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strangers love to talk to me about baby


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Hi All:

having a baby is contributing to major social issues for me. mostly because strangers think they can come up to me and start talking to me about baby.

i dont like talking to strangers - about anything...much less my baby.

i dont talk to strangers about their babies...why do they have to talk to me???

oh - and the strangers that "give advice" and tell me what to do. those people get an angry stare and i walk away.

i do not understand this perception that people like talking to strangers about babies. i dont get it.

december

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DB-I totally understand. Why do strangers (or people you know) think it is not only ok, but necessary to give you advice about your baby. I don't know any new mother who wants to hear it. The only advice I wanted help with-why is my baby crying so much!-here's the answer I got-because he's a baby! Thanks, can you babysit? When i used to go to the store with my kids when my daughter was a baby and my son was 2, if anyone came near my baby, my son would yell at them, " Leave my baby alone!" Maybe you can find a mouthy 2 yr. old to act on your behalf. lol.

Oh, and the absolute worst! Especially if you are a germ-a-phobe with a newborn babe who has little to no immunities, TOUCHING my baby. EWWWWWW, gross. I spoke up about that one and people would look at me like I was rude and I didn't care. love, mel

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Many people like to meet other people they don't know, and use something interesting (a baby, a great fuzzy shirt, a pet) to jumpstart the conversation. This seems like a fairly common thing to do, and when your needs don't match up with common social norms, you get to choose between dealing with and trying to ward it off. Not the way things should be, I know. If it's worth it to you, you could try an informative button or t-shirt for you or the baby ("go away, I'm not feeling good enough for conversation"). That might bring you unwanted interactions with people who are uncomfortable with a perceived insult, but might lower your number of interactions in general.

Edit: if you're comfortable with it, you could give all strangers who approach you an angry stare and walk away. Many of them will be offended, or confused and upset, but if you're willing to pay that cost for you and for them, you'll be able to leave situations much more easily.

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I know exactly what you mean and I'd feel the same way! Luckily, I get this evil eye that tells people exactly what I am thinking and all unwanted attention quickly goes away. It's so spontaneous I even do it to my friends at times -- I wasn't even aware of it until a few years ago.

I'd say just show them how you feel! It works great. Either verbally or with body language.

When i used to go to the store with my kids when my daughter was a baby and my son was 2, if anyone came near my baby, my son would yell at them, " Leave my baby alone!"

I love it! ;)

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that baffles me. i saw it with my sister. petting the tummy while pregnant, giving unasked for advice and comments. TOUCHING the baby.

apparently, i'd be close enough to attacking them to protect my niece that she had a long talk with me about it. but i still don't understand it.

abi

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learn just enough sign language to really throw everyone off who wants to communicate to you. even if they catch you talking to your baby, there's nothing except ignorance that would make people think that deaf people can't speak.

caveat: learn how to say in sign language that you only know a little bit of sign. if you feel the need, also learn how to say that you have social phobia and using sign to hearing people helps keep them away. this is probably really offensive to most deaf people who use sign, but i figure the chances of coming across too many of them where you have to explain yourself would be less than if you were offending everyone who tried to talk to you.

i like resonance's suggestion of a button along the lines of please don't touch my baby or talk to me about her. or 'i don't feel well enough to talk to you about my baby' or something.

another note about the whole baby/pregnant stranger thing. and probably more so with a baby than a baby in utero -- there's some weird (and more or less archaic remnant) societal urge to treat all offspring as 'progeny of the group', which is why people can be so fucking nosy. it's like, 'this isn't just a person's child, this is the future of the world, therefore we all have the responsibility to make sure that child's welfare is ensured'.. and there's some aspect to that which is a good thing, underneath it all.

unfortunately, it also seems to give people the idea that touching, cooing to, and otherwise accosting the guardian with information and advice and questions.. is not only appropriate, it is their entitlement.

a cousin of mine' husband, when their baby was little and anyone would start cooing to her, he would say 'Don't patronize my baby'

I loved that.

heh. don't talk to my baby in a baby voice.

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People do this to me when I'm out with my dogs, and I HATE it! I just really hate it. Actually, people do it to me even when I'm dogless, asking for directions, or whatever, even when I'm in other countries, and have not got the slightest semblance of a clue about where I am. Apparently I look like a really nice, helpful sort of person, who's just longing to chat with boring strangers all day long about boing things, and who really wants them to be able to satisfy their desire to pet my dogs (who don't always like strange new people either, espescially when we're on our way to the park or something), or cares if they find the Statue of Liberty... I don't. I really just do not ;) .

When I'm with my dogs, I'll often yank them away, and say "Careful! They are't friendly!" if they haven't already made it impossible to pull this one off by being all sweet and adorable the way they usually are :) (I realize this isn't really an applicable or helpful response to your situation, DB, but I just kind of pictured you snatching little Sarah away from the strangers, and saying "Watch out, she bites"" when they come around, which I found extremely funny, esp. since she doesn't have any teeth yet, does she?).

The other thing I've been known to do, which might work for you, and manages to avoid being rude, is to pretend I don't speak English (I kind of think you've mentioned speaking another language somewhere or other?). I become a speaker of French, if they're ordinary old Americans, or of Spanish if they're Eurotourists when I'm in NYC, as the Eurotourists are (I've learned from sad experience) much more likely to speak French themselves than Spanish.

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I've never given mothers advice or touched their babies, but I am guilty of smiling at babies, and complimenting mothers on their babies. I try to keep it short and sweet and move away if the mother gives off vibes that she wants to be left alone.

How about being honest and just saying 'I really feel uncomfortable with you standing so close/touching my child/giving me advice/talking with me, and I want you to leave me alone, thank you'? You have the right to express that.

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i'd be so pissed off if someone was doing that to my baby (don't have any babies, but still). i figure that parents would feel pissed off if i did any of that, so i stay away from babies. i may smile, and maybe ask the baby's name, but that's it. no going near the baby. babies are irresistible though! in a way, i can't blame these rude people. your baby is especially cute.

i'd just go with your mood, in giving them a dirty look, saying you're not comfortable with their attention, or if you really feel like it, just saying something like "well, it was nice talking with you", and leaving. that's a NICE way to do it. personally, i'd give the dirty look, just because it would make me so mad (especially parenting advice). ;)

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Something else I'll do sometimes, if I notice unpleasant looking strangers coming my way in time, is to whip out my cell phone, and pretend to be engrossed in an imaginary conversation. Then I can just kind of gesture at the phone and shrug apologetically when they try to talk to me, without feeling like I'm being rude or confrontational at all.

I think it's really, really hard though, to do the sort of thing some people are suggesting, of so directly telling people they're making you uncomfortable by standing so close to you/touching your baby/talking to you/etc. I'll do that if I absolutely have to, but I will (obviously) resort to all kinds of wierd avoidance tactics rather than being so direct, because it just feels so much more confrontational than is necessarily ... well ... necessary, to me.

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VE- ROFLMAO!

DB- My son is still mouthy. Yesterday, I told him the lifeguard was mean to me. He got so mad! You can borrow him! just kidding. I like the cell phone idea, but then someone still might try to touch your baby. Ick. BTW, I don't know if you are as aversed to some stranger touching Sarah, but tell them to keep their germy hands off!! It is okay sometimes to be rude. There are a lot of rules that are waived for new mommies! Take advantage. mel

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We are, for the most part, social creatures. Cooing over babies is pretty normal. Sorry it pisses you off, but I seriously doubt people are going to stop thinking babies are cute and adorable and wanting to look at them and be near them. That instinct to care for young (whether it is yours or not) is pretty darn powerful. It is one of those things that helped the species survive.

Annoying as hell when you have social issues, but this phase will pass all too quickly.

Maybe you could take a "nasty" diaper and put it on the top of the stroller. It wouldn't actually have to be dirty, just look like it was recently removed from the baby's backside. That should keep people away ;)

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VE- ROFLMAO!

DB- My son is still mouthy. Yesterday, I told him the lifeguard was mean to me. He got so mad! You can borrow him! just kidding. I like the cell phone idea, but then someone still might try to touch your baby. Ick.

Who would do THAT? Seriously? Come up to someone who's talking on their cell phone, with a baby in a stroller or a slingy thing or whatever, and just touch the baby????? That seems like seriously deviant behavior, to me, like just beyond the realm of normal... just, I mean, way too creepy and wierd to even be possible! I'd completely freak out if someone did that to my baby. Who *touches* someone else just randomly like that, baby or not? That's so creepy I can't even wrap my head around it. Ick!!!

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you would be surprised. Strangers think they have a right to touch babies. I would politely tell them not to touch my baby and they reacted as if I had just told them to f. off.

it happened a lot.

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Well, there's reason #5774 for me NOT to have a baby! That would drive me nuts. I don't like it when strangers assume it's ok for them to pet my dogs. If someone came up poking at a baby of mine, I have a strong suspicion I would smack them, and that would probably be bad.

Or, there's reason #1 for living in NYC if I ever have a baby, despite everything being so much more expensive and complicated there. People have the good sense to leave each other alone there, other than the tourists, who are just an annoying aberration.

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Hi All:

Im so glad i posted about this - thank all of you so much for your posts. This subject is a HUGE issue for me. and I hope this will help anyone else in a similar situation.

Ive been too tired and stressed to write a proper reply. I am working on one now...and will hopefully post it soon.

and if anyone else has any ideas, thoughts, suggestions, ect - please keep writing about it.

thanks,

december

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