I’m The Mom You Tutted At – An Open Letter


I don’t know your name so I can’t start with ‘dear’ – so I’ll just say ‘hi.’

I have waited a few days to send this: pondered whether or not to blog about what you did. After much deliberation I have decided that this needs to be said, heard, written and read.

You walked past TP and me on Wednesday when we were walking home from nursery. LA and I were wearing hats, scarves and winter coats. TP was wearing only his school uniform: no hat, scarf, gloves – not even a coat.

You were with another lady – both of you as well wrapped up as LA and I were. You tutted and rather loudly commented to each other: you couldn’t believe how stupid I was to let my son walk home like that. Obviously I was an uncaring and unfit mother.

I heard every word you said. I bit my tongue and I fought back the tears. Was that what everyone thought about me?

What you didn’t know was that my son was hot. My son, you see, has a sensory disorder. In the winter he’s hot and in the summer he’s cold. In the winter I have a constant battle to make him keep his coat on: in the summer it’s the opposite battle.

So I’m sorry. You’ll probably see us in the summer and you’ll tut loudly again. There’s that unfit mother making her son wear a coat…

TP is four. He knows when he feels hot and he knows when he feels cold. So I ask you this: if you were hot, what would you do? Would you stay uncomfortable, or would you remove layers until you were cool and comfortable? My guess is that you’d remove some layers. That’s what TP was doing: cooling himself down.

It’s OK. I’m not angry with you. You didn’t know any of this. Why would you? We’re strangers. So all I ask is that next time you’re a bit more considerate: you don’t instantly judge: you don’t tut loudly and talk about another mom. You don’t know that person’s situation: you haven’t got the whole picture.

Next time, stop and think – because everything may not be as it first seems.

Next time the parent or carer you tut at, and make comments about, may not bite their tongue.


The Dad Network
This entry was posted in Me.

41 thoughts on “I’m The Mom You Tutted At – An Open Letter

  1. Very well said…I have a similar thing with my girl….She doesn’t feel the cold….She has a heart problems and she feels hotter more than she should…On Friday after her school disco she walked home without her coat and cardigan on….She had a short sleeved dress on and I saw people looking and felt rubbish….She had been dancing for an hour in the hot school hall at her disco and was sweating twice as much as the other kids….

  2. Harry doesn’t have a sensory disorder but he doesn’t feel the cold. I have never understood people who judge, particularly loudly like these women did. I’m so sorry you experienced that. xx

  3. Grrr I’m angry for you! I get this all the time. Albeit my health or something about the boys. Being a homeschool parent I get very rude and lid comments assuming that just because he is seen out at school time, and he looks well and happy, must automatically mean that I am a bad parent to allow them to have the day off. Well done for biting your tongue though! Very impressed! I can bite back at times which is something that I need to work on.
    People do need to seriously stop and think and cast their thoughts aside and realise that they don’t know the story behind a situation.
    Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky I hope people will read this and think twice from now on!

  4. How rude. And despite your lovely manners towards those “ladies”, you are so right. One day one of them will be ignorant and rude to someone who doesn’t hold their tongue as well as you do. Shame on them. I’m so angry on your behalf.

  5. People are so quick to judge unfortunately without knowing the facts. Why should you have to explain yourself all of the time?! Walk past with your head held high knowing that you are doing the right thing for your child – sod what everyone else thinks. I know it’s easier said than done but I think as a parent sometimes you have to have that thick skin and just walk away xx

  6. I’ve never understood why people have to be so judgemental over other people – it’s so rude. And also if she felt that strongly about it then she should have said something to you and allowed you to respond rather than loudly muttering which is the worst response. Sorry this happened to you – I love this open letter though, so well written and explained.

  7. it isn’t just about your lad having a sensory processing order , it is about respecting the fact that your child knows when he is hot or cold. Lot’s of parents don’t even listen to their kids and force them in to coats, hats etc with no regard.

    My boys get hot, they run around like loons, so think coats are a big no no

  8. well said! and if only other people would keep their noses out! .. as a nation it seems we are all to quick to judge and its not warranted or even nice .. i am glad you held firm and sod her lovely x

  9. I’m sorry those women were so insensitive. It’s reading things like this that has helped me try and look past my first judgemental thought when I see something (usually involving children I have to admit) and remember there are unknown stories behind the situations.

    • I think to a certain extent we all judge things that we see others do, which is just human nature. It was the very audible way in which they did it which was upsetting to me, if they’d have asked or said something directly to me I could’ve explained or even TP could’ve explained why he wasn’t wearing a coat.

  10. What a horrible thing to do and say! If she was truly concerned, she could have made a comment to you ‘Is he warm blooded? Doesn’t he feel the cold?’ That sort of thing. x

  11. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if people just kept their ill informed opinions to themselves. I had to take an unexpected trip to the hospital yesterday just as Fran’s coat was in the wash, she of course refused to wear anything but a t-shirt so I had to endure the tuts of nosey parkers who had no idea of our situation at that time. Hold your head up high and be confident that you are a fab mom who adapts to her children’s individual needs x

  12. Honestly, if kids are cold they will put a coat on. If a kid isn’t waring a coat it’s because they’re not cold, not because of terrible parenting. I’m sorry that other people being so pointlessly judgey upset you x

  13. My kids are always hot and just don’t seem to feel the cold and they often strip their coats off. My worst moment was when a teacher phoned me almost accusing me of neglect because my teenage son point blank refused to wear a coat on the way to school – he was soaked through, but he learned a harsh lesson

  14. People are quick to judge and it is really hard to take as the parent in question – I think we have all been there at times, be it when your toddler has a wobbler in a supermarket or for more unusual reasons such as yours. We just have to ignore them and know that we are doing a good job! X

  15. It is so horrible when people judge you so freely when they don’t know what is behind your actions, your children know you are doing a wonderful job as a parent and that is all that matters xx

  16. People are so quick to assume they know the situation and that they have a right to judge. Sorry that happened but well done for biting your tongue – I really struggle with that haha x

  17. When my twins were one year old, a friend (without kids) attacked me for not putting a scarf on Tiny. She told me I was making her ill. She ranted at me for ages. I was always told you shouldn’t put scarves on babies as they could strangle themselves. At the time Tiny also had a fever so I had to make sure she didnt overheat. It wasn’t particularly cold out as It was spring. But she made me feel awful. I didn’t go out again for a while as it upset me so much.

  18. I feel that the human race and society has become ever more judgemental. My answer to people like the ones in your open letter is “eff ’em”

    I’m sorry these people made you feel like this, but you know your children, they don’t x

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this – I hope it was as therapeutic for you to write as it was for me to read 🙂 Thank you also for sharing about the sensory disorder as I know so little about it but will definitely be reading up now 🙂 Mim @ http://www.mamamim.com

  20. O my word this is best blog I have read in ages. Our son wears shorts all year. Last few days been in shorts, tshirt and just crocs!! How many time have we been tutted at over this winter I could not count. But I did loose plot the other Saturday, it was bitter in Harrogate. I had hat, gloves, long coat and boots on. Hubby had winter coat but no hat and gloves. Son was in shorts, crocs with NO socks and a small light weight fleece lined coat. After 3 comments loud enough. The last lady and daughter where told ‘Do you mind, he chooses to wear the shorts I am not a bad parent he has SEN needs and believe me he is not cold his hands are like little ovens.’ She walked away embarressed. We get same tuts by older generation on a Sunday morning in church. It is really annoying. Thank you for your blog. I have shared with a Think before you judge. Well written.

  21. I hate how judgemental society is! I got so angry reading this! How dare they? Did they think that you cared for one child less than the others? It’s not like you were all without coats. And even if you were… what is it to them? And even if they did choose to have an opinion, why would they feel the need to voice it to you? Not even to you, but away from you and so you could hear it. Thats worse. Grr! Well done for taking the high road.

  22. This is powerful! Everyone should read it everyone should apply the principles!
    Thanks for linking up!

    (Can you add the Linky badge please? 🙂 )

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