Do you often cringe at other's parenting? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 111 Old 02-17-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm much more embarrassed about the times I lost it and yelled at home. I really don't care about a bunch of strangers, yk? It's having to face the people you see every day after you've been a perfect @$$ that is the worst, imo, and knowing you've said something they'll carry around forever no matter how many times you say you're sorry.

That's a very good point, and I agree.
Even though I do see stuff that I think is cringe-worthy, it's so true that there are so many situations that outsiders just wouldn't get.
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#92 of 111 Old 02-17-2009, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post
i've been thinking about this a lot lately and what i've come up with is this:

when i do things that negatively affect my children i am a bad mom. when others do things that negatively affect their children they are bad parents too.

it doesn't mean that i am a bad mom all the time, in fact, i'm probably only stressed out enough to be a bad mom about 5% of the time and the rest of the time i'm a darn good mom!

it's still there and to justify it or say i'm doing the best i can is fine, it may even be the truth, but it certainly doesn't make it excusable for me to negatively impact my children's mental or physical well-being. and i think that if we continue to excuse it that we are just perpetuating the problem.

i can still strive to be better and so can everyone else. there's nothing stopping any of us from being better parents.
ITA with this, obviouisly lol - but not so much that you are a bad mom just that us good moms sometimes do bad things.

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I always hope they're coming here later to post in the parenting and rage thread, or to start a thread of their own about what an awful day they had and how bad they feel about it.

I've had a couple of incidents I wish I could erase.

But there are sometimes things outsiders can't understand. Our therapist unlocked something that had never occurred to me with dsd when she was having 'accidents' in public all the time and causing huge scenes that sometimes culminated in store managers bringing her a wheelchair and people offering to call an ambulance. We had a couple of trips to the ER and several scares in addition to the things we saw through when the therapist told us she was trying to recreate the constant trips to the hospital her bio-mom had due to all her suicide attempts when dsd was very small and didn't have a clear understanding of what was happening.

The only way we could handle this was to reassure onlookers that she was fine, and tell her to get up and stop the hysterics. I'm sure we looked perfectly awful to anyone who didn't know what was going on, and it was very embarrassing at times, but after a few months the incidents stopped completely.

I'm much more embarrassed about the times I lost it and yelled at home. I really don't care about a bunch of strangers, yk? It's having to face the people you see every day after you've been a perfect @$$ that is the worst, imo, and knowing you've said something they'll carry around forever no matter how many times you say you're sorry.

I think those of us from dysfunctional families know how damaging that is, and have to work the hardest not to repeat our parent's mistakes, even though you'd think it would be easy to avoid them.
I totally understand this point of view. I came from a family like that and so did DH and its very hard not to repeat mistakes, and it happens. you have to forgive yourself. I, like you, really don't care what strangers think. I am so sorry your dsd went through that and for the stress it must have caused your whole family during those episodes. It may have looked aweful to others, but who cares? you knew what was right and what was really going on and perhaps there are onlookers (like me) who aren't standing there judging you but rather thinking to themselves what they would do in that situation (that situation as it appears, not as it actually is) and perhaps you helped them grow as a parent because of them seeing that ya know? as for being embarrassed what I do when things go less then perfect is remind myself that it happens to EVER parent. I know when I see a parent with a tantrumming child I think back to that day at the mall with DD or that time at the water park with DS1 and I think - thank god its not my turn! and when it was my turn I was thinking - this is okay. its just my turn to be "that person" today. It's not a reflection of my parenting. that kind of thinking, while the situation was still hard, did help me.

People are going to judge. it happens. we can't change the way they judge. maybe some ladies here never judge and just try to be compassionate. if im going to talk to the person I'd be compassionate, but if im biting my tongue I tend to just look at it and think what approach I could use if it were me that would work for *my* family and respect *my* values.

Had I witnessed what you described I would have imagined what to do in that situation as it appeared. who knows what I would do in that situation as it really was, but I still would have gained something from witnessing it. of an outsider, I obviously wouldn't "get it" but it would still help me as a parent. hope that makes sense. FTR what you described isnt the kind of thing that I would cringe at anyway, but even if a person does cringe at it, so what! like you said, they couldn't possibly understand! but maybe they can walk away with an idea how they would handle what they perceived the situation to be, in a way that suits their family.

I guess I just see my own embarrassing cringe worthy moments as educational for myself and bystanders alike, just in different ways. perhaps this approach just saves my sanity in the way thinking up reasons or excuses may save the sanity of other mothers here. we all have a different way to deal - but I don't think just because someone "judges" a situation as it appears that it means they are trying to be high and mighty - though, im sure some are - but those people don't matter either. no one does. we all just need to worry about our own families. some people don't do that. and some people do that by thinking up reasons, and some people do that by thinking how they would do things differently...

(hugs) for all your family went through.
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#93 of 111 Old 02-17-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post

when i do things that negatively affect my children i am a bad mom. when others do things that negatively affect their children they are bad parents too.
I disagree. When you do something that negatively affects your child, you are not a "bad mom." You are a human mom, who has done something that negatively affects your child. You may indeed need to change, you may indeed need to admit it hurt your child, it may be accurate to say that what you did was wrong. But you are not a bad mother. And other parents I encounter who do things I think are hurtful to their kids are also not bad parents. They, like I, are muddling through life and parenting doing the best they can given their lifetime of (and immediate) circumstances, information, and skills.
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#94 of 111 Old 02-17-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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I think most of the cringing I did was before I became a parent!

Now, even though my DD is only 13 months old, I've already done and said things I always swore I would never do. But I've also, in many ways, been a better parent than I would have thought I would be too.

The best parent in the world does things they're not proud of when circumstances get beyond their control. Try dealing with extreme sleep deprivation, illness in yourself and child, family problems and yada yada other stuff and there are times when you'll snap and say or do something that you'll regret the next instant.

The other thing I try to keep in mind is that not everybody sees things the way that I do. Another more 'traditional' parent could very well look at me, APing, BFing (ENing now I guess, lol!), BWing and all that stuff and 'cringe' at my bad parenting, because they genuinely believe that kids need 'tough love' or to be independent, or whatever. I do the best I can for my child by my standards and with the information and resources I have, and they do the same for their child too. The type of parenting might be totally opposite, but the intent is good in both cases.

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#95 of 111 Old 02-18-2009, 04:17 AM
 
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This has been an interesting thread. Like many on here, I find myself cringing less and less and I have had my many moments!

The thing that most makes me cringe is parents ignoring their children. It drives me nuts, especially when their children are pushing MY children down in the playplace like happened tonight. GRRRR!!!

It seems to me that I seldom hear parents yell at their children, I NEVER see parents hit in public. It just isn't done here they way I guess it still is in the south. I rarely hear parents swear at their children. I do see a lot of good parenting out there. But the thing that really bothers me is when someone's child is rude or aggressive to my child and the parent doesn't even TRY to do anything about it. If they notice at all, they might half-heartedly yell across the playground, "Don't push!" and then go back to their laptop or their conversation. There is no teaching, no interaction, no manners. I find that frustrating.

it is something different entirely if a child pushes or hits and the parent is there working with them.... be it whatever style they use. At least they are trying to teach.

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#96 of 111 Old 02-18-2009, 09:02 AM
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oh man, swearing! yeah we here a lot of yelling and swearing here. I once had to go out my front door and tell a mom to keep it down (she was yeling for about 20 minutes at her kids sitting outside who I guess missed the bus for school.

And cursing - my last neighbors used to be the "give a millions warnings, then threaten to hit" and used to yell thing such threats across the apartment complex - saying things like "I'm going to f'in hurt you" (but using the actual word). it was very sad

whatever they were doing wasn't working. I know kids get into trouble no matter what but with these kids it was constant. stealing from k-mart (bit items too? and at 12yo!) and taking all these little things out of the air conditioners all around the apt. complex that makes them work so no one had air conditioning. they also threw away their school clothes once and then said they saw a bum steal their laundry. and the grafitti... the list goes on. very public too, like if you said "how are you" it was "I had to ground my son for xyz"

a lot of people called them "bad kids" but I just saw kids who needed some love and discipline (without violence)
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#97 of 111 Old 02-18-2009, 09:02 AM
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oh man, swearing! yeah we here a lot of yelling and swearing here. I once had to go out my front door and tell a mom to keep it down (she was yeling for about 20 minutes at her kids sitting outside who I guess missed the bus for school.

And cursing - my last neighbors used to be the "give a millions warnings, then threaten to hit" and used to yell thing such threats across the apartment complex - saying things like "I'm going to f'in hurt you" (but using the actual word). it was very sad

whatever they were doing wasn't working. I know kids get into trouble no matter what but with these kids it was constant. stealing from k-mart (bit items too? and at 12yo!) and taking all these little things out of the air conditioners all around the apt. complex that makes them work so no one had air conditioning. they also threw away their school clothes once and then said they saw a bum steal their laundry. and the grafitti... the list goes on. very public too, like if you said "how are you" it was "I had to ground my son for xyz"

a lot of people called them "bad kids" but I just saw kids who needed some love and discipline (without violence)
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#98 of 111 Old 02-18-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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I'm definitely cringeworthy as often as I'm cringing, these days...

While I understand the need people feel to help out, I have to echo PPs who have said they would be frustrated by "interventions." I'm not talking about situations of clear abuse, of course--but it drives me absolutely bonkers when some well-meaning person tries to "intervene" when we're out and about having "issues."

We have friends who do this, actually. They are very kind and sweet people, but they overstep sometimes. Their son is in day care with our DD (both 3yo), and we are often at events or out to play together. More than once, when my DD has had a tantrum or otherwise been acting out, one of her friend's parents will say, "Oh, A, do you want a snack?" and start to get one out for her. I know they're trying to redirect her and calm her down, but our approach is not to reward tantrums by offering treats. (I may try to prevent one by making sure I offer snacks early on before behavior gets out of hand, but once you start throwing fits, you don't get a cookie to try to convince you to stop.)

It frustrates me because they don't ask me--they just start to offer, and then I have to say, "No, we don't reward A for having a tantrum" --and the fact that she's not getting a treat then can make the tantrum worse.

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#99 of 111 Old 02-18-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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I'm sure I've been the subject of cringing. Especially at the store. Frick, it's difficult and frustrating to shop with my girls at their current ages (2.5 and 5). And I have to. I have no choice but to take them or we don't eat. AND, it's almost always after work so I'm tired.

My fellow shoppers don't have the benefit of seeing what goes on the other 99% of my life. Just that my kids are trying to kill themselves by standing up in the cart, run the cart into giant pyramids of wine, pinch each other, grab sweets off the shelves, announce they have to go potty in a busy check-out line etc.

I try to have a little sympathy, because I truly believe we've all had those moments.
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#100 of 111 Old 02-22-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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while the example you gave definitely rubs me the wrong way (such reckless parenting to make children worry more about what 'other people' will think of the way they look), but generally i try not to judge too much lest all of my comments and actions were being judged!! The only thing that would really upset me is abuse, physical or emotional.

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#101 of 111 Old 02-27-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lilmissimpatient@c View Post
Occasionally, yes.

A few weeks ago we were in the waiting room for the pediatrician, and a little boy probably about 7 or 8, who was clearly really not feeling well. He had on a sweatshirt over a turtleneck, and kept taking the sweatshirt on and off and on and off and on and off as people would come in, and wind would blow in, or he'd get flushed and sweaty from being sick. His mother was on her cell phone the whole time, and kept pausing in her conversation (about sales at some shoe store!) to scream at him for not sitting still. Finally she grabbed him and told whoever she was on the phone with that she had to "take him into the bathroom to teach him a lesson."

I just shot her the look of death and loudly made a snarky comment about how I hate when parents use threats of physical harm to bully children.


Not one of my finer moments, but I really felt for that little boy.
What are you talking about, not one of your finer moments? I think you deserve a medal! That woman was totally in the wrong. I hope she got so embarrassed for being called on her abusive actions in front of all the other patients in the waiting room that she just slumped back into her chair and didn't say a word the rest of the visit. Little kids need more advocates like you to stand up for them. Way to go! :

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#102 of 111 Old 02-27-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
No, but only because I've been around long enough to have made plenty of mistakes myself. Frankly, the longer I've been a parent and the more I've had to deal with, the more compassion I have for other parents.

Too bad I find it more difficult to apply that compassion to myself.
I'm the total opposite. I used to get along with everybody. Now I hate most people that I see in public with kids because most of them are mainstream and they treat their kids like I wouldn't treat a dog. Talking harshly to them, belittling them, grabbing them roughly, hitting, spanking, slapping, pinching, and just constantly making their lives stressful. Children are human beings, too. We adults are in situations involving other adults every single day which would be satisfying to put said adult in their place, but we don't. Kids do far less to anyone, in general, and yet they can be treated worse than criminals. I blogged about this yesterday, actually. "Being Gentle with Kids part 1"

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#103 of 111 Old 02-28-2009, 12:43 AM
 
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I judge way to much but I also am not pefect I try so hard tobe understanding but I am way to judgemental. I have called the police on parents and CPS on two people.
I called the cops because someone left their child in a car in a parkinglot in the dead of summer so hot that the poor little girl (who I can still see her little wet face ) I waited until they showed up I was cring myself I even tried to open the door but they had locked it and child locked it so she could not get out! I am not kidding it was over 85 degrees and we have nasty humidity here! I called the cops again on a mother who I saw slap and kick her little boy who was not even 3 I mean kick in the back!!!!!!!!!!! full force I am suprised that the child even lived (ohh and they both happened in the same parking lot) I gave them her plate # I do not know if they ever did anything but. I couldn't not do anything.

I do cringe when people are just down right nasty. No one is perfect by any means but I TRY not to be rude or what not to Ds. We all have our days like today I was less than nice to Ds a few times he has been so so so so whinny and cring over everything I tried to ask him what is makeing him so upset lately and he has nothing to say. So I said things that I would have given parents a dirty look or comment to. I said ohh I thought I had a big boy not a baby! Yes I did and I felt horrid after the words came out. I said to Ds that I was sorry that I was just upset that he kept whining and that he is a big boy. But being my judgemental self I judged myself and still to this moment cannot believe I stooped to that level and said that to my Ds.

My ramble is done now sorry!

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#104 of 111 Old 02-28-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post
i'm not perfect by any means but when i hear hurtful mean things directed at children it hurts.
i feel the same way.

whenever i hear something hurtful said to a child, i am more focused on the child. my heart just goes out to the child and i always try to say "i know what that feels like" with my eyes...

for me, i don't judge the parents. we are all doing the best we can, given our own experiences and our own self-education...

but i know, that some of the hurtful things a parent says in a stressful moment, stay with the child for a lifetime...
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#105 of 111 Old 02-28-2009, 01:18 AM
 
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Not often. I'm usually too busy cringing at my own parenting to worry about the way others do things.
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#106 of 111 Old 02-28-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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I didn't read all the responses, but YES!!!!! I do cringe a lot! I usually end up telling DH!

Mamma to identical twin girls (June, 2006 born at 30 weeks), new bundle of joy due August, 2011
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#107 of 111 Old 02-28-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
I try not to judge. I'm a completely different parent now than I was with my oldest child, and I continue to re-evaluate my parenting and learn new and more effective ways of handling various parenting situations.

We're all learning - and sadly, we're all stuck with on the job training as we figure things out!
I am so different with dd-7 than with dd-15 and ds-13... I am always looking for better more effective ways to do this job of mommy, but now, I am wondering how to undo some of the "damage" I did with my words so long ago. I feel like my relationship with the older two is good, but I can see sometimes that my "sins of the past" are affecting today. I cringe sometimes when I see others' parenting, but, I have to remeber when my figurative finger is pointing at someone else, there are three pointing back at me. I personally find that the things I like least in other (dd-15 comes to mind) that there is something that comes back to what I don't like about myself, or my hopefully former self.
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#108 of 111 Old 03-03-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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I've had my less than stellar parenting moments myself, so, no, I don't cringe when I hear a parent say things I disagree with. No doubt if that same parent could overhear me 24/7 she would hear stuff that would make her want to cringe too.
Oh, boy, that was my first response, too! I've had a couple of really challenging days with my 2.5 y.o.--I've been sick and he's been uncharacteristically oppositional and whiny--so when I first read this, the first thing that popped into my head was "Well, I often cringe at MY parenting!"

But to the OP, yes, I do feel sad when I hear parents saying mean things.
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#109 of 111 Old 03-04-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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I think we all have our moments, and i think we all cringe at parenting we dont agree with. My own and others. I have a tendency to have a short temper after the 50th time im asked something and i almost immediately feel bad about what i've said. Luckily over the years its gotten better and i think im much more patient now, i know that mothering has helped me to see my problems a lot more clearly. im trying to be the best gd mommy i can. and i think that others should try too

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#110 of 111 Old 03-04-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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I think we all have our moments, and i think we all cringe at parenting we dont agree with. My own and others. I have a tendency to have a short temper after the 50th time im asked something and i almost immediately feel bad about what i've said. Luckily over the years its gotten better and i think im much more patient now, i know that mothering has helped me to see my problems a lot more clearly. im trying to be the best gd mommy i can. and i think that others should try too

I also believe that comeing here to MDC helps to keep myself in check, with my patience and what and HOW I say stuff. Not only to Ds but with my Dp and others.

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#111 of 111 Old 03-04-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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I can really only recall one moment that left me cringing/crying/gape mouthed in shock.

I was in The Store That Must Not Be Named when I saw a little boy, perhaps 2? Saying "Mommy." more than once, then all the sudden the mother just reached out and SLAPPED the baby. HARD. Like head snapping back sharp loud noise HARD. I stopped dead in my tracks, my jaw dropped and I just stared at her in shock trying not to cry as the little boy just SOBBED. She glared at me, rolled her eyes, snapped at the little boy to shut the f up and walked away. If I weren't on a schedule (I was there after work, had to get home so DH could get to work) I would have stalked her and got her plate number and called DHS on her.

It's really only the truly abusive stuff that leaves me upset...

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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