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AIBU re single friend

(39 Posts)
Wildwaterfalls Wed 10-Jul-13 09:08:01

Had lunch with an old friend from school yesterday. She's dating and really hoping to find someone to marry - would love to have DC. I am married with one DD.

There is always a bit of sensitivity when I meet her - even before DD was born, about the different stages of our life we are in. I am really conscious of this and make a big effort to talk about work, travel, mutual friends etc, without referring to DH or DD too much.

Yesterday we got to the end of lunch and I realised that, as I had not mentioned DD, her existence had actually not even really been acknowledged. No question from my friend about how she was, or what we'd been up to.

I don't think she meant to be unkind, and I am really not sure I am being unreasonable to expect some interest into DD who is such a big part of my life. I really value her friendship so will probably just let it go, but WIBU to volunteer at least a bit of information about DD and the things that occupy my mind next time we meet?

Sorry I hope that all makes sense.

Friendships work two ways. Did she ask anything about you at all, or was it just DD that didnt get a mention?

wannaBe Wed 10-Jul-13 09:15:20

yanbu to mention your dd as part of conversation about your life.

But yabu to expect friend to think to mention dd. People, esp people without children generally don't think about your kids in the same way you do.

And, it's ok to have lunch without one single mention of your kids you know. smile

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 09:18:16

What wannaBe said

Annakin31 Wed 10-Jul-13 09:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LokiTheCynicalCat Wed 10-Jul-13 09:19:34

You should definitely volunteer the information. Particularly if you've been asking her about herself, and the conversation has flowed well throughout your meeting, she may feel that she never got a chance to ask. I'm terrible for this myself to be honest, I keep thinking of questions I want to ask a friend when they've just asked me something else, so I try to answer that first and I sometimes forget/don't get round to it or the conversation has moved on to something else.

Unless she's known for being thoughtless and rude, she may (like me) have left your meeting and realised that she never asked and feel disappointed that she missed the opportunity to hear about your DD.

This is going to sound really pompous, but never mind.

As you grow up and motherhood is not such a "new" thing to you, you can go hours, in fact days, without explicitly mentioning your child. There may be a "no, cant do until 7 pm as I am bringing son home from football at 6" in passing, and no more mention of said child at all. Even when talking with/dining with/lunching with other parents.

With your friend, due to her not having reached motherhood yet, you and her are actually a few years AHEAD of your life situation together already. grin

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 09:30:24

It's also possible that she wonders if perhaps everyone you have lunch with always asks about your DD and repeat the same thing over and over again and might fancy not talking about your DD for a change.

Annakin it is perfectly possible to be friends with someone without wanting to express interest in every part of their lives over an hour's lunch. What if I didn't have a child but had a dog that I entered into all sorts of competitions and consider the dog to be a big part of my life? Would I get arsey if over an hour's lunch a friend didn't ask about my dog? Course I wouldn't.

Wildwaterfalls Wed 10-Jul-13 09:38:13

Thanks all. Some really sensible comments here.

I have thought that maybe she just doesn't think to ask, or maybe she thinks she is doing me a favour of giving me the opportunity to have a non-baby talk lunch. And I do appreciate that.

She shows a lot of interest in other aspects of my life - my return to work, travel plans etc. But I'd like to feel that the subject of DD is not taboo! I'm quite new to motherhood (in case you hadn't guessed) and it is nice to share some excitement or worry with friends, even if it is just for 10 minutes in a lunch that is otherwise more about non-baby things.

As I said though, she's really lovely and I guess it is not easy having lots of friends with DC.

Wildwaterfalls Wed 10-Jul-13 09:39:07

shockgrin @ Quint re going hours without mentioning DD grin

wannaBe Wed 10-Jul-13 09:43:15

"Sorry I disagree. Friends should be interested in each others' lives, regardless of whether they "think about your kids in the same way you do."
" yes but we're talking about a lunch. Sometimes it's just nice to chat about nothing, and you know, you don't stop being a person in your own right just because you have a baby, sometimes it's actually nice to remember that you're a person in your own right and that not all conversation has to centre around the kids. But I appreciate this does change as children get older, and what you thought was all-consuming conversation about babies when your kids are babies you rapidly realise is generally boring to the majority of people and it's quite refreshing to become an individual in your own right again once said babies hit about the age of five.

ARealDame Wed 10-Jul-13 09:44:22

When I was a "single" friend I never really asked about my friends' children. They were just sortof "there"! I don't think other people's children are not necessarily of interest, unless said single friend has strong maternal interest/affection, maybe encouraged by the parents.

But if you are doing things with your child, it seems strange to keep it quiet - you could just be more open about what you and your DD do, etc.

That said, it may be that you are getting a more negative vibe though from your friend about your life in general, so may be that is what is prickling you. This may be something already in your friendship, or something that will pass.

combinearvester Wed 10-Jul-13 09:44:49

God I never know what to say when old friends ask how my DC are. Er, they are okay, they are going to school/preschool....long pause while I try and think of something to say....yeah yeah they like school...er.....

It's no big deal, it doesn't mean she doesn't care about your DD.

A few child-free friends have mentioned recently that they are finding it more and more difficult to have conversations with people that aren't boringly dominated by babies and children, so your meet up yesterday was probably a massive relief to her.

Snoot Wed 10-Jul-13 09:47:24

Wannabe has nailed it IMO grin

Branleuse Wed 10-Jul-13 09:48:48

shes probably more interested in you than in your kid. I think it sounds a little patronising to specifically avoid talking about your dh or dc because of it being insensitive or something. there is nothing wrong with her being independent and child free

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 09:49:54

To add to Combine - if your friend would love kids, but doesn't have a chap yet, and all around her all her friends have men and children, she may be finding that every time she meets up with a friend, the conversation has a lot to do with children. This can get wearing and upsetting and a feeling they are being left behind. I've seen it where friends who have babies ease away (deliberately or otherwise) from their single friends who don't because it is "easier to socialise with other parents with children"

Another reason why I think Annakin's attitude is the wrong one. It comes across as entitled "I'm a mother, how DARE you not be interested in my child" when actually it could be quite upsetting for all sorts of reasons for the other person (lets say a friend who has been TTC for years).

wannaBe Wed 10-Jul-13 09:53:55

When my ds was a baby I was really quite upset that my sil appeared to have no interest in him. In fact, she didn’t really have much interest in him, but as my “baby” got older I realised that what to me was my all-consuming baby, the little person who was the best thing to have ever happened to me and who everyone should realise is the most beautiful baby to have ever entered on to the earth was to others in fact, just a baby, and not seen in the same way. blush

I even clarified sil’s disinterest in my PFB by stating that if she called she would ask how dh was, then sometimes would ask about me, and then would ask about ds – the fact she asked last must therefore be an indication that she didn’t have that much interest in him. blush

Your friend may simply just not have thought to ask, but equally, you didn’t mention your dd either and there’s actually nothing wrong with that. But equally there’s nothing wrong with mentioning her, and if friend is lovely anyway she’s likely to take an interest. But don’t assume she’s not interested just because she doesn’t ask.

Fwiw my “baby” is ten now, and while of course he enters into conversation regularly with my friends, I have reverted to being an individual in my own right and as quint said, can go for hours without mention of his name (and no doubt he can go hours without mention of mine, grin).

MrsPennyapple Wed 10-Jul-13 10:05:20

Pre-DC I wouldn't have even known what to ask. I'd have had no idea what sort of things they do at 3 months old, or 3years old. I'd have managed a "how is the baby?" but it would likely have been followed by nodding and smiling as friend started talking about things that just had no meaning to me. Easier to just stick to topics where we can both contribute.

There would also be "I bet she's sick of everyone going on about the baby all the time and wishes someone would ask about her for a change" going through my head.

I wouldn't think she's being rude at all.

monicalewinski Wed 10-Jul-13 10:26:35

Exactly what wannaBe said, except obviously my children were the most beautiful beings EVER and a gift to mankind!!

DoJo Wed 10-Jul-13 10:35:07

Before I had my son I was always wary of asking people how their children were as I had heard so many mothers complain that as soon as they have a baby, everyone assumes that it is all they want to talk about. Now I have a child, I still don't always talk about him with friends, even those who do have kids as I talk about him enough with my husband and parents! I don't have the need to bring him up unless he's done something spectacular or it's pertinent to the rest of the conversation.

Latara Wed 10-Jul-13 10:37:48

I'm in the friend's situation and find it hard to know what to say about other friends' DCs.

But I do always ask about their children because it's polite and I find them interesting anyway.

Then they ask about my cat which makes me feel like a single mad cat lady....

badguider Wed 10-Jul-13 10:38:43

I hardly ever ask friends how their children or husbands are... I just assume that if they're particularly good or bad it will come up when I ask them how they are.
To be honest, if I don't really know the child or husband enough to ask a specific question (e.g how did x's interview go? or is y sleeping better now?) then I dont' actually care that much except in terms of my friend's happiness so if I ask how she is then I would expect her to mention if her family were giving here particularly great joy or causing particular stress for any reason.

Annakin31 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:41:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 10:53:24

Annakin - the friend didn't ask about DD at ONE lunch which may have lasted an hour. The OP has not said this friend never, ever asks. I suspect friend did ask "how are you?" or "how are things?" and, most people, if they are a parent might well make some mention of their children. I don't see why the friend is MORE unreasonable for not asking than the OP is for taking umbrage when she could quite easily have mentioned DD herself.

Had the OP taken her baby with her to the lunch, and then friend ignored the baby, THAT would be rude.

And I don't think it IS a ridiculous analogy. For people without children (by choice of otherwise) a dog can be absolutely as important in their life as your child is to you.

The person I care about is MY FRIEND. I may not know her husband or child, might never have met them. I want to know about HER and what SHE has been doing because I KNOW them. If she chooses to talk about her child (but not obsessively) that's fine by me.

wannaBe Wed 10-Jul-13 11:05:06

I don't see how not having mentioned the baby somehow makes it tabu, that's a ridiculous assumption. In fact the op said it was only after lunch that she realised the baby hadn't been talked about, so actually she was clearly not itching to talk about her baby either it was more a realisation that she had in fact spent an hour without having talked about her, and that in itself can be a revelation the first time it happens.

Yes a baby is all consuming in the beginning but actually, it doesn't have to be. It's ok to have an hour for lunch where you don't feel you need to be all-consumed by baby talk.

wannaBe Wed 10-Jul-13 11:06:28

and some people's pets are as important to them as babies - I know someone who had pictures taken by a baby photographer, paid £500 for them ... pictures of ... her rabbits! shock grin

Annakin31 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:08:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 11:10:25

wannaBe - that's possibly going too far, but it proves my point. Each to their own, as it were. One person's priority is another person's barely interested.

It is, I believe, perfectly acceptable and possible to STILL be the person you were before you became a mother and not become anything other than a mother, as if the person you used to be doesn't exist any more.

Annakin31 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:11:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Wed 10-Jul-13 11:19:24

Well if you talked about your plans to return from mat leave, then it probably got on to how you're feeling about work, then she started to talk about her job, then you moved onto a mutual acquaintance who has just been made redundant and is planning to travel the world, which then led on to her holiday plans and then back to travel generally and how you're going to have to start driving to work to do the nursery drop-offs, which led on to her new bike, then hey presto! It's time to get the bill and she hasnt asked about dd.

It's easily done, but it doesn't mean anything. It's just how the conversation went...

Annakin31 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:23:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 11:29:57

Annakin - your last point is absolutely right. But I wouldn't make an issue or take umbrage over someone else not asking something during a lunch when I myself could have volunteered it anyway.

Annakin31 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:35:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have friends without children, some of who actively dislike children, they normally ask how my kids are, to be honest it it is normally in a lull in conversation they are not interested, any more than im interested how their dogs are, i would just say if it didn't come up you both had better things to talk about.

Wildwaterfalls Wed 10-Jul-13 14:20:17

Thanks all. I will definitely not hold it against her as she is such a good friend and will have had her reasons - either trivial (didn't think of it) or sensitivity, or thinking she was doing me a favour smile

But I will in future bring up DD-related things if they are important to me - agree with those that have said friends should care about things that matter to you.

KellyElly Wed 10-Jul-13 15:50:03

It's just good manners to ask 'how are your family' really isn't it? I wouldn't break a friendship up over it but may think it was a bit strange. If my friend had a boyfriend (never mind kids) at some point I'd say 'how x'.

sooperdooper Wed 10-Jul-13 15:55:01

I think you're overthinking this tbh OP - specifically deciding not to mention your DC & DH is a bit partonising, just chat about whatever you've got going on, whatever you're interested in - if that happens to be your family then so be it

If you don't mention them I don't think it's fair to think she's done anything wrong by not mentioning them if you haven't, if theres nothing particular for her to ask then it's just not come up in conversation

HoneyStepMummy Wed 10-Jul-13 16:05:28

I really think you are overthinking this. 99% of my friends are single and none of them have kids (even though we are all ancient over 35). Sometimes they'll ask how my DH or my stepdaughter (who they'll all met) is. Less often they'll ask how my dogs or stepson (who they havn't met) is. Likewise, I might ask how their DM/DP/ other friends are doing- or not!
It really isn't to be taken personally. I'm sure your friend is really enjoying your company and catching up with you. And while your daughter is of course a big part of your life she isn't a big part of your friend's life.

Namechangingnorma Wed 10-Jul-13 16:27:28

I have just had my third miscarriage and no dc's yet. However, I love my friends and their kids are a part of them and therefore I am interested in them and if dc's aren't there I always ask about them. friendships go two ways and you should be interested in each other's lives,I would hate it if my friends didn't talk about their dc's due to my fertility issues.

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