A stranger just called me a rubbish parent

My Monday morning started as it always does. The children were fed, clean, dressed and had gone to School and nursery. I decided to do my food shopping this morning rather than take Noah with me later (otherwise I seem to spend so much more when his little eyes and hands accompany me…..). I gathered everything I wanted, pleased that everything was available and I didn’t need to go anywhere else on the way home. I saw one of the usual cashiers that often chats and is really friendly. She asked how the children were and I said they were great and that the’d be very excited to see the ice creams later. As I packed my car a woman approached me, I’d say a similar age to myself but I’m awful at guessing peoples ages. I had no idea who she was and assumed she was after directions for somewhere or perhaps I’d dropped something and not noticed. No. She was about to make me feel like the world’s worst Mother in the world!

The woman, in a fierce and judgy tone, told me I was buying too much junk food for my children. That I was ‘Killing them with kindness’. That I should be buying healthier snacks, not given them chocolate, crisps, ice creams and that I should be ashamed of myself for the amount of ‘rubbish’ I was packing in my car and perhaps that highlighted that I was a rubbish parent!. Shocked, I took a few minutes to process what was happening. I’d never seen this woman before in my life and here she was ranting at me about my shopping and my children! I’ll add a photo of what she was ranting about and then I’ll explain what happened next.

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This was some of my shopping today. This is what led to a complete stranger ranting at me in a shop car park.

Yes my shopping includes ice creams and ice pops.

Yes my shopping includes crisps, sweets and chocolate.

Yes Eliza eats chocolate cereal some days.

Eliza also loves fruit and eats some every day.

Eliza actually has a fairly good intake of food, even if limited on what she likes.

The majority of stuff in that photo is for Eliza. Which I told the woman. I also told her that…… Eliza had been ill lately and with the added tooth issue of last week, she’d dropped weight. Eliza is a slim girl anyway and she’s also a daily stimmer (flappy arms and legs) meaning she uses up a lot of energy and even on a ‘normal’ day, she needs more calories. Eliza has sensory and dietary issues and her diet is so rigid it is hard to get calories and good fat content in to her. Yes the junk food isn’t ideal but Eliza has a dietitian who agreed that for the time being, calories and building her up is a priority even if it means junk food that she’ll eat (Eliza will not eat or drink the calorie boosting milkshakes, yogurts etc so we are limited with what she will have). Even the dentist is aware of Eliza’s dietary issues but instead of judging, he just offers advice on brushing and certain toothpastes for her. As of today, Eliza is less than 2 pounds away from being classed as ‘underweight’ and looking skinnier than she ever has. I’m not killing her with kindness, I’m doing my best to help her recover and be well again. I’ll stop there because the rest of what I said included the phrase “So please take your judgy attitude and shove it………..”.

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These pictures were taken just over a week apart. Even though her pose is different and her hair is up in one, you can see how much weight she lost in around 8 days. (The pink one was taken yesterday)

Eliza’s diet may be pretty crap. But we’re working with people that understand her and her issues around food. It’s not easy trying to help her maintain or gain weight when she is so limited food wise and stims , not to mention anxiety popping by often dampening her appetite. I posted some photos from the weekend sunshine fun on my private Facebook profile yesterday. I almost didn’t as even I was shocked to see her looking so thin. But I’ll do what I can to help her and I have good support helping her. School are also pretty awesome at letting me know her food and fluid intake and I’ll be in touch with the School nurse this week to as them to just be aware of everything.

Amazing how your day can start off well and soon take a dive because of a stranger. Am I a rubbish Mother? Well, I certainly feel like one this morning.

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Author: Julie Clarke

Mum to 2 children - Eliza diagnosed ASD at age 3. Younger Sibling, Noah. I run a Facebook page called 'Living with Blooming Autism'.

11 thoughts on “A stranger just called me a rubbish parent”

  1. I cannot believe the nerve of this woman, how dare she approach someone she doesn’t know and make so many assumptions?The fact that you explained things to her is a testament to what a good parent and person you are,I only hope she learnt something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness what a total cow. Well done you for not losing your rag. You are an amazing mummy who is doing the best for her child. Yes maybe she may see junk but you see food and a way of helping your beautiful little girl recover xxxx

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  3. Bloody hell JC, how did you keep your cool?! I’d have been tempted to shove the ice creams in her pie hole! How VERY rude of her to say such a thing! I am so angry for you. Well done on keeping calm and educating her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You shouldn’t have had to explain yourself to a stranger! I often go to the supermarket and buy lots of junk food, this may be because it’s for a birthday party or a film night or just because I haven’t had the money to buy junk with my regular food shop but now have a little bit more money and want to get some nice things for the kids. This does not mean that this is all they eat! We all have thoughts and opinions about others but sometimes you should keep them thoughts to yourself!

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  5. I am so sorry that you were treated this way. You certainly are not a rubbish parent. Even under an unprovoked attack, you tried to educate this person so that maybe they will be more understanding in the future. I say that is pretty awesome. I hope your weekend improves and your daughter gets better quickly.

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  6. After 1 horrific incident of someone trying to interject themselves into getting our son away from a meltdown, my wife and I have no problem telling people where to go, and what to do when they get there, using language that makes salors blush. God help anyone who makes a comment like that to my wife, she’ll enjoy publicly ripping them a new one. After 11 years, there is no such thing as feeling embarrassed in public.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are a Lady, my dear. I cannot think of many people who would have taken so much crap from a total stranger and let her live.

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