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To think being excluded from a social event because you have children is bloody rude....??

(41 Posts)
flootshoot Tue 09-Aug-11 16:08:45

Ok, so some background. DH and I are friends with two couples, we'll call them Ann & Bob and Cath & Dave. Dh went to school with all four of them (I am the interloper in our group!), he shares a hobby with Bob and Dave. Dave was both Dh's and Bob's best man, Bob was Dave's best man, you get the picture.

Ann and Bob have form for being a bit antisocial, rarely accepting event invitations, although Ann loves to host her own gatherings and gets miffed when people can't come even if it's short notice. They also don't particularly like children - fair enough. They wanted a child-free wedding. I intended to breastfeed DS and they said they would make an exception for him even though I was very clear that I was happy to stay away with him and that it was their choice etc. As it was, we ended up FF and I left DS with a babysitter to give them the childfree wedding they wanted. All of this was with no hostility, I had no problem leaving him. We have occasionally taken DS to gatherings at their place when we've had trouble getting a sitter but we have always, always asked first and made it clear that they were well within their rights to say no and that I would stay at home. On these occasions we have not stayed long. They have not acknowledged DD's existence since she was born 5 months ago, nor Cath and Dave's DD who is now 3 months. Dave was rather hurt by this as is it his first child and Bob is his oldest friend.

A few weeks ago it was Dave's birthday and they went to his party. Ann's birthday was two weeks later and they said they were planning a weekend in London. DH mentioned to me recently that he still has not seen Ann or Bob and hasn't been able to get a present to her. NB we are all turning 30 hence lots of big do's this year!

I had lunch with Cath today and she said that another mutual friend had told her Ann in fact did had a birthday party. Cath was very suprised and the mutual friend was horribly embarrassed and said he didn't know we were in the dark, he had assumed we were invited and didn't come. Cath then asked another friend X who said she had asked after us at the party and been told by Bob that he 'hadn't bothered to invite people with children'. I mean, WTF? DH and I have no problem leaving our children at home. Cath and Dave are equally happy to leave their DD with a grandparent and did this at Dave's party so Ann and Bob would have known this. I have no problem with them wanting a childfree party but to not invite two of his oldest, closest friends simply because they have children is just really mean and fucking rude in my book. Apparently several people mentioned our absence and X said she had told him she thought he was being very rude. I should point out that neither DH nor Dave are in the habit of rabbiting on about their kids and again Bob is aware of this. The invites also stated 'no children' so it's not like they were avoiding saying that by simply not inviting those who are parents.

I'm now in the position of having to tell DH about this. I can't not tell him and Ann and Bob must have known that it would get back to us as we have so many friends in common. DH is going to be gutted that this is how much his supposed best friend thinks of him. It appears they no longer want anything to do with us or Cath and Dave.

So anyway. I know I'm not really being unreasonable but am I wrong to think this is a deal breaker and it's time to give up on this friendship?

TheOriginalFAB Tue 09-Aug-11 16:11:59

It is your decision if it is a deal breaker but it seems that they really don't want the company of you at certain events as maybe it shows them to be rude to children?

pjmama Tue 09-Aug-11 16:13:43

Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me.

JosieRosie Tue 09-Aug-11 16:16:39

Well I'm childfree myself and would defend anyone's right to exclude children from their celebrations if they so choose. However, I think your friends have been very unfair and underhand about the whole thing. I can't stand this kind of passive-agressive nonsense. It's particulary unreasonable since you seem to have been totally fine with their childfree requests in the past. So YANBU. What a horrible situation sad

jesuswhatnext Tue 09-Aug-11 16:18:44

im inclined to think that when a friendship becomes this complicated then its over! - move on and find better friends!

Awomancalledhorse Tue 09-Aug-11 16:20:46

Give up on her...and resist talking to her once she has children and needs advice!!

She sounds awful.

hatwoman Tue 09-Aug-11 16:20:53

you don't need it to be a deal-breaker type situation. friendships aren;t limited to two settings - on or off. There are many many shades of grey inbetween. Clearly these two have been hurtful and inconsiderate and because of their actions, your friendhsip will drift closer to "off" iyswim. don't give it much thought. don't go out of your to exclude them, but don't go out of your way to include them either. that type of behaviour really does hurt but you need to rise above it with grace

moomaa Tue 09-Aug-11 16:22:06

Hmmm. Having kids can change people a lot and maybe they just want to expand their social circle to people who have lives more like theirs?

Maybe they are TTC and having issues?

I wouldn't think of this as a deal breaker, it's one party, not ignoring you for months on end.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 09-Aug-11 16:22:10

I think it's time to call it a day. They have made it very clear that they don't value your friendship.

I found when I had my first baby, that I lost some friends. I was among the first of our group to have children and, like you, was very careful not to be a baby bore. My mum was always happy to babysit, so I could see people in pubs etc. I think maybe some people are just not happy to categorise themselves as part of a group which contains parents. It reminds them that they are not teenagers anymore. And as much as i showed an interest in my friends lives, I'm sure it was obvious that my priorities had totally changed. My child was the centre of my world and I wasn't going to pretend to be exactly the same as i was before he was born.

People change, and move on. Not all friendships are meant to last forever, and knowing someone for a long time doesn't guarantee that they will be a good friend to you when you need them or all the days of your life.

Cut these ones loose.

Birdsgottafly Tue 09-Aug-11 16:22:18

Have they got fertility issues that they feel they cannot share?
It seems a bit far to go just because they don't want DC's around, bordering on having issues.

catpark Tue 09-Aug-11 16:23:27

Does this couple have children ? Maybe they are having problems getting pregnant and they find it hard seeing people who have children, even if you don't bring them as you may start talking about them ? It could be this.

ClaireDeLoon Tue 09-Aug-11 16:25:11

Was going to just what catpark did.

Trifle Tue 09-Aug-11 16:33:30

You say you have no problem leaving your children at home but you do. You have mentioned about having to bring the baby when you couldnt get a sitter and, to be honest, if I'd planned a party and you popped in briefly with the baby due to sitter issues, you're presence is fairly pointless. You've also got them slightly over a barrel by accepting an invite then announcing that you'll have to bring the baby. I take it they didnt refuse.

You didnt FF purely to give them the child free wedding you wanted.

You all sound very young and children just dont appear on their radar. Other people's children are not remotely interesting and clearly they are still at the stage whereby they prefer adult company, not the whole package that comes with their friends.

You have the attitude that you all come as a package but there is a time and place for family gatherings and you'll just have to accept that it wont be at their place.

flootshoot Tue 09-Aug-11 16:38:35

I don't know if there are fertility issues but TBH it seems unlikely as they have always said they don't want children. I think what makes me cross is that this is probably the tip of the iceberg and I suspect there have been other events we've been excluded from and this is the first that has been so blatant. I don't care so much but I know DH is going to be upset.

It's a shame as the whole group has always been really quite tight and it seems like that has been a pretence for them. I would rather they just be honest if they don't want to see us. Bob has always been a very blunt person and we like him for it IYSWIM - he knows that DH would have no problem with his saying outright 'I'm having a party and you can't bring your kids or even mention them!'

sigh.

diddl Tue 09-Aug-11 16:39:03

Maybe it was just an excuse & she wanted her friends as opposed to her husband´s or theirs?

Or gets fed up with people dropping out/bringing children due to sitter problems.

flootshoot Tue 09-Aug-11 16:46:59

Trifle I think you've misunderstood my post.....

I've stated that we have no problem leaving the kids behind. We have no problem not even mentioning them while we're with childfree friends. We have never accepted an invitation and said we'd have to bring the baby. On the ocassions that we'd struggled to get a sitter we've simply said that DH will be going and I'll stay at home but they've always said to bring DS along. We've never 'had them over a barrel and would never dream of guilttripping them into accepting DS at an event he was not invited to. Believe me I know my kids are not as charming to others as they are to me. I have never stated we come as a package.

RE: the wedding - when the invites went out and stated childfree I was pregnant at the time. I mentioned that DS would be BF and I was happy to stay away and did not want them to think I would be remotely offended by his exclusion. They then said they would make an exception for him. As it turned out he was FF - I was therefore able to leave him and did so despite them saying he could come, thereby giving them the childfree wedding when they were expecting a baby there.

The point is despite all this they seem determined to drop us, and now Cath and Dave too despite them having precisely the same attitude of us.

I know this all sounds very school-yardy, but it's a real kick in the gut from a couple I considered to be very good friends.

InstantAtom Tue 09-Aug-11 16:55:38

You need to have it out with them. It's the only way you'll find out what is behind this, and at this stage what do you have to lose?

redskyatnight Tue 09-Aug-11 16:56:01

Since I've had children I have lost contact with all of my friends who do not have children themselves (and are not likely to). This is not particularly out of any malice on either side but simply that our lives are going in different directions, our priorities have changed and we struggle to find the bits in common that we originally based our friendship on.

Sounds to me that Ann and Bob have decided that now they have less in common with their friends with children, they are slowly going to let the friendship "lapse".

ClaireDeLoon Tue 09-Aug-11 17:03:57

Flootshoot I think in the end you just have to accept that this has happened. From everything you have said it sounds like it is their problem, not that any of those excluded have caused a problem. Perhaps they think that as you and the other excluded couple are both now parents that all the four of you will do is talk babies? Even though you won't they may think it.

Hard as it is maybe it is time to just say 'oh well' and move on. You've tried but you can't force the issue. Or as Instant says you could confront them, personally I'm a wuss so would never do that.

It's perfectly possible for parents and non parents to have really good friendships, I don't have children yet one of my closest friends does and it's really not an issue. It just seems it is an issue to this couple.

flootshoot Tue 09-Aug-11 17:08:11

I think you're right instantatom.

It's hard to explain but it's a small group that gets together quite regularly and our absence and that of Cath and Dave's was apparently very noticeable hence people commenting on it.

The friendship between the guys was based on a hobby which they all still share and so they haven't changed interests IYSWIM.

What annoys me most is that DH specifically asked if they were planning anything for Ann's birthday as he has a present for her and Bob must have lied through his teeth. And as I said above, I suspect it's not the first time. Can't be doing with underhand shite it's hurtful and bloody childish.

superv1xen Tue 09-Aug-11 17:12:33

they are twats

move on. they are not your friends.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 09-Aug-11 17:16:24

Maybe they say they don't want children because they know they can't have them and it is hard for them.

Just ask.

I thought I had upset a friend and sent a text. Turns out she was just busy. I could have fumed about that for no reason...

PicaK Tue 09-Aug-11 17:17:13

I would give the infertile explanation a bit more time and understanding. It can really Fuck you up - and I spent the first 3-4 years saying I didn't want to have kids and pulling a face and refusing to hold people's babies, cos I couldn't trust myself to not break down and give the baby back.

It seems v plausible that they didn't want to have to think about kids - time after time they've changed their plans to include your kids. And just once they don't want to go thru all the possible conversations about this. They obviously don't like saying no.

The person who said friendships are not black and white is dead right. Be generous.

flootshoot Tue 09-Aug-11 17:17:46

Yup, That's what we'll do. Sad for DH though it's his oldest friend and he's going to be upset, he's a sensitive soul about this sort of stuff. I'm a hard nosed cow grin

diddl Tue 09-Aug-11 17:18:13

If he/they lied, that is horrible, but maybe they just don´t want to keep seeing the same folks over & over.

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