A Victorian mother has vented her frustration after receiving an anonymous note from her neighbours complaining about her children making too much noise in the backyard amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of people responded to the letter which was labelled “passive aggressive” and “unfair”.
The Melbourne woman shared the note on a private Facebook group, explaining she received the letter in the mail.
“As if life isn’t hard enough at the moment with work and home schooling,” the mother wrote.
“But now I can’t let my kids in the back yard because they will make noise.”
The letter was addressed to “residents at this address”, and started by expressing a hope that the woman’s family is “safe and well during this time”, referring to the coronavirus pandemic, and was signed, “your neighbours”.
“Due to the current climate of COVID-19, I and a few other family members have been working from home,” the note reads.
“This involves multiple phone calls, Zoom meetings and corresponding with colleagues in the day.”
‘There is no need for screaming to be so loud’
The letter acknowledges this woman’s family is also home “to some degree”.
“We (myself and other neighbours) have found it difficult to be able to conduct our workday as per usual, due to the screaming and noise that your children make in the yard throughout the course of the day,” the letter said.
“I know that it is great for children to be outside, and we praise you for the time that yours do spend outside, but it is extremely difficult when my colleagues on the other side of the screen are asking me to mute my microphone as they can hear your children in the background.
“There is no need for the screaming to be so loud.”
The mother clarified that her children get 15 minutes outside for recess and half an hour for lunch, while they learn from home.
The letter insists the mother should continue to allow her children outside “by all means”, but asks if the noise could be avoided between the hours of nine to five so the neighbours can “continue to be productive”.
“We are all living together in this space and it is best if it works for all of us.”
Responders slam letter’s author
Not many people in the comments sympathised with the neighbours.
“Our kids can’t be held prisoners in their own homes more than they already are,” one woman said, pointing out the sun has usually set by 5pm and most kids aren’t out of bed by 9am.
Another woman offered some practical advice on what to do with the letter.
“Throw it in the bin,” she said, adding she should then make a sign thanking her neighbours for their “consideration”.
“That is very unfair of them!” another person wrote.
“If they are asking you to understand their current situation, then they should understand yours! I'd write back telling them to refrain from having conferences during recess and lunch time.”
It that didn’t work, she jokingly suggested getting the children to play musical instruments in the backyard.
“Please pump some really loud gangster rap at their walls. More swearing the better!” someone added.
Others said that the neighbours were “self-centred” and suggested giving the children pots and pans to bang on in the yard.
One woman wrote: “Full passive aggressive bulls**t excuse for communication”.
“So sorry you’ve had to deal with this. Regardless of what you do, it must be so uncomfortable knowing that there is someone out there who would write this.”
‘Sorry, but it’s annoying’
However, one woman explained she was in a similar situation to the neighbours and can hear children “houses away” screaming.
“Sorry, but it’s annoying,” she said.
“I agree, it’s great that kids are outside, and I understand noise, but screaming continually is just not necessary.”
Another woman added: “You can let you kids in the backyard, just teach them some common curtesy and keep the noise down”.
However, one person who is working from home, with two kids offered some practical advice for the neighbours.
“It’s simple,” she said.
“Close headsets, move to the front of the house if you have to. Your work is not more important than children’s development.”
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