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Accepted it's the end of a friendship... but worried about her DCs(14 Posts)
Am a long time Mnetter, have written about some of the events leading up to this under other names.
Potted history... got a friend who has always been very self-centered in most respects (although very generous with gifts/drinks etc cos her DH is loaded -in some ways, she buys friendship/loyalty) Her DCs are hot-housed beyond the most hot-housed kids. If her DCs fall short of perfection, it's not their fault but always someone elses. TO which end, she bad mouths anyone and everyone rather than get her DCs to face up to reality. And her DCs are starting to suffer because they can never be the perfect people she wants them to be.
I've taken it with a pinch of salt for years, but when it comes to slagging off other children, professionals, and now seeing the effect on her kids, who I love like my own, I had to say something to her. I stated facts, which she refutes. In short, she is delusional and I am seriously worried about the impact that will have on her DCs. Not to mention the professionals she has called into question.
I appreciate that you have only got my side of the story here, but please believe me, I have already said goodbye to this friendship, am more worried about her DCs and not sure what to do.
I don't think there is anything you can do TBH. You've said goodbye to the friendship and how she parents her DCs is up to her, not you. Even if you are completely right about her they are her children, unfortunately, not yours. What do you think you can do?
you're right - I can't do anything, and I know that. I just find it hard seeing others being affected by her behaviour -not just her DCs but many others around them, including teachers and other professionals, and other children - anyone who can be blamed for the children falling short of perfection - apart from the parents who give a load of money but no time.
It's taken me YEARS to realise all of this, although my DH has been telling me for ever to keep away but I was being the loyal friend. So I am partly sad about having to walk away from the friendship (there were some good aspects of it) but am desperately worried about her DCs, concerned about the impact of her badmouthing on professionals, and in some ways also worried about her.
I don't think I can do anything, am just very sad and very worried and needed to vent, MN a better place than real life in this situation I think.
It does sound a sad situation. I had a friend who was just nuts. She had lots of good qualities but she was a single mum with one daughter and daughter was, quite frankly, weird. Mostly because she'd been brought up by my friend, with no other input. I felt really sorry for her but there was nothing much I could do about it. You have to just let go, really, and focus on your own DCs/life. Unfortunately we can't always help other people.
thanks for listening, sowornout. The thing is, I am so at the end of my tether re friend, I CAN let go of the friendship. But I can't let go of being worried about her DCs. And I am not being judgemental (although in a way I appreciate I am being) but I can see the effect she is having on their well being and their relationships with others. Lots of people can, not just me. Only she can't. Which is what makes it so much harder to walk away. I don't think there is an easy answer, I just need to let it all out. Given that I can't sleep because of it!
That's ok. MN is always a good place to get things off your chest! It's a really difficult situation because what you really want to say to her is 'you are damaging your children with your shit parenting. Stop it now before you completely wreck their lives!'. And unfortunately there is no way to say that that she will accept or listen to. It sounds like you've done your best to point out facts to her and she simply refuses to listen. How old are her DCs and will you be able to have any more contact with them now?
thanks again. I don't want to be too specific about ages, but they are young teenagers, and I do have contact with one of them all the time as give them lifts (and therefore hear their side of very different stories and also how they are torn between what they want and maintaining their mother's charade; mainly why I took the mother to task about some of this stuff - what she says and what her DD wants are two very different things) That's the thing, I won't lose contact with the DCs, they're as close as my nieces and nephews.
I'm glad you'll still be in contact. I think the only thing you can do is provide a comforting 'auntie' listening post and sympathy. They will know that you understand and that there is someone they can pour out their troubles to. Perhaps you can gently guide them with suggestions as to how they can put things to their mother to get what they want? eg 'Mum, I know you're really keen for me to keep up with the piano, but I'm struggling so much to fit practise in along with my schoolwork. I don't enjoy piano and feel I'm not really very musical. I'm also worried about not having time for HW. I'd really rather give up the piano lessons than have it affect my grades in school'? That type of thing? Just knowing that there is someone on their side will be a BIG comfort to them I'm sure.
that is the spookiest post ever ... one of the Dcs has had an almost identical conversation with her Mum recently (not piano, but otherwise almost exactly) but hasn';t been allowed to give up. So doesn't give their all. So get's shouted at... until the mother decides it can't possibly be her child's fault (who she has already chastised) and then looks for someone else to blame. I know, it sounds unreal, but that is the case.
Anyway, need to go to bed now. HOpefully I'll sleep better having had the chance to talk about it, thank you sowornout. Oh, just really noticed your name, you're obviously tired too, hope I haven't kept you up xd
LOL....I'm permanently worn out (got 5 DCs). Yep, I need to go to bed too - you've not kept me up, I'm an insomniac. Hope it's helped getting things off your chest. Sleep well .
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Just to echo what others have said... Don't underestimate how much help you can be just as an honorary auntie. Children can cope with all manner of horribleness as long as they've got someone, somewhere, who is sane and sympathetic.
thank you everyone, appreciate the advice. I'm quite concerned about the friend too, but don't suppose there is much I can do about that.
A friend of my mums tried to point out the ways in which my mothers behaviour was probably damaging my sister (was too late for me by that point).
My mum does not do criticism at all and dropped her friend like a brick.
Lo and behold my sister has grown up up to be a pita but her and my mum get on really well, apart from 'the occasional spat, so I guess it worked for them.
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