I (35M) work for a bus company that’s hired by camps and schools to drive school busses. Right now, part of my job is a summer camp bus route. One of my big rules is that there’s no spray sunscreen on the bus. The windows have to be kept up because of the ac so the sunscreen stinks up the place and I don’t wanna be breathing it in.
Most kids follow this rule just fine, but one kid R (7M) has the same conversation with the bus counselors every day. He says his mom wants him to apply sunscreen on the bus, the counselors tell him he has to wait until we get to camp. Sometimes it ends there, sometimes the same conversation repeats a few times because he’s seven and doesn’t get why mom’s rules and the bus rules are different.
A few days ago, R’s mom storms up onto the bus at the morning stop and gets in my face. She says that some high school dropout with a job an idiot could do would never get how hard being a working mom is and how dare I make her kid wait even a few minutes in the sun once he’s at the camp without sunscreen.
Now I’m not usually one to fight, I’m a pretty small guy (5’6”, 130lbs) and this lady was probably bigger than me. But, I yelled back at her that she isn’t special, her kid isn’t special, and I’m not gonna bend the rules when other working parents seem to follow them just fine.
The bus counselors made her get off, but of course she called the camp and complained. They reviewed the tapes and talked to me and bus counselors and I’m in the clear. The lady is no longer allowed to drop her kid off, so the dad has to. Pretty much everyone (my supervisor, the camp director, the counselors, even some of the older kids) have expressed that I’m in the right here.
The only person making me question myself is my wife (33F). She told me that a man should never yell at a woman no matter what, and that I could never understand the pressures a working mom goes through because I don’t have a “real job” and I should have just bent the rules.
I told her why I can’t do that, but she just shook her head at me and has been mad the past few days. To be clear, my wife and I don’t have any kids besides our dog, and we both grew up with two working parents. I was sure I was in the right but now my wife has me wondering if I’m the AH?
Your wife doesn't think you have a real job? Your wife doesn't think a man could have a good reason to yell at a woman ever? She doesn't sound like a nice or sympathetic person. NTA.
This! She looks as entitled as the mom. NTA, your wife is wrong and a terrible wife to be honest. Driving a bus is a real job.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say she’s a terrible wife, I do love her after all. I just think she doesn’t get where I’m coming from here. She works as a data analyst and has a bachelors and sometimes I think she’s embarrassed to be married to a bus driver who barely graduated HS. But hey, one of us gets drawings from grateful kids and gift cards at Christmas and one of us knows how excel works!
I’m sorry you’re married to her. Nta. And from someone who has heart and lung issues I can’t say THANK YOU enough. People think it’s not a big deal. My kiddo also has health issues. Someone sprayed “dry shampoo” in the room she was doing PT in.
She said she couldn’t speak, sound was going away and everything was black. Whatever chemicals were present in the spray…she almost passed out from it. So thank you for thinking of everyone.
I want you to know something.
Your job matters more than you think.
My older sister has a Ph.D., and I'm not exaggerating when I say that she speaks at least 4-5 languages fluently. She is a brilliant and very gifted woman who has taught at multiple universities. And do you know what one of her most favourite memories is?
The school bus driver who used to drive her to nursery school giving her a nickname, which made her feel so seen and special as a nervous 3-year-old on the bus with kids as old as 8th Grade. It's not an uncommon nickname, but he wrote it down on his checklist with a funny little unusual spelling.
She still goes by that name - and has always insisted on using his funny, silly spelling of it - to this day, as a 50-something mother of a large bunch of kids of her own. And she loves to tell the story. She even still knows that bus driver's name. You are seen, and kids remember.
Hey! I know it’s a been a while since I posted so I wanted to add what I think may change some of the opinions about my wife being an a-hole in the situation. Things were kinda tense, but a couple of weeks after the incident she sat me down and told me she was pregnant.
The stress about my job, about being a working mom, about our finances in general, are what made her lash out at me the way she did. She apologized, and I forgave her. The baby is doing well, knock on wood, and my wife and I have discussed me going to night school to at least finish out my GED.
It’s something I always planned to do, but life gets in the way, ya know? Afterwards, I don’t know if I’m planning on getting any sort of degree until we’re settled more. For now, I’m still driving busses. The school year is well under way so I’m not dealing with any sunscreen right now, thank the lord.
Who amongst us hasn’t wanted to tell a mom her kid isn’t special? And she isn’t special? And no one cares about her problems, because we all have problems? Hats off sir, and good luck to you and your new family.
Funnily enough, I was going through my old reddit comments for updates and read your post last night. Congratulations on the baby and good luck at school.
Why didn't the mother just put sunscreen on her kid before the bus? I am very confused.
"One of us gets drawings from grateful kids and gift cards at Christmas and one of us knows how excel works."
The fact that most people don't use Excel until they hit the workforce will never cease to amaze me. It's such a versatile tool 😂
If OP’s wife has a handful of brains to rub together, she’ll regret saying he doesn’t have a real job once that kid gets going. It’s no small feat to drive a bus load of over excitable kids.