to not feel as sympathetic towards this friend as I probably ought to?

(60 Posts)
designerbaby Fri 12-Oct-12 19:41:49

One of oldest (but probably not really 'best' any more) friends has just had her DS2.

Her DS1 was by emergency CS because of undiagnosed breach presentation, about 9 months after my DD1 (51 hours of labour and forceps 'carnage'). She was very upset at the time, and I was sympathetic.

Even when she said how "unfair" it was that I hadn't had a CS even though she was "clearly better at labour" that I was, and how I "couldn't hack the pain" and she could. (I was in the midst of PND at the time so this wasn't very helpful.) She was also disappointed because she had wanted a girl, and a bit pissed off that I had a daughter and she a son.

Then she was pissed off because I had a second DD two years later, and it took her about 6 months longer than she wanted to get pg a second time...

This time, she's been going on and on about how she really wanted a VBAC and really wanted a girl, and that the worst thing ever would be to have "another bloody boy and another bloddy CS". I can understand not wanting another CS, not so much the boy/girl thing.

She went four days overdue and was on the phone every day really angry that things weren't going according to her plan. She did go into labour naturally, but after 12 hours or so of painful labour and an epidural, things stopped progressing and she ended up with the section she was so desperate to avoid.

Naturally it was also another boy.

I spoke to her about 24 hours later, all she could do was complain about having another "bloody boy" and that she could have coped if she's had a boy naturally or a girl by CS but to have both the things she "didn't want" is so awful. etc. And that her labour was the worst ever, that she she knows she's not like me with a "really low pain theshold" because she's done it before, and that it actually WAS really painful. (WTAF?)

I'm a bit gobsmacked by the stuff that's coming out of her mouth, TBH, and don't know how to react.

i know she's disappointed. But she has a healthy, beautiful baby boy, FFS and she hasn't mentioned him once, which is the saddest thing.

I'm both concerned for her mental state but also think she's behaving like a collossal brat, frankly.

And that the constant putting me down isn't really acceptable. I know I had two DDs 'naturally', but it's not like I've sailed through the whole thing... Extended third degree tears, PTSD, PND, haemmorages – not really stuff worthy of her envy/spite.

This is also to the backdrop of close friends of both of us, who just lost one of their prem twins at 9 weeks old, (delivered at 30 weeks) barely 3 years after they lost their DS1 (born at 26 weeks) at 5 weeks old. They'd gve their eye teeth to have tow healthy, full term baby boys.

I want to feel sympathy for her – the friend with the two DSs – but finding it very hard...


How would you handle it?


PebblePots Fri 12-Oct-12 19:47:51

I would distance myself from her, sounds like a drain on you & a very bad friend. She doesn't deserve much sympathy. Unless she is medically depressed.

DigestivesWithPhiladelphia Fri 12-Oct-12 19:49:17

I don't think I would want to continue a friendship with someone who said such rude things to me.. She sounds bitter & negative. Does she have some really good points that you haven't mentioned?!

ivanapoo Fri 12-Oct-12 19:54:40

God this is awful. She clearly needs some kind of help - perhaps she's depressed - but I wouldn't blame you for distancing yourself a bit.

I think I'd struggle to be v sympathetic to someone who was that rude to me and has had two healthy babies too.

Perhaps you could try having a heart to heart with her to see if she reveals she's depressed then support her in getting the help she needs...?

CheeryCherry Fri 12-Oct-12 19:55:08

I too would be polite but keep my distance, such friends are so energy draining. Spend time with more positive people instead...its better for the soul. Good luck.

lola88 Fri 12-Oct-12 19:55:50

She sounds like a selfish cow tbh i feel sorry for her little son not her. As for being jealous of your 'natural' birth i'd pick a cs over the labour you and i had anyday! 3rd deg tears are no bloody joke!

I'm really angry now for you and her son

EasilyBored Fri 12-Oct-12 19:55:57

She sounds like a bit of a nightmare, and I wide be tempted to distance myself from her. I understand her being upset about the section, but it makes me so sad that she's angry he's a boy. That poor baby.

Also, can't stand how some people get competitive about childbirth. Ffs, there are no medals handed out, you just get the baby out the best way you can in glorification.

EverybodysSpookyEyed Fri 12-Oct-12 19:59:26

That is awful and agree you should keep a distance. Her attitude towards the birth and to the gender are odd. Do you know her dh well enough to comment to him and ask if she's ok?

Perhaps when she goes on about having a boy say something like 'well you are lucky to have two boys, having two of the same is such a joy'

I feel for your mutual friend and I really hope brat friend hasn't been saying anything to them.

mixedpeel Fri 12-Oct-12 20:00:49

Oh dear, I've got a friend like this, only thank god she hasn't got any kids. She sounds to me to be very insecure, so has to compare you unfavourably to her. Crap for you to hear, but it's all a load of cobblers, so if you can be arsed to stay her friend (for her redeeming qualities???), then you'll need to find a way of ignoring it all.

lotsofcheese Fri 12-Oct-12 20:02:50

YANBU! Speaking as the mum of a premature baby who survived by the skin of his teeth, your friend is BU - extremely so!!

I think the only thing you can do is a bit of brutal honesty, reminding her she has 2 healthy full-term children & suggest perhaps she needs help?

Maybe she only goes on so much as you allow her to?

SirBoobAlot Fri 12-Oct-12 20:02:58

She either has some major issues, or is just a bit of a bitch.

Either way, her attitude towards you is foul. And really I feel sorry for her sons sad

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 12-Oct-12 20:07:52

I would run away. Fast. Without looking back.

ATourchOfInsanity Fri 12-Oct-12 20:08:40

Sounds like a friend I have in RL. She smokes a lot of weed and I put the bitchiness down to the fact stoners always think they are right. She recently told me she is a better mother than me because she smokes joints every day and I smoke cigs. I know I shouldn't smoke, but honestly!

I stay friends with her though mainly because she holds no punches. I think everyone needs a friend like this who will be brutally honest. Sometimes she goes OTT and othertimes you aren't even asking for advice.

I just stay well clear if I feel at all sensitive and leave if I feel angry or whatever while there.

Luckily I have a lot of other friends who cannot abide her and she doesn't so I don't feel as bad about her comments, but am aware she is probably a bit jaded having no one else to talk to.

I'd advise just keeping calm and staying away for a bit. You have clearly been friends for a while and she is useful/good to you for something?

PropertyNightmare Fri 12-Oct-12 20:20:35

What an unreasonable woman. Please don't take her horrible comments to heart. My own little ds is such a precious little thing. I can't imagine being gutted if I ever had another beautiful little boy like him. I have dds too and I don't get the whole 'boys are awful and everyone wants girls' thing. there seems to be a HUGE amount of women who hold that view.

designerbaby Fri 12-Oct-12 21:35:08

I think she does have some issues, and I am worried about her mental state - because I can't understand why someone in their right mind would be coming out with stuff like this...

My husband thinks I should walk away from the friendship... I dont know.

We were like sisters in our twenties and saw each other through some really rough times - she was absolutely 100% rock solid and we both knew we were there for each other, no matter what.

She then got married and moved out of London and we started to drift apart. You'd have thought that having children roughly the same age would have brought us closer, but in actual fact our parenting styles are SO different it's ade things worse. They were really bad when I was suffering from PND and she was PG and when her DS1 was young, but have been better recently - if still a bit one-sided. She thinks I'm too much of a soft touch with my DDs, I find her a bit hard with her DS.

She seems very bitter about the way her life has turned out - when really she's nothing much to be bitter about. She's married (ok husband doesn't earn much, but she knew that when she married him - but she's resentful that mine earns more - even though he's abroad a lot, her husband is a nice guy but they have some ishoos..) has a two lovely DSs, a big house, runs her own business (but is pissed off that I earn more - even though this is only recently the case), nice car, supportive family living nearby, friends...

I suppose I'm in 'maintenance mode' with the friendship, if I'm honest, in the hope that sh'll coe out the other side of whatever it is...

But I'm torn between wanting to support her, because she's obviously deeply unhappy/dissatisfied, and feeling, well, that she isn't actually very nice anymore, and quite unkind.

I would hate to abandon her if she is actually depressed, but I'm finding it hard to bite my tongue and be in any way sympathetic, I really am.


Scheherezade Fri 12-Oct-12 21:44:46

Tbh if I didn't think it was depression I wouldsuggest adoption and how there are so many people out there who would be overjoyed with a healthy baby, regardless of gender. And that love is the most important thing for a child.

And hope that shocks/shames her.

chocoluvva Fri 12-Oct-12 21:48:00

That sounds really tough for you. I completely understand your dilemma.
it's hard to know if she has a MH prob or not.

IllageVidiot Fri 12-Oct-12 21:48:30

So perhaps it's time to say - I'm worried for your mental state and for the sake or your children, yourself and our friendship you need to get help.

She sounds like a mixture of an entitled brat and somone in the midst of a life crisis who can't see the wood for the trees. Only you can decide how much is her actually not being a very nice person who can now compete with you and dislikes what she sees as falling short and how much is her saying things out of character because things behind closed doors have slid away from her and she's not coping, whether depression, PND untreated from last time or other issues - she does need help.

Tbh I would lay out my position, offer the help I could give and then leave it up to her. If her husband is bearing the brunt of this behaviour that may well be a good reason for their issues. But there is no point going on like this and it's unlikely she'll 'just come out the other side' on her own as she is either a fundamentally spiteful and unpleasant person or she's in need of professional support to get better.

Quasimodo Fri 12-Oct-12 21:51:07

how do you know she is resentful that your dh earns more than hers? and you more than her? how does that manifest? friends are supposed to be happy for you when things are going well, not jealous and resentful sad

if i were you, i would have it out with her in a gentle kind way; tell her the reality of your labours and say it was hurtful that she said you had a low pain threshold, its really unfair; say that you are worried she is so negative about her sons when she should be happy/ remind her of mutual friends situation...lay it all out for her.....if she is depressed/her heart is in the right place you will know by her response...

lovebunny Fri 12-Oct-12 21:54:09

keep out of her way. her problems are her problem! i'm sorry for her 'bloody sons', but maybe she speaks more roughly than she acts.

designerbaby Fri 12-Oct-12 22:09:51

She says so, Quasi...

"Well it's all fine for you, cause your DH earns a fortune [he doesn't, he works for a charity, at a senior level so he does ok, but it's not like he's a hedge-fund manager...] whereas I have to support this family..."

"Well, you're just minted these days." I'm not. my business is doing well, but I slogged away for years for next to nothing, (while she was raking it in), to get to this point. They have had stacks of expensive holidays, she drives an Audi, they still own a rental flat in North London worth about £250k (at least). Hardly on the breadline...

I can honestly say, hand on heart I was happy for her when things were going great for her. I realised she made different choices that I would have made, but that in some ways they were paying off, while realising that I still, even given the situation and how well would have made different choices.

She's one of these "grass is greener" people, who perceives injustice about the way her life has turned out. I don't get it... Everyone makes choices, then you live with the consequences. That's life. No one 'did' any of this to her... (Not the CS... that wasn't a choice obv.).

I guess if it continues I have to confront her with it... That should be fun.

The hard thing will be to do that in a calm rational way without losing my temper. And I suspect she'll turn it back around and go on the attack.

I don't know whether to hope that she's depressed and acting out of character, or to hope that she's fine and just, well, become a bit unpleasant.


designerbaby Fri 12-Oct-12 22:13:34

IllageVidiot, thats probably exactly what I should say... And I think you're probably right and it's a mixture of the two.

I feel for her son (who's lovely but already a bit cowed) and her DH who puts up with a lot of sh*t. He's not perfect, but he's a simple guy, really.


cerealqueen Fri 12-Oct-12 22:38:53

Hmm, I'd be tempted to say something to her, about being grateful for having two healthy sons. Life is not a menu where you can pick and choose and then moan as its not what you thought it would be.

SirBoobAlot Fri 12-Oct-12 22:39:24

Think you need to tell her that you're concerned for her mental state because she's started being quite nasty, about her children, and towards you.

If she responds that she's fine / you're having a go at her or whatever, then you can tell her that you quite simply can't deal with her crap anymore.

You sound like a good friend. Its really hard to work out whether its that you have just drifted apart and changed as the years have gone on, or whether there is actually something going on for her.

designerbaby Fri 12-Oct-12 22:47:42

That's the dilemma, SirBoobAlot. I'd never forgive myself if I abandoned her when she needed a friend. You'd think I could tell, we've known each other so well, for so long, but I actually can't.

I know that depression can manifest in many (unexpected) ways.

I also know that unhappiness can sometimes make people behave quite unpleasantly.

But where do you draw the line and say enough is enough?


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