A Letter To The Lady I Shouted At In The Street

Dear Lady I Shouted At In The Street,

This letter is for you, you asked me if I needed help and I forcibly shouted at you saying “No, please leave me alone.” Well I can’t really remember exactly what I said but I know I shouted sorry as you walked off.

It’s been playing on my mind since it happened and I’ve been wanting to sit down and write an explanation. That person wasn’t me, I don’t shout, I’m certainly not mean. I was pushed to my limits and I was coping, I just really didn’t need help.

My son leads me off on a false sense of security sometimes, he’s always walked with me, holds my hand, is happy to go where I need him too, he’s sensible at roads and junctions. A dream.

That day he completely threw me. He wanted to walk with me to the shops, I was fine with that, he doesn’t always want carrying anymore.  I let him run up a ramp on the side of the building, because let’s face it, I’m a cool Mum that lets him do that. That’s when he changed though.  He didn’t want to go further on to the shops, he wanted to play in the door way, he wouldn’t let me pick him up, he refused the sling, he just stopped.

We had one shop to go too, something for me, it wouldn’t take long, I was frustrated that he wouldn’t come, we had to go and meet his Daddy not long after going to the shops.  We didn’t have time to play.  I had given up on the shops and asked him to walk the other way.  He did and he followed.  Then he ran, he’s not fast, but he wouldn’t stop when I said.

You must have been watching this scene play out.  I had my woven wrap with me, it dawned on me this behaviour meant he was tired, he was still refusing to come up in the wrap.  Wrapping a stressed tired wriggling child on your back is an art and one that doesn’t always go to plan on the first attempt.

People don’t see kids being wrapped on the back too often, you must have seen me wrestling with my child and messing my first attempt up.  I can only imagine it looked dangerous.  It’s not. You caught me off guard, asking if I needed help while I was mid Super man, final attempt two, my son wriggling on my back.  I was pissed off that my well-behaved son was kicking off, I needed him wrapped on back so he was safe.

You definitely caught me off guard, I don’t remember what I said, I know I put my hand forcibly out and said NO.  I don’t like that I did this, I have been dwelling on it, it was fierce, out of character, not me at all.  It scared me, I am sorry if it scared you.

Within 30 seconds of you walking off, I had my son tied on my back, he was safe again, he couldn’t go anywhere, he could rest and sleep.  I saw you turn the corner, gone and I was overwhelmed with guilt.  Nothing I could do to let you know that I was sorry, really truly sorry for shouting at you.

We made it to the shop, it took 2 minutes, we set off to meet his Daddy, I felt my son rest his head on my back.  He slept.  I still thought about you.  Parenting is tough and not always how you expect it to be, people are kind, you were kind to me and you caught me at a bad moment.  I hope I’ve not made you think twice about asking to help again.  I hope that you’ve not been dwelling on this in the same way I have.

Please accept my apologies.



  1. Bless you Karen, I really hope the lady gets to read this – it’s hard not to take or anger out on others in a stressful situation. I suppose it’ also hard for a stranger to know what to do when thy see someone struggling with anything not just a child. I used to carry one twin in a carrier on my back and one on my front and someone offered to help me too once when I was struggling. I accepted the help on that occasion but another time I may not have done. I’m sure she understood you weren’t yourself. Take care lovely. Xx

  2. Laura: Adventures with J

    Oh Karen! You are definitely not a shouty or aggressive person, but sometimes stress and panic for the safety of our most precious bundles (plus those pregnancy hormones!!) cause an out of character turn. I do hope that this lady reads this as she was being kind, but at the same time, I hope that she has been there herself and knows that it wasn’t an outburst that was personal more inwardly facing. Don’t beat yourself up for it – we have enough of that as it is as parents! Big hugs xxxx

  3. I love this post because we’ve all been there – acted a little too harshly towards someone who just wanted to help. Don’t feel too bad – it happens sometimes when we’re in a stressful situation, and you were just trying to do the best that you can, which is all we can ever do. If she is a parent herself, she’ll have understood what you were going through. #FamilyFun
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  4. Bless. Yes, wrapping on the back can look like you don’t know what you’re doing and you need to focus. We all have these moments. Sometimes I say no to help and think I should’ve accepted it as well. She sounds like a nice lady that will understand. #FamilyFunLinky
    Mama Grace recently posted…Letting GoMy Profile

  5. When our children are being unsafe and not listening it’s a truly scary thing and our whole bodies go into fight or flight mode, you couldn’t run away so you fought. In the heat of the moment when we are struggling with a toddler it’s hard to stay calm, we just need to get them safe. If this woman has ever had kids she will understand, try not to be too hard on yourself x
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…15 products to make your family holiday run smoother this yearMy Profile

  6. It’s difficult knowing when to offer help. One time my eldest was having a meltdown because I wouldn’t buy him a toy and a woman came over and told me she was a nanny and I should be dealing with his behaviour in a certain way. She had no idea we were halfway through a funeral so I was on edge and not being my usual self, plus Matthew hadn’t slept so was acting out of character, plus at that time we thought he was displaying ASD tendencies and were having him checked. I wasn’t rude but I told her to leave us alone… #familyfunlinky
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…5 funny little things about…My Profile

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