To hate these vile women?!(100 Posts)
My friend, we shall call him S, is a twenty-something year old single dad to a beautiful, cheeky, almost 2 year old LB. LB's mama, and S's partner of over 10 years, and sadly, wife of only a few months(We shall call her N), died very tragically when LB was just 3 months old. Obviously, S is still grieving heavily from her death, but is completely devoted to his little man. They have a very strong, very beautiful to see relationship, yet it is always bittersweet. N was my best friend, and she was over the moon when LB was born - he is a little boy born of a lot of love,he was so wanted, and she was so excited to finally have a baby.
As I said, S is completely devoted, and is a fantastic father. He signed himself up for bereavement and grief counselling not long after N passed away, as he wanted his full focus to be on LB, and to manage his grief properly so that he could be a good father. Everything he does, he does for that little boy, and I only wish I could be half the parent he is. How he ever managed to deal with a young baby, and work, and handle his grief, I will never know. It shows in LB, who is now a gorgeous, happy, healthy little boy, the absolute spit of his Daddy, with his mama's big eyes (S likes to joke about how cliche it is!). I love him dearly, and his spirit and cheeky ways reminds me of his mama so much - I am so grateful to play such a place in his life.
S is a member of the Armed Forces (although has switched to a non-deployment role after N passed away), and works full-time. As such, LB has attended a nursery/creche since he was 6 months old. He loves it there, the women who run it are fantastic, and he is thriving. It means S does not have to worry about him while he works, and it works very well. I often elect to pick up LB from nursery, as my own little one goes to one not far away, as it helps S out, and lets me spend some time with him.
However, I have noticed something that makes me so impossibly angry and hurt, and I need tips for dealing with it. Several of the other mothers at the nursery like to make comments about LB, S and the situation. They tell me often that they feel sorry for LB, as he does not have a mother, and that S should find a new partner as LB needs a mother - it is selfish of him to stay single, and put him in nursery. After I snapped and told them how hurtful what they are saying is, it has got nastier. They have called him an unfit father, as he still attends grief counselling once a month, and apparently this makes him 'mentally unstable'. They will find the smallest things to pick holes at - that I am picking up LB /again/, that S was even a minute late to dropping him off/picking him up, that LB is wearing a top with a small stain on it (that will not wash out).
I am beyond frustrated, and hurt, and upset over this. S is a wonderful father, and I do not want these stupid comments to ever make him question what a good job he is doing. Obviously, he is a grown man and can deal with some spiteful comments, but as a friend, it makes me so angry. So my question is, fellow parents - what would you do? What should I/we do? S is reluctant to face it and prefers to ignore it, but I find it very, VERY hard to. Am I being completely unreasonable by wanting to put these spiteful witches in their place!?
I have nothing helpful to suggest, except broken record "S is a great father" and not engaging.
I can tell you what I would want to do though - violence! (Yes I know it is never the answer ).
Gosh how difficult. Who the jeff are they saying all this stuff to though? If to your face, surely you can tear strips off them?
What makes you still talk to these women if they're saying such awful things?
Does the Dad know them too, is that how they know he's going to grief counselling? If he does, then it'd be much worse in my eyes if they're talking to him sympathetically to his face but using the information he gives to cut him to pieces behind his back.
It's totally inappropriate for them to comment on him, they must know you're his friend. How does he know what they're saying about him to you? Does that mean you've told him?
Sorry, lots of questions, but it's an unusual situation.
They sound like a bunch of obnoxious, patronising, pig ignorant harridans. I would simply tell them to blow it out their arses. What business is it of their anyway?
You might care to point out that the moral lowness needed to indulge in malicious gossip behind someone's back makes them entirely unfit to be in charge of livestock, let alone children.
Perhaps his way of dealing with it is the most effective - rise above it and ignore it.
Don't credit them with any intelligence or importance by acknowledging what they have to say.
He has far more important things on his plate than dealing with stupid gossip.
And it sounds like he is handling it very well.
I would rip them a new one,
physically but then I'm a confrontational person.
I'd tell rather no mother than a mother a spiteful, bitter and petty as them and that pity their children who clearly haven't got a hope in hell of becoming nice mentally stable people with such cunts for parents.
I also might mention that they don't understand because their husbands are clearly fools, well they married those bitches so stupid enough, who couldn't handle the situation half as well as S.
Or more politely, he does have a mother who sadly passed away so how about a little compassion.
Don't talk to them at all then they cannot gossipmonger to you.
Horrible! But as your friend is such a good dad and the LB is so charming and healthy, they are only making themselves look mean and stupid. I would just say something like 'I really disagree, I think they're both doing really well and I don't feel comfortable discussing them like this'. I wouldn't be confrontational as you don't know how it might affect the LB down the line - a coven like that might spitefully act to have him excluded from birthday parties etc. they sound like cows, they will engineer their own downfall, don't engage with them and give them any excuse.
When people are horrible, sometimes I choose to accidentally misunderstand them.
"You're right, it's so good that LB can go to nursery while S works hard to support him. I have so much respect for people who work hard to support their children."
"You're right, it would be lovely for S to meet someone. But thank god he's the sort of sensible person who wants to wait for the right person and deal with his grief so he and LB can build their own happy family."
"Yes, babies clothes always stain. Lucky it's not a fashion parade here, eh? It's so wasteful to throw away perfectly good clothes for kids when they grow out of them so quickly."
Then if people don't get the message that I am NOT interested in bitching and a swift subject change, I just say directly that I'm not interested in it.
What a bunch of bitches!!!
My mum died when I was 13 & sis 6. My dad didn't get counselling, but ended up on prozac for years & marrying a totally messed up alcoholic so as to 'provide us with a mum.' It was hell. You can't 'cut & paste' families just because it sounds like a nice idea!
Your friend, by contrast, sounds wonderful. He is doing his best & it's sounds pretty darn good to me. My kids are fortunate enough to have both of us around still, but they go to nursery as I work part time - there are actually lots of benefits. I think those gossiping harpies should wind their necks in & if they've got no constructive suggestions or help to offer, should just fuck.right.off - that would be my advice to them anyway!
You sound like a lovely friend, I'm glad you've got S's back, sounds like he needs good people onside. Stay the course, don't let those vultures wind you or your friend up - they sound like they'd bitch about anything.
I wouldn't engage - a simple "I fail to understand how S and his family life are any of your business" accompanied by a cold stare. The just ignore them.
Er do you fancy him? Unsure why you are so invested beyond friendship?
How do these people know that he is still attending counselling?
If this is true, I think you should simply not get involved in discussing him or his situation.
not a lot you can say. maybe point out that you are very sure they wouldnt be so spiteful about a single mother, so you think they are ridiculously sexist.
I would tell them they are a nasty bunch of bitches and to fuck off. But im like that.
You could just ignore ?
People can be invested in a relationship without fancying someone. One of my friends lost his wife when their Dd was 3. Another close, single friend helped out tirelessly with him and his DD but there was never any element of fancying it was just one good friend helping out another.
You don;t have to fancy someone to want to help - what a bitchy comment. Still the OP can see that small minded bitching happens everywhere.
Serving members of the armed forces are very good at making friendships, it's what happens when you move around for work like they do. They are good at keeping old friends and adept at making new community groups.
OP I agree with the rise above it and to put a positive slant on their comments. Mentally-unstable for getting bereavement counselling?? What a fab father to try to get himself into a level emotional state, carry on with his career and to muddle along with parenting
I muddle my way through
Thank you for all the replies, glad to see it's not just me....
I am so in two minds about being confrontational, because I do not want LB to end up alienated by a bunch of spiteful, petty women.
I would like to clarify, I do not openly speak to them. There is a very small waiting area where we have to pick the children up, and they like to discuss quite loudly, or titter and whisper. Very very pathetic, sometimes I feel like I am back at school.
And no, Minnieisthedevilmouse. Absolutely not. S and I have been friends for many, many years; he is like an older brother to me. He, N, myself, my LB's father, and some of our still close friends all attended school together and have stayed very close. As N was my best friend, and S is also a very old and very good friend, I feel obliged to help him. Tell me you could watch one of your best friends, whom you have known for years, and his newborn child have something like this happen to them, and NOT step in to help in any way you can. He and N were there for me when I went through a lot of issues with my LB's father, and I feel I owe it to both of them to be a good friend. Why should I have to want to bed him to want to help?
As for the counselling issue, S was quite open with them after N passed away - in his own words, there is nothing shameful with asking for help when you need it, especially when it concerns a child's welfare. He thought it would help to stem the rumour mill and set the bar straight. The gossip mill turned this into something much bigger, as it always does.
Er do you fancy him? Unsure why you are so invested beyond friendship?
WTF? Is that the only possible interpretation you can think of?
I can imagine how hard it is for you to listen to it but the best thing is to ignore and don't bother engaging with them. I am sure they will have someone else to talk about soon enough.
I think if they were doing it in a waiting room like that I would pull the lot of them up.
I would tell them they should be ashamed of theirselves berating a man who is grieving his wife and that you hope that they recieve the same lack of support if they are ever in that situation
Ignore it all. It's only getting to you because you're letting it. He's doing a great job and that's all that mattrers. Fuck 'em.
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