To think people with kids can go out without them occasionally(112 Posts)
My kids are now young adults. I was a SAHM and loved being with the kids. However, on the rare occasion a friend without kids wanted to meet for coffee, I did my best to leave the kids behind. Friends of mine who’ve had kids later, do not seem to be of the same mindset. They all have partners and these attempts at a coffee out always happen on the weekends when neither is working, but for some reason the kids can never be left with any of these men (who, from what I’ve seen, seem sensible decent fathers).
Today I drove for 40 minutes to find friend was there with her baby (aged 1). Baby was bored to death, wanted a nap, it was pouring out so we couldn’t take her for a walk, so after half an hour friend was frazzled and said she’d have to her home.
Also, when babies and kids are there it changes the whole tone of the conversation. No swearing, no talk of sex or romance, no saying your boss is an evil dirtbag, etc.
One friend still brings her kid along to everything and the kid is 13!! Said child is constantly interrupting to ask for more details about whatever I’ve just said. Or make us listen to a poem she’s just made up, or argue with me about why her pet tv show is actually historically accurate (it’s not).
I really, really like kids, truly I do. And kids like me. But can’t their dads ever look after them for an hour or two?
I'd quite happily bring my 1yr old for a lunch date, but I'd make sure I was there early and take her for a walk in her pram so she was snoozing whilst I had lunch and gabbed. If dad was about though and it was a local coffee I'd prob leave her for a few hours as she'd be fine. The 13yr old def if dad is about 100% leave them behind as they prob be bored rigid or mean you can't chat as you say.
If there aren't any little uns who are exclusively BF'ing I'd suggest a girls night, few drinks after bedtime meeting at 8:30, that's what my mum friends do and we all have minis. No question kids def not invited.
I always try to leave my kids behind. Where is the fun in trying to talk when constantly bring interrupted by tiny people? It's different if they are babes in arms but anyone older than 6 months can stay at home while I have a coffee in peace!
It's entirely up to them whether they want to go anywhere without their kids or not, just as it's entirely up to you whether you decide not to meet up on this basis.
When you meet up, do you ever say ‘let’s have a kid-free lunch?”. Maybe she doesn’t realise that you don’t like help having her child there all the time.
Of course when mine were little and I’d go out to meet other parents the little ones would come too and you chatted around it. But if your friend has no kids or kids are grown up ... well, it’s just weird as the whole thing ends up being about the kids and goodbye to normal adult conversation.
I’m usually shattered in the evening so very rarely go out at night and always fear sounding anti-child (particularly w the one who brings her now-13 year old to everything). I suppose I should toughen up a bit. I’m hoping the 13 year old eventually decides we’re boring old bats and insists on staying home. I can’t imagine at 13 having had my parents bring me to that sort of thing or think I needed supervision to be home alone (latch-key from age 11).
I'm the same as you, I avoid taking my kids out to things like that if I can. I love them but at 7,5 and 3 they are very intense and if I was out for a coffee the focus would be all on them. Plus I have a potty mouth so like to have a swear every now and then without them about.
Age 1 though I don't think is unreasonable not to expect a mum to not want to leave baby really, there's still that strong urge to keep them in sight all the time and if BF there's also that element. I wasn't comfortable leaving my children until about 2.5/3.
You say you were a SAHM, is your friend? I work full time so to be honest at the weekend do try and spend as much time with my child as possible. There are times I will leave Her but if I am meeting a friend will often bring her as it’s the only time I get and mostly my friends understand. I don’t want to get accused of neglecting friendships by not seeing people , it’s a balance .
She is no where near 13 though, still only a toddler but just trying to give another perspective, I may feel different when she is older.
I have friends like that, I meet them for a game of bingo instead. No kids allowed in there. A cuppa, something to eat and a natter during the half an hour interval.
YANBU at all.
Completely changes the vibe.
The 1 yr old - I can sort of see, the Mum might not have got used to giving herself some free time, but the 13 yr old is just weird.
I do think you have to make it clear though, as both your friends clearly think differently from you.
Unless it is a special child free type thing I would say that I assume the following:- “lunch or coffee - kids welcome, dinner - no kids”
I work full time and miss the kids all week so I can understand if a friend wants to meet but with the kids. It is a different kind of meet up and I find the interaction isn't as meaningful as you can't have an in-depth chat about anything. This is why I don't have any friends left. You can't win.
You were a SAHM and presumably had your fill of your children during the week. If your friends are not, and are potentially out of the house 7 till 7 Mon-Fri, surely you can understand they want to see their offspring at weekends, regardless of your preference?
I'm one of the only ones in my group of friends with a young dc. All my friends are older and have adult dcs. Altho I also have a teen.
If a particular other friend is meeting us too then I take dd. Her dd is 3yr. It's a carvery pub with a play area we sit at the table right next to it. So they can be seen and can't escape without passing us.
If friend isn't taking her dd. I either don't go or get someone to have her. Normally extend her childminder hours as its always that particular day we meet.
When she was a baby it was easy. Then the toddler tantrum phase it wasn't fair on my friends.
I acknowledge that my son has additional needs & I am a single parent with no local family, but for years & years I didn’t leave him. The fallout was just too horrendous. He came to me at 5 (for adoption) & I left him at school or occasionally for something super-important & that was pretty much it. On the odd occasion he was invited somewhere or did something that he could manage it was bliss, but it happened rarely. Now, at 16, yes, I can leave him & I do, for work, but it’s risky & certainly I am still wary of leaving him all day for work & going out again without him in the evening. I have missed numerous events as a result. I didn’t go out socially without him between October 2008 & June 2019. And my son has no visible disabilities, so you might think it’s me being precious if you didn’t look too hard. Although you would fairly soon realise that you’re wrong. It’s not. It’s life, them’s the breaks. We all make our choices.
YABU. I haven’t ever been able to meet friends without my kids, because DH and I work different shifts for childcare reasons, so if I am not at work I have the kids with me. Some of your friends might not be able to afford childcare for this time.
I agree with PP I want to spend time with my kids - agree it’s harsh to make a 13 year old follow you round but for small children I think you just have to accept it! I don’t have anyone I could leave my children. With for the sake of a coffee and I don’t expect to be able to do that either. If it changes the conversation then offer to go to their house for a coffee after the children are asleep.
Another one who works full-time and so really tries to minimise the time I spend away from DS at the weekend. I barely ever take him when I go to meet friends, but because of that I see a lot less of them than I would if I did. If I had a friend who didn't want me to bring DS and also didn't want to meet in the evening (which is always when I suggest meeting) then I'd think that was fine and up to them but in practice it would mean I very rarely saw them.
@gallevspian the only people here who are out of the house for 12 hours where I live are nurses. There’s about a 10 minute commute for both my friends and a 7 hour work day. Coincidentally they work at the same place, though one I’ve known for decades, the other for about 8 years.
Both the two I’ve mentioned do work, but odd schedules, months off at a time and when they are working it’s 4 day weeks. So they might miss the kids, but are not away 35+ weeks 12 months a year, more like 21-28 hours a week 6-7 months a year.
I just want to swear a bit and have more conversational items on the table.
And I don’t think it’s doing the 13 year any flavours in some senses. Last summer we all went to on a day away together & my friend was busy preparing food & I was chatting to another adult & the then 12 year said “no-one is paying attention to me!” My kids would never have expected to be the centre of attention at that age.
Anothername - your situation is completely different from what the OP described though. She said both friends had a dh at home who could have looked after them.
As @BackforGood says, my friends have partners who are free when we go out, but who apparently can’t take care of the kids without supervision. I find that odd. It’s not a can’t afford or find someone to take care of the kids, it’s “Henry can’t handle two of them” or “Dave will let her have sugar”.
It's not the mums. It's the men who won't look after their DC because that's 'women's work' and mothers become less than human and unentitled to any kind of social life once they have DC.
With one of the women (mum of 13 year old) I really doubt it as she is definitely the stronger personality, her partner is very meek.
I agree that adult time with friends is really important and the presence of a young teen really changes the dynamic. Most of my friends are parents and we seldom bring our children along unless it's an activity arranged with them in mind.
We do both, I suppose, some activities with the kids, others are adults-only evening things and involve wine!
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