AIBU - told friend it isn't my fault she can't cope with her brood

(80 Posts)
EspressoMonkey Wed 26-Jun-13 10:46:44

We live abroad and have two DCs, 3 and 1. I would like more but feel at the moment that 2 is our lot. We have no family support and my DH works long hours and spends a lot of time out of the country.

I am friends with another expat mum who has 3 DC, aged 4, 2 and 1 and she is pregnant with her 4th. She struggles to cope and so doesn't take her DCs out by herself. I often help her with her DCS when we are out and about at the park, zoo etc. I do it whenever possible and have been happy to do so.

Last week we all went to the outdoor pool. It was a hot day and we agreed to meet outside the pool complex at a certain time. We were on time but my friend and her DCs were 35 mins late, thus my DCs and myself stood outside in the heat waiting for them. We did this as we have membership which gives my friend a discount on her admission.

When she arrived her DCs were not ready for the pool, but mine already had sun lotion and swim suits on. My DCs are hot and bothered because we were waiting around so we went straight in and i said to my friend "see you in the pool when you are all ready".

I had my hands full in the pool, DC2 is not very steady on her feet and so was holding both my hands. DC1 found the water cold and was a bit apprehensive. Another friend's DC waded over to us and chatted to us and played so i felt as if i had the responsibility of three DCs. I was coping but it was not relaxed.

Then there was a bit of commotion at the other end of the pool, splashing etc. The pool was very busy, there were plenty of mums and dads in there with free hands. I briefly glanced over at the commotion but then another DC splashed my eldest in the face, who then started crying. Her friend then hit this other DC and i had to break up a squabble, speaking a mixture of English and French so all parties understood. It was hectic.

A while later my friend joined us in the pool. She was very off with me and asked why i hadn't helped her 2YO DD when he was struggling in the pool? Then i realised that the commotion was her DD struggling in the water. I apologised but said that i didn't know that the child who was splashing about was her DD, i had my hands full at the time plus there were lots of parents in the pool with free hands who helped her out anyway. What i didn't say was that your DCs are your responsibility and you never asked me to be responsible for your DD. I didn't even know she was in the pool!

My friend then made a big deal about how she can't come to the pool without adult help as she can't cope and that i KNOW that etc. I had enough of her using me as free childcare and snapped back that "it isn't my fault you can't cope". I was hot, and bit ratty because yet again we had been standing around waiting for them. My youngest DC is now mobile and needs my help more than ever. My hands are pretty full as it is. I will help her as much as i can but my DCs come first from now on. We didn't have a third DC as i feel i wouldn't cope. My friend will shortly have four DCs under 4.

AIBU and how do i get our friendship back on track without being her unpaid childminder again?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 26-Jun-13 10:50:06

I'm not sure that you can.

I have an acquaintance like this, she has three DC and is pregnant with a fourth. She is always trying to palm them off here there and everywhere and rope others in to do school runs and all sorts. I never organise anything with her now, because I know that I will end up running around after 5 children (her three and two of my own) while she sits on her arse.

YANBU. Two small DC, two hands. I would struggle with more than that, especially in water. She is being VU to expect you to mind your own DC and then some of hers as well. She must have known it would be difficult to take 3 young DC swimming?

ChasedByBees Wed 26-Jun-13 10:52:36

YANBU but I can't see how you'll get the friendship back on track. She expects help and you're not able to provide it which is a recipe for resentment on both sides. It was rude of her to be late and irresponsible to let her 2 yr old in the pool alone (or with inadequate supervision).

WhataSook Wed 26-Jun-13 10:55:19

YANBU. This would irk me beyond belief! I have one DC, DH would like three...he's dreaming! I find one is easy enough but will be waiting unti she is a bit older so that I'm not in the same situation as your friend.

But it's a bit bloody rude expecting you to co-parent!

Crowler Wed 26-Jun-13 10:55:31

I'm afraid I wouldn't have much sympathy for someone who was struggling with a self-imposed burden and expected help from someone else who is also struggling, but less so.

She must have know this was not going to be a breezy afternoon. I'm getting stressed out just thinking about it.

WhataSook Wed 26-Jun-13 10:55:50


MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 26-Jun-13 10:56:19

You were not unreasonable

I did think this was going to be a dig a big families but she was definitely the one in the wrong. I have 6dc and would never expect other people to take responsibility for them

Apart from anything else she sounds rude and like she's using you, I'd avoid her and make nicer friends who appreciate your company

Groovee Wed 26-Jun-13 10:56:19

I'm not sure you can get it back on track. She probably took what you said very personally and it could build a lot of resentment.

Dh's SIL couldn't cope with her 2 children when they were young. She just didn't know how to interact with them and would often blame my children for their behaviour. It resulted in us not talking and wanting nothing to do with her ever again.

LazyMonkeyButler Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:05

She allowed her 2 year old into a swimming pool without even telling you she was there? confused And somehow you are the one in the wrong? shock

YANBU. I'm not good at juggling more than 2 young children at any one time either - which is part of the reason we have a 10 year age gap between DC2 & DC3! grin

I'm all for people having as many DC as they want, but only if they can cope with them.

AuntieStella Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:10


I think that, if you want to maintain this friendship, you will have to be abundantly clear that you find your hands are full with your DCs (especially a newly mobile one) and you cannot supervise extra children in areas with hazards such as a pool. You'll happily meet up in areas where supervision can be looser (her house/garden?), but your main effort will be with your DC2 until secure on her feet.

Crowler Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:13

Also, the pool! What a nightmare! There's no assuming anything, kids that age can drown in seconds and no one would even notice.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:51

Go the whole hog and tell her that she needs paid help, like an au pair or a nanny.

EspressoMonkey Wed 26-Jun-13 10:58:16

Looks like our friendship will naturally tail off then. Can i get her to see she is BU? Our eldest DCs get along well, so i feel it would be a shame to let the friendship slide though.

Yanbu. How on earth can you watch her kids when u don't even know she was there. It's not your fault at all and she's being ridiculous.

Not sure how you would get back on track to be honest. If she can't cope with three she won't cope with four and that's not your fault either.

Crowler Wed 26-Jun-13 11:02:29

"I can't imagine how hard it must be for you to manage 3 kids, because I can barely manage 2 at times. I hope you can understand that I feel pretty overwhelmed as well. I'm sure we'll look back at this time and wonder how we got through it!".

Which is true. Mine are a bit older now and I'm genuinely shocked we all made it out alive.

LifeofPo Wed 26-Jun-13 11:03:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZenGardener Wed 26-Jun-13 11:03:28

Do you have gardens where you are? How about organizing a paddling pool and some bubbles in the garden and inviting them over? That's what I do in the summer with my brood and it is so much easier. The big pool is really hard work with three little ones of different ages especially when crowded in the summer.

ZenGardener Wed 26-Jun-13 11:05:16

We even used to do the paddling pool thing on the balcony when we lived in the city. Summers got extremely hot where we were.

LadyInDisguise Wed 26-Jun-13 11:05:39

I am actually surprised that the pool is happy for her to come along with 3 dcs 4yo and under. That wouldn't be allowed here for the reasons you give. You just can't look after them properly on your own....

I confused as to why she thinks it's OK for you to look after 3 dcs, one of which isn't yours and at the same time, it's OK for her to say it's too much?

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 11:06:08

Do you like her and enjoy her company as an individual, or is it just that you've fallen into this relationship because you are expats with similar-aged children?

EspressoMonkey Wed 26-Jun-13 11:08:19

We actually have our own swimming pool but i avoid pool playdates at all costs and try to avoid any playdates at our home. Our pool is an adult pool and so the water is deep and very dangerous. If a mum takes their DC to the loo i can be left with 4 DCs to take care of, which is stupid. I prefer playdates out of the house, particularly with this family who have caused quite a bit if damage at our house (but that is another AIBU story)

WildlingPrincess Wed 26-Jun-13 11:08:40

YANBU! I had a friend like this. She's was always ranting and moaning she couldn't go out, no-one would have them, she never had any money, her life was soooo hard. Don't have 4 bloody kids under 5 then!

Crowler Wed 26-Jun-13 11:09:20

Your friend sounds like a piece of work.

EspressoMonkey Wed 26-Jun-13 11:09:38

eyes you have hit the nail on the head. Time to make some new friends i think

tigerlilygrr Wed 26-Jun-13 11:09:50

I was a qualified lifeguard for four years. It is extremely irresponsible for each adult to supervise more than two children under eight. I simply would not go the pool if I couldn't comply with that rule (which is the standard practice in all council run leisure centres as far as I know). And I am talking about pools with lifeguards as well.

I do sympathise a bit with your friend but whatever the outcome, please don't go to the pool with her again unless there's another adult present.

pianodoodle Wed 26-Jun-13 11:12:04


I hope she'll realise that she was being unreasonable with you due to stress/heat/pregnancy and apologise so you can still be friends

Sounds like she needs a helper but not one with their own children to mind at the same time!

LIZS Wed 26-Jun-13 11:13:29

Maybe suggest an Au pair would be a good idea ? Why should you be able to cope with 3 under 4 but she can't hmm

WinkyWinkola Wed 26-Jun-13 11:17:26

No way would I go to the pool with more than 2 children under 8. That's just dumb.

Right now is not the time for pools.

NatashaBee Wed 26-Jun-13 11:27:53

YANBU. Most pools in the UK insist on a 1:1 ratio for adults: small children, for good reason.

xylem8 Wed 26-Jun-13 11:40:38

I think she was very shaken up after the nasty scare with her 2 yr old getting into difficulties.Cut her a bit of slack and give her time to cool down.

xylem8 Wed 26-Jun-13 11:41:41

I agree she has too many young Dc to cope with single handed at the pool.Arrange to meet somewhere safer next time

pinkyredrose Wed 26-Jun-13 12:02:46

Why on Earth is she having another DC when she can't cope with the ones she's got!

redexpat Wed 26-Jun-13 12:05:47

I have full sympathy for both of you actually. It's tough living abroad and not having a support network. You end up being friends with other expats that you would never be friends with at home. I think she feels as if you have it easier, and should therefore pick up on the fact that she needs help. But you're right, it's not your fault she can't cope and frankly she should be more prepared. I delayed having children because I didn't have a support network where I am. Another local expat is whining all the time about how lonely she is and how there is nothing to do in the day, that she doesn't know anyone and it really winds me up that she didn't think about this before she got pregnant. There are things to do, but she lives in the countryside, her DH takes the car to work, and there are limited busses. She could use social networking sites, but won't.

thebody Wed 26-Jun-13 12:06:38

You aren't being unreasonable. In any situation your own children are your priority and responsibility.

She sounds like a user, make other friends.

soverylucky Wed 26-Jun-13 12:09:35

YANBU - I know quite a few people who struggle with the children they have, moan none stop about how hard it is and then have a planned pregnancy to add to their family.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 26-Jun-13 12:09:42

That's so dangerous, you must have felt v shaken up too after being made to feel responsible, I would never take my swimming without my DH (the pools here wouldn't let you anyway) She needs to get some paid help before its too late

LimeLeaffLizard Wed 26-Jun-13 12:15:47

I feel a bit sorry for your friend. She obviously does need help with managing so many small children, and maybe in a nice way you should suggest she gets an au pair.

She was being unreasonable on the pool day. Of course it isn't your responsibility to supervise her children and if she can't manage them in that environment then they can't go.

However, I wouldn't dump her as a friend just because of this.

Maybe you can meet her for a drink one evening without the kids?

If you are both expats with kids the same age it would be nice to keep your friendship.

flybynight Wed 26-Jun-13 12:15:56

I had three children under three whilst I was an expat. I would have gone mad without the support of my friends! And OP, you have been a very good friend.

Your friend needs to recognise her limits, however. Playing at the pool is no good for her. I'm pretty sure she will know that she has been unreasonable. Fear can make people say unreasonable things.

If you like her, and want to continue the friendship (and my expat baby years friends are my rock solid friends. Shared experience and all that) the paddling pool/ bubbles/ ice lollies suggestions are brilliant and much easier contained.

Good luck.

pigletmania Wed 26-Jun-13 12:16:57

Yanbu if she can't cope why is she having more kids! Her children ar her responsibility not yours, you hav your ands full with yours. Especially at the poor where they need more supervision than ever!

Mumsyblouse Wed 26-Jun-13 12:17:28

The ratio of children she has isn't allowed in most UK pools, of course you cannot look after three tiny children each one needing support/help in the water when she is pregnant too. I would think the pool just isn't the place to meet up for quite a long time, you can't have six tiny ones between you when the baby is born, the baby alone needs one adult. This is ridiculous, you need to stop the pool visits for a start and rethink perhaps going to her house (if she trashes your home) because you can't continue to meet out in public places without chaos ensuing- how will you have a conversation between friends anyway?

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 26-Jun-13 12:21:36

I like flybynights take on things

pinkballetflats Wed 26-Jun-13 12:28:47

Id abandon the idea ofspecifically trying to get germ to see she is BU because that takes self-examination which doesn't seem to be something she presently is able to do. But, if you focus on your in needs and boundaries and make these clear to her and you stick to them she may evensally have a lightbulb moment. If you keep accommodating her needs she'll continue in the same vein.

somanystripes Wed 26-Jun-13 12:30:44

YANBU. She sounds chaotic and irresponsible. Her DD shouldn't have been in the pool if she couldn't supervise her. Absolutely no one else's responsibility and it's frankly worrying if she thinks that it is. Tragedy waiting to happen. I'd imagine she rounded on you as she knew she was in the wrong, but it's a ridiculous expectation that you keep track of her DCs as well as your own when she didn't even tell you they were there.

If you do like her and think the relationship is worth saving, then you need to have a frank conversation about her expectations. Either you agree a plan of action before you go somewhere together - e.g. meet at x time with the kids ready to go, stay together and make it really clear when one expects the other mum to be keeping an eye out (but briefly - like if one of you go to the loo - not that she expects you to keep track of all five kids for extended periods). Or, you tell her that actually you have your hands full and the situation today shows that it's not feasible to do those outings without another adult to help. Suggest she gets an au pair or nanny to help out, or that you just do play dates at home.

If you're not getting much out of the relationship, perhaps apologise for snapping as you were stressed too (it'll be awkward if you have to see her around otherwise), but let the friendship tale off. Just say 'no, I think it would be too tricky/stressful' next time she suggests a pool outing or similar where you could be left holding the baby (literally).

Either way, she needs to have a word with herself.

Animol Wed 26-Jun-13 12:34:32

I have slightly the opposite problem - also an expat with 4 kids - other friends often just don't get it when I say no actually we can't come swimming with you - yes the weather is lovely but there'll be thousands of people there and I will spend the whole time checking my kids counting up to 4 and starting from 1 again - my tip is go to the pool when the weather's not so good!
I think your friend was probably very stressed after what happened to her little one but still YANBU

VenusSurprising Wed 26-Jun-13 12:38:24

Look if she can't figure out that she's being dangerous, by not letting anyone know her two year old is swimming in the pool, without checking that anyone is looking after her at all, never mind assuming that you'd be there to rescue her if she was drowning, she'll never figure out that she's being unreasonable.

Maybe try and meet her without kids, or just ease off, and arrange play dates with others?

Fwiw, I think you were foolish to wait thirty five minutes for her with your kids in the boiling sun. I would have given her five minutes maximum, and let her pay the full whack of admission herself if she was any later.
It's not safe to overheat, and then have a cold swim.

Sometimes we can be too polite, and miss the point, which is to ensure our own safety, and that of our own children first and foremost.

Violetroses Wed 26-Jun-13 12:51:30

YANBU, but I can't help feeling sorry for her. She must be feeling overwhelmed, and highly conscious of how she's not coping...and that she's about to bring another child into the chaos. She probably went home and sobbed.

She's pregnant. She's your friend. Don't end the friendship, but don't let that situation happen again - ie don't meet at the pool.

An au pair is a good idea.

I had three under five and found it unimaginably hard. It quickly gets better though!

lunar1 Wed 26-Jun-13 13:01:44

I really feel for you op, I am in the same situation with my friend. She has 3 under 5 and wants no 4. She can't cope with the three she has, whenever we do things I help her lots despite me having 2 of my own.

In theory I'd love a third child but I know I can cope with 2, I can give 2 children a lovely childhood. I can give them My time and let them do whatever activities they want within reason. If I had a third I would have to make more sacrifices than I would like. My friend knows this is why we have stopped at 2.

Every time we do something she has me running round like an idiot after her older 2 while she sits with the 6
Month old. So I have 4 to manage while she has 1!

I put up with it without comment until dc3 was 4 months old after all she had a new baby. She was at my house with all the children 2 months ago and while her children destroyed my house she told
Me she couldn't wait to add to her family!

I have been steadily reducing how often I see her which was about 3 times a week and is now once or twice a week. And if I'm honest I'm looking forward to it being about once a month. Why should I cope with the family she chose to have?!

It sounds like you had quite a day of it, with everything going a bit pear shaped. I am not surprised your and your friend got a bit ratty with each other. It all sounds very stressful.

Maybe she is 'too aware' of how hard it is to juggle that many small children, maybe number 4 wasn't planned did she's feeling completely overwhelmed.

Where children a concerned and particularly with a number of young children, it can go from sane to insane and unmanageable really quickly and I would imagine that this was probably what happened to her. In the heat, getting everyone ready, pregnant, feeling guilty about keeping you waiting and then your 2yo vanishes and reappears in the pool. Most of us would snap under that pressure and blow up on the person closest to us. Not excuseable but understandable.

I think it's great that you want to get back on track with your friendship. I really liked the idea of a paddling pool party in the back garden. Sit down and have a chat about it. Explain that while you want to stay friends that keeping your two on track is manageable you find it hard to hard to manage helping her out with hers particularly at places like the pool. Obviously you might not feel like that, in which case don't say it. Also everyone else may have better suggestions.

I'm sure if she's a reasonable person she is fully aware of the truth of the situation and feels as bad about it as you do.

YABU for thinking or even saying it, but there may have been nicer ways to have said it.

Also there are plenty of swimming pools that let you take 3 children under the age of 8 in the UK. I have four children (3 under 8) and have taken mine by myself to various 'council' pools around the UK. I only do this knowing that I can handle it though. IME it's the getting them all dry and dressed that is the most stressful part of the trip.

Wishihadabs Wed 26-Jun-13 13:08:39

I god I feel your pain. I would apologise for your outburst (and hope she is big enough to do so too) then arrange an easier playdate (some excellent suggestions on here). I have some (well one ) very good friend who I just had to meet up with out of the house for a while, so as not to get landed with caring for all 4 dcs. Also enabled me to leave when I wanted too. TBH I would have been straight with her from the start "love to come swimming, but I won't be able to help much " . As others have said 2 non-swimmers are the absolute limit of what anyone can safely supervise.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 26-Jun-13 13:08:57

YANBU and there's no reason to drag out a friendship that isn't working just because your two eldest children get along.

At this point you've got nothing to lose, so just make it very clear to her that you can handle your own two children but won't be responsible for any more.

And then try and make some new friends.

dubstarr73 Wed 26-Jun-13 13:42:45

I have 5 altogether but the younger 3 are small.There is no way id go to teh pool with 3 young kids and pregnant without my partner or older kids.
You have your own kids who must come first especially around water.

Id say to her i cant helpin situations like that because i have my own kids.And if she sulks let teh friendship die.

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 13:52:22

Start cutting her a wide birth.

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 13:56:05

Why feel sorry for her? It's a self-created situation?

MiaowTheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 14:03:33

I had two under 1 at one point (currently two under 15 months) - while it can be incredibly hard getting out of the house - I don't ever expect other people to take more responsibility for them than the occasional "can you just keep a loose eye on X while I run do Y's nappy really quickly" and even then I feel guilty doing so.

OTTMummA Wed 26-Jun-13 14:14:23

I have 2, I would love at least 1 more, but we won't because I can't cope with anymore!
Don't feel bad for her, she knows how hard it is by now yet she has chosen to go and get pregnant again.

I would tell her to get some professional help like a nanny, or au pair because she will quickly lose a lot of friends if she is just expecting everyone to rally round and help her raise her children whilst side-lining their own.

Completely Ridiculous statement that you know she struggles! like you are her partner or something confused That shows you how entitled she feels!

TotallyBursar Wed 26-Jun-13 14:39:49


Of course I have sympathy for her, it sounds like she's finding things very difficult but that is no excuse to take such liberties with you.
She is not only taking the piss - which could be sorted with some firm boundaries - she is not coping to the point of dangerousness.

Her child could have easily drowned.

You are unlikely to get your friendship back on track because she doesn't see you as a friend, she sees you as unpaid help and is unhappy when you don't provide this service.
She needs to invest in a nanny or au pair if she needs help with childcare. You are not obliged to put your own children at risk to parent hers.

I have a large family, I know it is hard, but we don't rely on anyone else because our children are our responsibility. We are grateful for offers of babysitting or days out but they are always greeted with a thank you and a reciprocal offer.
It is hard to be the supportive friend in this case as it is not what she wants from you.
Her DH eeds to step up to the plate - but good luck having any opinion on that.

Mimishimi Wed 26-Jun-13 15:20:48

Tell her that you've come as her friend, not as her help. That you are happy to help if you can but if she is finding it difficult to manage ( which is not surprising at all), she needs to hire someone without kids of their own to manage to help her as well.

BridgetBidet Wed 26-Jun-13 15:28:17

YANBU for not realizing her child was struggling, YANBU for thinking you were not responsible for her child. She was being unreasonable with the way she spoke to you and the way she used you for childcare. YANBU to say something back.

However I think YWBVU with the 'you can't cope' comment. It was cruel and too personal. By all means tell her off for her expectations of you. But there was no need to essentially tell her she's a shit parent.

Greyhound Wed 26-Jun-13 15:47:46

How dare she! How rude. Her offspring are not your responsibility. If she can't cope with three kids in a pool (the pool near me won't allow fewer than one adult per child) then she needs to employ a nanny and not expect free childcare from you or anyone else.

MammaTJ Wed 26-Jun-13 16:04:55

I have one even funnier than that, from a few years ago.

A lot of us had been invited to a Christening. My 'friends' DC were around 6 and 8, but were very lively. Mine were 5 months and 17 months old, as anyone would realise, a handfull. My 'friend' said she didn't want to go to the Christening but would I pop over and show her my DC in their 'posh' outfits before we went. We were just about on time getting ready, quickly dashed over and found her in a really odd mood with me.

Apparently I should have realised that she could not cope with her two children at the Christening and I should have realised that and offered to help her out. That lack of offer was the real reason she didn't want to go to the Christening. grin

I have no clue how you can get things back on track, or indeed why you would want to. Good luck.

somanystripes Wed 26-Jun-13 16:23:26

MammaTJ that's just weird. Some people are so entitled it's untrue...

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 16:51:19

I once got saddled with three extra children when I was on holiday with mine in the IOW, for several hours.
Because I taught one of them the year before.
I was so unprepared for that level of cheek that even though I am usually a weasel of great cunning, it was around 30 minutes before I realised WTF had happened.
Parents had shoved off to something they wanted to see without the bother of children.

xylem8 Wed 26-Jun-13 16:59:13

I am guess the 2 yr old/ sprinted or snuck off rather than your friend telling her to go off and play in the pool by herself!!

Be honest with her, tell her that you want to stay friends but you can't be expected to take responsibility for her children as well as your own, even more so if she doesn't ask you to. Set rules, pool dates are OUT, evenings out together are great and play dates in safe enviroments are fine as well. It sounds like you were both stressed and probably in slight shock after a close call at the pool.

TotallyBursar Wed 26-Jun-13 20:42:27

But Xylem as we all know, that's what 2 year olds do - particularly lively ones.

It could have been much worse, luck and handy adults stopped a drowning, it's why toddlers - just like the OP's - need supervision all the time.

I also don't blame OP for what she said. Would I regret it? The words, yes, but not the sentiment. If a pool incident didn't give her a wake up call then maybe it is just cruel enough to change her attitude. Because she is actually being a shit parent. I repeat I have sympathy for her but you don't get to fuck up like that twice. It could
be the pool, darting under a car, head first down the stairs...
It is our choice to have our children but it is also the children that suffer if we can't cope or take the brunt of our poor decisions. That's the responsibility of being a parent - doing your damnedest to get it right, even when it feels like you're hanging on for grim death.

mumofweeboys Wed 26-Jun-13 20:56:01

I wouldnt dream of taking children those ages to a pool without another adult with no other children. I have 3 under 4 and only take them to managable situations - soft play, friends enclosed garden if Im bymyself. Surely if she is pregnant she has to be getting an nanny or something to help out, its only sensible.

SanityClause Wed 26-Jun-13 21:01:00

In the UK, she wouldn't even be allowed in with three little ones. At all the pools nearby us, it is one adult per two children under 8.

Corygal Wed 26-Jun-13 21:08:50

YANBU. People like this annoy the tits off me. I imagine you're dreading the arrival of the 4th baby - trust me, so is everyone else she knows.

She was rude and selfish to keep you waiting too. She needs an au pair. Meet at her house only.

goingdownhill Wed 26-Jun-13 21:13:54

I was an expat with three dc under three. It was very, very hard going. However I would not of dreamed of expecting my friends to take over any responsibility for them. I chose their age gaps so I have to suck it up. I did however grind my teeth at my friends that had one and always managed to be late, as they could not possibly get out of the house on time. smile

fuckwittery Wed 26-Jun-13 21:18:59

You've got two DC, she's got three. Even if you help her with one, one of your will have to look after three DC at once, so this doesnt make things easier, just shifts the balance of difficulty. What you need when you meet up is a friend with one or no DC grin

Neither of you would have been allowed in the pool where I live, it is one to one supervision for under 5s, so I cant go to the pool with my 6 year old and 3 year old.

MammaTJ Wed 26-Jun-13 22:25:54

somanystripes (I can so relate to your SN) that is about the sum of it. They kept telling me theywould babt sit for my DC when they slept through the night, but their little shits darlings never settled till near the time they came home totally wasted and not just in drink. They kept a total tally of all they had done for me even when they had begged to have the babies and totally ignored all I (and my DP) had done for them.

TheRealFellatio Thu 27-Jun-13 05:13:09

I get really cheesed off with people who choose to have more children too close together than they can physically or financially cope with, and then spend their time whingeing about how tough it is and expecting everyone else (especially GPs) to rally round and lighten their load - not as a favour but almost as a duty! hmm

YANBU, you have your own priorities, her children are not your problem, and if she can't see that she's a twat.

If you are going away over the hot summer months, then have a nice break from her and use that as a chance to distance yourself a bit when things get back to normal in September.

TimeofChange Thu 27-Jun-13 06:55:40

How about a paddling pool in the friend's garden and you visit her?

kilmuir Thu 27-Jun-13 07:03:43

she was insane to take so many young children to a swimming pool, thankfully not allowed in our local pool.
I have 4 children and it is hard work at times but I would not expect someone else to help if they were busy with their own.

formicadinosaur Thu 27-Jun-13 07:15:41

No think swimming is a daft idea if you aren't up to supervising kids. Maybe choose easier outings? I expect she is ultra exhausted being pregnant or suggest she gets some help. I ddo think its nice to help each other but there has to be a limit due to your own responsibilities.

ithaka Thu 27-Jun-13 07:26:14

YANBU - my sister was like this with her children & it would drive me potty. Anywhere we went we would somehow contrive to swan off and leave me with 2 boisterous toddlers to control as well as my own, any time I had my hands free she would dump her baby on me and leg it off somewhere.

I started to avoid seeing her, but as she is my sister I couldn't totally dump her! She is annoying, but you can't choose your family - I certainly wouldn't have chosen to have her as a friend. Move on from this friendship, I think.

Bunnygotwhacked Thu 27-Jun-13 07:34:32

YADNBU I am expecting my fourth child and before our recent move we used to live 400 miles away from any family members dp is a chef and works shifts so it used to be me on my own with three most of the time I never accepted help I wouldn't take lifts we could get buses and i would never go anywhere eg a pool with my three if i knew i would be relying on someone else as that would mean i couldn't cope.
I think what i am trying to say is that it is perfectly possible to cope on your own with three and if you stop helping her she will see that. Either that or be stuck in all the time in an entitled strop.
If your eldest child is friends with hers and you're happy continue with that then just invite her eldest child as in .. dc wondered if your dc would like to spend the day with us on saturday

StayAwayFromTheEdge Thu 27-Jun-13 08:09:54

Surely her DD was wearing arm bands / float suits / swim fin and wasn't in that much danger. If she wasn't then she needs to get something. I agree that she needs to take responsibility for her own children, but with the right equipment it shouldn't be that hard - I speak as a Mum 3 (all under 5 at one point).

internationallove985 Thu 27-Jun-13 12:29:35

I would never be closed minded and say. "Well don't have more kids than you can cope with as I do not people's reasons and also none of my business!
Howevever in a nutshell I don't think you were being unreasonable in what you said because bottom line is "It's not your fault she can't cope".
A parent has enought to cope with looking after her own children, I mean it's okay to help her out now and again but she should not be taking the piss. xx

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now