The worst mum in the world

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At the weekend, we decided in view of my husband’s redundancy to just chill a bit. 

We went out to a local town and enjoyed choosing glasses for the children after their eye tests and looking around the charity shops.

My son said he was hungry and as it was lunch-time, we thought we would go to one of our favourite coffee shops.  As we got to it, I noticed hand-written signs in the window saying it was under new management.  It was a hot day and the door was open with a metal fly-screen curtain thing.  For some reason, this seemed to freak out my daughter.  I held it back for her and we went in and took a table.  My husband went to the counter and ordered hot food and coffees.

My daughter was still not happy and was saying “I am scared by this place” and “I want to leave”.  Convinced it was the metal thing that had bothered her and she would calm down, I tried to reassure her.  I asked her to sit on my knee.  She refused.  I said that no harm could come to her whilst we were with her.  I tried everything I could think of as did my husband and son.  Nothing was working. 

Suddenly, along came the owner of the place and shouted at my daughter “You have to be quiet dear as you are upsetting all my other customers”.  Obviously, this did not make my daughter feel any less frightened.

Mortified mum got up and found herself flouncing out of the place.  My husband asked for our money back and was ignored. 

So we found ourselves on the street all feeling upset and vulnerable.  I went in to talk to the owner and said I wanted our money back as were clearly not welcome in her establishment.  She gave it to me.  I said to the elderly customers, all female.  “I am sorry but I am sure some of you are mums and struggled sometimes with your own children”.

“Not as bad as that!” commented one of them.

So I stood alone in the café and felt so isolated and very much like the worst mum in the world.  In that moment, it felt like been transported back to the worst days of post-natal depression where I felt so useless, worthless and alone.

I don’t know about you but I can’t just flick a switch and wave a magic wand when my children act in a less than ideal way.

So yes, I am clearly the worst mum in the world or at least the worst one in that café.  Maybe I should have left as soon as my daughter became unhappy but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Except I know in my heart when I see a mum struggling I show more compassion and I hope I remember to do that when I am older or in a position of authority,

We did not give up.  We went to another place and I specifically asked if children were welcome.  The owners chatted to us and gave the children pictures to colour in and a packet of crayons.  The food was fantastic and you can guess which of the two places we will be going back to.

 

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16 Comments


  1. How rude!
    I’m so sorry for the way you were all made to feel. You shouldn’t have to feel like that and it’s time business did more for children (and parents).
    I’m glad you found somewhere else.

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    1. Thanks Nikki for your lovely support. If you want to attract families as a business, you just need to accept that children will not always be little angel, clone-like beings. I like my individual children.

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  2. Oh bless you. We’ve all had days when our children behave in a way that draws negative comments from other people and it is a horrible feeling. My children are older now but when I see little children screaming in supermarkets I always smile at the mums and say, ‘I can remember what that feels like.’ I am very polite and I hate being ‘told off’ even when I don’t respect the person telling me off, so well done for standing your ground and getting your money back.

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    1. Thanks for the support Kerry. Mine are so well-behaved and although she was noisy, she did seem genuinely scared. I am not a fan of other people telling my children off at all.

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  3. Oh my goodness, that is terrible! What horrible people, at least your daughter has the excuse of being a child they should really know better!!

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  4. My girls are 3 and 5 months, and there do tend to be certain people that just clearly don’t like children and aren’t tolerant of them. My older daughter is quite enthusiastic about life which I love, but not everyone does. I used to worry, but now I just think that even as adults I click with some people and not others, it’s the same with my girls. And if someone doesn’t like them being present it’s their problem, not a problem for me or my girls.

    Businesses have no right to be rude and I’m sorry you were made to feel so small by people who have clearly forgotten that children are their own individual people and not just robots that we can control. Xxx

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    1. You hit the nail on the head. I have always encouraged my children to have faith in the individuals they are. That has served them well I think.
      I am not sure this country is the most accepting of children generally compared with other countries.

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  5. SO rude! I can’t bear when the older generation forget how things were. Don’t worry – I had a similar conversation with an older lady in our supermarket the other day. She tutted because my son was infront of her – QUIETLY standing, minding his own business. And no – she wasn’t left in any doubt as to what I thought of her! ;-) x

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    1. It must be something about people with our initials perhaps? Felt so much better knowing you go through this stuff too. Can imagine you had your say which is of course one of the reasons I rate you so highly.

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  6. You are definitely not the worst mum in the world. Please don’t get down by this. Sounds like your daughter was right to not like the place. Full of rude, horrible people. And well done for demanding your money back.

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    1. I was hurtling on a downwards spiral but husband insisted we try somewhere else and they were so lovely and got me back in a positive frame of mind. Thanks for the support.

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  7. No way are you a bad mum you were trying to reassure your daughter like any caring mother would do they probably didn’t have kids behave like that because they clipped them round the ear and were told to like it or lump it! Who knows anyway no it does not make you a bad mother, well done on getting your money back and never go back there. Hold your head high and keep your compassion for others this world needs it, parents need it x

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  8. Yes, my main concern was her happiness although I admit I was embarrassed too. My husband made the same point as you that the older generation would have resorted to smacking. I don’t do that. Thanks for the support.

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  9. I am very fortunate that every time my children kick off those around us have been very understanding! My two year old had a meltdown in town one day because I wouldn’t let her go in a tent that was set up outside a camping shop… A lovely old lady said “Oh, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if she went in.” Very kind of her, I’m sure, but I was dealing with it! It’s outrageous that the owner of the cafe would treat you in that way. I would hope they were just having a bad day, but still! Definitely not worth trying them again. Their loss!

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  10. Oh no Kate, what a really awful tale to read. I think your daughter’s instincts were correct- it was a hideous place to go to x

    Reply

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