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is this totally weird behaviour or what?

(73 Posts)
alison56 Fri 03-Jul-09 22:37:42

I have a friend who is acting totally bizarrely and I'm at a loss to figure this out. Please give me some idea who's in the right.

We both have children of the same age (3), which is how we met. I now have a second child who is five days old. My friend seems to find her own child's company hard work (aren't they all hard work aged 3?!) and admits that her daughter is easier to handle if there are other children to play with. In light of this, other children are frequently invited for playdates and my daughter is no exception.

My friend works in a job where she manages people. I have often felt (in an armchair psychology kind of way!) that she finds it hard to switch off the need to "control" people, even outside work. Certainly she sends me e-mails in a quite forthright (and frankly, sometimes rude) tone, questioning decisions I am making or asking for explanations or justifications for things which are really none of her concern. I do find this quite irritating but have never felt I could raise it with her because I don't like confrontation and it doesn't seem worth the hassle (I guess I'm wary of how she will react if I confront her). As an example, she recently questioned why my husband is working extra shifts (we need the money). This was not a simple query, it was in terms of "why is he working extra shifts when you say you're tired of being alone with the kids". This question came entirely out of the blue and out of context (via facebook).

My husband was upset about the tone of that particular email and offered to challenge her about her attitude (it was not the first such message) but I asked him not to.

On Tuesday this friend offered to look after my daughter for me on Thursday morning. My daughter has often gone to her house for playdates, but after I agreed (it was, in fact, a very welcome offer in the circumstances of us having a new baby), it transpired that it wasn't going to be a playdate at home, they were going out for the day (quite some distance from home).

In the meantime, we were telephoned by a close family friend who asked whether she could arrange to visit us this week. She has a very busy job and was going away for the weekend so it turned out that Thursday morning was the only time she could make.

In addition, my daughter's health visitor rang to arrange her three year check, also offering a time on Thursday morning.

I contacted my friend yesterday to tell her that my daughter would have to miss out on the outing, but that I hoped they had a nice day.

Following this I received a couple of quite sharp text messages questioning our arrangements. In her final text message she said that she was very irritated that I had cancelled the arrangement.

I am puzzled by this because it was clear from the outset that she was already planning to take her own child on this outing and that my child had been invited to tag along. I had assumed, therefore, that the outing would go ahead in my daughter's absence.

Ironically, she cancelled an arrangement to come and see our newborn baby when it was two days old. She was supposed to arrive around 4pm but simply didn't turn up (which is significant, as we had gone out and we made sure we were home in time for her to visit). We had no idea why she hadn't turned up but she eventually sent a text at 9.30pm that night to say she had become waylaid.

Tonight she is expressing her dissatisfaction via her facebook account. She has updated this three times now saying how bloody annoyed she is. I could be imagining it but I think the comments are directed at me.

I am very confused by her behaviour (and tired - I have a newborn!). I really think she expected me to change my plans so she could take my daughter out with them today, but in the circumstances I wanted my daughter to stay home. I am upset because I feel she feels she can comandeer my daughter to play with her child and that I am not allowed to change any arrangements. I have no idea how to deal with her and feel bullied.

help!

ImOverHere Fri 03-Jul-09 22:43:37

Blimey, she sounds a bit toxic to me. I think I would concentrate on your DD and newborn for now, you do not need the hassle of this 'friend'. Just politley keep in touch and distance yourself.

ImOverHere Fri 03-Jul-09 22:45:56

Sorry, I gave quite a short response to your long message.

Hopefully others will come along soon and agree with me

and btw - you are being bullied. Step away from her, or get your dh to comment as you said he wanted to.

Danceswithchickens Fri 03-Jul-09 22:46:33

that's a shame - congrats on your newborn smile

Best thing to do is ignore her - don't log on to facebook, don't call her. She'll soon cool off.

You've got a lovely new baby & DD keep you occupied & hopefully other, less bossy friends to talk to.

Kimi Fri 03-Jul-09 22:51:28

dump her

Curiousmama Fri 03-Jul-09 22:52:16

AVOID at all costs. I've had a 3 year old and newborn and you don't need this right now. Ok, I'm sounding as controlling as her but I'm not wink I just know how exhausted you must feel. Agree with IOH she's toxic. Get your lovely dh to step in and tell her what for. Her FB status updates are awful, do people comment on them? I'd hide them or even delete her if I were you she sounds hideous.

monkeyfacegrace Fri 03-Jul-09 22:59:17

Wow your enemies must be evil! Enjoy your lovely kids, partner and life, and leave her and --the intrusive shit stiring-- facebook alone!

slowreadingprogress Fri 03-Jul-09 23:02:05

good lord, don't let this woman enter your head for one minute - you have a newborn,a new life in the family, you have far more important things to think about. Get off facebook, stop checking on her - it's like you're picking a scab when you need to be resting and healing from your recent birth!

To be brutally frank I think you are being unreasonable because you have by the sounds of it, never actually told this woman that you are unhappy with any aspect of her behaviour. And you have actually stopped your husband from calling her on it.

You can't expect her to change or stop unless you tell her there is a problem, IMO. She sounds quite a horrible person to be honest. I think it's a case of either tell her in the hopes she will buck up her ideas, or just let this 'friendship' slide.

congratulations, btw!

JoesMummy09 Fri 03-Jul-09 23:03:47

She may not realise how bad her behaviour is. Especially if she has been getting gradually worse and no one has challenged her.

If she really is a friend and you think she's worth it I would tell her what you've told us and give her the opportunity to change.

If you don't really like her that much then dump her.

You have important new baby to worry about so do what is best for you. That may mean having painful conversation with her.

myredcardigan Fri 03-Jul-09 23:10:34

Congratulations! smile

Stay away from this woman. She is being controlling and passive aggressive. You are being bullied. You don't need such people in your life at the best of times but with a newborn...

Also, think what a vurnerable time this is for your DD with the new baby. Do you really want her spending time with such a manipulative cow? Don't waste your energy confronting her;just politely ignore her.

morningsun Fri 03-Jul-09 23:11:00

She sounds a bit desperate ~ to have her own way,not to be left alone all day with her dd.She possibly can't say "no" to her own dd and dd has to have her own way.
Tell her your dd can't do playdates for a while as you want to spend time with her for you all to bond with the baby.
You could tell her her dd might enjoy spending time with her alone for once!!

Boobalina Fri 03-Jul-09 23:12:04

COngratulations on aviong a new baby - how fantastic. Its a shame this 'friend' isnt being particulary pleased for you or making your life easier after bringing a new life into the world.

To be blunt she sounds like a total control freaking twat and just ignore - it will send her nuts, freaking off into the stratosphere. I'd give a wide berth for a while and concentrate on your lovely tillte family and other nicer normal friends

Boobalina Fri 03-Jul-09 23:13:14

God, my spelling is appalling - sorry - half watching Jonthan Ross!

alison56 Fri 03-Jul-09 23:14:26

thanks for your comments

I'm actually very upset by her behaviour, partly because my mother is also toxic and bullied me badly as a kid. This is why I don't know how to hadle her or what to do next (and why your advice and support is useful).

I am increasingly feeling uneasy when I leave my daughter for playdates (though it has been kind of her to offer and hugely helpful when I was pregnant). Her own daughter often behaves badly (tantruming, refusing to share, throwing toys (and other things) at other children - they are nearly 4) and my child has been left upset (and injured) by her daughter when I've been present. She doesn't really deal with this properly (in my opinion) and tends to want to brush it under the carpet rather than discipline her child and comfort the one who's been injured. Her concern is always to play the incident down in terms of not laying the blame with her daughter (when I've been witness to the incident and I know exactly what happend).

It's hard to avoid her because we have kids the same age and they go to all the same parties. Fortunately they will be going to different schools next year but we'll still have some people in common and I can't avoid her really.

My husband says I should ignore her arsey messages but some of them are so obnoxious that it's hard not to want to responds. If she's miffed she'll start a text or email with "talk me through why XYZ..." which is why I think she's treating me like she treats her staff.

You're right - facebook is awful really. It's like a playground.

My big problem now is that tomorrow is DD's birthday and we are having a party. As you can imagine, this has been stressful to get organised with us having a new baby but DD is really excited and that itself has been worth the effort. I have no idea whether she is goign to come to the party (I'm assumign she will but not sure of anything with her anymore) and I need to know how to approach her. Perhaps she'll send her husband instead. She does tend to cool off but she's never sent me such a confrontational message as she did yesterday and the updates on facebook are really horrible.

magicOC Fri 03-Jul-09 23:17:02

Is it possibly jealousy because of the new born?

Agree with the others, it's not what you need.

Congratulations on the newborn. smile

Horton Fri 03-Jul-09 23:18:22

Poor you, she sounds absolutely horrible. Could she be a bit jealous of your lovely newborn, do you think? I know that I (to my shame) have found it difficult to be around people having second babies because I am absolutely rubbish at getting pregnant. If I were you, I'd just treat her completely normally at the party. Pretend nothing has happened. But if you get a chance another time, it might be worth telling her that she's upset you and you can't understand why she's behaving like this. Obviously in a more subtle way than that!

morningsun Fri 03-Jul-09 23:20:03

She must be very insecure to behave like this and she is using your dd to make her dd easier~not your problem.

If she comes,be polite and firm "Thankyou for bringing dd,would you like to stay or are you happy to leave her?"
Do not allude to her comments.Fix a manic grin to your face.
Let her put that in her pipe and smoke it!

slowreadingprogress Fri 03-Jul-09 23:22:16

alison I think you are being too tolerant. Of course it's possible to avoid her completely if you want to. There are ways of doing it if you are determined.

You just can't expect her to not send these bossy texts/e-mails if you don't reply "mind your own business!"

by the sounds of her she has the hind of a rhino. Subtle will not do. You have to spell it out.

BitOfFun Fri 03-Jul-09 23:23:49

Please block her from facebook for your sanity, back off a bit from contact and get on with getting to know your new baby! She is not worth the headspace, honestly.

Curiousmama Fri 03-Jul-09 23:26:55

Agree with slowreaingprogress, thick skinned = you being blunt. Good luck with the party. Remember to delegate, any mothers who stay have to help wink

slowreadingprogress Fri 03-Jul-09 23:27:21

BOF has it in a nutshell. You'll never get these first days back with your baby, don't waste another second on this woman!

StayFrosty Fri 03-Jul-09 23:30:06

What a charmer she sounds.

do you think she might be jealous of your new baby? Is she TTC?

Congratulations btw.

Boobalina Fri 03-Jul-09 23:32:38

Its hard that you are stuck in the same social circle as her and will continue to be. Best thing would be to opt to see less of her / contact her / arrange playdates etcs and see more of your other friends. That way, over a bit of time - her strangle hold of you will lessen.

She is being a bully and a bossy boots. Sounds like she is still a child and a bossy madam.

Try and enkoy your new baby and push this silliness of hers from your mind. You will be tired and hormonal from the birth and you need positive nice and lving people around you - not twats who write stupid twatting things on twatbook.

;)

Boobalina Fri 03-Jul-09 23:33:59

Enjoy your DD party tomorrow too - its all about her tomorrow and not the stupid lady.

Trixel Fri 03-Jul-09 23:34:52

i reckon just behave perfectly politely towards her at the party, and then cut ties with her. you can definitely avoid her, or give her polite but short shrift when you do see her - and you will be a lot better off. life's too short to have "friends" that feel they can treat you like that.

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