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Child-free friend excluded from new WhatsApp group 'for her own good'

(129 Posts)
Eastie77 Tue 20-Aug-19 16:18:32

I am in a Whatsapp group with a group of friends, one of whom has just given birth. There is one friend in the group, 'Jill', who does not have children. Everyone else has at least one.

Today another one of my friends created a new Whatsapp group and has invited everyone except for Jill. She has posted an intro message stating that she thinks it's a good idea to have this seperate group for any child related discusions because she is conscious that at times the other one becomes overloaded with baby/child conversations which must be annoying for Jill. The recent chat about the new baby was apparently prime example as everyone (understandbly) talked about it 'for several days'. She added that with school starting up again soon she remembered last year everyone posted pictures of their kids first day etc and so please can we avoid doing that in the main chat and keep it to the child chat group.

I do not know if Jill is childfree by choice or not. I am almost certain that she would be hurt if she discovered we were sharing all our children's pictures, updates etc in another group and completely excluding her so I exited the group. Before do so I asked my friend if
Jill had said anything to her about feeling upset/sidelined by the child related chat and she said no but I should put myself in Jill's shoes and imagine how she feels when there is an endless conversation about the merits of Calpol or formula.

I'm fine not to put up pictures of my DC's first day at school but I'm not planning to avoid mentioning them at all in the main chat. I'm not rejoining the new group. Is this really unreasonable?

BananasAreTheSourceOfEvil Tue 20-Aug-19 16:22:57

how patronising for Jill. She doesnt have a child so therefore must be treated like one.

I dont blame you for not joining.

nutbrownhare15 Tue 20-Aug-19 16:24:09

I see both sides. I think the key is how Jill feels about child related updates Vs being excluded in secret. If she really hasn't said anything I'm on your side OP

Freddiefox Tue 20-Aug-19 16:24:26

I think you have down the right thing, I think it horrible to find out there is another WhatsApp group that you have been excluded from.
If Jill hasn’t mentioned it then I think she can choose to read the messages/ mute the group. Inevitably plans will end up being made on the new group and it may make Jill feel excluded

Washpot Tue 20-Aug-19 16:25:14

I think your friend has done the right thing. When I was child free (not by choice) I’d really have welcomed no -child oriented groups. I would have been grateful for the sensitivity towards my situation.
I have a friend who is child free by choice. She really does get a bit peeved if our group chat revolves around the kids. She loves our kids and is a great ‘Aunty’ but she’d much rather we kept the mum chat for times when she’s not there as she can’t join in. Maybe I’ll start a separate WhatsApp group....

hollieberrie Tue 20-Aug-19 16:25:19

My friends did this - they all have kids and I don't. I was a bit hurt at the time but now I'm actually glad! No more Calpol chat for me grin

Freddiefox Tue 20-Aug-19 16:25:22

I also think it underhand and patronising

RosaWaiting Tue 20-Aug-19 16:25:30

I actually think it’s a good idea but I think even if I had children, I’d hate to be on a group that talked about the DC as a main point. As one of my friends said, she found mum and baby groups really boring because she didn’t want to talk about baby, she wanted to talk about other stuff.

AryaStarkWolf Tue 20-Aug-19 16:25:37

Yeah, I think first of all you should ask this friend why she had started the new group, was it because the childless friend said something about the child chat, if not then I would seriously question her motivation to exclude one friend like that. How do they get on? Do you think they're close and that that childless friend (sounds awful calling her that) may have said something about it bothering her or do you think that maybe this new group started doesn't like her and wants her excluded?

CassianAndor Tue 20-Aug-19 16:26:03

surely Jill should be asked if all the child-related stuff is boring for her? And yes, I know she should say if it is, but people don't, do they?

Washpot Tue 20-Aug-19 16:26:08

I wouldn’t make the group secret though...I’d be open about it.

Beebeezed Tue 20-Aug-19 16:26:55

Huge assumption here but it sounds to me
like Jill May be struggling to conceive and your other friend is conscious of this. When I had a missed miscarriage last year I had to mute a group chat which had a few of my friends that were new Mother’s in and it upset me too much. Is the friend that made the group closer to Jill than you and would therefore know a bit more? I think making a whole new group is a bit extreme, perhaps just a message to all of you asking not to send loads of pictures at the moment. I don’t know I might be completely wrong but it does seem a bit random

Summerunderway Tue 20-Aug-19 16:27:30

I have dc and bowed out of a group chat full of dc themed drivel. Jill is prob grateful ime!!

whattodowith Tue 20-Aug-19 16:29:17

I think it’s fine if Jill has said she is sick of all the baby/child chat but not fine to just do it in secret when Jill has no issue with it.

Squirrelblanket Tue 20-Aug-19 16:30:20

This has (sort of) happened in my group of friends but I am the Jill. grin

I'm in a group chat with my closest friends and I am the only one without children. (By choice.) I can't remember how it came about but one of them let it slip once about 'the other chat' they have and I discovered that they had a separate chat for baby stuff.

My first reaction was to be a bit annoyed because I actually don't mind hearing about their kids and I don't like assumptions being made on my behalf. But I'm not bothered now. Plus they still share photos on our group chat, I don't know why your friends would think Jill wouldn't want to see those unless she's specifically said that.

Directionless2019 Tue 20-Aug-19 16:35:14

I am the Jill of my friends. I would be incredibly hurt.

thecatsthecats Tue 20-Aug-19 16:39:20

Doing it in secret makes it a bit patronising, but the balance has just tipped in one of my friend groups from more childless to more parents, and sweet lord, it is boring now.

Pictures of their kids. Plans that revolve around kids activities. Kid chat. Videos that we're supposed to coo or laugh or whatever over.

When it's chat about how my friends are feeling/experiencing motherhood, I'm actually fine with it, and am interested, want to support them etc. When it's their kids - I'm not interested in being auntie, I'm not interested in their videos, I'm not interested in THEM! It can be really overwhelming, and you can feel like you've been subscribed to follow someone on Facebook who isn't your friend, or that your watching the news about a foreign country.

I have plenty of friends who are mums who still talk about everything we used to talk about, about motherhood, and occasionally their kids - I like that a lot more!

Rachelover40 Tue 20-Aug-19 16:44:59

I think Jill would be hurt, it's actually a quite unkind idea even if not meant to be so.

waterrat Tue 20-Aug-19 16:45:36

ah you know what - I actually have this. I have a whatsapp group with school friends that have kids and a wider one with some people in it who dont have kids. we talk about parenting in the smaller group. It wasn't ever done 'intentionally' - I think without saying it we just set up a smaller group so we could share pics and chat inane shit about parenting problems.

I think it's fairly reasonable but perhaps it's a tricky one...

SweetNorthernRose Tue 20-Aug-19 16:45:37

I'm also the only childless (by choice) one in my group of friends and I'd be peed off if i discovered there was a 'secret' group chat excluding me purely based on an assumption about what I want to hear or talk about. Whilst I think endless drivel about kids must be boring for everyone (surely?!) I am interested in what my friend's children are up to...they're my friends, why wouldn't I be?? If the chat gets too much I just ignore and rejoin the conversation when it's back to more interesting topics.

Shoxfordian Tue 20-Aug-19 16:48:16

Seems like she's trying to cut Jill out
Not nice

Scorpiovenus Tue 20-Aug-19 16:48:39

Yea this is just sad

EssentialHummus Tue 20-Aug-19 16:50:20

Doesn’t seem nice - surely for Jill to drcide whether she’d like this or not.

ConfCall Tue 20-Aug-19 16:50:45

It’s possible that Jill is not childless by choice and that the person who set up the new group knows this but is keeping it quiet. Jill might have spoken to her in confidence, or hinted.

The new group sounds rather boring tbh and I’d leave it for that reason 😆 but not because of Jill.

Jaxhog Tue 20-Aug-19 16:51:13

How rude! Unless Jill has commented or complained, how on earth does anyone know how she feels about child discussions? And to do it in secret... hmm

I'm betting there's another reason she wants to exclude Jill.

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