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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been feeling increasingly troubled about certain elements of communication from a really good friend of mine, who I'd have counted as one of my best friends pre-baby. Basically, she's not at all interested in having children herself, and finds babies rather incomprehensible (although she's ok with older children 'bc they can talk'). That's all well and fine, and i completely respect her choices and feelings. But her discomfort and attitude towards my son is starting to impact on our friendship because i keep finding myself feeling hurt, angry and sad when I see her (which nowadays isn't as often).<br><br>
Some examples:<br>
when my baby innocently reaches for, say, a glittery bangle she's wearing, or a water bottle of hers, she will say 'No, no!' in a loud, 'reprimanding' tone. This really makes my hackles rise.<br><br>
today he was holding her hand gently and then he was drooling a little bit, and she said (in a disgusted tone, not 'jokey'), 'ugh, I don't want your spit on me'.<br><br>
a couple of times she has told DS to 'sssh' when he's made a small sound or been fussing a bit, for e.g. when we were at a very relaxed outdoor poetry festival.<br><br>
basically, her reactions arouse a strong protective instinct in me towards DS (even though I know its affecting me, really, not him), and its sort of like DS is something of an extension of me now - it's like, if she insults him or is harsh to him, I feel like she's doing it to me too. I don't know if that makes any sense. i never realised she was so 'uptight' and I've been biting back saying something bc i really don't want a confrontation. It's not just her comments -it's the background that, for e.g., she never asked a thing about the birth (only one of the most seminal events of my life!), she never asks how DS is, or what he's up to, when she sees me (never mind that its 99 % of my life right now, being a mother), and she seems to expect me to give her 100 % of my attention when she's talking, acting irritated when I give needed attention to DS, thus 'interrupting' her flow. Sigh. I may be overreacting to all this, but I feel I need to address it and not just follow my usual pattern of not saying anything and losing respect for myself. any ideas? suggestions? similar experiences? thanks guys.
 

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You've described one of my sisters to a "T". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
It's very frustrating... and basically, I've done one of two things.<br><br>
1) Redirected/rephrased my sister's actions/words. I.e. if she says something like, "shhhh", I say, "Aunt is trying to listen to ___, let's use our indoor voice"<br><br>
2) Told my sister to knock it off.<br><br>
Needless to say, #2 doesn't go over well. But honestly, your honor is to your child first, not your friend. If she's treating your child with obvious unkindness, you have to call her on it, or, end the visit until another time.
 

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i wouldn't stress it. some people just aren't into babies. some people don't like slobber. some people don't want babies to touch their stuff. oh well. it might just be that for the next little while, you don't have much in common and don't hang out a lot. that's pretty normal.<br>
i have friends who i don't usually hang out with with my son. they are still good friends, yk? we just usually go out and have dinner rather than hang out at home with the baby. so for me, that meant that the first year i didn't see them much, because i was pretty focused on the baby, so i hung out with my other mom friends. and then when i started being interested in going out occasionally and my son felt old enough for me to leave him for longer and longer periods (he was eating more solids, sleeping longer, becoming super bonded with daddy and saying: "bye bye mommy", like he was trying to nicely tell me to please leave him and his daddy alone), i started to reconnect with those friends. sometimes it's a nice escape, to go and be somewhere where you aren't just seen as a mom. maybe that's just me.<br>
what you described just seems pretty okay. if she was ever cruel to your child, then i would say maybe she's not a good friend. but just because she doesn't want to stare into his eyes all day doesn't mean you should dump her. ykwim?<br>
i guess it depends on how you feel about it. to me, that wouldn't bug me at all. whatevs. not everyone is going to think our kids are the glorious little rays of sunshine that we do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
but it's one of those gut feelings. i can't tell you whether or not she sucks as a person because i wasn't there to witness the action. so you should definitely do what feels right to you, and for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i would never dump her as a friend. that's not the issue. I was just wondering how to express to her my feelings about her behaviour and possibly suggest more appropriate ways of responding. I agree, the first year is intense, and even now there sure are times i want to hang out with 'non-mum' people and remember who i am aside from being a mom, and for that she is great. I don't at all expect her to adore my son or be fascinated by him, i just expect her to acknowledge and respect the most important thing in my life right now, to some extent, just in the same way i would acknowledge whatever important stuff is going down in her life, you know? also, as he gets older i can imagine her doing the 'sssh' and 'no' stuff even more bc he will be a mobile toddler, etc, and so i feel i need to nip it in the bud now. I don't want to not see her at all until he is older, to do that i'd still need to explain to her why, and she really values me as a friend so wouldn't understand if i just pulled away.
 

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I have had this with a few friends. Most i did nothing about, i just don't see them any more. We stay in touch by email and i know when she's bigger they'll do better with her and we'll be closer again. Meantime i don't have to wreck the friendships over it and i don't have to expose DD to their negativity.<br><br>
With one freind it came to a head because she sent an email demanding i see her "without DD and NOT just because DP is busy!" and i promptly emailed her back and said that much as i loved her (and i do) i love DP and DD more. DD is not optional and i will never put anyone before my relationship with DP. She backed down and has been wonderful since - i think i needed to spell it out to her that this was my FAMILY, not some new hobby (as babies can come off as, to those who have no kids and no interest in them) and she's been great since.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Devaya</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575377"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i would never dump her as a friend. that's not the issue. I was just wondering how to express to her my feelings about her behaviour and possibly suggest more appropriate ways of responding. I agree, the first year is intense, and even now there sure are times i want to hang out with 'non-mum' people and remember who i am aside from being a mom, and for that she is great. I don't at all expect her to adore my son or be fascinated by him, i just expect her to acknowledge and respect the most important thing in my life right now, to some extent, just in the same way i would acknowledge whatever important stuff is going down in her life, you know? also, as he gets older i can imagine her doing the 'sssh' and 'no' stuff even more bc he will be a mobile toddler, etc, and so i feel i need to nip it in the bud now. I don't want to not see her at all until he is older, to do that i'd still need to explain to her why, and she really values me as a friend so wouldn't understand if i just pulled away.</div>
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tell her that. everything you just told us, i don't see why you can't tell her. it seems reasonable.
 

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i have the exact same type of friend!<br>
she is upfront about her feelings - said to call her when our kids are potty trained and speaking in complete sentences.<br>
so that's what i'll do - except when i'm ready to go out w/ girlfriends w/out babies, as the pp said.<br><br>
i'm ok w/ her being like this, and will be able to hang out w/ her again in several years. her rejection of all children is not a rejection of me - we just have different interests right now.<br><br>
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GoBecGo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575393"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have had this with a few friends. Most i did nothing about, i just don't see them any more. We stay in touch by email and i know when she's bigger they'll do better with her and we'll be closer again. Meantime i don't have to wreck the friendships over it and i don't have to expose DD to their negativity.<br><br>
With one freind it came to a head because she sent an email demanding i see her "without DD and NOT just because DP is busy!" and i promptly emailed her back and said that much as i loved her (and i do) i love DP and DD more. DD is not optional and i will never put anyone before my relationship with DP. She backed down and has been wonderful since - i think i needed to spell it out to her that this was my FAMILY, not some new hobby (as babies can come off as, to those who have no kids and no interest in them) and she's been great since.</div>
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you hit the nail on the head there with the 'family' thing. I don't think my friend gets that at all. But that's not her fault, she is where she is at and I enjoy her for many other qualities. I might not have a whole speech at her, I may just gently correct her next time she says something i think unkind or inappropriate. i don't see how i can just avoid seeing her, we go too far back for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bellymama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575400"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">tell her that. everything you just told us, i don't see why you can't tell her. it seems reasonable.</div>
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It does seem reasonable, but she's a really prickly, self-defensive type of person who easily bites people's heads off, so i'm quite scared to....or even if she doesn't snap, that she'll just be really hurt and it'll be dead awkward. But for my own peace of mind i do need to say something. thanks everyone for your prompt responses!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">today he was holding her hand gently and then he was drooling a little bit, and she said (in a disgusted tone, not 'jokey'), 'ugh, I don't want your spit on me'.</td>
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I don't know... I would say the same thing... I HATE drool. It grosses me out in ways that nothing else does. Even as the mom of an 18mo - I've never gotten used to is. It still grosses me out.<br><br>
My advice: Find ways to gentle ask her to find a different way to say the "no" stuff. Like "Please don't grab my broach".<br><br>
But don't sweat it. Assuming she doesn't live with you - the small amount of 'negative' interactions aren't going to make a difference.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AnnJayTwins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575419"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i'm ok w/ her being like this, and will be able to hang out w/ her again in several years. her rejection of all children is not a rejection of me - we just have different interests right now.<br><br>
good luck</div>
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You know, to me, when my sister treats my children with distain, it is also treating me with distain. And I just wouldn't want to spend time with someone who cannot accept that my children are equal humans, not subhuman. Waiting until they are "potty trained & speaking in full sentences"? No thanks... that type of mindset isn't worth a friendship to me.
 

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I have a little bit different opinion from the other posters...I <b>would</b> be bothered by it and would seriously reconsider the friendship.<br>
Your DS <b>is</b> an extension of you and by her being rude/dismissive to him, then she is being that same way to you.<br>
I could certainly respect her decision to not want her own children, but that doesnt mean she can be unfriendly to your child. You wouldn't let her treat your partner/mother/sister whatever that way right?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ians_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575452"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a little bit different opinion from the other posters...I <b>would</b> be bothered by it and would seriously reconsider the friendship.<br>
Your DS <b>is</b> an extension of you and by her being rude/dismissive to him, then she is being that same way to you.<br>
I could certainly respect her decision to not want her own children, but that doesnt mean she can be unfriendly to your child. You wouldn't let her treat your partner/mother/sister whatever that way right?</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ians_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575452"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a little bit different opinion from the other posters...I <b>would</b> be bothered by it and would seriously reconsider the friendship.<br>
Your DS <b>is</b> an extension of you and by her being rude/dismissive to him, then she is being that same way to you.<br>
I could certainly respect her decision to not want her own children, but that doesnt mean she can be unfriendly to your child. You wouldn't let her treat your partner/mother/sister whatever that way right?</div>
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yes. it hurts me on a deeper level than me just being bothered by any possible neg impact her comments might have on DS. I know he's prob too young to really get the vibes. I feel when I'm with her, I have to choose between her and him, maybe that's too strong, but I cannot fully 'be' my usual mother self with him, AND be the friend she seems to expect me to be.<br><br>
I still want to stay friends with her, but I'd love to be able to say, lets just email until some time has passed and i'm able to meet up without DS. At the moment that isn't really an option, and I don't want to engineer it just to see her. It just isn't worth it.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ians_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575452"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a little bit different opinion from the other posters...I <b>would</b> be bothered by it and would seriously reconsider the friendship.<br>
Your DS <b>is</b> an extension of you and by her being rude/dismissive to him, then she is being that same way to you.<br>
I could certainly respect her decision to not want her own children, but that doesnt mean she can be unfriendly to your child. You wouldn't let her treat your partner/mother/sister whatever that way right?</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: I have no interest in maintaining friendships with people that treat my children dismissively. They are part of me and it is insulting and immature.
 

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I understand how you feel, and I sympathise. I recently became a mother (my DD is 14 weeks old) and now she is the most important thing in my life However, before I became pregnant, I was very much like your friend, in that I simply wasn't interested in children. Especially the ones that couldn't talk! A few of my friends had children and quite honestly their conversations were really very dull for me.<br><br>
What compounded this for me - and it may be the same with your friend - is that the mothers I knew spoke of NOTHING but their child. One-dimensional conversation - whether it's about work, school, baby, whatever - can be really tedious for the other person. I'm not suggesting that you only ever speak of your child, but it might be that she is trying to avoid the all-encompassing "baby conversation".<br><br>
As for not enquiring about the labor - well, to be honest, I think we all feel that our labors are in some way a defining moment of our lives - but to other people they are simply the hours running up to the birth of our children. And when you say that she never enquires about your child, she may be trying to do you a favor. I actually found it somewhat annoying that people would only ever enquire about my child, and not me! So perhaps she is deliberately trying to interact with you as you, and not just as the mother of your child.<br><br>
Now, having said that, the attitude she displays towards your child is something I, too, would be upset by. But perhaps she doesn't mean to sound so "harsh" when she says "No" when the child grabs something of hers.<br><br>
I'm not trying to sound as though I don't sympathise with you, but I remember all too well the times when I would meet a friend for lunch/whatever and she would bring the baby/small child and the entire lunch would feel as though I were simply intruding on a mother/child episode because my friend was constantly interacting with the baby are the only time I was spoken to was when I was invited to agree that the child was very advanced/brilliant/beautiful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Not that the baby shouldn't be her priority, but why not leave the baby with Daddy every now and then so that we can have a conversation that isn't interrupted by baby every few minutes?<br><br>
Perhaps your friend really misses the time you spent together and is trying to hold onto the pre-baby friendship. I think perhaps her sadness (and jealousy?) is manifesting itself as irritation and resentment towards the baby. Not very grown-up, admittedly, but rather human. Maybe you could try and spend time with her without the baby and see if that improves things. Good luck - it is hard when friendships change.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>treehuggermama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575588"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: I have no interest in maintaining friendships with people that treat my children dismissively. They are part of me and it is insulting and immature.</div>
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<br>
Yep. It's fine and certainly understandable that not everyone is all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">: around children. But this woman sounds just flat out rude to me. I may loathe dogs with a passion, but I would never tell a dog owner that their dog slobbered all over me in a disgusted tone of voice. I can't imagine doing the same with an actual baby!<br><br>
Also, there's a HUGE difference in someone who is just not interested in babies and someone who is unkind towards them. I would be mortally angry if anyone treated my baby unkindly and would tell them that they could take a flying leap. In my opinion, NO friendship is worth that.<br><br>
Babies pick up on emotions and feelings and I'm pretty certain that before long it'll become clear to this child how the mother's friend feels. And then how will the child feel, knowing that this woman is speaking rudely to him all the time? I'd put my baby before anyone else and my gut instinct would have had me shouting at her the first time she reprimanded him harshly. She would've been in tears by the time I was finished with her, lol! Really, manners dictate that you don't treat anyone like this whether baby, animal or adult...
 

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Yet it isn't rude to shout at someone until they are in tears? That's to the poster above btw.<br><br>
Back to the OP ok she may be a little insensitive and may not treat your baby exactly as you wish, but then she isn't your baby's parent and therefore it's not something that should be expected of her.<br><br>
I love kids but I don't appreciate kid drool, though as I'm going to college to become a paediatric nurse I'd better get used to it.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'd also say no if the baby was 'innocently' reaching for my personal belongings or was about to cover my bottle of water in drool which is a body fluid from another human being, not made of rainbows and angel tears because it's from a baby and is therefore somewhat gross.<br><br>
I have no problem with the word no and can't understand why anyone would have, the tone of voice may bother me if she yells or snaps at him, but I don't think her saying no, which a baby is more likely to understand than, please don't touch my bracelet/bottle of water etc is something to get upset about.<br><br>
I do think an informal chat may be useful though but you have to be realistic about how others will treat your baby, and she too needs to be realistic about how the baby will act,, and that he is very young and doesn't realise he is doing harm, and perhaps try to keep such things a little further away from him. You could also help with that too, restricting him when he is going to touch breakable objects.<br><br>
I'm making very little sense I realise.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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That would really annoy me actually. I would not be able to stay friends with somebody who didn't show my child the same amount of respect and consideration they show me. Forget that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ks Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575459"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:</div>
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I agree. I too am one of those women who never wanted kids...didn't really think I had the maternal instinct. Here I am 2 kids later, AP, breastfeeding, baby wearing SAHM, the whole nine yards. Now having said that, I do believe that there are 2 types of people, those with kids and those without. It is very difficult for anyone without kids to appreciate the magnitude of motherhood. But I would expect a good friend to share the joy in this life changing experience (like a marriage or promotion, of course not equating the two)<br><br>
I also agree that her negative and curt tone would most definitely affect the mood of our perceptive little ones, I hadn't even thought of that. I would say something. I simply could not be around someone who treated my kids like that. And if it meant the loss of friendship for a while, I would accept that.<br><br>
Hopefully this friendship will evolve as both your lives continue to change.
 
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