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to feel that my friend should not ignore me when her daughter talks to her?

(218 Posts)
theramengirl Fri 26-Jan-18 11:13:12

'S' is a good friend and I like spending time with her. Our husbands are work colleagues, and we met during a work party some years back and since then, we have become friends.

I have severe anxiety issues and don't make friends easily, so I value S as a friend, she is an intelligent woman with a sharp wit. I often drop in at her place and we chat, but whenever her DD(7) pops into the room to ask her something, S stops our conversation mid-way and gives full attention to her DD (usually it is something trivial, like, Mom why is the sky blue). Same happens when I am speaking... I will be saying in the middle of a great anecdote or argument, and if her DD pops in with a question, poof! S disappears, just leaves me, hanging in mid-air, and talks to her DD.

This has happened several times. In and outside our homes. Last xmas, our families vacationed together and S just ignored me during lunch and dinner, chatting to her daughter. Our husbands were discussing work, and I had to be content with looking at my mobile, for the better part of an hour. Meals were the only time we all spent together as a group, so I was confused... I mean, why agree for a holiday with friends if you are only going to hang out with your kid?

AIBU to feel annoyed by this? Or am I just being stupid, that parents would of course have to put their kids first? I love kids but I just don't think they should be given top priority during adult socializing time. I am curious to know what MN thinks.

Not sure if this is relevant, but just adding them;
a) S had her baby late after a long struggle with IVF. She gave up a high profile job to be a full time mother.
b) I and my husband are child free by choice and S knows this. I work full time and have limited contact with children.

MatildaTheCat Fri 26-Jan-18 11:18:49

If the child is present you need to ensure that conversation includes the child. The mother cannot sit and chat and exclude her. I get it that it feels unpleasant to be dumped mid sentence but she is prioritising.

It sounds an odd dynamic on holiday. Why doesn’t the conversation include the whole group?

mummmy2017 Fri 26-Jan-18 11:21:39

Your being a bit unfair.
Children do this, and if instead of being cross with the Child interrupting you join in and become part of the conversation, you will find you can change how you feel.
At 7 children really are a dream to chat to, you will be giggling with your friend over the little things that are said, and can find the child gives you affection in return.
Seeing this child as a rival for your friends attention will see you losing out, why not find things to bring for the child, like a note book and pens, or a doll, or a new book never expensive, but of interest to the child and then make a point of sitting down and speaking to the child about their day. You can have a little pal, you look forward to seeing, rather than dreading it and wanting a child who is seen but not heard when your around.
By the way a child rushing to meet you and hug you when you arrive is a lovely thing.

PrincessoftheSea Fri 26-Jan-18 11:22:04

Do you try to engage with the child?

Sirzy Fri 26-Jan-18 11:23:42

When mid conversation I think generally a “just give us a minute” is appropriate unless it’s urgent.

However it reads like you almost expect her to ignore her daughter to entertain you?

Littlebitshort Fri 26-Jan-18 11:24:13

Yabu thinking that she should ignore her own child! Of corse her top priority should be her children. I knew you didnt have children before i read the end of the post by the whole attitude of ‘children should be seen and not heard’. If you want adult social time then you should arrange it so that there are only adults around.

fallenblossom Fri 26-Jan-18 11:25:14

Sounds like you don't like children very much.

YABU and self-centred.

NancyDonahue Fri 26-Jan-18 11:25:49

7 year olds should know to wait if someone is talking. It's basic manners. I wouldn't leave a 7 year waiting waiting for long but would say 'give us two minutes sweetheart.

SaucyJack Fri 26-Jan-18 11:26:41

I hate to break it to you... but she likes her kid more than she likes you.

SanFranBear Fri 26-Jan-18 11:27:20

I don't think there is any harm in the adult explaining to their 7 yo that they are currently speaking and not to interrupt. There is no need to just drop a sentence halfway through or completely switch off from a friend talking.

It is rude and I don't think it does the child any favours as they grow.

That said, some acknowledgement from your friend that she's aware how annoying it might be would be all it would take to make me more understanding but she doesn't sound like that happens. I would say raise it but it's a really tricky one and given how much you value her friendship, not sure how you'd do that without the risk of losing something precious to you.

I will say that before I had DC, my best friend was similar (although over the phone, so we'd be talking and then random shouted commands would happen midway through our conversations and sentences).. I did have a gentle word and best friend was mortified but now we're as bad as each other.

EggsonHeads Fri 26-Jan-18 11:28:10

Yeah, so you are being one of those annoying I think that kids don't matter/come last people. Children a very important to a) the human race and b) to their parents who live them more than anyone else in the world. It's not because you are child free by the way, most of my childfree, childless or, not parents yet friends don't behave this way.

mrsharrison Fri 26-Jan-18 11:29:04

By age 7 a parent should be teaching Children not to interrupt when someone else is talking.
I think giving her child attention at the table was fine.

Cherrycokewinning Fri 26-Jan-18 11:29:39

It sounds like you’re really over thinking this. My children are younger, but if you ignore them or ask them to wait they just keep asking. It can be awkward but it’s part of having young children and you just need to expect that things change. It’s not going to be the same as talking to a child free friend

Aeroflotgirl Fri 26-Jan-18 11:30:05

At 7 they are old enough to know that they should not interrupt whilst you are speaking. The mum should say; X could you wait a moment, I am just speaking to thearmengirl. Not every conversation can be revolved around the child, at that age they should be able to keep themselves entertained for a certain period of time.

SleepingStandingUp Fri 26-Jan-18 11:30:07

Ok mid conversation"hang on a minute Tiffany", finish sentence then "yes Tiffany?"-is fine and teaches the kid manners.

Group meal where people are chatting amongst themselves, just join in the conversation. You seem to expect the child to go sit in a corner quietly whilst you talk to your friend cos its you or the kid

MrsXx4 Fri 26-Jan-18 11:30:09

You looked at your mobile phone during xmas lunch and dinner but you think your friend is being the rude one?

HumphreyCobblers Fri 26-Jan-18 11:30:41

I have three kids of my own and I still find it annoying when people just drop you mid sentence to speak to their child. I tell mine to wait a second until people have finished speaking.

It is manners. I would expect my adult friends not to interrupt or ignore my child too.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 26-Jan-18 11:31:22

They have to learn not to interrupt, it will become very annoying once they get older, and they keep interrupting, as nobody has told them not to.

gobbin Fri 26-Jan-18 11:31:53

At 7 children really are a dream to chat to, you will be giggling with your friend over the little things that are said, and can find the child gives you affection in return

Other people’s children are really annoying. Many, many people do not like or ‘get’ young children. I would hate to have to make polite extended conversation with a 7 year old. And I say this as someone with DS (21). I ALWAYS made sure he wasn’t bothering anyone who clearly didn’t want to engage and for those that did, it was obvious (and we let them get on with it). There was always the funky friends who’d play football with him or talk toys, as well as the quieter ones who didn’t. Fine by me.

Trinity66 Fri 26-Jan-18 11:32:45

It drives me crazy when kids do this, I was always telling mine not to interrupt if people were mid conversation but alot of times aswell parents are on autopilot when answering young kids questions lol

RunningOutOfCharge Fri 26-Jan-18 11:33:02

I think she maybe finds the conversation boring? Maybe welcomes the child jumping in to change the subject

You say you are 'in the middle of a great anecdote'.... is it really so great or a bit boring? You say you drop in on her.... is it always welcome? Is she just being polite?

theramengirl Fri 26-Jan-18 11:34:59

I visit my friend only when the babysitter (or is it au pair?) is present, so that we can have an undisturbed conversation. This has always been the arrangement, of course proposed by S.

S's DD is a nice kid but very shy. She smiles at me and giggles when I crack a joke but shies away from me (from most guests, her mom has said once). I used to engage with her before, but she preferred to play with her babysitter. I do bring her a book or a soft toy whenever I drop in, but I no longer try to engage with her.

My issue is not with the interruption. It's the complete blank out. If I get a phone call in the middle of a conversation with my friend, I'd look at her, say 'I'll be back in a minute' and only then pick up the call. I'd like to have the same courtesy. Communication, instead of plain assumption. And I do think that a 7 year old child should be taught not to interrupt her mother several times in the one hour a visitor happens to drop in at her house.

However, I am a bit worried to bring this up with my friend if I will be looked upon as a 'child hater' - as some of you here have cleared judged me to be. I don't want to lose the friendship.

Trinity66 Fri 26-Jan-18 11:35:00

I think she maybe finds the conversation boring? Maybe welcomes the child jumping in to change the subject

Bit rude

GiveMyHeadPeaceffs Fri 26-Jan-18 11:35:31

I agree with some pp that a 7 year old can easily be told to wait a moment. However I also agree with some of the comments that suggest you expect your friend to ignore her child when you're there.

All kids are special and your friend and husband have obviously been through a lot to have a child so expecting your friend to prioritise you is unreasonable. So, YABU.

Trinity66 Fri 26-Jan-18 11:36:23

However, I am a bit worried to bring this up with my friend if I will be looked upon as a 'child hater' - as some of you here have cleared judged me to be. I don't want to lose the friendship.

I wouldn't do that tbh, it will only cause problems over something that a pretty small issue in the grand scheme of things (however annoying it is)

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