Friends with different views?? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
momonthebeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have a close, long-term friend with whom I disagree with on basically every big parenting choice (home birth, circ, vax, breastfeeding, food/drink choices for kids, etc) We have kids the same ages and they have grown up playing together. The large majority of the time, we just stay off of these subjects. Every now and then, something will come up and one of our feelings get hurt (usually mine). I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth the trouble. She means well but it frustrates me that she can so adamently disagree with me when she has done basically no research about any of these things. Do you continue to put work into relationships where your views differ from others or do you tend to associate with people who have similar views?

momonthebeach is offline  
#2 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 01:27 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I continue to put the effort in.  I guess it depends on how you feel, my feelings are never hurt by someone making different choices, they aren't doing it to hurt me.  Nor do i think everyone should do a ton of research for every little decision - they should do ENOUGH research to satisfy themselves.

 

Examine why your feelings are hurt.  Is she totally tactless?  Judgemental?  Or is it just she disagrees and is vocal about it?  A lot of that would influence what i'd want to do.  But yes, some of my best friends do EVERYTHING different to me, and though most of them have now realised the way i do stuff is a reasonable option (after watching me do it and sometimes coming out and telling me i'm making a mistake), very few actually do things how i do them based on that realisation.  A lot of them are very long-standing friendships, and parenting will be, in the scheme, a short period in our overall friendship, so i don't think differences of opinion on it are worth losing them over.  YMMV though, and that's ok too.  It's important not to waste energy, do you get more from these friendships than you lose when you disagree?  Or do you feel the whole thing is just a drag?

GoBecGo is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 01:38 PM
 
SeekingJoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,553
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I do have friends whose views differ from mine, but I enjoy the relationships because I find them thought provoking. As a general rule, I am not friends with people who are not thoughtful and intentional in their lives. What value do you find in the friendship? Does it outweigh your worldview differences?


Happy wife to DH superhero.gifand mama to DS signcirc1.gif11/05 and DD energy.gif8/07.
SeekingJoy is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 01:42 PM
 
CherryBomb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I continue to put the effort in.  I guess it depends on how you feel, my feelings are never hurt by someone making different choices, they aren't doing it to hurt me.  Nor do i think everyone should do a ton of research for every little decision - they should do ENOUGH research to satisfy themselves.

 

Examine why your feelings are hurt.  Is she totally tactless?  Judgemental?  Or is it just she disagrees and is vocal about it?  A lot of that would influence what i'd want to do.  But yes, some of my best friends do EVERYTHING different to me, and though most of them have now realised the way i do stuff is a reasonable option (after watching me do it and sometimes coming out and telling me i'm making a mistake), very few actually do things how i do them based on that realisation.  A lot of them are very long-standing friendships, and parenting will be, in the scheme, a short period in our overall friendship, so i don't think differences of opinion on it are worth losing them over.  YMMV though, and that's ok too.  It's important not to waste energy, do you get more from these friendships than you lose when you disagree?  Or do you feel the whole thing is just a drag?



yeahthat.gif  Well said!

CherryBomb is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 01:45 PM
 
Smidge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: E. Washington
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

When I disagree with a friend on nearly everything and they are not researching, I just let the friendship go by the wayside.  If they ARE researching and choose to make different choices, than there isn't much I can say and will continue that relationship.  But, being ignorant about choices that affect the health of children really bother me :(


lady.gifLacey, wife to an emerging author notes.gif,  mama to whistling.gif(6),bikenew.gif(4),  angel1.gif our Angel Faith born to Heaven April 2013 & Expecting our Rainbow Baby #4 July 2014 luxlove.gif 
Smidge is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
momonthebeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The most recent issue that has me upset is I found out about her talking about people who don't vaccinate their children. She said she thought it was stupid and that their (my!) children shouldn't be allowed in schools. That parents should just keep their kids at home if they didn't want to have their children have shots. Spewing crap about kids spreading disease to other kids (not that it matters for the sake of arguement but my kids are MUCH healthier!!)  All while her kids had been at my house the day before. I don't mind that she has a different view than me, it's the total disregard for my feelings in the matter. It's hard to consider someone a close friend when they can't even fathom why I would make a decision. I'm feeling more and more like she just doesn't "get" me. I understand why someone would make different decisions than me and feel like I really go out of the way to be understanding of their choices but don't feel like I'm getting the same in return.

I also don't think that everything needs a ton of research but do you need research to tell you that you shouldn't put soda in a bottle for a kid not old enough to drink out of a cup or that your child should be in a carseat while you're driving? It's really the basics too...

momonthebeach is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 07:40 PM
 
treeoflife3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: tennessee/kentucky
Posts: 1,513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I couldn't be friends with someone who does EVERYTHING differently than me.  I know this because I currently maintain a relationship with someone who DOES do everything differently than me.  I have no friends where I live currently and struggle to make friends so I need the adult conversation and for my kiddo to have her kids to play with, but I always leave in a bad mood swearing I won't be doing it again.

 

In my life, parenting options come up even when you don't make it a point to talk about them.  This particular person, I watch her feed her under 1 year olds candy, I was there the night she started sleep training, I've watched her spank and shame, I know her whole breastfeeding story etc etc... spending time together, it just comes UP.  I try to not be pushy or share my feelings in a way that makes her feel bad but it frustrates me to know end to watch her children be sick all the time, or to act out desperate for her attention, or to have little respect for her because most of their interactions are yelling or physical punishment or to hear about how her kids struggle with sleep.  Granted, any of this could just be the kids and nothing to do with her parenting but it is exhausting to watch her flip out over EVERY little thing they do and to never see vegetables in her home or ordering them when we go out.

 

Any of it alone isn't a big deal to me.  I have a friend who fully vaxes and circs.  vaxing doesn't bother me but I try damn hard to avoid circ altogether.  I have a friend who had to stop nursing.  This same friend also started her kiddo on cereal and baby food way earlier than I would have.  Their differences aren't a big deal because its a couple things.  both are intelligent women who simply do some things differently from me.

 

Where I am in my life though, someone who parents completely different from me, and in ways I consider not healthy or safe is just not someone I want for a long term friend.  Is the person I mentioned very nice?  Yes, and we have some pretty good conversations when we aren't thinking about kids too.  She isn't a BAD person in the least.  However I am a stay at home mom spending time with stay at home moms.  I just can't stand to spend all my time with people who aren't on the same page as me.  You can't avoid the subject of parenting when you don't have a non parenting job.  I'm sure I would feel differently if we were work friends who also went out for drinks sometimes because parenting wouldn't be so obvious and in each others faces.

 

I have a feeling she feels the same way as me haha.

treeoflife3 is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 12-09-2010, 08:43 PM
 
Adaline'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think it depends. Do you agree with her on things that dont involve parenting choices. For example, do you agree on political views, religious views, or your general ethics? Do you share common friends or have a strong past? Is she a best friend or a fair weather friend? Is she someone you could see being a part of your life for the next 10 years?

 

I would ask myself these questions, and if I answered yes to more than 1/3 of them, Id try to agree with her not to discuss parenting matters and try to work on respecting each other a little more.

 

I will say, if my friend was feeding her kiddo soda out of a bottle and traveling on roads without a carseat, Id have a serious problem with that. That is beyond just disagreeing, not using a carseat is against the law and very dangerous. It is considered neglect and I would present her with the research that proves the laws and the safety issues.


Holly and David partners.gif

Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

Adaline'sMama is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 01:06 PM
 
gbailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think you should ask her if it's true she made those comments and if she did let her know why her comments were hurftul although it should be obvious. It doesn't make sense that she'd let her children play at your house if she has such strong feelings against children who aren't vaccinated. Talk to her about it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by momonthebeach View Post

The most recent issue that has me upset is I found out about her talking about people who don't vaccinate their children. She said she thought it was stupid and that their (my!) children shouldn't be allowed in schools. That parents should just keep their kids at home if they didn't want to have their children have shots. Spewing crap about kids spreading disease to other kids (not that it matters for the sake of arguement but my kids are MUCH healthier!!)  All while her kids had been at my house the day before. I don't mind that she has a different view than me, it's the total disregard for my feelings in the matter. It's hard to consider someone a close friend when they can't even fathom why I would make a decision. I'm feeling more and more like she just doesn't "get" me. I understand why someone would make different decisions than me and feel like I really go out of the way to be understanding of their choices but don't feel like I'm getting the same in return.

I also don't think that everything needs a ton of research but do you need research to tell you that you shouldn't put soda in a bottle for a kid not old enough to drink out of a cup or that your child should be in a carseat while you're driving? It's really the basics too...



gbailey is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 02:13 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Quote:

Originally Posted by momonthebeach View Post

The most recent issue that has me upset is I found out about her talking about people who don't vaccinate their children. She said she thought it was stupid and that their (my!) children shouldn't be allowed in schools. That parents should just keep their kids at home if they didn't want to have their children have shots. Spewing crap about kids spreading disease to other kids (not that it matters for the sake of arguement but my kids are MUCH healthier!!)  All while her kids had been at my house the day before. I don't mind that she has a different view than me, it's the total disregard for my feelings in the matter. It's hard to consider someone a close friend when they can't even fathom why I would make a decision. I'm feeling more and more like she just doesn't "get" me. I understand why someone would make different decisions than me and feel like I really go out of the way to be understanding of their choices but don't feel like I'm getting the same in return.

I also don't think that everything needs a ton of research but do you need research to tell you that you shouldn't put soda in a bottle for a kid not old enough to drink out of a cup or that your child should be in a carseat while you're driving? It's really the basics too...


Wait, does she even remember you don't vax?  It seems weird that she'd have such incredibly strong views and yet happily let her kids and yours play together the whole time...?  Also, does she "swap heads"?  I have a few friends who i have heard made or even witnessed make incredibly strong statements in certain company but when i talk to them more privately i realise they don't actually have such strong views, they just wanted to fit in/like to weave a drama/enjoy a thrilling gossip.  You say you "found out" about her talking this way about vaxes - from whom?  I assume you didn't witness it?  Who is your source? And what are THEY like?  Is it always the same source, and might they have an issue with this woman and a motive for stirring up trouble between you?  Or are THEY themselves quite gossipy, bring out the worst in your friend and then broadcast the results of their egging-on (some toxic types do this for fun)?

 

I guess for me (YMMV) ACTIONS speak louder than words.  She spends time with you.  She mixes her kids with yours.  Either she forgets you don't vax (because it's not worth remembering, because she doesn't care that much) or she didn't mean what she was saying, but said it for some other reason.  I would feel bad that she lacks the self-assurance to speak up and disagree with others in a situation where she feels she needs to join in with the judging.  Or alternatively (if it were more that she's a bit of a story-teller/exaggerator) just know that it's her way, and refuse to listen to the passed-on heresay about what she's said, and refuse to get upset about whatever she'd recently been shouting off about, especially if her actions revealed she didn't really mean what she said.

GoBecGo is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 02:25 PM
 
*bejeweled*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Quote:

I guess for me (YMMV) ACTIONS speak louder than words.  She spends time with you.  She mixes her kids with yours.  Either she forgets you don't vax (because it's not worth remembering, because she doesn't care that much) or she didn't mean what she was saying, but said it for some other reason.  I would feel bad that she lacks the self-assurance to speak up and disagree with others in a situation where she feels she needs to join in with the judging.  Or alternatively (if it were more that she's a bit of a story-teller/exaggerator) just know that it's her way, and refuse to listen to the passed-on heresay about what she's said, and refuse to get upset about whatever she'd recently been shouting off about, especially if her actions revealed she didn't really mean what she said.

yeahthat.gif Did you hear that she said those things? Or did she say them to you? What's that saying?---Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
gbailey likes this.

Me afro.jpg reading.gif Wife and Mom to modifiedartist.gif cat.gifdog2.gif.
*bejeweled* is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 02:40 PM
 
Lisa85's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think it's your parenting philosophy that is causing contention.  I have friends with very different parenting views and we get along fine.  At times I have even been enlightened by their thoughts/opinions, and vice versa.  We have learned from each other and grown to be stronger mothers because of it.  It seems that the true problem here is that she doesn't respect your opinion at all.

Lisa85 is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 02:43 PM
 
HollyBearsMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: nomans land
Posts: 6,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

None of those issues are deal breakers to me. They are all personal choices that ultimately I have no control over shrug.gif

 

Long term friends are hard to come by and one with kids the same age who have "basically grown up together" is a wonderful thing.  To me I can get past those choice If the rest of the friendship is worth it.  

 

What *is* the rest of the relationship like?  Do you enjoy each others company? Do you share similar interests?  When something great happens to you is she one of the people you want to share it with?  if something bad happens is she someone you could call/lean on? Do you trust her with your kids? To me these are all more important in a friendship. 

 

came back to say that I feel this way especially because many of the choices you mentioned can't be "undone". Home birth, circ, vax, once done you don't get a do over.  Food choices don't bother at all because I am the greatest influence and contributor to my child's nutritional health.  Even if she is someone you spend time with daily it will not have a great impact. It's also a great way to model good eating to all and to show your child first hand that different families means different choices.


Pardon me while I puke.gif

HollyBearsMom is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
momonthebeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm not sure how much I am allowed to say without breaking guidelines about posting things from other sites. I saw exactly what she said with my own eyes. Another friend had posted something about her baby being cranky after getting vaccintations. We had a fluffy, supportive conversation about nursing being a cure-all for crabby babies. Then the friend said she was glad the other girl's baby was getting shots and went into the whole rant about not vaxing. It's not the different choices that bother me. It's the lack of respect for my decisions. Because I am in the minority, I feel like I always have to be so respectful of their choices (they rarely are affecting me anyway so it usually doesn't bother me). I think it mostly just hurts my feelings that she had such strong, negative emotions about a choice that I have made that she would never say to me but felt the need to spew it to her closest 200 friends and my closest 200 friends and the 5 other people's closest 200 friends. Not that she chose differently but that she doesn't even see how my decision could be a valid option. Thanks for all your comments. They really are helpful in sorting out my feelings with this.

 

On a good note, all of this has reminded me how supportive my husband and sisters are. And they share my views which makes it comfortable. It's so nice to talk to people where you don't feel like you're censoring when talking about certain subjects.

momonthebeach is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 12-10-2010, 07:50 PM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,584
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

So you are talking about Facebook then? That's easy- hide her feed and keep hanging out with her in person.

lolar2 is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 12-11-2010, 06:49 AM
 
HollyBearsMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: nomans land
Posts: 6,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

 

Quote:
It's not the different choices that bother me. It's the lack of respect for my decisions.

 

Does that sum up your total relationship? If it does there is your answer.  I believe that friends can "agree to disagree" and still be respectful.  You sound pretty angry, so I am guessing that this might the symptom of bigger issues?


Pardon me while I puke.gif

HollyBearsMom is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 12-11-2010, 07:42 AM
 
physmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I could of written almost the exact same post.  I definitely do continuing to keep up our friendship.  While we disagree with almost everything when it comes to parenting, I've found the older our kids get the less it seems to matter. Also we have many, many other things that we can talk about like our families, work, TV shows, books etc so if I see a conversation going in a direction I don't like I just change it.  

I've also made a point of just being honest.  DD has always had a lot of sleep problems and for awhile if I mentioned them she'd suggest CIO.  I finally was just really honest with her and said it was something I would never even consider doing and it goes against my beliefs.  I tried to put it in as gentle terms as possible since I wasn't looking for a reason to argue with her about it.  After that she never brought it up again.  Sometimes she's ask about things that we do that aren't mainstream (typically extended breastfeeding and cosleeping) and I just try and be as honest as possible.  I figure even if I doubt I'd ever change her opinion about these things maybe it will look less radical to another person out there. :D

And one more thing.  As long as it's a healthy relationship, why give up on another mom friend?  It's so good to have a large support network! 

 

ETA.  I just saw your comment about what happened on facebook.  I agree with PP's that you can just hide her feeds.  I tend to post some AP stuff on there and it's never a direct response to anything my mainstream friends are doing but rather just something that i found interesting.  I DO try and pretty respectful, though, in how I say it so if what she said came off as especially hateful, that might be a red flag.  Has she said anything to you personally about your choices or only stuff in public forums like facebook?

physmom is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 12-11-2010, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
momonthebeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You guys are right on the money with it being a symptom of a bigger problem. Like any long-term friendship, I could go on and on with backstory. I think the main catalyst in all of this was that we lived next door to each other for 6 years. It has been filled with highs and lows. My family moved a few months ago (only about 10 minutes away) and we are, obviously, seeing much less of each other. I have noticed a huge increase in my family's happiness since moving. Not that there was any big issues within mine, but we were always dealing with their (much more dramatic) problems. Now, we are on our own and it has been wonderful for my marriage to not have her and her kids (her husband is not around much) at my house all the time. Then, when all this happened, I just felt like I am so much happier without the day to day stuff and now she has really hurt my feelings with things she's saying so why am I bothering at all. We do have a lot of fun together so I'm not going to totally cut her out (not sure that's even possible!) but I am going to continue putting my husband and family first. It's such a fine line to walk because both my husband and I really enjoy having people over and lots of kids around. I am definately going to hide her on FB. I do that to all kinds of people but never really thought of doing to someone I'm so close to. Her posts often do annoy me though (not usually in the offensive way but in the we're such a happy family, I love my life way)

That was a little all over the place but I feel much better processing all of this. I wasn't even sure what exactly my main issue was until I started this.  

A_Random_Phrase likes this.
momonthebeach is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 12-16-2010, 09:43 AM
 
crazyms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Way down south
Posts: 1,071
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)

I have friends that differ on views but the deciding factor for me is not whether they share my views but if they can respect them. I had two best friends from school and neither one does things that I do (breastfeed, cd, no vax, etc). They both formula fed, used disposable dipes, vaxed on doc's schedule, etc. One though I feel is a good mother and does what she thinks is best for her kids and she respects my choices even if she doesn't share them. We are still great friends. The other is judgmental and made constant comments that were rude and put me down. She was judgmental and didn't respect my choices as a parent. That was where we had an issue. The respect. Not the actual choices made. For a while I just avoided having much to do with her. She later proved that she was not a good friend in another situation and we no longer speak at all. It is sad that we were best friends for years and now I can't stand her but it was the best thing for us to no longer be friends. I still continue a great relationship with the other friend despite our differences. For me, you may not be the same as me but if you aren't at least supportive or understanding then you aren't a friend.


Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
crazyms is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off