Mumsnet’s messageboards: A snapshot of modern family life

Angry, opinionated and often hilarious, the advice dished out daily on Mumsnet's 'Am I Being Unreasonable...?' message boards is a snapshot of modern family life – warts and all


DS Darling son
DD Darling daughter
DD1/2 Darling daughter 1 of 2
DS1/2 Darling son 1 of 2
DC Darling children
DH Darling husband
exH ex-husband
YABU You are being unreasonable
YANBU You are not being unreasonable
IMO In my opinion
IMHO In my humble opinion
HT Head teacher
OP Original post
BTW By the way
TBH To be honest

Am I being unreasonable ... to refuse to let my daughter use fake tan?

My daughter is competing in a ballroom competition. Her teacher told me we had to get her a fake tan or she would lose out. I have said no. But her best mate has been booked in for a spray tan...

Posted by nofaketanforDD

It's a disgrace and there is NO WAY I would allow my daughter to have one. YANBU.


Stick to your guns. One of the things that makes ballroom stuff look naff is the fake tan brigade. Fred Astaire didn’t go around glowing orange!


My daughter did ballet, and would naturally be made up for the shows. Actors use make-up, so that seemed OK to me. It's a question of whether you see this as a normal type of stage make-up or as something different, more tarty.

cory o

It is part of the turnout – all the other girls will be tanned so I don't think you are being fair to your daughter. What about trying the everyday tanners – they build a more natural glow?


YANBU. Having said that, when I danced in the Eighties we all had to wear thick stage make-up – panstick, lurid green eyeshadow, red lipstick and false lashes. My mum, sister and I had to go to the theatre by taxi once and I'm sure the driver thought we were hookers. And “American Tan” tights. Fake tan sounds a lot better actually.


Am I being unreasonable ... to think that kids who are ill shouldn't go to nursery school?

Shouldn't a child that is coughing his guts out or has rosy-red feverish cheeks be at home? Why do some parents think it's OK to pass on germs to other people's children? I don't send my children to school/nursery if they are ill, I prefer to care for them at home, and I would hope other parents also do that. I really cannot afford to have my son sick again and again, just because others think it is OK to send their sick children to nursery. AIBU?

Posted by QuintessentialShadowOfSnowball

YANBU. We've had kids come into nursery with chickenpox, German measles, impetigo. My partner and I work. I have to take unpaid leave if DS is ill.


YABU. I send my children to nursery/school if they have cough/cold, so long as they are not very ILL, because if I didn't they would be never there and I'd lose my job.


Until recently, raising kids at home was considered to be a job in its own right. I still consider it to be. And whatever your choices, if your kid's ill, your kid comes first. If someone is prepared to put a sick kid in nursery for the day so they can go do their 'job', it's a rather sad indictment of society.


YANBU. I've kept my daughter off nursery for the last two weeks because I'm so fed up with bug after bug coming home from kids that are too poorly to be there.


Oh for heaven's sake there is no point trying to 'avoid' bugs. You can't. Getting ill is part of life and children tend to build up immune systems if they are exposed to germs. You can't live your life in a germ-free bubble.


Well, there's living in a germ- free bubble and there's just expecting that other people will be reasonably considerate.


But what about a job like mine, where there are patients booked in to see me, and locums at short notice are hard to find? If I ring in sick myself it causes a crisis.


I'm a nursery owner. Runny noses, minor coughs and bright eyes are welcomed. Hacking coughs, fevers, anything obviously infectious and ill-looking children are not. Some parents, no matter what, dose their kids up with Calpol and cross their fingers – the 'Calpol Cowboys.'


I send my children to nursery when they are ill. Christ, if I didn't I'd be unable to leave the house for six months of the year! Children do get ill, whatever us awful, thoughtless parents do.


I do feel very sorry for children who are sent to nursery/school when it's patently obvious to anyone that they should really be at home. They are your responsibility and it's up to you to make arrangements for them. Not the school, not the nursery, not the Government.


Am I being unreasonable ... to dislike the stupid 'family name' my husband wants to inflict on our son?

My husband has a family name that all first-born sons have to be called. I hate this name! We agreed that we would choose a middle name that would be his 'everyday' name. I'm starting to worry about his first day at school and if it's called out in class and sticks.

Posted by peggotty

Don't worry about school, you can go in and see them and make sure all the staff know.


I think that the very idea of a family name that all first-born sons have to be called is appalling. Are your in-laws aristocrats?


What is the name?


Ooh, I can't possibly comment until I know what the name is. But YA definitely NBU. I could never have called my DCs a first name I disliked, although I did allow a middle name I didn't like because it was exH's mother's name.


Go and register the child on your own. Put the hated name as the middle one?


My cousin is called after his dad who was called after his dad. The grandfather was known as Old Bob, the father as Big Bob and the son as Wee Bob. Now Wee Bob is in his 40s and over 6ft. Fortunately Wee Bob has only produced girls.


Has to be Farquhar, doesn't it?




OK, it's Hamilton. His dad gets called Hammy. That's a rodent.


YANBU. I also had a hamster called Hammy.


You could shorten it to Milton instead of Hammy.


I have the same name as my grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother... And my mother hated it and held a HUGE grudge against using it.

My eldest DD didn't get the family name, but now I realise the implications. I have something beyond blood that connects me with these wonderful women; I broke that line, and my DD1 has missed out in sharing this joy. If I could give her my name now, I would!


Am I being unreasonable ... to want IVF on the NHS?

AIBU to wonder whether it is unfair to be told that if I already have a child and am over 40, I should not get any IVF on the NHS?

Posted by babybarrister

You are being unreasonable. You already have a child and many are absolutely desperate to have even that.


I don't think anyone should get IVF on the NHS. I think that the NHS is there to save lives, not create new ones.


I do sympathise. The NHS wouldn't offer me treatment at all. It can feel very, very lonely when you are trying to get pregnant.


It does irritate me a bit that so many people have an emotive response to their age being a factor in pregnancy and fertility, when it is widely known that fertility does begin to decrease quite rapidly after the age of 35.


You are being unreasonable. If you can't have children, you just have to accept it.


Daftpunk, that is an unbelievably ignorant thing to say. You have clearly never had fertility problems. It is the most devastating experience I have ever had.


If children are conceived naturally and subsequently born, society has an obligation to look after them. But, talking purely from a sustainability point of view, we don't need to "manufacture" babies, there are enough people in the planet as it is.


Actually gunner, I think you're being ridiculous by linking the argument against IVF on the NHS with population issues. I find it really shocking that people who have children can dismiss others' infertility as nothing more than a minor inconvenience.


No, you are not being unreasonable! The government funds thousands of abortions every year, why not fund loving parents to have another child?


I have created two future taxpayers via IVF who will more than put back into society the £6k it would have cost the NHS to have created them.


I get so tired of having to defend IVF. Suck this up: reproductive biology is subtle.


Having a child is not a human right...


Says who? Are you God? Presumably at the point you were able to (effortlessly) conceive your own children without medical assistance.


Actually, the right to have children is enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Article 16.


Am I being unreasonable ... to do the school run in my pyjamas?

How many of you have thrown that fleece over the top of your jimmys and done the school run? Am I being unreasonable?

Posted by Conversebootmum

Can't understand it TBH. If you had time to put on jeans, you had time to take off your PJs.


I do it most days, I see nothing wrong with it. I get ready for the day when DD is at school.


I don't do the school run now but often wore PJs.


Why can't you put on a top and jeans as your DS eats breakfast? You do prepare some breakfast for him, don't you?


NO NO NO. PJs on the school run is all kinds of WRONG.


Breakfast is sometimes eaten in the car en route, and I ALWAYS drive along with a mug of tea!


Sorry for being judgemental but this is mingin'. Is there no way of getting dressed before leaving the house?


Is this thread real? Would never ever take kids to school in my PJs.


Yes, it's really real.


Well, I have four kids from two to nine, I leave the house at 7.30am for the school run and it has never in a million years crossed my mind to go in PJs. And I shower every morning. Try getting out of bed three minutes earlier and having a shower instead, that should solve your "busy mum" problem.


But why don't you get dressed?


Well then you have to get completely undressed again to have a bath and get dressed all over again. Easier to shove clothes on top and deal with it later IMO.


But why would you leave the house without washing?


My school run is approximately six minutes in the car along a country lane. Then I can have as long as I like in the bath. If I have to fit in my bath before school, there is not a lot of time or hot water for moi. On top of all animals being fed, children, packed lunches etc, I like to get everyone sorted, then take my time for myself, when peace reigns.


I have quite a reputation for being very smart. However sometimes I have a long black coat on, scarf, gloves and boots over my nightie! The joke is when one of the other mums in the playground says – "You always look so glamorous!" I then go home, shower and dress properly.


I haven't met anyone who runs this country successfully, so they may as well be in their PJs for all the good it does!


You seem to find this funny, Converse. I find it bizarre.


I don't understand this 'too busy to get dressed' business. Nobody is that busy. Look at all the people who run countries. They're busy and they've got clothes on.


I heard about people like you. Just thought it was an urban legend. Poor kids. Breakfast in the car, being dropped off by mum in pyjamas.

CoteDAzur the way, I never said my kids are not washed and go to nursery in their PJs, just little old me!


Get dressed the night before. I got dressed when I had to drop my son off at 4am for a daytrip. Full make up, everything.


You don't wash before the school run, obviously. Do you brush your hair and teeth?


I never said I was in my night clothes all day. Back home by nine and then in the bath. I cannot believe that people are so shocked!


"Breakfast is sometimes eaten in the car en route"

You do realise your children are going to school to learn and falling in the gate seconds after eating their breakfast might not be quite the best start for the day. Lazy.


Right folks, time to say goodnight, I need to get in that bed if I am to get up at 3am to make myself look fab for the school run!


No, no, no, no. Get dressed! Have you no shame? Your poor kids must get called rotten for having such a lazy mum. What sort of example are you setting for your kids? I assume you don't work!


I actually 'work' as a psychiatric nurse...


Can I just remind everybody again that the OP was about pulling a fleece on over her clothes. In other words, nothing to embarrass your children. I find the tone of this thread very judgmental.


There are a whole lot more important things to worry about than what you wear in the car on the school run.


This is about regularly not getting washed, pulling jeans over pyjama bottoms (!!!!) fleece over tops, children not knowing what it is to have a clean or groomed mother taking them to school...


When you try to have a bit of a laugh, it turns extremely personal, talking about filthy unwashed mothers, and neglected children, completely the opposite of what it was all meant to be about, really.


Am I unreasonable ... to be sick of non-competitive sports events?

DD2 was at a hockey tournament today. The team had a pre-tournament pep talk where they were told not to cheer if their team scored a goal and not to make any aggrieved noise if a team-mate cocked up. The teams were not told the final score at the end of a match and there was no winner. What bollox.

Posted by Pointydog

Agree, BUT having had a child at the receiving end of madly competitive classmates, I know why they do it.


This really winds me up. My sister's gorgeous D D really struggles at school but is such a fast runner. She spent all year with the other kids getting spelling certificates and certificates for being top at maths. And on sports day she was not allowed to win because sport had to be non-competitive...


YANBU. DD's sports day has turned into a complete farce – it's not even called 'sports day' any more, simply 'outdoor pursuits day'. The games are designed so there's no winners or losers, and everyone gets a sticker for effort.


This is why the UK is crap at most sports.


My mother is still gutted that one week before I was due to be given the prize for top of my primary school the new headmaster junked it because it would make other children feel bad. My mother called him 'a socialist'.

Nigella Tufnel

DS plays under-eights' football but it's non-competitive... it's pointless.


On the one hand we get kids being told not to be competitive, yet what are the most popular television programmes? Talent shows where individuals are voted out by the viewing public!


This was a factor in us leaving the state sector. We like our children to have the experience of winning and losing. The latter is sometimes as valuable as the former.


The HT organised a friendly game (of football) against another school. But only one goal was allowed to be scored per child.


Our HT makes the same speech at every sports day that life is competitive and so are sports! Lovely state primary BTW.


This is total madness. My eight- year old DS ran in a relay race last year, but each team ran on their own so they had no-one to race against! Completely barmy. And I wasn't even allowed to cheer his name in case the children whose parents were not there felt left out.


YANBU. I was always last on sports day (except for the sack race which I even won one year and I'm still proud!)... and it didn't scar me for life.


Am I being unreasonable ... to take my children to a wedding?

She politely told me that only children from her family are allowed at her wedding.

My DS will be not much over a year. I am breastfeeding and I don't like this pressure of and getting him off the breast quicker. I want to take him with me.


Sorry yes, YABU. I only had immediate family children at my wedding. My DS is breastfed but I am beginning to leave him, on the basis he can survive for a day with no milk.


YABU. If you don't want to leave your one-year-old then decline the invite.


Don't go. It will also save you a ton of cash. If we are all going to be honest, weddings can be as dull as dishwater. The bride will still have a great day without you.


I definitely would have been in a tricky situation if he'd been under a year, as I really don't want to miss her wedding (she's one of my best friends).


I'd just take the baby with you, she won't even notice on the day.


Sorrento – you really wouldn't take a one-year-old if you'd specifically been told not to, would you? Lordy – that would be so unbelievably rude and quite possibly a friendship-killer.


Nah, you're right I wouldn't go, but to be honest, not being allowed to take a baby along would be a friendship breaker for me anyway, if she is that up her own arse.


I was invited to a wedding when breastfed DS was five months old. It was like a holiday, and we loved it! It was even better coming home to see the look on his face, and he had a wonderful time with his grandparents.


It must be a British thing, I find it positively weird people would want "time away" from their children and no children at weddings.


People who can't/won't go anywhere without their children are a bit odd. I tend to assume that they are not very good at adult interaction and have narrow horizons: the sort of people who can't talk about anything but nipples and nappies.


For the rather short time that your baby is a baby, for two tiny years, then they should be your sole focus and accompany you everywhere or else not at all. Mothers in the UK suffer from the highest rates of postnatal depression because they bring it all on themselves – they rush around like blue-arsed flies trying to be everything to everybody.


I'm going now before this thing kicks off. Well done Sorrento, so I think you've managed to offend any working mother with children under the age of two, anyone who has had a night out before their child is two and anyone who suffered from PND because they clearly bring it on themselves. I hope for your sake that you're a troll.



Well as a nipple discussing offended poster who is not a troll, I fight fire with fire.


I'm pretty sure the OP is a troll actually, the thread title says 'children' then she talks only about her child. Boring old topic anyway, should have thought of something more imaginative.


I am not a troll. I do have two children, a two-year-old and currently a nine-month-old. I would ideally like to take them both, hence the title of the thread. I think I'm going to play it by ear and see how he is nearer the time, thank you for all sensible compromise suggestions.


Am I being unreasonable ... to expect my husband to help out with household chores?

My husband works full time and has a very responsible and stressful job. He leaves the house at 6.30am and generally gets in before 6.30pm, so a 12 hour day. He is also responsible for doing DIY in our house, which he does sporadically at the weekend.

I work three mornings a week, and have the responsibility of the children. I ferry the two DCs to Rainbows [junior Guides], Scouts, French, ballet, and sort all things to do with the school. I do the household, cleaning, washing, ironing, finances, car etc. I have responsibility of our social life, which, if I don't arrange, we don't do.

Should I expect my DH to do any more in the house in the way of chores? What I'm aiming for is to lose my martyr mentality. AIBU?

Posted by Cheeset

What actually do you want him to do, though? I had a moan at mine and I have had:

1. White tops stained by red T-shirt, hence a whole pink wash that I have to re-wash and bleach to rescue.

2. Storage boxes reorganised in a most annoying fashion.

3. Some of my favourite books taken to charity.

4. Soapy suds left on things. Can taste soap in my tea and would love a dishwasher rather than DH sometimes! So, I just do it all myself as it's really never is right unless I do it.


Well TBH your DC are past the labour-intensive stage (yes, I know that being that age brings a whole other set of things – activities, reading, homework etc – my oldest is 7) and you do work only a little, so I think you should be doing the bulk.If he's doing things like leaving his socks by the side of the bed, and putting his mug on the top not in the dishwasher then he is taking the piss. I would expect him to do those things and also odd things like empty the dishwasher at weekends or whatever. But not a great deal more TBH.


I would advise cooking him his fave meal once a week in return for a little bit of help as and when he gets the energy. I was about to have another rant at mine tonight when I discovered two broken glasses (he did the dishes) today! But, he works such long hours compared to mine that I know I just CAN'T and will have to grin and bear it.Or just try not ironing his shirts etc, and see what happens, if you're brave!


Yeah, I know I should do the bulk but it annoys me at the weekend when he sits at the PC and just looks at eBay and generally gets in my way. He rarely bothers with the DCs, I take them out and entertain them. I just wish he would organise something or enthuse about going somewhere and maybe think about taking a wet towel off the bed or raising the blinds or emptying the dishwasher or bringing his cup/glass down from the side of the bed...


Aw Cheeset, I know how you feel, my husband is away on business and my two have both been ill the last few days and I'm exhausted! And my DH keeps emailing me to tell me how much fun he's having and how great it is to sleep in at the weekends! Have you talked to him about how you feel? He is behaving like a third child IMHO just because he has a demanding job that doesn't mean he can't have a life out of work...

It sounds as though he could gain a lot by having more to do with the children, but remember that if he has a lot of pressure to deal with at work maybe you should try and let him be with the children in his own way without being chivvied about it.


Get a cleaner


Divorce him


It's threads like these that make me feel lucky to be a lone parent.


The way I see it, people don't sit down and talk about these things enough. If you are a SAHM and your DH works full-time, I'd assume that you'd had a conversation quite early on in your pregnancy about what was going to happen, and that you'd agreed that one of you would do Job A, Earning The Money, and that the other would do the equally-valid Job B, Managing The House. During my brief period as a SAHD, I aimed to get all the household stuff done during "office hours" – 8 to 6. It's hard when you have babies or small children. It's a piece of piss when they are at school.


Am I being unreasonable ... to disapprove of candy cigarettes?

I found candy cigarettes in a party bag given to my three-year-old. I should have vetted the bag before he saw them but didn't have a chance. Am I being unreasonable?

Posted by apostrophe

They're not sweet cigarettes, they're candy sticks. YABU. (My two love them because they come with a 'tattoo').


My children are not allowed them – I hate them with a passion. Why would you want to give your child the product to imitate such a foul habit?


I'd only start worrying if he starts trying to light the ends.


My daughter had some in a party bag. She was too busy scoffing them to think about what they might be used to imitate. If no-one tells them that they are sweet cigarettes, how will they know?


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