I Asked My Next Door Neighbour to Make Her Toddler Stop Crying, but Now I’m Seen as the Villain

8 months ago

Living in a neighborhood often requires a shared daily life filled with joy, connection, and sometimes challenges. One of the most challenging situations a community might face is the persistent crying of a neighbor’s baby. What might initially seem like a simple disturbance can quickly evolve into a complex emotional and communal predicament, testing the patience and empathy of everyone involved. And this is exactly what happened in today’s story.

She shared his story

I live next door to new tenants who moved in six months ago, and they have a toddler 2-3 years in age.

He shrieks at all times of the day and throws a tantrum several times a day. I work from home three days a week. Having multiple instances of managers/clients asking why a child is crying has become a regular occurrence. Over the weekend, I met my neighbor upstairs, and she asked me if I, too, woke up early in shock. (Context: Last Saturday, the building woke up at 5:45 in the morning because the child was screaming, and it went on for 20 minutes.)

The child is healthy. I regularly see him in the play area and on the street. The mother is a stay-at-home mom. The child is well looked after. He looks about three years old and goes to a play school in the mornings. But hasn’t been going this week.

Now, on to what happened today: I’m working on something critical while handing off my responsibilities due to a transition and have back-to-back calls. Over 4 hours, I had to keep pausing my call. At one point, an important client (in another continent) asked me if I needed to be excused from caring for my child and if I should reschedule the call. Another person on the call said, “We should not neglect a child because our call is running long.” I apologized and informed them that that was my neighbor’s child. They mentioned how it sounds like it’s happening in my house.

After the call ended, I went out to the balcony and, in a very respectful way, asked the mother if the child was unwell. She didn’t like it and asked why. I asked again if the baby was unwell, and she said no. She mentioned she took away something he was trying to eat, and that’s why he was crying. I explained what happened on my calls, and she snapped, saying, “He’s a baby. What do you expect?”

I asked her if I didn’t talk to the child’s mother, who else do I speak to? I completely understand the challenges of being a mother, and I’m sure it’s overwhelming. But it happens so often and is not letting me focus. She started crying.

Am I a bad person?

She got mixed responses

  • “This isn’t something you need to be involving yourself with. Tell the landlord it’s up to them to enforce solutions to noise problems. And that way, it’s documented, and if other people complain, it can be dealt with more directly. Also, having said that it ISN’T that normal. Kids are loud, and yeah, they scream sometimes, but not constantly... unless something’s wrong. And that reaction says Mom KNOWS it is a problem but doesn’t know what to do. If she had it under control, she’d be apologetic.” otsukaren_613 / Reddit
  • “You’re entitled to a reasonable amount of peace in your own home, but this sounds excessive to what another person is expected to bear. We can’t abdicate the responsibility of bringing up our children to other people and living within our own space physically and environmentally. A child’s screaming messes with our programming even more because biologically, we react more to it, especially women. But it really is building management’s issue. When it comes to these things, it’s better to not stand alone.” Never***ed / Reddit
  • “Sorry, this is just a part of living in an apartment building. Sometimes, you pull the shortest straw and end up next to a family with children.” Fit-Importance-4946 / Reddit
  • “You are not wrong, and neither is the mom. She’s likely super stressed. Lots of toddlers cry, and this one sounds like they cry louder and more than usual. It’s not her fault, she can’t make the toddler stop crying — I mean, the more one tries, the louder and longer it gets.” Cookiescookiescooki / Reddit
  • “What magic powers do you think this child’s mom has to make their 2-year-old stop crying? Toddlers are NOT little adults. One cannot go up to a toddler and politely ask them to stop crying.” no-onwerty / Reddit

As we navigate the complexities of communal living, we need to embrace the challenges as opportunities for collective growth and solidarity. Let us extend a helping hand to those in need, foster open communication, and create a nurturing space where empathy thrives.

Preview photo credit Hotlemonicedtea / Reddit


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