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to be angry about my friends' obvious misunderstanding of a situation that occurred a while ago?

(21 Posts)
onthepier Wed 22-Jul-09 22:16:08

When my dd was three months old, (she's an 8 year old now, by the way!), I went out for the evening with a couple of friends. I was breastfeeding my dd and as I knew I wasn't going back to work I hadn't attempted expressing. This meant she needed to be breastfed every three hours by me, which I was fine with. I'd become used to planning my days and being on call for her feeds at night!

Anyway, I fed my dd at 8 pm, met my friends and told them the breastfeeding situation so they knew I'd need to be home by 11 for her next feed, as if she woke up hungry there was nothing my dh could do, only offer water which never seemed to satisfy her.

They said "Oh fine, we're not going to be late anyway". As 11pm drew nearer though, they were in no hurry to finish their drinks and were almost mocking me when I said I'd have to leave them to it and get my own taxi, if they wanted to stay out later. (They're single and childless btw)! Anyway, I phoned my dh just before 11 and I guessed right, dd was screaming, my dh had tried to pacify her with a dummy and water but she wasn't having it! I could hear her screaming and it upset me, so I jumped in a taxi, got home and fed her.

Tbh I hadn't really thought about this since, but my friend brought it up at a recent get-together. They thought my dh, (who is a fantastic dad btw), resented me going out and leaving him with the baby, and was ORDERING me to get home!hmm Well, that's just not the sort of thing he'd do, and our relationship isn't like that anyway.

I suppose I do feel annoyed now thinking back, as I took the trouble to explain the situtation to my friends, only to find that they really didn't understand and were speaking badly of my dh! One of them also brought up the subject of when my dd started school. She loves it there but took a while to settle at the age of 4. My friend said, "We used to have a bet on how soon into the evening you'd start talking about your dd and school!"hmm

AIBU to be upset by these comments, or do you think it's normal for childless friends to have completely different outlooks to you? I like to think I'm a well adjusted person with other interests apart from just my children, but maybe other people think not!

SammyK Wed 22-Jul-09 22:19:16

I would just grin knowingly and wait for them to have kids.

I would also plan to spend more time with nicer people they sound very petty.

cheesesarnie Wed 22-Jul-09 22:20:20

i think its a bit odd after 8 years to be angry.

some of my childless friends sometimes dont get it but most do.when they dont,i dont let it bother me.before i had children i wouldnt have understood either.

Haribosmummy Wed 22-Jul-09 22:21:56

I'd say it's pretty normal of childless acquitances but not really of friends (who presumably know your DH and what your relationship is like etc).

I don't think it's possible - however well adjusted / however many outside interests you have - to express how you feel about your children.

SInce I had DS, I have been completely bowled over by him... How much I love him, how much I can spend time with him, how much I can talk about him blush

SO, I don't really think they are being unreasonable, but I don't think you are either - if they were real friends, they would try to understand.

Hassled Wed 22-Jul-09 22:22:38

Make new friends. Childless people do usually have imaginations, and they clearly can't be arsed to use theirs.

themoon Wed 22-Jul-09 22:22:39

My sister is childless and has made many similar hurtful assumptions. She actually caused a lot of trouble between me and DH that almost broke us up.

Try not to dwell on their thoughtlessness. I know it's difficult as it still winds me up 8 years down the line.

shonaspurtle Wed 22-Jul-09 22:22:49

I think that they don't understand, and they can't really understand having not been there.

Having said that, I also think that often when you have children you underestimate how much of your conversation ends up being about them, or mentioning them and for some people that's very irritating.

A colleague at work had a bit of a (comedy) rant about this before I was first pregnant and I kind of agreed with him blush. Of course when I came back to work after having ds I tried not to talk about him too much, but tbh I do. It's just my life now.

But, bloody hell! 8 years ago!

booyhoo Wed 22-Jul-09 22:23:18

tbh i think they just dont understand. i have friends who dont have children and really hey ask the stupidest questions or make demands that i cant possible meet. my ds2 was due on the 21st of may this year and said friends wanted to know if i wanted to go on an adventure weekend in early june, they were talking rock climbing and allsorts!!! i said i could possibly still be pregnant in early june and even if i wasnt i would be breastfeeding and couldnt leave my baby. it just didnt enter their heads.

i wouldnt take these comments personally. it says more about them than it does about you. just explain the situation and if you think they are being unsympathetic then just tell them.

if they ever have children they will feel so guity about these things.

SecretNinjaChipmunk Wed 22-Jul-09 22:23:43

i think childless friends have no idea how having kids affects your everyday life. i reckon they just don't get it. i wouldn't bother being too upset, but maybe if they start to mention it more regularly you could come up with some kind of comment to shut them up. i'm sure someone on here can think of something wink

barnsleybelle Wed 22-Jul-09 22:23:47

YANBU about the fact that childless friends just don't get what it's like until they have their own.

Just one thought though.. I used to express so dh could help out with the night feeds, particularly for nights out!!!

smugmumofboys Wed 22-Jul-09 22:26:49

I can understand you being upset tbh.

I remember a friend, whose nether regions had been wrecked by the birth of a whopper DC1, telling a childless friend that she could no longer do starjumps (fitness freak) and the friend just laughing and asking her why on earth she'd be wanting to do them anyway. Off the point slightly but it's all about experience I guess.

These friends do sound a bit nasty if they're telling you how they used to bad mouth you and your DH. Time to move on?

HeliumBee Wed 22-Jul-09 22:27:01

I think they are being really insensitive and rude - what would they think if you said "what? you're talking about X (i.e their biggest interest) again? I put down a fiver on you waiting til at least 8:30 before you started on that old chestnut".

I'd probably say something like "I know I'm wrapped up in my family - maybe it's something you'll be able to appreciate once you've --grown up-- got a family of your own"

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Wed 22-Jul-09 22:27:49

Comments like this are common I feel amongst those without children.

I recall a friend coming over for dinner when our pfb was 4 weeks old. We had seen her a handful of times beforehand and I was talking about something really inane like her almost smile that was not really a smile but seemed to be a smile, or how her little fingers curled around mine or how she breathed when she slept.

I said something like 'anyway, lets have a glass of wine and an adult conversation, less of me being all gooey' and she said 'yes, I was thinking you are going on about xx a bit too much, its boring after a while!' shock

Doodle2u Wed 22-Jul-09 22:31:52

Oh just wait until they have babies!

We have one friend in particular who was so bloody self-righteous and loudly vocal about everything we did and didn't do with our children and now - mwhahahahhahah.....she's the WORST baby bore you could imagine and she's broken EVERY SINGLE ONE of her bloody 'rules she swore she'd live by if she had children' grin

wolfnipplechips Wed 22-Jul-09 22:40:41

YANBU i was the first out of all my friends/dhs friends to have a baby and got things like this all the time, i even heard that they had been gossiping about me not going out because i didn't trust dh to look after the baby hmm.

Its a load of crap although i don't think its worth saying anything after all these years though.

wolfnipplechips Wed 22-Jul-09 22:43:30

I would probably find some new friends though, your dd is your life and they should be interested. I bet they'll be much worse when they have dc.

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 22:57:46

chill a bit.
They will understand if/ when they have kids.
Sounds more like gentle poking fun than nastiness

lilacpink Wed 22-Jul-09 23:00:03

One of my childless friends didn't understand how upset I was to lose my second preg, and then have to wait 6 mth or more before I was medically able to try again. She even spoke of another of her friends who had been trying for her first for awhile asthough it was ok for her to not attend an event due to morning sickness, and as though it wouldn't have been ok for me to not attend (complicated to explain, but she really feels that I'm lucky to have one and so shouldn't have been upset to lose second).

Thankfully I'm now into month 4 of preg 3. She said congrats briefly, but didn't ask me about my feelings re. loosing the last one. I've realised that the prob could lie with her deep desire to have her own child (she will be TTC soon). I think that when she has her own DC she may well realise how hard it can be. TBH if she has a DC, but we still don't have similarities I don't think we'll be friends in the long run.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 22-Jul-09 23:01:43

I'm intrigued by your friend bringing it up at a recent get-together - why would it stick in her memory so much?

onthepier Wed 22-Jul-09 23:17:50

Thanks for your responses, I should make clear though, that I haven't been angry about this incident for the last 8 years, it was my friend recently bringing the incident up that annoyed me, and the fact that she obviously didn't understand at the time even though I explained the situation to her. I'm surprised myself that this has evoked such strong memories of that night, as I just haven't really thought about it in all this time!

From reading your replies though, it does sound as though many of you have had insensitive comments from childless friends/family, I suppose once you have a child you sort of live in a different world from those who don't have children, and regardless of how much you still socialise etc, you prob spend more time talking about your dc than you realise!

Thinking about it, meeting up with these "friends" has become almost a chore without me realising it over the last few years, I don't honestly find I've got much in common with them now, I've opted out of a few nights out with them but then feel guilty. Why should I?grin Especially as I seem to be poked fun at behind my back by them!

"WhereYouLeftIt", I don't know why she recently brought it up, I know she's mentioned she doesn't often get to see her brother now without his children, so maybe she's tarring us both with the same brush, she's obv bored by the whole child/parenting thing!

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:21:30

I had kids quite late compared to my friends and I do recall how utterly boring it seemed to me at the time, but I would never have been so impolite to show it.
Now that I have my own it seems even MORE boring grin

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