Today I was “That” Mum

Today I was “that” Mum.

That Mum who was being judged.

It was meant to be part of a lovely Mothers Day treat. We’d had a nice walk on the beach……. OK well it was more of a case of Sam and I tag teaming each other as our 16 month old decided it was vital he pelted towards the sea every time he was let loose! Cue two very tired parents after 45 minutes and the decision was made to go for a drink in one of the cute local country pubs to toast Mothers Day and our impromptu work out thanks to our son!

We timed it quite well; a lot of the Mothers Day lunches were drawing to a close so we managed to get a seat and won the high chair battle of getting Josh to settle and have a snack.

I clocked her as soon as we started to set up the high chair. Her eye roll to her husband was about as subtle as a sledge hammer. She may as well have said out loud “oh great that’s our lunch disrupted”. Josh was actually being really good – he settled down with his snacks and water, he was giggling but not particularly loudly and towards the end of the drinks he started to get a bit antsy so I put on sleeping bunnies which always saves the day!

Throughout the 45 minutes we were in there I saw her staring at us and quite frankly looking down her nose at us. She was very obvious in her unspoken thoughts. As a Mum you often have those paranoid moments where you think are people judging you yet a lot of the time you get a pleasant surprise when in fact people give you a reassuring “I’ve been there” smile.  This was not one of those instances.

I felt her eyes on us the whole time we were there. I felt her irritation at any noise Josh made, I could see her whispering to her husband whilst looking at us, and I could practically hear her sigh of relief as we decided to leave.

The most ironic thing? Also at the table with her and her husband was her son. Her grown up son – I guess he was late teens/early twenties. He was a handsome lad and it was sweet hearing him toast his Mum a Happy Mothers Day. This woman was also a Mother. She’ll have been in those situation that all us Mums experience; the battle to get your child into a highchair that they will then insist upon banging with their chubby hands until food magically appears. She’ll more than likely have felt that flushed feeling of panic when the baby starts to get that bit too loud and you have to try and quiet them with a smile on your face even though inside you’re feeling more than a bit mortified. And perhaps she will have been lucky in her situation and have had a fellow parent offer that knowing smile of “I’ve been there” to reassure her.

She is a Mum. She knows how I will have been feeling. She could have offered some unspoken solidarity, Mum to Mum, Woman to Woman. She chose not to. Instead she offered unspoken exasperation. It’s not often you come across people who are so obviously irritated; us Brits are normally pretty good at masking what’s getting on our nerves until the subject of said irritation has left. This woman wasn’t subtle. She spoilt that quick Mothers Day drink for me. I couldn’t relax and enjoy conversation with Sam and enjoy watching my son take in his surroundings.

When we did leave I didn’t scurry out with shame. I kept my head high. Because I’m a good Mum. A proud Mum. A Mum who is simply doing her best. A Mum who will always look at fellow Mums who are in the midst of dealing with a public toddler tantrum, or losing the car seat battle, with a smile of reassurance. A Mum who will always support fellow Mums. A Mum who will never judge. Because I’ve been there. I get it.

We’re all in this together right.

Fx

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14 Comments

  1. March 27, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Yes! Totally agree with this! I seem to have written a lot about judgement recently and it all boils down to what you say: we should all be in this together. I hope she didn’t completely ruin your Mother’s Day xxx
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…I Worried…My Profile

  2. March 27, 2017 / 10:43 am

    What a cow, I think that would have provoked me to start singing loudly or something. Silly cow, as you say, she had a young child once!! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays x
    Fran Back With A Bump recently posted…Marvellous Mondays!My Profile

  3. March 27, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    Really surprised at this – as you say once you’ve had your own you completely understand how stressful it can be eating out with a toddler, and sounds like he was very well behaved! Hopefully a one off! #MarvMondays

  4. March 27, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    Sorry to hear, what a shame. I imagine she had a crappy time as a new mum, but it’s really sad she can’t make up for that by supporting others #marvmondays

  5. March 28, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Some people are such tossbags. I had a similar situation on Saturday as I sat with my 2.5 year old and my friend with her 10 month old. A lady on the next table with her friends (and their newborn) kept looking down her nose and making comments about it being “so noisy in here”. As he flung his cucumber on the floor for the umpteenth time and my daughter fell off her chair and into them (unfortunately) I just looked at their judgey looks and thought “HA! See you trying to eat quietly in 2 years!!”. Don’t go out to a family friendly eaterie on a weekend if you don’t expect people to take kids. Kids that other than the usual ‘just getting a bit fed up’ are actually pretty well behaved. #marvmondays

  6. March 29, 2017 / 9:12 am

    I’m so sorry you had that experience, especially on Mother’s Day. She obviously forgets those days with her son!

    We’ve all been there when our kids get a little too loud for comfort or decide to throw a wobbler when they’re bored. I do exactly as you’ve said and try my best to calm my son down so he isn’t too much disruption to fellow diners but sometimes they get the better of us. If it’s a fellow Mum I smile the sympathetic “I’ve been there smile” as we all need support sometimes. There have been times I’ve offered to hold a baby when I see a fellow Mum struggling because I know what it’s like to only have one pair of hands. That Mum should be ashamed of herself for the way she acted! #bloggerclubuk

  7. March 29, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Doesn’t sound like you were being ‘that mum’. More like she was being ‘that old bag’. Some people have no idea how to behave.
    #BloggerClubUK

  8. March 29, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    I find that the older people’s children get the less they seem to remember. I have friends with teenagers and they look back with rose tinted glasses. Even I remember being out with their children and they had a tantrum! Because that’s what children do. It’s the most frustrating thing ever. Yes we are all in it together and I will never look back with rose tinted glasses. X #bloggerclubuk

  9. March 29, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    People are so quick to forget what it was like, and far too quick to judge. I hate this assumption that if a child is loud/crying/laughing too loudly/dropping food/having a tantrum/basically doing anything in public that they are a badly behaved child. I thought we had moved on from the days of ‘seen and not heard’ yet you are deemed a bad parent if your child doesn’t ‘behave’ (I.e sit and eat as close to silently as possible) in public or restaurants. Kids are kids, and kids should be encouraged to express themselves, explore, enjoy, vocalise… I could go on! #bloggerclubuk

  10. March 29, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    I don’t understand why people do this!? Even before I was a parent, I knew that children were children and there’ll always be a meltdown here and there. #BloggeClubUK

  11. March 30, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    Too bloody right, what a total b*tch. I’m much more paranoid about this situation with my son (23 months) than I ever was with my daughter. She was always sooooo good in pubs and restaurants, we would quite often get comments about it. But everyone is different. She loved to sit and do colouring, stickers, books all of that but my son is not as keen and is obviously still very young. But I would hate it if this happened to me, I’m sorry you had to experience that and from a follow mother. Everyone should feel able to sit down with their child and have a drink at the very least. Perhaps she should stick to adults only places if she has such a problem!!! #BloggerClubUK

  12. March 31, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    I hate people like that, its such unneccesary behaviour. As a mum, and a parent she should have known better. Well done you for holding that head up high lovely 🙂 Lovely post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily
    My Petit Canard recently posted…Maman Gateau Club Box Giveaway!My Profile

  13. April 2, 2017 / 2:31 pm

    What a shame. I don’t get why people are like this. I have to say I’ve only had it a few times. I hope you still had a lovely Mother’s Day xx #BloggerClubUK
    Susie at This Is Me Now recently posted…April wish listMy Profile

  14. April 3, 2017 / 11:21 am

    It seems to me that people somehow forget what the baby stage is all about… I’m not sure how that’s possible but I’ve seen that happen a good bit too. It’s too bad because we are all in it together. And the battle of the high chair is quite common. Mother’s Day is a day when we should all expect kids to be out – I mean that’s the whole point of being a mother. I hope you didn’t let her ruin your lovely day! Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Make a Cinema at Home – a fun activity on a rainy dayMy Profile

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