What You Staring At?

I guess I’ve done pretty well really. My daughter is just coming up five and I’ve managed to avoid being judged as a mother by strangers until now. Okay, I’ve had the ‘looks’ we all get when our child decides to have a meltdown in the middle of the supermarket and we feel tempted, but don’t quite have the guts to turn into that lady on the advert who just starts rolling around on the floor in the aisle, but I’ve found online shopping 100% successful in preventing that from happening any more!

So yes, in half a decade, I haven’t had a bad experience, until this weekend. We were invited out to a ‘social gathering’ we shall call it to preserve its anonymity. My son was running around as two year olds do, then he came running over to me, gave me a massive cuddle and ran off again.

I didn’t really know anyone else there so I guess I was more aware of what other people were doing, but I noticed two people talking, and looking over at me in that way people do when they’re talking about you! I’m sure you know that look I mean! Although a lot of people don’t think of me as being shy, I am actually a hugely insecure person so this affected me greatly, I suddenly felt very uncomfortable.

A couple of minutes later, one of the two people that had been talking made their way over to me. It was like when you’re in the school playground and you decide in a huddle who’s going to go over to the boy and ask him out for their friend! So said person approaches me and just comes out with:

“You do know your son has a horrific rash don’t you?”

Suddenly it clicks into place. Of course, how could I be so stupid?! Ignorant selfish me, has taken my son out so that he can contaminate everyone. Share the germs! If you all get close enough, you can go home with matching skin!

Even when my son had chickenpox, I never got any reaction, and this case was, according to the doctor, one of the worst cases he had ever seen:

I just find it weird that someone else, another parent, can automatically assume, that as a mother I haven’t noticed that my son has a severe skin issue. Or, that if I had, I wouldn’t have had it checked out or assessed by a professional to check it wasn’t infectious before I took him to a social gathering!

I didn’t need to do that, because my son has eczema. It’s quite bad, and I’m sure anyone who has experienced eczema will understand that a sudden drop in temperature to -12 is not going to help with its appearance. I’m guessing the golfball bruise on his head as a result of dropping an ELC cash register on it that morning and a bruised arm from where his sister bit him also didn’t help!

But the fact still remains that I was judged to be a poor mother, and an irresponsible adult on first impression. Someone who knew nothing about me decided that, despite the fact we have friends in common. If this hadn’t been their first impression, then they wouldn’t have needed to approach me.

So should I be bothered by this? Or would I have had the same feelings if I’d seen a child with something going on? I think I dealt with it ok, I calmly explained that my son had eczema, and that it wasn’t a contagious disease. I’m glad I haven’t lost my patience and ability to stay calm which I had to learn as a teacher! I think the people concerned felt a bit bad about bringing it up in the end which I didn’t want them to do, but they felt relieved too!

It’s the first time I’ve ever though about my son’s eczema in the long term as well. He may grow out of it, although most of my friend’s children who have grown out of it seemed to have been doing so by now so I’m not sure. It’s controllable with his cocktail of steroid creams, but it will flair up. Is my poor boy going to have to encounter comments like this in the future too? He’s never been bothered by it, in terms of itching or appearance, but I don’t want him to be either.

This parenthood thing isn’t getting any easier now I’ve got my full nights of sleep back that’s for sure!

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kylie Hodges (@kykaree)
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 11:31:40

    I would have been very angry, on your son’s behalf. I was teased and judged about my eczema when growing up and it was horrendous. Shame on these stupid dumb women. How dare they?

    But don’t let them make you feel inferior, it’s their issue, not yours.

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Feb 06, 2012 @ 11:35:49

      Aw thank you hun. I’m just relieved that my son is totally oblivious to it all at the moment, it just gave me a glimpse into how things might be for him. Sorry you’ve had a bad experience with it, it must be horrible. x

      Reply

  2. Louise Williams (@LouW81)
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 12:43:46

    That’s just awful, I’d have been angry too. My 2yr old son suffers with eczema too. It was really bad for the 1st 18mths but it seems to be under control now. He does still have bad flare up’s though when he’s teething and with sudden temperature changes. Your little boy’s chicken pox looks like it was so sore, poor little mite, hope he didn’t suffer too much xxx

    Reply

  3. Paula Maher (@PaulaMaher)
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 14:47:06

    sometimes people honestly don’t think, so wrapped up in their own world to spare some compassion for someone else. you handled it right and your son will learn to too, from your example. also, it’s good to vent and sometimes a blog is the best place to do it! btw, i LOVE your son’s expression in the chicken-pox photo. it says EVERYTHING about what a child has to go through when they have chicken-pox!

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Feb 06, 2012 @ 16:06:31

      Aw I know bless him, those pictures were taken on his first birthday – a very generous present from his sister! Thank you for your comments and words of support! x

      Reply

  4. HELEN
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 14:49:12

    THis has made me very sad….I’ve been told on many occasions ‘your son has a rash all over his legs’….erm yes I know, he’s had it for 11 years & if you haven’t caught it by now you’re not likely to!
    I know exactly how you feel & I hope your little boy doesn’t endure unkind words as he grows up. My 11 year old has only come across it once (as far as I’m aware) from another child when he was called ‘Eczema boy’. It flares up something terrible sometimes & then other times he can go weeks or even months with good skin…
    It’s hard to keep under control & makes you feel like a bad enough parent yourself without others adding to it.
    I hope he does grow out of it….just ignore those ignorant-far-from-perfect-parents! x

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Feb 06, 2012 @ 16:05:24

      Aw thank you for your comment, I’m glad your son has managed to escape negative comments almost. It’s like you say, difficult because you don’t always know when it’s going to flare up. Let’s hope it gets better with age. x

      Reply

  5. The Boy and Me (@TheBoyandMe)
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 22:35:00

    Oh how horrible for you, and I hope your little boy didn’t notice. As a primary school teacher like you, we know children can be a bit mean but most are kind and understanding. I think people get nervous about eczema partly because it looks so painful. Hubby had it so badly as a teen, his fingers used to crack and bleed. He was also bullied and I do wonder now if the two were related?

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Feb 08, 2012 @ 14:25:38

      Aw your poor hubby, does he still have it now? Thank you for reinforcing my faith in children though, I know they can be cruel but it’s also lovely to hear how kind and understanding most are. x

      Reply

  6. Alan Fairbrother
    Feb 07, 2012 @ 00:01:39

    Hi Michelle

    I tweeted you a link prior to looking at your blog. There is obviously only so much you can tweet!! So I thought I would send you a link to an article about the impact of using Aloe and Bee Propolis combined. You can read the article here: http://www.flp-aloevera.co.uk/Aloe_Vera_myth_or_medicine.htm

    Both the Aloe Propolis Creme and the Aloe Vera Gelly can be purchased online and come with a 60 day money back guarantee: https://www.foreverliving.com/retail/shop/shopping.do?categoryName=Skincare+R&task=shopCategory

    Forgive my approach but I have seen first hand the impact both eczema and psoriasis can have, a friends daughter had tremendous success in reducing the patches of eczema to virtually nothing!

    Hope this helps

    Kind regards

    Alan

    Reply

  7. safeandtrusted4u
    Feb 07, 2012 @ 23:54:02

    I don’t have eczema but I know of some products that thousands of people have had wonderful results with in clearing it up.

    Reply

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