Open letter to that Helicopter Mum at the Soft Play Centre

This post first appeared on MeetOtherMums.com.

Dear Helicopter Mum at the Soft Play Centre,

I get you. We’ve all been first time mums. We all get protective. We’ve all had that feeling of just wanting your baby wrapped in cotton wool forever. Where you just want to shove them back up inside you where it’s nice and safe.

I remember crawling through the small tunnels, squishing your face into plastic that smelt like a mixture of puke and detergent. Squeezing my fat arse onto slides that were just not quite wide enough. Banging my head on every low bar whilst scrambling after my tiny child that was suddenly able to move at lightening speeds, despite taking THIRTY MINUTES to put on her darn coat that morning.

We have ALL been there.

You’re doing what makes you feel safe, by keeping a close eye on your baby. And that’s great.

But that doesn’t mean you should judge those that give their children a bit of leeway.

You saw the other child in the ‘baby area’. You could see he was perfectly safe. But you felt the need to search for his Mum.

His Mum, that was exhausted. His Mum, that was sitting down for the first time that day. His Mum, that had just started her antidepressants earlier that week and was on the verge of tears whilst seeking advice from her friend.

But you didn’t see that, did you?

 

You saw a Mum gossiping with her friend instead of keeping an eye on her child. You saw a Mum not caring for her child. So when that Mum came to check up on her child (who was still happily playing) you took judgement upon that Mum.

“Oh, there you are, we had been wondering who’s baby this was, shouldn’t be left on his own really” *insert snide look*

Really?

The baby, who was nearly 1. In an area solely for babies. In clear eyesight of his parent. Where the highest he could climb was no taller than himself, and should he fall, he would have a soft landing. You know…SOFT play?

Why did you take it upon yourself to put another Mum down, just because she didn’t parent the same way as you did? Why did you continue to glare at that Mum, making her so uncomfortable she collected her son from the soft play to sit on her knee? Why couldn’t you just let it slide?

I doubt you even remember making that comment. But I remember. I remember questioning myself. I remember feeling as if everyone looking at me. I remember that tightness building in my chest, feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Like I wasn’t good enough.

Next time you see a Mum taking a break. Please think about why she might need that break. Please think before you judge her.

Signed,

Mum who just needs a break.

 

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25 thoughts on “Open letter to that Helicopter Mum at the Soft Play Centre

  1. Beautifully said. There will always be judgements, know it all parents. It’s great to have your own parenting style and to be firm in your beliefs but to discourage and judge another mom is a sad thing. We as women and moms need to support and encourage one another. I have very close friends who parent much differently than I do and we never once try to change eachother. We offer advice when asked and we are here for one another should we need help!

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  2. Oh I’m so sorry you had this kind of judgement. I wish we could all just parent our own way without being judged. I’m totally with you in that if I can see my two, and I know they’re safe, I just let them play – they just want to sit on me otherwise! xxx

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  3. Unfortunately this is one side of parenting I don’t like, all the judgmental parents that come with it. Sending positive thoughts!

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  4. Oh bless you. Parenting is so tough sometimes isn’t it? You’re so right though, we don’t know what’s going on so People definitely need to think before they speak. Hope you’re feeling more positive, and good luck with your recovery x

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  5. I’m so so sorry you experienced this lovely. I really hate how judgemental other mums can be. Just because we all parent in different ways, doesn’t mean its wrong or can be frowned upon. They don’t know how exhausted we are or how much we are struggling. It can get pretty overwhelming can’t it. Sending lots of love xx

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  6. Oh lovely sending you a big hug! Why do some parents feel like they need to judge everything? I, like you, would be the mum asking for help and hoping for support not judgement. Shame on her x

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  7. Well said. Nobody knows someone else’s story; the reasons behind their behaviour, how they are feeling, what they are going through. We need to spend more time understanding and supporting each other, not judging. Katie x

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  8. I am guilty of both! Although I try not to judge sometimes when kids are being little brutes I do wonder where their parents are. If I knew my child was likely to hurt another I wouldn’t sit back I’d be there watching like a hawk. But then every parent is different ox

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    1. Yes very true. I’d like to think if my kids were being assholes, I would keep more of an eye. But then I guess if they were, they would probably be even more exhausting, and I’d want even more of a break!

      Liked by 1 person

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