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Are Grandmother-Types Overly Nosy to Young Moms?

Posted by on May. 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM
  • 21 Replies

Are Grandmother-Types Overly Nosy to Young Moms?

by Christie Haskell

old woman in walkerAfter I got married, I got pregnant within a couple months (winning my friend Rebecca a bet). I was considered a young first-time mom and, to add to that, people always seem to think I'm younger than I am. And to add even more to that, my husband was deployed, so often it was just my son and me. Apparently to the many people on the outside with no brain-to-mouth filter, I was told I looked like his babysitter!

Who SAYS that?! Lots of people, but mostly the older grandmother types that maybe were trying to be sweet, but really ended up hurting my feelings. And often questioned my parenting.

Here's one example: On an already stressful trip up to gorgeous, historical Savannah, my mom and I wandered around a thankfully air-conditioned tourist store, and 2-month-old Rowan started to cry -- common then since he had GERD and wasn't yet medicated, and I was still very unsure and modest and tried to find an employee so I could nurse him in a changing room.

Enter Random Grandma (RG). Approaching someone and saying, "Aww, sweet baby" is okay. But RG continued, "What does he need? Did Mama pinch you?" (WHY do people say that?) I chuckled politely and tried to move on. She followed. She continued to comment, asking about my son. She TOUCHED him and I rather abruptly steered the stroller away from her, my mom following alongside me. I picked Rowan up and walked while patting his back, turned a corner, and RG appears out of nowhere and starts RUBBING Rowan's back and asks me, "Mom, didn't you bring a bottle? Where's his bottle?" I muttered something about not needing them and thankfully found an employee so I could feed him in the restroom.

I wish that were the only incident like that.

Another time, in the middle of August, in weather that made fire ants seem like room temperature, I went to K-Mart (*shudder*) with Rowan in solely a white onesie, and even in that he sweat profusely. After shopping, I headed out to my car and heard:

"Hey lady!"

I don't know about you, but I don't generally respond to that. But again, louder and closer:

"HEY LADY!"

I turned around to see an older man literally RUNNING across the parking lot towards me. I figured I must have dropped my wallet or keys or something, but no. When he got up to me, he said just as emphatically and "politely" as he'd shouted at me, "Don't you dress your baby?" Aghast, I muttered something about it being hot and continued on my way. Believe it or not, I don't handle confrontation in person that well.

A friend in Texas recently had a woman stop her as she shopped with her baby in a sling to inform her that she could get an inexpensive stroller off Craigslist so she didn't have to "haul her baby around." Um. Yeah.

Here in Washington I haven't been Invasive-Stranger Free either ... a "lovely" older woman blocked my cart in Target to say, "Do your kids have the same father? They don't look anything alike!" (They SO do.) 

What? Frankly, despite the cat fights on the Internet, the people who often are rudest and pushiest to new and young moms in public in my experience are often the older folks. What gives?

Why is it that elderly strangers feel free to rudely narrate or dictate your parenting choices in public?

by on May. 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
geekymom08
by Bronze Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM

This happens a lot around here. My only guess is they think they know it all and should tell you how to raise your kid because well... you arent doing it right (to their standards). I had an old lady once (when I was pregnant) to tell me it isnt nice to get knocked up in high school.... moreless by a married man. It took everything inside of me to hold back and politely say "Im 21... and hes my husband."

jojo_star
by on May. 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM

That happened to me more than I care to remember, and not just  what seemed to be well intentioned advice, but down right nasty comments. Yes, I was a very young mother, 13 when my son was born, but the way I was treated, especially by older people, was awful. 

MrsWhite101610
by Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:10 AM
When I was pregnant I was 20. A cashier at a gas station said my mother should be ashamed her 14 year old is pregnant. I went to the counter and asked for a lotto, lady told me she can't sell tickets to children. I showed her my id and her jaw dropped and she turned red.
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k9l1c5
by Ruby Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM

LOL, thankfully no RGs have ever made any ridiculous comments like these to me. All I have ever heard is awww, isn't she precious. So far anyway, she's only 9 months. I don't have a problem at all with confrontation with people like this who wanna be up in peoples' business. So hopefully I never run into any rude RGs :).

k9l1c5
by Ruby Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Haha WOW!

Quoting MrsWhite101610:

When I was pregnant I was 20. A cashier at a gas station said my mother should be ashamed her 14 year old is pregnant. I went to the counter and asked for a lotto, lady told me she can't sell tickets to children. I showed her my id and her jaw dropped and she turned red.


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k9l1c5
by Ruby Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I can only imagine :(.

Quoting jojo_star:

That happened to me more than I care to remember, and not just  what seemed to be well intentioned advice, but down right nasty comments. Yes, I was a very young mother, 13 when my son was born, but the way I was treated, especially by older people, was awful. 


Lilypie First Birthday tickers
I am a FF, pro BF, cosleeping/bedsharing, babywearing & cloth diapering type of momma!

k9l1c5
by Ruby Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Ohh shit! Me being me, I would have corrected her.

Quoting geekymom08:

This happens a lot around here. My only guess is they think they know it all and should tell you how to raise your kid because well... you arent doing it right (to their standards). I had an old lady once (when I was pregnant) to tell me it isnt nice to get knocked up in high school.... moreless by a married man. It took everything inside of me to hold back and politely say "Im 21... and hes my husband."


Lilypie First Birthday tickers
I am a FF, pro BF, cosleeping/bedsharing, babywearing & cloth diapering type of momma!

anjones09
by Member on May. 15, 2013 at 9:48 AM
Thankfully I've never had an awkward confrontation with a RG.
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villagemamma
by on May. 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

OMG i deal with this stuff all the time. I definitely look younger then i am. I was only 19 when i got pregnant with dd and i am now 24 and pregnant with my Dh and i's second child. He had i have been stable and happy the last five years. we are married, we support ourselves and have a beautiful home. Yet i get people all the time making comments about my age and "babies having babies".

geekymom08
by Bronze Member on May. 15, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Oh I did. I politely said I was 21 and he was my husband.

I wanted to go off on the lady and tell her if she would stop assuming and put a filter on that mouth if hers, she wouldn't make herself look like an ass in public!

I even had a maid at a hotel tell me it was nice to tag along with my brother to be his child's babysitter. Then I corrected her and said that that man was my husband. She continued to assume and said it was nice of me to be a step mom so young. I then corrected her again saying the kid is both his and mine. I got questioned if I was a teen mom.... I turned around with a smile and said nope! Had him at 21. I'm 24. She about shit herself and completely apologized. That lady never encountered me again. Guess she asked for a different assignment to clean.


Quoting k9l1c5:Ohh shit! Me being me, I would have corrected her.Quoting geekymom08:This happens a lot around here. My only guess is they think they know it all and should tell you how to raise your kid because well... you arent doing it right (to their standards). I had an old lady once (when I was pregnant) to tell me it isnt nice to get knocked up in high school.... moreless by a married man. It took everything inside of me to hold back and politely say "Im 21... and hes my husband."
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