Need advice about my friend and her grandchild(100 Posts)
DH and I have been friends with another couple for over 20 years. We met at a shared hobby that DH and I no longer take part in, but the friendship has carried on and we would miss them if they were no longer in our lives. BUT, there is now a problem I am finding hard to get to grips with.
We all have adult DC, DH and I have grandchildren, who are asked after now and then by our friends, but not a lot of interest has been shown in them. This is fine, we are not upset by this, the grandchildren aren't local so they haven't really met them, and I think it normal that they wouldn't be that interested. However, our friends daughter (who lives with them) had a baby last summer, so they now have a grandchild themselves, and here is the problem - there is no let up, none, on updates about this child. It is not possible for us to visit them without their grandchild being the sole focus of every conversation. It is impossible to even finish a sentence when talking to our friend without her being distracted by a look from the baby, or a sound from the baby, or a sudden need to tell us about how many times the baby has smiled that day. I love my grandchildren, and could understand the obsession at first when the baby was a newborn, but 8 months on and it is still just as bad, if not worse.
Over the years we have had some lovely evenings, and some great times together. Whenever we invited them to our home for a meal for example, they readily accepted, and reciprocated. This was a regular and enjoyable thing we used to do, and prior to their grandchilds birth it never occured to them or us, that the invite was for adult children too, (unless it was Christmas for example), but now they expect to bring their daughter and her baby every. single. time. Let me stress that their daughter is a great Mum, she has no problems in looking after her child, so it is not because they are worried about leaving her to cope alone. Neither is she a very young Mum - she is 27! This completely alters the dynamic, and the whole visit just involves talk about their grandchild, offers for us to hold the grandchild, photos of the grandchild passed around for us to exclaim over....it is all about the grandchild, and I'm fed up and bored with it all to be quite frank.
I've just had a message from her saying that she hasn't seen us for a while, so to let her know when I am next free during the day and she will bring her daughter and grandchild over so we can have a catch up and I can see how baby is growing, and we can sort out an evening when we can all meet up so that my DH doesn't miss out on seeing her grandchild too.
FFS - tell me wise mumsnetters how do I deal with this and keep the friendship? AIBU to want to have some adult time now that all our kids (and theirs) are grown ups? I understand the love grand parents have for their grandchildren, I feel it myself for my own, but I don't understand at all this level of obsession and i have no idea how to tackle it. By the way - I am bad at setting boundaries, have social anxiety and am not good at being tactful, which makes finding a way to save the friendship even harder.
Any advice welcome! Oh and just in case some lazy tit sees this as an easy route to getting published - FUCK OFF DAILY MAIL, DAILY MIRROR, THE SUN, IN FACT FUCK OFF ANY LAZY JOURNALISTS! (sorry for having to add that - I was trying to come across as sane but if this got picked up she would recognise herself in a heartbeat and I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings unnecessarily)
It is very easy to be intoxicated with the joy of the first grandchild. I was myself and it is common to talk about them rather too much. However, it is not normal to bring them to your social occasions and I am surprised the daughter wants to come. She may assume you understand as she is a grandmother. I think I would try and manoeuvre a meeting in a place just for grown-ups ie not suitable to bring a baby, like a nice restaurant past her bedtime. Maybe a suggestion with a rider something like " while it is lovely to see your grandchild, it would be lovely to have a catch up for the adults" If she does this with all her friends they will drift away
Next meet up suggest a truly adult venue. If they try to change it say you have already booked /paid deposit do you and your dh will still go and catch up with them another time.
Sadly any truthful explanation will be the end of the friendship I feel sure.
Or get a big ddog.
A non dc friendly variety!!
Can you word an invite specifically inviting her and her DH to a dinner party at your starting at 8pm or something, saying you have some new wines to try?
If you name her and her DH and mention both alcohol and a fairly late hour surely she wont assume DD and baby are invited?
I have something a bit similar with a friend who constantly wants to bring her DH to everything, including ladies get togetherness. He’s recently retired. Totally changes the dynamic.
I have had to say to her that the evening (or lunch) I’m inviting her to is just for us ladies. That I enjoy her husband’s company, but very much would like ladies only. (Last time, I invited them together as a couple for dinner on a different night).
So why not try something such as inviting just friend and her husband around and also say that we can plan another occasion where we can have both our adult children and grandchildren get together as you’re sure she’d love to see your grandchildren too.
Every time that comes up, simply say, yes - we must plan something. When she suggests dates, say you’ll check with your DC. Then come back and say, sorry they’re not available. Let’s try again in the future. Every time she says about seeing her grandchild, counter with I’m sure you’re wanting to see my DGC too.
When they come over and want to take out photos, you could either pull out yours or simply glance at it, say “that’s lovely”, put it down and change the subject.
Can you not subtly hint that the evenings work better for you...maybe say I really fancy going for a drink/meal/other non baby friendly evening?
Awkward! Could you make light of it "Lovely, do you want to call on Thursday for coffee? I was hoping to try xx restaurant in town too, maybe Friday week if you and Dave are free for a night out? Or I'll cook if you rather stay in. Child free mind, my socialising with kids days are long done, except for special occasions of course"
Borrow one or two of your own grandchildren for a daytime meetup, and behave the same way? Or behave normally and hope the contrast is picked up by them?
She sounds a bit of a pain! Try the ' let's meet up, just us adults ' line first. If it doesn't work and your tired of it all then best let the friendship drift for a while. Of find some new friends?
If it's 8 months now , I can't see this getting any better.
It's typical of people though ; they were not interested in your grandkids but your meant to fawn over their one! Same when people take over the conversation so it's all about them and not in the least bit bothered about your problems/ family life/ work etc. Not a flicker of interest.
( rant over.)
I really don’t know how you deal with this.
I stopped meeting up with an old friend because 3 YEARS after the birth of her grandchild it was still all she could talk about.
We used to have such long chats , reminisces about university days etc. I decided in the end it was not worth the time and expense of a long train ride just to be talked at.
At least she didn’t bring him with her ! How would she react if you talked non stop about your grandchildren? Would it make her realise how boring she is being ?
Really awkward. I adore my GC but don’t go on about them to my friends because I appreciate that other people’s GC aren’t that interesting and also because when first DC was born none of my friends had GC and it felt even more inappropriate to bang on about the baby.
Having their DD and GC at all get togethers totally alters the dynamic and it’s not on but I just don’t know what is best to do apart from the ideas given so far about choosing 8pm onwards in a child-unfriendly venue or dinner at yours in the evening.
I agree that you should organise a meal for 8 pm (surely to god she wouldn't drag the baby out for that?) and mention alcohol. If she and her husband do manage to come without their daughter and grandchild, then steer any conversations away from children after a couple of minutes.
What's her husband like? Is he the same?
The difference is their GC lives with them, it's really that simple. Completely different then a GC that lives elsewhere. I lived with my GP's so I speak from experience.
That does sound boring AF though.
Maybe ask for a grown up catch up out at a pub that's not family friendly?
I have a similar person in my life.
I have simply cut down a lot on seeing her, when she talks about gc I say oh yeah cool, when she wants to show me pics and videos, same oh yeah, cool.
A lot of huhuhing is done by me.
I love her but God I cant stand her.
This is a very extreme case here, but something I've noticed a lot about people as I've aged just how uninterested they really are about other people.
I have one lovely friend and we hold a two way conversation and it's great. She listens , I listen and we bounce off each other. All good.
She is a rare species however.
I bet your friend is the ' be quiet and let's talk about me' variety.
I have let so many people go over the years because of this type of thing!
Try arranging 2 things at once? 'Would love to see your grandchild, how about going to x thing on x date but before that we were thinking an adults only catch up at x place on x date'
What will she be like if her dd moves out?
Does her dd go everywhere with her dm because dm is afraid that if left on her own dd might decide she can cope alone fine without dm and move out
Just tell them you would like it to be adults only for a proper catch up this time.
People should realize that nobody outside the immediate family is interested in their kids/grandkids beyond a polite 1 minute conversation. If they attend and start banging on about their Grandchild I'd just change the subject.
If they continue being this boring then I would accept that our lives had gone in different directions and move on.It happens.
Doesn't the DD have a partner? Why does she want to accompany her DM everywhere? That's really odd in my book
@The80sweregreat, I agree.
We have this with a NDN who just talks at you for hours about Grandkids and her brother who has a lot of health problems. You might as well just put a cardboard cut out in front of her because she just talks at you and boasts non stop. I call her a gobshite.
I am completely non confrontational but this is nuts and I'd have to say something - she sounds awful. Bringing her daughter and GC along when you've invited them over is just rude. If I was the daughter I'd be totally embarrassed and refuse to go.
I'd have to say something if it was me, it's a pointless and one sided friendship otherwise. At least if you're honest with her she has the opportunity to redeem her ways.
Oh and just in case some lazy tit sees this as an easy route to getting published - FUCK OFF DAILY MAIL, DAILY MIRROR, THE SUN, IN FACT FUCK OFF ANY LAZY JOURNALISTS! (sorry for having to add that - I was trying to come across as sane but if this got picked up she would recognise herself in a heartbeat and I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings unnecessarily)
You do realise that posting that is an absolute waste of time. If any of the above want to lift this thread they will do so, they will just edit out the above paragraph.
But back to the subject matter. It never ceases to amaze me how utterly blind people can be. Your friend has become a crashing bore and no, I certainly wouldn’t want her DD and baby tagging along every time I see them. You need to bite the bullet and say you would like some adult time with them. She’ll probably be mortally offended which is a shame but friendships change and sometimes you have to move on, albeit with sadness.
I am sorry to derail the thread a bit here but I can't say this in real life to anyone about how self absorbed some people are! Not everyone of course and some people can do ' two way' conversations easily enough but they are hard to find.
All this ' twisting it to talk about me' is an art form some seem to learn as kids and it never evolves for them. Or others let them get away with it ( as my own sil has, she is a lost cause)
I think this is why I like Internet forums maybe? Or I'm just old and bitter! Lol
Doesn't the DD have a partner? Why does she want to accompany her DM everywhere? That's really odd in my book
This! Why on earth is a 27 year old woman hanging out with her parents and their friends. Does she not have a life of her own. To me that is a strange thing indeed. I have friends who bring their 15 year old daughter everywhere with them which I find downright odd but at 27????
Does her daughter have anyone else to babysit? If she does, be careful because if you suggest an adults only meetup, they might bring her along anyway.
Did the daughter join you before the baby came?
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