when I find myself about to pass judgment on someone I see - because you never know the whole story...
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#2 of 54 Old 03-19-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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I'm sure there are many instances where I appear to be a horrible parent. I have children with special needs, and not the type that are visible. We have major breakdowns on a regular basis, and I deal with them the best that I can, but I know that from the outside people will be watching and judging. I actually have a friend who told me that she thought I was a horrible person at first because of something she saw. (My son was being chased and physically assaulted by some older children- all she saw was me yelling at a child) Of course, she didn't know all of what was going on, not did she know anything about my son. We all have moments that challenge us as a parent- why would you look at another parent and judge wether or not they are attatched enough to pursue a friendship with or not based on that moment in time?
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#3 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 01:32 AM
 
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I know that I have been judged, but what's worse is that I have openly judged others. Even worse, the most recent judgement I passed was of another AP mommy. I KNOW she's AP and I know she's a damn good mom and I still judged her - in writing.

Yes, I am ashamed of myself. I have always been very judgemental because I am an idealist and no one is ever good enough for me. I am working hard to combat my worst traits - this is by far the worst one!

Someone once called me a Breastfeeding Nazi after I pointed out why it's best to BF.
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#4 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 01:47 AM
 
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When I was about 6 months pregnant I had to have my wedding band CUT off my finger (in 2 pieces) because it was cutting off my circulation. I still haven't had it fixed so I am ringless. I am also only 22 and looked younger with my chubby preggo face. I get the dirtiest looks from people who would stare at my enormous belly (or now at my DD) and then stare at my left ring finger. I don't know if it makes me more angry that those people are being so judgemental of an (assumed) un-wed mother or that I AM married and they are making judgements without even getting the whole story.

(BTW- I mean NO offense at all to actual un-wed mothers... I think that all babies are blessings regardless of whether or not their parents are legally bound by a piece of paper.)
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#5 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 02:29 AM
 
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I have been thinking about this thread. my sil is very judgemental, but thats a whole thread of its own....

i was at the grocery store when my third child was about 4 months old. my two older children were almost 9 and almost 12 yrs old. the baby has blonde hair and blue eyes....well this woman is standing behind me in the checkout, and looks at my kids then at me, and says "do they have the same father?", i said "excuse me?" she said, "do they have the same dad, or is he from a second marriage?".....i shot back "yeah, same dick".

end of conversation.

recently i was at work when the xray tech asked why i only worked sat & sun. i said so my husband can be with the kids. and i added that my 4 yr old stuttered when he was away from me, so i stay home all week. she told me that was stupid, and that he was manipulating me and i had to "put a stop to it right away".
maybe that isnt judgemental enough, but when she said that, i thought of my delicious gorgeous 4 yr old who only wants to spend his days with me or daddy...is that so bad? and why did i feel so crappy after she said that?
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#6 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 08:52 AM
 
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Oh, yes, that's happened to me. One incident that stands out was during a really tiring week when my husband was out of town and I was the on-duty parent 24 hours a day for a week.

One night, we decided to go to the library for evening story time. We didn't usually do that but some friends were going to meet us there. So I feed everyone dinner, clean up, get the kids dressed in their pajamas, pack their sleeping bags in the car, and drive everyone 8 miles to the library. We get there and there's a sign on the door that evening story time is canceled because the librarian had oral surgery that day and just couldn't do it.

OK, fine, so no story time. We met our friends for a few minutes, checked out some books, and were about to leave. I was exhausted, and the kids (at the time, ages 5, 3, and 1) were disappointed and not ready to leave without story time, so I said, "Hey, we'll have a slumber party at home. There's a Blue's Clues special on tonight!"

Another mom (a crunchy-looking one) with two little boys looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said to no one in particular, "Boy, I'm sure glad we don't have cable!"

She probably thought I was a mom who always plopped the kids in front of the TV for hours every day, who never read books to them, blah, blah, blah, but the fact was, my kids were anticipating something special at the library, so I was going to try to do something special at home. Watching a kid show at 8 p.m. with sleeping bags in the family room seemed like a good idea to me, especially as exhaused as I was!

I run into that mom at the library every so often and she acts like she doesn't even see me, like I'm not worthy of her. Part of me wants to go over and tell her, hey, I've been breastfeeding every day since September 1996! We AP! We homeschool! We're a Mothering family! But I was so turned off and hurt by her rudeness and superior tone that one night.

Diana
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#7 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 10:45 AM
 
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The one incident that stands out was with my dd. When she was a little over 3,she would have these temper tantrums. She was always such a calm child but every once in a while if something did not go her way she would just scream and cry and nothing would work. I would have her go sit in her room and I would sit on the floor next to her bed and just let her release all the crying and screaming. I really believe it was just her way of releasing stress and frustration. Well anyway in our neighborhood the houses are close together and dd's bedroom window was next to our neighbors driveway and their kitchen window. It was a hot summer day dd was in her room screaming and crying, I was sitting on her bedroom floor and I hear a knock. it is my neighbor. THis is how our conversation went

me;"Hi."

Neighbor;"Is she okay" (meaning my dd)

Me; "yes, she is just having a moment, she is upset she did not get to do what she wanted"

Neighbor;"well I can hear her screaming and it really bothers me to no end. I have a weak heart(says this as she is buffing on a cig) and her crying bothers me. This is not the first time this has happened. I see you and your husband with her and you seem like good parents MOST of the time. I was just checking."

Me; "well thank you for asking. You can come in and see for yourself if you would like."

Neighbor" No, maybe you could just close her window."

I eneded the conversation there. At first I was like wow that was very brave of her to come over and check on dd, with all the cases of unreported child abuse happenning, then I realized she was thinking I was abusing my dd maybe. Then I got made because I realized she was just annoyed by her crying. She viewed my dd like a dog that you yell at to shut up so it does not bother the neighbors. What really upset me is that she watches her grandson and every morning I would hear her yelling at him because he was taking so long to get going.
We have sinced moved we got the house across the street actually and now the people who bought our house have very loud and energetic teenagers and have friends over all the time. She actually came over and said she would take my dd's screaming over them anyday. Not sure what to make of that. I am still upset because she thought my dd was screaming I was not a good parent all the time, now just most.
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#8 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 10:49 AM
 
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Oh yeah. And there was the time I was struggling to breastfeed my DD, and had a small bottle of formula on the table to give after I nursed. I hated that damn bottle of formula. Some snide child free woman looked at it and said to her boyfriend, "Eww. And it's probably breastmilk! How disgusting!" I remember crying inside, thinking, "I wish!"
If this ever happens again, pick up the bottle, point it her way, and SQUEEZE!!! Then say "Take that you evil doer"!!
Sorry, I am in a weird mood, but I bet she would never bug anyone again!!
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#9 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 10:57 AM
 
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Well, I live down south and a lot of people judge me based on the fact that we dont spank. They think we have permissive parenting. Sometimes when my children are acting over the top I feel like everyones eyes are on me on how I am going to handle it because I dont spank. The fact is my kids are just as well behaved as the spanked kids, if not better, and I am much stricter than the spankers on our street.
Our middle son is adopted and has Fetal Alcohol Effects. I was judged really harshly after we adopted him and in the next year and a half. I breastfed him so that made me a weirdo. When he was 10 weeks old I was severely depressed and needed a break from the constant screams I left him with a dear friend to go on Vacation. (it was hardly a vacation I thought) Even though it was something I did for my sanity instead of commiting myself, I lost friends over it and had to endure the next six months of backstabbing or things said to my face about what an awful mother I was. When our son has tantrums, they often occur in public, we dont know what triggers them and he tries to hurt himself and others -- he has to be restrained using holding therapy. They think we just have some out of control child and that if we just beat on him that would be fixed. They dont understand that his brain has been damaged from alcohol use during pregnancy.
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#10 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 10:59 AM
 
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That must be so painful for you. I have met other moms in your situation. I sympathize with them. Just remember what a loving person you are to have adopted a child that has special needs. It really takes a special mom.
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#11 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 11:01 AM
 
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Mojo mom how rude of that neighbor. Once while visiting my aunt in Savannah after adopting our son he was crying for like six hours straight. She didnt have a rocking chair inside but she had one outside. I was sitting in it rocking him and walking him around the yard some. This went on for hours. One of the neighbors behind her house was spying on me from behind a tree. Later the police came to the door to make sure everything was okay. I was hysterical because my baby was screaming for six hours and now I had a policeman questioning me as to why.
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#12 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 12:48 PM
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My brother was taking his 2 year old ds home from daycare. They walk through an underground mall to get to the subway. He would always let Blake walk to a certain point but then he had to get in the stroller. My brother was in a bit of a rush that day so as I certainly know, when you try and rush a toddler they tend to dig in their heels. So when they got to the point when he needed to get in the stroller Blake refused and ran away etc. My brother tried everything and my brother is a very patient parent but eventually had to scoop him up which resulted in kicking and screaming. Blake started yelling, "ON MY OWN!" which was his standard saying for when he wanted to do something by himself (in this case walking). My brother had to force him into the stroller, Blake was arching his back, the whole nine yards. So while he is struggling with Blake this woman approaches and asks, "Is this your child? Can I see some proof that this is your child?" My brother tells her that yes, this is his child but he's concentrating on dealing with Blake and doesn't really pay attention to her. She has somehow interpreted "On my own" to mean "I don't want to go with this person because he isn't my custodial parent". She goes and gets a security guard and tries to convince him to detain my brother. My brother, who is the most non-aggressive guy you'd ever want to meet, is very angry and says something like, "Look I'm leaving because my child is very upset and I need to get him home. If you don't believe this is my child then call the police but I really can't stay here and talk right now. I have no way of proving to you he is my son but I don't think I should have to prove anything to a total stranger." And he left. When he told me this story a week later he was still boiling with anger.

I told this story to a very AP Mom friend and she immediately said, "Good for her. The more people out there looking after our kids the better." But I feel that if some stranger questioned her parenthood she would flip. I also feel that chances are pretty good that this wouldn't have happened to a mother in this same situation. It's a tough call. This woman did have good intentions but my brother was very upset by the whole experience.
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#13 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 01:20 PM
 
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i have a ld child and years ago he used to have a lot of behavior issues.he used to throw himself around and scream for hours.he used to hurt himself and not even feel it.when he was 3 and in preschool the teacher called csb on me.my son had come to school with a large gash and bruise on his head from throwing himself on our floor and hittinh his head on the piano.it was a good thing a dear friend was with me when csbshowed up at my front door.she backed me up and i had proof of his problems from his ped..when i confronted her(teaxher) about it she was really rude and said she didnt think my son did these things to himself and if i wasnt such a hippy id see that im an abuser and give my children up for adoption.the rumor was i was in a drug induced state and abused him because i bf and looked like a hippy to her.i took him out of school there after i told her what a small minded pig she was and that id reccomend her preschool for little nazis to everyone i knew.terrible rant i know...sorry im o.k. now:mischeif
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#14 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 01:21 PM
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Liz-My first thought is that a child that young wouldn't act that way with a stranger, they usually save it for the parents. I think you are right, a mom would not have gotten the same reaction.

I'm sure I've been judged because of my less than stellar moments of public parenthood, sometimes it is just so stressful out in public with small children. After my first though, I was much less worried about other people and tried to concentrate on helping my child.

FWIW, that comment about the cable tv burns my butt, but then holier than thou comments always get to me.
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#15 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 01:49 PM
 
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I don't look as old as i am and when we were pg with ds 1 iwas 22, 23, and looked about 17 or 18... I worked in a down town area, and everytime i would go to get lunch i would get those holier than thou looks for all the older ladies in their business suits... I just wanted to stand on the street corner and scream, look i am 23, not 16!!!! Not that it should make a difference, but sheesh!!!!


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#16 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 02:21 PM
 
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My dd (she is 7 1/2) and I have a very open, fun relationship. One day we were at Wal-Mart and Justice was into some pillows in the home decor dept. Well, I told her to put them down. I told her this three times. Well finally I said "Justice, if you don't put down that pillow I am going to break off your arms and beat you in the head with them". My darling daughter, who knows me best, smiled her toothless smile at me and rolled her eyes. She knew that I was BY NO MEANS serious and it's something that we joke about regularly. Well, a woman on the next isle said (I am guessing to her daughter) "Madelyn, aren't you glad I don't say things like that to you. What kind of mother would" . I was livid. Then my precious daughter put down the pillow, walked over to me, placed her chubby hand in mine and said (as loud as she could) "My mommy would!" . I love that our relationship is one where we can make jokes and understand that that is all they are.
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#17 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 02:29 PM
 
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Mostly, I get crap for formula feeding. I get it here and in public. I was recently visiting a friend and her aunt asked point blank "Why did you stop nursing?" First, I wanted to say "well, It's none of your dang business!", but I was completely honest and stated " Well, after two weeks, I started to hate the sight of my daughter and didn't want my child to know her mother as the person in the insane asylum...so I went with formula/ We are all better off for it"

That got her on a kick of "oh you poor thing.." when in truth I just want people to accept that I am doing the best thing for my child by feeding her this way.

Sorry---personal vent. I get tired of the formula feeding is killing your child crap
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#18 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 02:30 PM
 
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The worst one for me happened when I was pregnant with my second baby ... I look really young for my age, I always have.

I was walking through the mall carrying Emily (oldest) in her sling and I was hugely pregnant with Juliana (middlest) -- I was about 8 months pregnant and Emily was around a year old. This woman came right into my face (I'm talking a couple inches away from my face!) and literally SCREAMED "YOU 13 YEAR OLDS SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO KEEP YOUR BABIES!!!!!!!" I was stunned and took a step back and said that I was 20, she gets back into my face and yells "YOU DON'T LOOK IT!!" and storms away

The other was when I was sitting in the mall feeding my youngest a bottle and a mom walked past with her 2 kids and said (loud enough for me to hear) "That's mom is being mean, babies like breastmilk better" If I didn't have my 5 month old, 22 month old and almost 3 year old with me I would have chased her down and given her my entire breastfeeding history with all the trials and problems; and tell her there is more to being a good mom than just the ability to breastfeed.

The other was almost constant (sometimes still happens) especially when my girls were younger, if they weren't dressed perfectly with neat hair etc (not just clean but insanely neat) I would be treated very poorly by clerks.
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#19 of 54 Old 03-20-2003, 02:37 PM
 
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That's funny, Andra, my dd, Justice, has the WILDEST hair imaginable.ild I can brush it and 30 sec later it looks awful. The only way I can get it to look reasonable is to pull it back into a ponytail. I am always afraid that when I take her for her yearly checkups, that if she doesn't have her hair pulled back that her docs are going to think that I am a VERY BAD MAMA! Her hair has always been this way. No natural part and very curly, especially during humid months. Oh well! I have given up on that lost cause long ago!
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#20 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 01:21 AM
 
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This is going to sound very petty compared with other people's moments. Lucky for me Cole is at a stage where he LOVES going out and just cheerfully soaks it all in, quiet as a mouse. Plus there is the added benefit of his being unable to walk so he is in the sling and doesn't have much say in where we go and when we do it, nor does it occur to him that he might WANT to have a say in it, hee hee.

Having said all THAT, the other day Cole was playing on the floor and I was sitting by him, cutting my nails because I can't be a good mom with long stabby nails. I was almost finished and Cole started fussing to be picked up - not really crying, just kvetching. I was like, "Just a minute, sweetie," while I'm furiously filing the ragged scratchy edges off my last nail so I don't gouge the boy by accident. But anyone watching would've said, "Look at that horrible mother, giving herself a manicure and ignoring her crying baby!" I must have looked like the embodiment of all that is evil in motherhood - I might as well have been stuffing bon bons in my face while I was at it. :
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#21 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 01:23 PM
 
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Funny - I came here to start a thread on this very topic. An incident at church last Wednesday night is STUCK in my head, and I need to leave it here.

My husband was teaching the Bible Study, and I had our 19 month old son with me, waiting for dh. My son heard his daddy, and went to find him. Once he found him, he was content to stay on dh's lap and just sit. Dh did try to hand him to me so he could continue, and ds had a minor fit. So we let him stay on dh's lap.

One of the older women in the group says, "Looks like someone needs a parenting class." And another Mom pipes up and says,"We know who rules the house there."

I wanted to ask "And who would teach this class? You??"

What JERKS!

I don't think I'll ever feel at home in this church. We've been here 9 months, and there is only one woman that I trust will treat my family with any kind of kindness. I miss my friends at our last church SO much.
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#22 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 02:51 PM
 
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Ds has always been a back-arching, "gotta-stretch-out" kind of kid, even when he was tiny. A woman at my church told me that her 16-year-old daughter saw me one Sunday holding ds and his head was kind of flopped back like he actually preferred it. (He was probably about 2 months old at the time.) So she comes home and tells her mom, "Somebody needs to teach her how to hold a baby!" Even though it was just a teenager, and I knew I was following my ds lead and was a good mom, that comment stayed with me for a long time and really bugged me.

I too have had people tell me, "Boy, he's got your number" to which I say, "Of course he does--I gave it to him!"
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#23 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 07:29 PM
 
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Yes but I was unkind and started a debate on spanking first. It wasn't really ment to slam but it came out that way. So I was slammed back about my working no less, weird.
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#24 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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well, i am looked at and judged by most people daily...but a few times i may of been incorrectly (or correctly) judged by AP parents...

dd was in the sling at cracker barrel, I was eating my food, she was VERY tired, but didnt wanna sleep, wanted to check out cracker barrel and make googly eyes at nearby eaters, so I layed her n a nursing position n the sling, and put a pacifier in her mouth. yes, i did. Its not cuz I didnt want to nurse, I nurse EVERYWHERE....Lowes, Steak resturants, Grocery Stores, Walking/Shopping at Mall...I did it because she had just nursed before we got there and wasnt hungry, and if I let her nurse she gets overfull or something and PUKES everywhere.

one other time, the ONLY time we put her in a stroller (umbrella type), a few weeks ago at the zoo, it was her first time, and she is a crazy girl, so we thought she would want to zip around real fast (she's a 5 month old evil kneivil) up and down the hills.

she did.

Those are the time I may of been judged if I was looking at me

:sinister :sinister :sinister :sinister
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#25 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by khrisday
I'm sure there are many instances where I appear to be a horrible parent. I have children with special needs, and not the type that are visible. We have major breakdowns on a regular basis, and I deal with them the best that I can, but I know that from the outside people will be watching and judging. I actually have a friend who told me that she thought I was a horrible person at first because of something she saw. (My son was being chased and physically assaulted by some older children- all she saw was me yelling at a child) Of course, she didn't know all of what was going on, not did she know anything about my son. We all have moments that challenge us as a parent- why would you look at another parent and judge wether or not they are attatched enough to pursue a friendship with or not based on that moment in time?
This is me to a tee. Our son has invisible special needs. He is also really adorable and cute. When he acts out in public and melts down and goes ballistic, well we (DH and I) are seen as some evil parents that are restraining our child or have an out of control child. I sometimes wish I could drag those people to my house to spend about a week and see how they would fair.
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#26 of 54 Old 03-21-2003, 10:23 PM
 
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OTF....Honestly, i really pay little attention to others when i am, say grocery shopping. If i do witness some sort of meltdown/tantrum/hissy fit, i usually feel sympathetic towards the parent, then guiltily, i feel grateful its not me. However, i am now an ER nurse, and i see alot of kids with "invisible" special needs....those with autism, developmental delays, you name it. the way these kids breakdown when i have to invade their space is truely heartbreaking, and i am often at a loss at how to soothe both the child and mom.

usually, i page overhead for all visitors to leave, that there is a helicopter landing, so they will leave and not gawk.

my heart goes out to you and yours.
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#27 of 54 Old 03-24-2003, 04:41 AM
 
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My son has chemical intolerances, mostly to food chemicals, so his diet is very restricted. Apart from preservatives, colours and flavours, he cannot have anything with salicylates or amines in. This means that the only fruit he can safely eat is ripe peeled pears, and the only veg are potatoes, cabbage, spring onions, brussel sprouts and a few more. I'm constantly judged for this as a parent who isn't feeding her child properly. Add to this the fact that James loves all the fruit and veg he can't tolerate, so I sometimes have to take things off him, or out of his mouth if he's snuck something and already started eating. I do get disheartened, it's bad enough that he can't eat the things he likes, even the healthy things, without being constantly badgered by all and sundry about it!
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#28 of 54 Old 03-24-2003, 11:19 AM
 
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I have one friend who doesn't think I'm strict enough with Abi. She's a very spirited toddler and will have a meltdown at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it's not worth the power struggle so we compromise, or I choose to ignore the behavior if it's not destructive. For example she got into a mode where she was pulling boooks off the shelves during a visit from this friend. I chose to ignore it. I knew she would get locked into doing that even if I had her help me put the books away or told her not to do it. After the visit I talked to her about the "poor books falling down and getting hurt" and Abi thought about it and then helped me put them away. But at that moment when she was doing it I don't think she could have processed it.

Anyway my point was that I find myself explaining dd's behavior and my parenting of her to people when I shouldn't have to justify it at all.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#29 of 54 Old 03-24-2003, 01:04 PM
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Take a long hard look at yourselves, ladies. If you really think somebody, even the most AP amongst us, would judge you harshly for some of these behaviours then you are obviously an overly judgemental person yourself.

I think the most important lesson I have learned through having a kid is to never say never and never judge someone else for a parenting practice because I could have just as easily found myself in a situation where I was forced into that practice. You never know the whole story.

Sorry if this seems harsh but I was getting a little sickened by this thread.
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#30 of 54 Old 03-24-2003, 01:28 PM
 
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Mamas,
when i agree with the post i was trying more to sound like Laralou and Marcy.

i apologize, as what i was trying to convey, did not happen.....

but its true....i never would have thought i would get judged for bottle feeding ebm till i came here.

everyone has a right to their opinion, but i was tring to say that i have been judged, and really pay no mind to the bottlefeeding, disposable diping, pacifier loving mamas....kwim? ( i mean, i have done all those things!!!)

but then, why do i feel compelled to point out that i bf all three, co slept, gd, modified ap?

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