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to be shocked that my (childless) friend said this?

(145 Posts)
tjandpootle Tue 07-Dec-10 09:54:19

Last weekend I went to stay with an old friend and her DH (they don't have any kids - their choice). We took our 2 pre-school DCs, as did two other couples (also friends of ours).

None of the kids were especially naughty but they do come with a certain degree of chaos, mess and noise. My friend's DH literally followed the kids around with a hand-held hoover, tutting audibly all the time. At one point he ripped into my DS as he'd knocked a small bowl of crisps on the floor.

In the morning my friend made an audible dig about being woken up by screaming kids - my DD (not yet 1) woke up at 7am which is late for her and was just making normal chatty noises, not screaming.

When we went to leave, my friend said "The problem with the world today is that children have it too easy and we need another war to galvanise British spirit and teach them one or two things about survival."

I was shock and lost for words.

Does she have a point or am I right to be shock?

c0rns1lk Tue 07-Dec-10 09:55:01

no they are wankers

propercrimbo Tue 07-Dec-10 09:57:39

I agree with cornsilk... wankers

werewolf Tue 07-Dec-10 09:58:44

Just be glad they decided not to pass on their genes! wink

maktaitai Tue 07-Dec-10 09:59:21

Do you know, I did think I could be happy without kids, but when I was married to a man who didn't want them, I did find that I was turning into someone like this, and I couldn't bear it.

The thing is that deciding not to have kids is a bit of an issue - it's more unusual than not. So no doubt they will have rehearsed to each other the downsides of children, again and again, the noise, the mess, the early waking, the behaviour (and they're not actually wrong about any of those, are they - it's just spectacularly missing the point), so they were probably proving to each other how much they dislike having children around. What a horrible atmosphere for your dcs.

What she said was definitely gratuitously offensive and IMO perhaps she should read Testament of Youth if she hasn't read it already.

JamieLeeCurtis Tue 07-Dec-10 10:00:14

Aaaahahahahahaha !!!

Small children can undoubtedly be a bit annoying to those who don't have them, those who do, and those who did but are now past that stage, but that's just silly.

They should think themselves lucky about being woken at 7 on one occasion - mine used to wake at 5.30 ish in other people's houses (of course we did our very very best to keep them quiet)

nickytwotimes Tue 07-Dec-10 10:01:15

They are fuckwits.

2blessed2bstressed Tue 07-Dec-10 10:01:22

What exactly was their point? Were they proposing sending preschool children to the front line? hmm

BelovedCunt Tue 07-Dec-10 10:01:54

'need another war' what a fuckwit. buy her a years subscription tothe daily mail and do not cross her threshold again

JamieLeeCurtis Tue 07-Dec-10 10:02:44

maktaitai. Interesting point about the atmosphere that creates. Children definitely pick up on that stress and behave accordingly.

Limara Tue 07-Dec-10 10:02:48

A reaction to a stressful weekend for them. Just ignore what they said and let it go.

JamieLeeCurtis Tue 07-Dec-10 10:03:35

I wouldn't go and stay there again. It clearly is too much for them

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 07-Dec-10 10:04:35

Wow, I don't think I'd be hasty to visit again. Mind you, when I was single/childless, six preschool children would have been a bit of a shock. In some ways, I quite admire that they asked you!

magichomes Tue 07-Dec-10 10:05:07

Speaking as someone who has no kids either, your friends are being arses.

I love having kids to stay, and their noise and chaos is hideous (because I'm not used to it) but I accept it as the price I have to pay to spend time with otherwise delightful kids and with their parents.

The subtext of their behaviour is that they don't want you in their lives any more. I'm afraid I've done this (hopefully more subtly) to friends of mine too. Those 'friends' who talk incessantly of their birth experiences/nanny problems and don't chastise their child's constant interruptions/spilling of things on my sofa/playing with things that are clearly not toys have been airbrushed out of my life.

BelovedCunt Tue 07-Dec-10 10:05:18

having said that i don't really enjoy having small children to stay, i am mentally scared by the mother who decided to continue sleep training in my house - basically the baby roared all night

LaWeaselMys Tue 07-Dec-10 10:05:36

I do find the image of pre-school military training unreasonably hilarious.

magichomes Tue 07-Dec-10 10:06:19

That post was such bad English, no?

LunaticFringe Tue 07-Dec-10 10:10:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Elemental Tue 07-Dec-10 10:11:08

YANBU. I know just what you mean, I have been shocked that my mostly childless friends have been coming out with some judgy stuff (to be fair to them, they didn't mean it as criticism to me, but it got to me a bit). I mean, I think it's understandable for people to sniff if your child is causing havoc in a public place, or you're not being an attentive parent while they are causing disruption to others, but I have been surprised at the stuff it appears you can also be judged on!

A friend was telling me how it was ridiculous that a colleague of hers pandered to her daughter, the examples being that the girl wanted to wear 2 shirts one day and she let her, and also that she was upset about going to nursery (aged about 3 or 4) and the mother explained to her why she had to go. I was astounded that people could judge you harshly for either thing! I think she thinks that anything other than dictating to a child what they have to do, with no explanation or compromise, is being a weak parent.

Another friend saw my DS (his godson - well, we say odd-son, we had a naming ceremony rather than a christening) running around the living room playing with his toys like a normal 20 month old and declared that when he has children (can't imagine this ever happening) they will be brought up in a military fashion. He was half joking, but I was a bit put out that he thought being a lively toddler was a bad thing somehow. Would love to give him DS to look after for a week and see how far his ideas get him.

I have a refrain that plays in my head for these moments - "Oh, I am pleased to hear that everyone is raising their imaginary children so successfully".

Vallhala Tue 07-Dec-10 10:15:25

I can't imagine anything worse than having a bunch of other people's small children in my house (despite having my own, older, DDs). I'd feel all the irritations which your friends did.

But do you know what? I wouldn't have invited friends with children, so the situation wouldn't have occurred. I have no objection to the way your friends (though I take it they're former friends now!) feel, I wonder about the logic in inviting children to their home only to complain about it!

As for the war comment, that's just odd. Makes little sense and won't solve their problem.

tattycoram Tue 07-Dec-10 10:15:52

If they feel that way about children what on earth were they doing inviting three families with pre-school DCs? That would try my nerves and I've got two small children myself

tattycoram Tue 07-Dec-10 10:16:15

x post Vallhala!

AlpinePony Tue 07-Dec-10 10:17:53

YANBU about what she said - but, YABU to not remember how uncomplicated your lives were pre-children. The world does not revolve around your's.

GiddyPickle Tue 07-Dec-10 10:19:20

Everyone's imaginary children are impeccably behaved and grateful and obedient and clever and all parents of imaginary children know that any non-imaginary children who fail to meet these standards do so because of awful parenting that they themselves never indulge in with their imaginary offspring.

I am sure some of my childless friends think my (actually pretty well behaved children) are over indulged and annoying and messy. I am sure before I had my own kids I would have been horrified at how imperfect I am as a parent and at how much I let them get aaway with.

The war comment was a bit odd but I don't think its unusual for some childless couples to have impssibly high standards of what they deem good behaviour in children / good parenting in other adults.

Silver1 Tue 07-Dec-10 10:21:37

I agree six pre-schoolers in theuber chic minimalist home was probably all too much.

Perhaps she thought she was being funny, but she wasn't she was being rude about her guests, they had invited the children, they should have treated them as guests.

So YANBU-But maybe if she is a very good friend cut her some slack because she would have been overwhelmed by all of the children.

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