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To feel that my friend is only friends with me because I feed her children

(172 Posts)
MadHenLady Thu 02-Jul-15 11:26:03

My friend, B has three children. Her youngest is the same age as my DD. We've been friends since they were babies.

We used to do lots of things- days out with the children etc- but as they are all school age now, for the last year or so it's been easier to meet at each other's houses.

Well-my house, actually. I have a big garden, B has none, and as my DD is an only, it's just easier to have them around here. The same goes for other friends and their children. I like having company, and I hope people are always made to feel welcome in my home. B and her children come around once every week or so, on a Saturday, the children play, and then we all walk to the leisure centre, where the children all do the same hobby, which starts at 3pm

The problem is this. A few months ago, I lost my job. Luckily I have a new one starting in the Autumn, but things have been very tight on DH's salary alone.

B tends to arrive about 11am. So they are here over lunchtime.. Her children are quite fussy, and will only eat certain things for lunch- ham sandwiches, potato waffles, beans and toast. I buy all these, along with some fresh fruit and juice etc. We are vegetarian and don't eat much bread, so these are things I generally have to buy in specifically.

Anyway, the cost mounts up a bit. So now that we're bloody skint, I'm naturally trying to cut back. Due to a financial fuck up last week, I had about five pounds to last me from Friday to Monday, and I didn't have much food in the house. I just wasn't able to deal with a big lunch for 4 kids. Also, I'm tired, stressed and miserable and I just want to hide. I asked B to come around at 2,instead of 11, thinking that a quick coffee would be nice before we go to the children's class.

B came round, I made coffee, she kept pulling a sort of funny face. Her eldest says 'What's for lunch? I'm STARVING". B says ''yes we'd better get something quickly before class starts''

I said ''oh I would have thought you'd already had lunch. I had nothing in the house this week etc etc"

B started getting stroppy, saying that if she had known, then she would have fed them already, she'd have to take the kids to McDonalds before the class, they were starving, they couldn't be expected to do the class on an empty stomach etc etc.

I just felt this was really rude. I know they eat here often, but surely if you are asked somewhere at 2pm you would eat something beforehand.

There are other things too, now I look back. lots of times when I keep her kids so she can go to appointments etc, she has never returned the favour to me. She had a really rocky time in her marriage for a while, so I was trying to support her, but things are fine now. Tbh I feel like I would like a bit of support now too

seaoflove Thu 02-Jul-15 11:30:14

Of course it's bloody rude. You invited them at 2pm, which is after lunchtime (especially for children). She purposefully didn't give them any lunch because she STILL expected you to feed them.

You've been too generous for too long OP. Call me mean, but I'd be reluctant to feed four extra people every week with no reciprocation.

tictactoad Thu 02-Jul-15 11:31:36

She is a user.

Start being less accommodating and see if she sticks round. If she genuinely likes you she will, if she doesn't and scoots you're well rid.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Thu 02-Jul-15 11:31:38

YANBU. 2pm meet up is definitely after lunch, especially as you had to be somewhere at 3pm.

She sounds incredibly rude and selfish. It's hard, as the kids are friends, but you need to say something about sharing the food costs. Hopefully she'll be reasonable..

CarolPeletier Thu 02-Jul-15 11:31:41

Have you explained to B that money is right and you are struggling?
I agree that I would have assumed an invite at 2pm is not a lunch invite, but were you explicit in saying just come for a coffee before class? It could be a misunderstanding, but she shouldn't have been huffy with you.
I think I would drop doing the whole lunch thing for a while and see how she reacts? That, or now the nice weather is here suggest a picnic in the park before lunch where everyone caters for their own family.

CocktailQueen Thu 02-Jul-15 11:32:46

She is bloody rude. I'm not surprised you feel that way.

If I was invited somewhere at 2 for an activity at 3 I wold have lunch beforehand - but then I'd be fairer about bringing lunch to my friend's every other week etc and not let it get to this stage. She's using your good nature and taking advantage.

Did you explain the money issue? what did she say? Has she been in touch since?

CarolPeletier Thu 02-Jul-15 11:32:50


PaperdollCartoon Thu 02-Jul-15 11:33:41

YANBU, she definitely should have fed them first if coming round that much later. Does she know about your money concerns and the fact you're buying these things in specially?

Goshthatsspicy Thu 02-Jul-15 11:34:27

This cow bag has been using you. There really isn't much more to say. It is as obvious as the nose on my face.
I'm sorry. I don't know where you go from here? It isn't easy, but they need to stop. Good luck with it.

purplemurple1 Thu 02-Jul-15 11:38:16

Why not just tell her you don't have the money to feed them and could they either bring a picnic for themselves or can you take it in turns to feed everyone.

Hard to know if she is rude on purpose or just hasn't thought about it unto you actually say something to her.

MadHenLady Thu 02-Jul-15 11:38:52

It probably is partly my fault, because I sort of assumed it would be obvious. She knows how skint we are, I've had conversations with her about how we aren't going to be going on many days out this year, we'll be taking sandwiches rather than buying lunch etc etc. Though now I wonder how much of that she actually listened to.

It has taken me until now to realise, but I don't think she really listens to other people. When she was having marriage problems, of course it was natural that she would talk and I would listen and be supportive. But now I have problems that I am desperately worried about (not just the job, other things that I won't go into, but it never rains but it pours) and I just assumed she would reciprocate. But she hasn't. And now this. I mean, even if she had expected lunch, the stroppiness was unbelievable. Ranting on about McDonald's

seaoflove Thu 02-Jul-15 11:41:34

The fact she was so angry speaks volumes! Who in their right mind would strop on at a friend like that? Only an entitled cowbag who doesn't give a shit about you or your problems. You are just a free lunch to her.

MadHenLady Thu 02-Jul-15 11:41:57

I think she thinks that she contributes to the lunch because she sometimes brings jaffa cakes for the children. I realise I should have been more clear with her about not having lunch. She probably has started to expect it. I was just astounded at how rude and angry she was about it

InNeedOfANap Thu 02-Jul-15 11:42:36

YANBU she is using you but your going to really struggle to set this straight if your not firm she'll just continue to expect it. I wouldn't be surprised if she starts to withdraw from your once she realises your not her mug anymore

FernGullysWoollyPully Thu 02-Jul-15 11:43:29

I have a 'friend' like this.

I help her out if she needs a babysitter. But she always leaves her child with me for a lot longer than I always anticipate. For instance, she'll say that's she's going to be an hour and will be 6. She asks me to have him overnight but it's not say 7pm until 9/10am. She won't pick him up until the following afternoon. He is really fussy too and always costs me a fortune. Once, we were babysitting and our dc had a takeaway pizza. He was asked what he wanted and chose. He took one single bite then refused to eat the rest, when my back was turned he threw it in the bin.

Sorry to go on but it kind of opens up a can of worms!! I consider myself to be a thoughtful and generous person who's willing to help people out but I've realised and no longer have friends child.

I think you need to be firm op and not allow her to take the mick anymore. It's rude and she shouldn't have this expectation. Especially because she's aware of your current situation.

Mitzimaybe Thu 02-Jul-15 11:44:22

From her perspective, as they always come for lunch and you just said to come later (not explicitly "for a coffee, not lunch") then she might have thought you still intended to feed them, then when you didn't, she became flustered and panicking about how to feed them before the activity. She's not a mind reader.

Alternatively, she may just be a user. I'd be inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt this once. Explain that money is tight and ask if she can bring lunch for all of you next week (and perhaps alternate weeks thereafter if you could afford to do every fortnight?) Her response might tell you all you need to know.

Mitzimaybe Thu 02-Jul-15 11:46:45

Only just seen your latest updates, OP. It does sound like she's a user. Still think you could suggest she bring lunch for all of you next week and see how she takes it.

ActiviaYoghurt Thu 02-Jul-15 11:46:49

She has obviously gotten used to having lunch round at yours, its now part of the routine in her mind, she seems thick skinned so hints won't work.

You don't need this resentment to build, its obviously upsetting you. Would you miss them if they didn't come around weekly, prior to the leisure centre thing? if so then say something along the lines of you are broke due to employment status, so could her kids eat what you are eating or she needs to bring some food along?

If she is a good friend the she should realise that she has been taking the piss, however If you want to end this arrangement then just be busy out of the house every week and drop your DD to leisure centre directly.

ActiviaYoghurt Thu 02-Jul-15 11:51:37

I like the idea of the picnic suggestion too, especially if weather good in coming weeks.

BastardGoDarkly Thu 02-Jul-15 11:53:13

My friend regularly comes over with her 3 kids (I've got 2) and I go to hers, from morning until late afternoon often. But we always bring the kids a lunchbox each! Who can afford to regularly feed 4 other people? Does she eat too?

She's taking the piss, you need to have a conversation if you want to continue the friendship (I wouldn't be bothered Thu)

Iflyaway Thu 02-Jul-15 11:55:09

Why would you have to be more clear to her that coming at 2 with a class starting at 3 there would be no lunch....

It's obvious to me.

Not only is she rude and disrespectful of you, she is actually not even feeding her own kids on time!!
Also, very insensitive when she knows you're out of work.

You sound lovely and kind. And givers, like you and me, need to "woman" up or people will walk all over you.... Yep, got that t-shirt too. hmm

MadHenLady Thu 02-Jul-15 11:56:43

Yes, she eats too.

She is really pissed off with me. She didn't even look at me at the children's class, and I haven't heard from her since.

I think I'll send her a text- something along the lines of ''sorry about the confusion over lunch, as you know we are struggling at the minute and I had nothing suitable in the house. Will probably have to put lunch on hold until things get better''

How about that? I'm not sure what i want to do, depends what her reply is

QuintShhhhhh Thu 02-Jul-15 12:00:53

Not sure why you asked her to come your house if you were not going to eat together? Could you not have met at the venue?

''sorry about the confusion over lunch, as you know we are struggling at the minute and I had nothing suitable in the house. Will probably have to put lunch on hold until things get better''

How about:

''sorry about the confusion over lunch, as you know we are struggling at the minute and I cant afford to feed 5 extra people now I have lost my job, I thought you would realize, and I felt too embarrassed to spell it out. ''

Leave the ball in her court. If she is a friend she will be mortified at her behaviour. If she is a "taker" you wont hear from her until you are working again, but then at least you will know!

seaoflove Thu 02-Jul-15 12:03:24

Don't apologise! If you apologise, you're admitting you did wrong, which you most certainly didn't.

As Iflyaway pointed out, with only an hour between meeting and going to the leisure centre, it would be obvious to anyone with half a brain that lunch wasn't going to feature. The fact you deviated from your usual routine should have made it obvious that lunch wasn't going to feature.

She has been astonishingly rude to you - not just by getting in a strop but blanking you and refusing to speak to you hmm All over the lack of a free lunch!

I would wait for her to get in touch. It will speak VOLUMES about the kind of friend she is...

LegoComplex Thu 02-Jul-15 12:05:14

oh dear op yanbu time to speak to her calmly about the situation.

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