to not know how to deal with this situation(15 Posts)
Obviously a throwaway account and am limiting some details just in case.
There is a member of DH's family who had her DC close to ours. We've rarely seen any of their family a lot, maybe 4 or 5 times a year, but when DCs were born there was the bit of fuss you'd expect about them being friends, etc. The family member, who I will call Sarah, did say herself both during our pregnancys and after when we texted that she'd love to meet up and do things together. Neither of us had any other pregnant friends so I was really excited- thought it would be lovely to have someone in the same boat and also give me a chance to get to know her as previously we'd not spoken much.
Few months go by and every time we had a conversation, it was me messaging to ask how she was getting on. Fine, I know babies are hard work, I'm obviously more glued to my phone. But it turned out to be the same with doing anything. I made so much effort to get out there and go to groups as soon as my DC was old enough. I never pressured her but did invite her a couple of times. I either never got a reply, but she'd read my message, or she wouldn't go. That's ok too, I went by myself and have made some really good friends.
We did go to one group which I thought went well, and afterwards I tried to make arrangements to do something else one day the following week. Messaged her a few days later, she reads but doesn't reply. I just give up. Find out the next week that on the day I tried to arrange she had other family members round.
I get that she might just not want to see me, I'm obviously not going to be everyone's cup of tea. But it's hurtful? Especially that she can't even decline with grace but just ignores my messages (but manages to message other family members in the same space of time). Having a baby is busy yes, but just doesn't sit with me after months. Especially too, that she's not even my family member, and it makes me feel awkward.
Which brings me to my problem, that they are around for Christmas. What do I do? To be honest I want to just make minimal conversation and focus on other people who obviously do want to talk to me, but I don't want to be spiteful or bitter. Do I buy her DC a present? Obviously arranging more meet-ups is out of the question, but how can I handle this without feeling shunted.
Very petty I know, but I have bad anxiety as it is and have suffered rejection a lot. On top of a terribly difficult year I just need a bit of social advice really.
If you can give the child a gift with good grace, do it. If you want her to know you are cross with her and need to make sure she knows, don't buy one.
It's hurtful but not everyone will like everyone and sometimes people just have enough friends.
Don't take it to heart.
4-5 times a year is quite a lot, I'm close to my sister and I see her about that, usually less. Gift buying- talk to her and ask her what she wants to do, gifts/ no gifts. Don't do "minimal conversation" on purpose. You see her quite a lot and the kids will know each other quit well at this rate.
Could she be struggling? Maybe she has PND? If I were you I'd wait to see how she is at Christmas. Spending time with her might answer your questions.
Sorry, I should clarify with how much we see them. 4-5 times a year is things like Christmas, significant birthdays, the odd Sunday lunch. This year we've only seen Sarah and her DH twice, I've seen Sarah the once on her own. DH has never met Sarah's DC as he last saw them when we were both pregnant. So the DC's aren't close at all.
You are right, I don't want to make a fuss and drama. I suppose it's hurt feelings and a bit of pride. I feel hurt for my DC too.
I would keep the moral high ground and buy the children presents. Don't take Sarah to task. Keep the conversation light and if she mentions meeting up say something like, 'why don't you ring me when you've got something in mind?'. Then the ball's in her court and you have kept the door open. If she chooses not to make contact then that's hardly your fault.
There are some people who say things because they feel it was is expected of them and they don't actually mean it. They end up hurting genuine people who keep their word.
would you normally buy these people presents? if its a thing then yes buy for the dc as you would for others, if not then no don't bother. seems like for whatever reason she just does not want to make the effort so be low key but friendly and don't instigate any more get togethers. Dc will have plenty of other friends... you too.
She should at least respond to your texts out of common courtesy and the fact that you have an immediate family connection. Definitely still buy presents for her children, your issue is not with them. How disrespectful to ignore texts when she knows she's being hosted in your home over Christmas...hardly a time to spend with people who you feel ignored by...she should feel very embarrassed.
Rise above it and, as you say, focus on talking to those who are worth investing your time in. It will do this lady absolutely no harm to feel a bit of a cold shoulder from you or, at least, no gushing showers of attention. Any suggestions of meeting up just say 'Absolutely, just let me know nearer the time.' and be totally non-committal.
I'd say you're over thinking the whole thing. She probably has her own life and friends. Stop messaging her if it's bothering you, maybe she's trying to let you down gently or maybe she's not interested in baby groups (are you always inviting her to groups)?
I don't think you should buy the baby a present. You don't seem close.
I just saw you said you feel hurt for your dc? Stop taking this so personally you'll pass it on to your child.
I think she's actually downright rude, not even replying. Fuck her. Be civil, buy the baby a gift and stop messaging her, leave her to it.
I'm in this situation with both my SILs - they are perfectly pleasant but we are only connected through the DHs - three brothers so we are all 'married in'
I treat them like I treat colleagues from different offices at work - we have a minor thing in common and will make chit-chat and it's nice to see them once in a while but they have their friends and I have mine. I wouldn't be friends with either of them if we had met any other way... that sounds bitchy but it's not meant to. We have different tastes, different styles and there are age differences as well which means we just don't have that much in common. Obviously they are much closer with their own families.
I think the not replying is very rude, no-one is too busy to send a text that takes a few seconds. But maybe she feels it's too much, like when you went to the group together and straight away after you're trying to organise something else. She maybe felt like she'd ticked that off on her to do list for a while. Also she probably got caught in the excitement of having babies together, but never really wanted to meet up a lot. You say you're upset for DC but aren't they babies? They won't have a clue! I'm not sure about a present, I'm edging towards not buying as kids won't be bothered and she was rude with not replying...
I'd just stop asking her to do anything. I'd still buy the DCs gifts.
Is there anyone you could ask about how she's been? She might have had or has PND. When I had it, anything outside the home got jettisoned. I literally couldn't do anything except look after the dcs and the home. Didn't go out, see friends, go to baby groups, answer the door or phone... I possibly didn't even reply to texts, I can't remember, I haven't got a full memory of those years. Just saying be kind or at least don't be unkind. She may have been absolutely intending to meet up loads and just couldn't when it came to it. Don't take it personally is what I'm saying because I doubt it was personal. I'd buy the baby a gift, if you can afford it comfortably.
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