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Is this just normal behaviour?? Friend with toddler

(102 Posts)
OhPls Mon 30-Oct-17 09:09:01

Nc here. Let me start by saying I am 5 years into TTC, 6 IVF's down the line. I am hanging over the edge of a cliff. I wish people understood how gut wrenching this experience is, I can barely breathe let alone continue with life. But we do, somehow.

Post concerns friends of about 15 years. Kind people, and we've kind of grown up together in the sense that we lived together in the past and clocked up lots of memories. I would say they're perhaps not the most empathetic people I know but by no means am I saying that they've ever done anything to deliberately cause upset.

I'm so sensitive at the moment and feel like I am actually covered in raw unexposed nerve endings at the moment and for the first time in my life feel like I have no real trust in whether I am able to fairly judge behaviour. I am usually extremely well balanced.

We don't see these friends too often mainly because of time but mainly because I am increasingly unable to muster the energy or strength to pretend I'm a 'normal' person who likes socialising. I invited friends' and their nearly 2 year old round on Thursday for lunch and to spend the day. Left it open ended so they could leave when they wanted. Made a big effort to think about allowances for their son (moved all breakables, bought sticker books and crayons for him to play with with, made a different meal for him, etc etc). I know this is the least I should do but what I mean is that I understand that kids are kids.

Anyway, friends arrived and stayed 9 hours. During this time we spoke only of the kid as they told us every second of his life, all the "you know you're a mum when..!!!" Kind of crap which just grinds my gears. Their son was allowed to touch everything in my house and walk around with his shoes on after being in the garden which was muddy. The noise was ear splitting with all the singing along to kids music (why is the music so depressing??????) which was played on my stereo. I made references to our infertility as a tongue in cheek joke but it was laughed off as if I were joking. Honestly I cannot explain how utterly exhausting it was watching their family show.

I have been increasingly annoyed by this since but I'm not sure why. Part of me thinks in their position I would be sensitive to the fact that my constant baby talk and basically making my friends watch me talk in baby voices to my toddler for 9 hours isn't that interesting? I think I am U but it was so bloody painful and it just went on and on. My q is this: is it normal to expect a visit from friends with a toddler for them to ONLY talk about the toddler????

OhPls Mon 30-Oct-17 09:10:30

God I sound like a cow. I know I'm unreasonable but I woke up in tears on Friday morning and it set me back so much emotionally as it was so bloody traumatic to be sat in my own home watching someone else's family act as though I wasn't even there.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Mon 30-Oct-17 09:11:44

No. YANBU, not in the slightest. They are rude, and I don't think they are even really your friends.

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Mon 30-Oct-17 09:14:23

YANBU. I think they were cruel!

Digestive28 Mon 30-Oct-17 09:14:51

It's not normal but similarly I wonder if you only made a joke about our situation they would have not known to be sensitive and ask you about it. You are on a knife edge and they were making small talk which inevitably ended up about kids. Maybe honesty with them and your struggles may help the friendship. I can't imagine what you are going through and if I was your friend I would want to know and support you...but you would need to let me know what was going on

800msprint Mon 30-Oct-17 09:15:37

They sound awful OP. I have kids but am well aware that people don't want to talk about other people's kids all day (nor do I actually). Let alone be so rude as to stay that length of time and be inconsiderate to you and your home. I cannot fathom why some people are just so thick? Have you talked to her about how you are feeling about ivf? Maybe she's not that sort of friend. I would distance myself from her for a while, try to console yourself somehow - bath etc - be kind to yourself. Are there any support groups you can contact as well or a more supportive friend or family member you can talk to? Xx

Josieannathe2nd Mon 30-Oct-17 09:15:57

They just sound rude! Especislly kids songs and muddy shoes yuck. But other peopl don't know what's best for you right now. So as you'd invited the, during the day with their toddler then the day is going to be fairly toddler focussed. If you still want to see friends who are a bit too OTT about their kids how about seeing them in the evening? We struggle to get babysitters so friends coming round is lovely.
So, no I don think you are being oversensitive but I also think you can choose how and when you other people's kids.

carnivalisover Mon 30-Oct-17 09:17:02

Well, probably.

The were insensitive but with no ill intent: their child rearing totally consumes them in the same way as your infertility consumes you.

And perhaps you are doing too good a job in hiding your distress - you said your comment on your situation was ‘tongue in cheek’ yet you were upset when they took it in the same vein.

I am very sorry about your situation and hope that things work out how you want them to, very soon.

RavingRoo Mon 30-Oct-17 09:17:12

They aren’t friends, clearly. Nobody should need to be told that an infertile person is struggling to behave considerately. They should be able to empathise. Don’t have these idiots back again.

WoodenCat Mon 30-Oct-17 09:17:58

YANBU, that does sound painful in more than one way. 2 yr olds are very difficult to socialise with, for parents, as they are so bloody demanding, want your attention all the time and make it hard to sustain any sort of conversation for more than a minute. So it was never going to be an easy day for you. However they should have stayed a shorter amount of time and a bit of self awareness from friends wouldn't go amiss. They sound really insensitive talking about the "being a mum" bit. They could have asked about you and how you are.

But tbh if someone has a toddler in tow you don't get much sense out of them. I don't think I was a very interesting person whilst my dc were that age. I wouldn't make an effort to see them for a while and hopefully things will be better when their kid is eighteen a bit older.

HundredsAndThousandsOfThem Mon 30-Oct-17 09:18:47

YANBU. I have friends who I suspect are going through fertility problems (they must be less far into the process than you) and I wouldn't dream of acting like that around them. I wouldn't even behave like that around friends who had no fertility problems to be honest. They sound incredibly self absorbed.

Allthewaves Mon 30-Oct-17 09:19:13

Some people just become all encompassed in their children. It's not right or wrong but very hard to deal with.

Do they know your still trying?

Nomad86 Mon 30-Oct-17 09:22:40

I don't think you're being unreasonable. Does your friend know about your fertility problems? I'm the only one of my group of friends to have kids so when we meet up, I make a point of not going on about them (I'm a sahm so I don't have much else to talk about). Partly because I'm sure it's boring for them to hear, but mostly because any one of them could be struggling with TTC, miscarriages etc, you just don't know what people are going through. Me banging on about toddler tantrums and sleepless nights could be heartbreaking for someone else to sit and smile through. I think the fact you invited her over and made such an effort to accommodate her child was a really lovely thing to do, given how you're feeling.

Could you make her aware of the situation and how sensitive you're feeling? Explain that while you adore her child, you're going through some pretty gruelling fertility treatment and you'd appreciate it if you could keep the conversation away from kids for a while.

Battleax Mon 30-Oct-17 09:22:49

They sound a bit inconsiderate, by which I mean generally inconsiderate. You don't let toddlers run rampant in other people's houses.I would never have done a nine hour visit when mine were that age precisely because you need to keep them contained for other people's sake and that's exhausting.

Ditto their choice to talk only about their child. Which is always boring and comes across as self absorbed.

But this;

I made references to our infertility as a tongue in cheek joke but it was laughed off as if I were joking.

was a misjudgment on your part, really. If you joke about things, people will take it as such.

You need better strategies for protecting yourself flowers

uptheclydeinabananaboat Mon 30-Oct-17 09:24:21

Ah I think they're probably being unwittingly insensitive.

Also, 9 hours!!?? My three year old would've climbed the walls if I'd kept him at a lunch event for that amount of time.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 30-Oct-17 09:25:14

Sounds like you went out of your way to make them comfortable, they picked up on that and perhaps made themselves a bit too comfortable.

I would never dream of staying anywhere for 9 hours with a toddler (didn't it need a nap?) but the rest of it sounds pretty normal to me.

Toddlers are messy and ear-splittingly noisy. They also take a lot of attention. Maybe your friend only talks about her toddler because at this stage in her life she has nothing else to talk about. You made them so welcome, perhaps she thinks you really adore her child too.

You are going through a really hard time but these people don't sound at all malicious to me. Maybe don't see them for a while, but try not to stew on it.

LolaTheDarkerdestroyer Mon 30-Oct-17 09:25:46

They were rude and insensitive. 9 hours of kids music is torture for anyone as well! I wouldn’t invite them round again.

Penhacked Mon 30-Oct-17 09:28:38

It is so bloody hard to entertain a toddler in an unfamiliar house and have adult conversation. Either you have the adult conversation and the DC goes on a rampage or starts pulling at you, or it is child centref and very painful (and dull) for the adult without kids. The sensitive thing for them to do was make the visit short and sweet and attempt adult conversation, but I suspect they were enjoying your company and didn't realise how painful it all is for you. I'm very sorry for what you are having to go through, really hope IVF works for you this next time round.

brasty Mon 30-Oct-17 09:28:48

They sound self obsessed. I am not infertile but would not have been happy with that.

Babybrainx2 Mon 30-Oct-17 09:28:56

Do they work or have any hobbies? It could just be that they don't have anything else to talk about and as you kindly extended the invite to their child, they assumed you were comfortable around children. My youngest is 18 months old and I'm only just starting to get to a point where I have other things going on in my life. I'm quite conscious of the fact that I'm pretty boring at the minute and no one cares about my child's potty training or sleep patterns, but that's what my life revolves around!

I am very sorry that you are struggling. Have you made this clear to them? Hopefully they just aren't aware, rather than being inconsiderate.

SheffieldStealer Mon 30-Oct-17 09:30:43

YANBU but maybe it was a mistake to 'leave it open-ended'. You would have been completely within the bounds of politeness to limit their visit under totally standard Host Regulations - when I invite friends with small kids over, they themselves usually limit their visit to the outer reaches of the child's attention span, even it means staying for what would have been considered a cursory visit by pre-child standards.

Agree with those saying, protect yourself. Good friends will try to meet you halfway, if you're honest about how you're feeling.

Ttbb Mon 30-Oct-17 09:30:54

Obviously good parents don't let their children touch everything and anything or to trail mud through other people's houses. But if you invite friends over with their children you should expect the day to revolve around their children.

Cornettoninja Mon 30-Oct-17 09:31:33


You're doing better at masking it than I ever did so kudos to you for that. I basically ended up limiting contact with seeing people and their kids because it stirred up feelings in me that made me dislike myself on top of the frustration at myself for just not having a body that would do what it was supposed to do.

We got lucky so I have a little perspective from both sides now and I honestly think it's mixed.

The pain in your post is palpable to me and I honestly don't think putting on a brace face and joking about it is doing you any favours. Some people with fertility issues embrace other children so they might think you fall into that category. If you're being honest have you given them any indication that you're finding it really hard at the moment? Absolutely nothing wrong with letting people know you need a bit of respite from it all and making other arrangements to catch up with them without the kids around.

The other side of that is toddlers are all encompassing attention seekers. There are precious few places you can let them loose while expecting to be able to ignore them for a coffee and catch up. Other people's homes are definitely a place to try and keep them under control and occupied. If nothing else to avoid a bloody tantrum marathon. Part of that is that they become the topic of conversation purely because you become so used to kind of narrating their day. It's a weird coping mechanism of spending your days with a non-conversing person.

I'm surprised they spent 9 hours at yours (was there no nap to break that up?) but can only presume they really wanted to see you and didn't really think about the fact it would have been so overwhelming to have your home turned into a playground. Were they possibly just trying to get in as much time around the child as they could?

Notcontent Mon 30-Oct-17 09:34:44

I have noticed that some people, who have a tendency to be a bit self absorbed, become even more so when they have children.

Don't have them over again. If you want to continue the friendship, meet up somewhere else, so feel more in control of the situation and can just leave when you want to.

user1494409994 Mon 30-Oct-17 09:36:17

It sounds like hell. I wouldn't take mine to my family for 9 hours and they are supposed to love them. There's no way I'd expect a friend to tolerate them that long.

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