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To think this was insulting

(40 Posts)
swanandduck Sat 01-Jan-11 17:30:56

We were in a friend's house for lunch today. There was myself and dh and our kids, my friend (the hostess) who is single and has nochildren and another couple who have two kids. The wife of the other couple was talking about something that had happened to her in work years ago and how it had really upset her because she had no children at the time and 'your work is your life when you've no children isn't it?'. The hostess just asked if anyone wanted more rice and we changed the subject but I could see she was annoyed. She asked me afterwards if people see her like that, all work and no personal life because she didn't have children. (She is absolutely not like that). Do any other posters with children really think like that? I enjoyed my job but didn't let it take me over before I had kids and I still enjoy my job and don't let it take me over now. I reassured my friend but am angry that someone was so tactless in front of her when she'd gone to a lot of trouble to entertain us.

AMumInScotland Sat 01-Jan-11 17:35:07

Well, the hostess could have said something like "It wasn't to me - I've always had a balance of things in my life" couldn't she - I don't get why she felt so uncomfortable se just changed the subject. Chances are the one who said it was like that before she had children, and just assumed everyon was the same as her. I don't suppose she meant it as an insult.

stoppinchingthedummy Sat 01-Jan-11 17:35:20

well to be honest i dont see my childless friends as all work and no social life i get annoyed because they automatically never invite me anywhere because they "think i cant get a sitter for the children" hmm i think the lady who said that was a little tactless but would tell your friend to ignore her as you clearly think more of her than that.

scrappydappydoo Sat 01-Jan-11 17:37:25

Well yes it was a rude thing to say especially seeing as your friend was hosting.
However I would also say that it sounds like a foot in mouth moment to me unless it was said in a way that implied it was specifically about your friend.

swanandduck Sat 01-Jan-11 17:41:23

I agree scrappy that the other woman was just being tactless not bitchy. I think my friend just got a shock because she said to me afterwards 'do people reeeally see me like that' and she did look quite upset. I didn't have children until I was well into my thirties and I remember some comments on those lines and how awful they used to make me feel.

spidookly Sat 01-Jan-11 17:46:16

It wasn't insulting, it was just a simple assertion posed as a question.

You, or the host, could just have disagreed.

My work is still my life, and I have children. That's what I'd have said if I'd been there.

panettoinydog Sat 01-Jan-11 17:46:53

It wasn't insulting at all. The guest was chatting, shooting the breeze, and she voiced an opinion. Anyone, including you and the hostess, could quite easily have chipped in and expressed a different opinion in a perfectly polite way.

curlymama Sat 01-Jan-11 17:46:57

Why is it tactless, maybe that's just how she felt about her life before kids? The host had no reason to feel bad, she could have just said it wasn't like that for her. Unless the guest friend knew the host friend was ttc and having problems, I think your friend is being a little over sensitive. It may say more about how she feels about her own life, especially if she felt the need to bring it up with you afterwards.

swanandduck Sat 01-Jan-11 17:49:17

She didn't pose it as a question she said it as a statement and didn't look for any agreement from the rest of us. The fact that my friend just quickly changed the subject showed me she was upset so I didn't challenge what the woman had said, just let it go. If I'd had a chance I'd have just laughed and said 'God, I don't think I ever felt like that about work. You must have been very dedicated' or some such.

TrillianAstra Sat 01-Jan-11 17:50:43

Sounds as if she doesn't have much of a social life if she feels that life is either all about work or about your children (if you have them).

IAmReallyFabNow Sat 01-Jan-11 17:51:31

Maybe your friend changed the subject because she was hurt because she does want to have children.

swanandduck Sat 01-Jan-11 17:56:06

I think she would like children. she's brilliant with mine. I just thought it was a thoughtless remark, it the same way that I think it would be thoughtless for someone without children to say something like 'well, I suppose now you've got children, you've nothing else going on in your life'.

mumblecrumble Sat 01-Jan-11 18:06:47

God no! has soooo rude!

Very tactless. I'd also be offended on hearing the assumption that after having children my career mean less to me... if that makes sense.

Very insensitive.

panettoinydog Sat 01-Jan-11 18:09:49

People make thoughtless, throw-away comments all the time. Most chat is fairly inane. Disgreeing is good, it develops the chat, makes it more interesting.

Just chat back. I really don't see the problem with this.

Bunbaker Sat 01-Jan-11 18:14:12

Goodness, some people take offence far too easily. It sounds like it was a personal view not an assumption about people who don't have children. Before DD was born my work did take up most of my life. So, no, I don't think it was a tactless comment at all.

swanandduck Sat 01-Jan-11 18:15:22

I agree that disagreeing is good and develops chat but I suppose I felt this was a bit too far. If I was the only woman in the room with kids and a single person made a remark to the whole table on the lines that 'well, you know how when people have kids all they can talk about is nappies and stuff' I think I would be upset and feel the person was rude. Disagreeing about politics or who should have won the x factor or stuff is impersonal and I think there's a big difference myself.

BelligerentGhoul Sat 01-Jan-11 18:15:32

Not rude, not tactless - just an opinion. You or the hostess could have told her you disagreed with her opinion.

EmmaBemma Sat 01-Jan-11 18:18:20

She wasn't talking about the hostess' life though, she was talking about her own life and her own experiences, which she then made a more general comment about. As others have said, the hostess or you were both free to disagree with her if you'd wanted to.

Hullygully Sat 01-Jan-11 18:20:33

Some people don't have jobs or children, or even cats. What does that make them, then?

TheMonster Sat 01-Jan-11 18:24:18

My work was my life before I had DS. It's still edxtremely important to me but I don't get as much done at home as I used to. It's just the way things are.

TheMonster Sat 01-Jan-11 18:24:33

edxtremely? you know what I mean!

KurriKurri Sat 01-Jan-11 18:24:53

I think she was talking about how she felt, and it perhaps came across as a generalised comment. It wouldn't particularly bother me if someone said something general along those lines - I would just challenge it in a friendly manner.

I think the hostess was being a bit over sensitive, people in conversation sometimes express themselves a bit clumsily. No malicious intent I'm sure.

Laquitar Sat 01-Jan-11 19:03:52

I might have short memory but i thought shagging/shopping/travelling was 'my life' before dcs. grin Even when i was working very long hours i wouldn't say 'my work is my life' thats very sad. Even if you are not a mother you are a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, a Godmother... not just an employee.

I feel sorry for the lady who said it, i think it says more about her.

curlymama Sat 01-Jan-11 19:40:11

Or maybe that was just the type of job she had?

swanandduck Sat 01-Jan-11 20:35:33

Actually, I agree with Laquitar. It really is more of a reflection of the person who said it and I might pass that on to my friend. She seems to be very intense and whatever she's doing at the moment is all she is focussed on. Being a 'mum' seems to be what totally defines her at the moment so I presume her job totally defined her before and she will get involved in something else when her kids leave home and that will be a total absorption.

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