to be making excuses to not go on these playdates?(23 Posts)
less AIBU and more AIB a heartless, cold, unforgivable b*tch
good friend of mine has 2 dc, sim ages to mine. One is ever so slightly disabled. I find them both really hard work, but more esp the disabled one as he is very sociable, physical, tactile and affectionate The other is more mummy's boy.
I have always had big issues with personal space and contact (can't bear massages for example) and while I have no problem giving tons of affection to my own dcs, I don't have anything left over for anyone else. Even Dh cops the cold shoulder sometimes. I'm very physical & demonstrative with my dcs, plus I am pg so feel like my body belongs to everyone but me half the time ... just can't bear for one more person to touch me!! This child is always grabbing my hand, pulling at my top etc etc and I just can't bear it, to the extent that I'm now avoiding getting together with my friend. I think I feel worse about my attitude bc the child has this slight disability but tbh, I'm the same with any child other than my own who demands my attention. I just don't have anything left to give!!!
Am I horrible and undeserving?????
I think if you cant just chill out and let it go past you then you're probably best not to see them so much as there's not much alternative.
I think tbh though, maybe you could work on it and see them for short bursts, kids are kids, disabled or not. It'd be nice if you could work towards being more tactile with them and just let it go, its not such a big deal in the wider scheme of things.
(Dont think youre heartless)
I hope you're not cold and heartless, cos that'd make me cold and heartless too
I'm exactly the same when my DD's friend comes round, she's very tactile, and I am with my DD but not others. She hangs off us, even tries to touch my boobs etc lol
I just say lightheartedly 'Oi, don't do that' and make a joke of it, but I think each family is different and she's not very good at making the crossover between her own home and ours on other things.
I don't feel bad about not being like that, cos I've always been the same. Like waitingforbedtime says, you could just do it for short bursts and thinking about it in a less 'beating yourself up' way will make it easier?
I think it might be worse at the moment because I am very pg and a tad exhausted .... probably not coping well with demands from anyone!
It's not just the tactile issue, it's that the child is also very insistent. Will ask his mum a question, (can I have a biscuit, for eg), she'll say yes, in a minute, and then he'll come to me, grab at my hand, top, leg whatever, even if I am already being smothered by one of my own dc (and pummelled from the inside by the new one!) and ask the same question, over and over. And I'm just like, argh!!! stop!!!
The thing is, he has a lovely, open nature - unlike my dcs who clearly take after me in being more reserved and suspicious, although they are both right little show-offs (again, like me....) - which is why I think I feel bad about my tendency to inwardly recoil from him. It's different with my FiL - he's also very tactile but just a big old sleaze-bag, so I don't feel guilty about my revulsion!!!
Mmmmm very tricky.
I think you have 3 options:
1. Put up with it with a brave face if your friendship is worth it.
2. Explain your issues to your friend but try and make it clear that it isn't 'her son' but rather something in you - maybe talk about your issue generally and let her put 2 and 2 together.
3. Just drift away.
I think option 1 is the way forward, but maybe just ease back on the amount of time spent together ... can always use exhaustion as excuse for reduced time, since only a few weeks to go with pregnancy, and then once new baby is here ....
option 3 - do you mean drift away from the friendship or the child?
Maybe when you do get together you could meet at a place with lots to do and distract the tactile one, farm, play ground etc.
I would feel the same btw.
thanks TwoHot. I am constantly berating myself for just about everything .... probably doesn't help with my exhaustion levels!
I mean drift away from the friendship - do you think it's worse because you're pregnant? Just asking incase you think it may ease up a bit once baby is born (well, a few months in!) and so it's worth just getting through it all now somehow knowing that you'll find it much easier to cope further down the road.
I completely understand you btw - it's absolutely ok to fee as you do - you just need to find a way to 'solve' the problem.
I agree with the meeting somewhere where there is an activity going on / in the park - children usually flop all over adults when they're in a restricted space in someone's house for example. Or is this equally a problem elsewhere?
no, equally a problem elsewhere unfort. Part of the child's disability is physical so he can't walk/ run easily and will grab for a hand to hold or want you to help/ look/ take etc ... oddly, he seems to prefer mine to his mum's ... like a cat, they will always sit on the person who doesn't like cats LOL!!
My dd protests about spending time too ... maybe has picked up from me but mostly because she is at that age where she wants to be with other girls and play dress up fairy princess games ... she's having massive tantrums every time we go to see them and I have to really cajole her to get her on good form.
I don't want to drift away from the friendship, my friend is a sweetheart.
Do you think you could change how you feel my changing your mindset?
What do the following strike in your mind?
Vulnerable child genuinely needs unconditional support from adults he trusts to help him achieve basic daily tasks.
Makes friend feel happy to see her son obviously comfortable with another adult, knowing that he has long term problems that will continue in to adulthood and beyond where she might be able to care for him herself.
A child is able to act totally naturally around you without any social or cultural barriers and hence asking you for what he needs using body language and sees you as someone who he can 'talk' to.
Your children are watching and learning from you about how to interact with other people.
Sorry if this seems bizarre..... don't answer if you don't want to
And just to state the obvious - could you see your friend in the evening while DPs on both sides look after the kids at each home?
I can understand your feelings as I have a vaguely similar situation with friend's ds. He regards me very highly, always saying that he wants to live at out house and always wanting to buy me presents. He even wanted to make a Mother's Day card for me and is always wanting attention from me. I find it quite suffocating and find it strange as I don't really encourage him.
I have put it down to the fact that both his parents work full-time and as I am SAHM he sees me as an ideal as I'm always doing stuff with my own dss.
I sort of follow BiscuitStuffer's take on the situation and keep reminding myself that he is an innocent child who deserves respect from people around him.
no, it's fine.
they all strike fear in me!!! ARGH - the responsibility!!
Honestly, you must think I am such a crap mother ... I swear I'm not, my kids and my husband and I are all so rambunctious and huggy and cuddly with each other, I'm actually a little sad on the nights when ds doesn't wake up and need to come into our bed for cuddles. I'm just not great with other people, or with other people's kids. I can do talking - apparently a very good listener and very good with counseling people and chatting with kids ... just don't try and hug me to say thanks!!!
re; going out at night - no, her husband doesn't let her.
I don't think you're a bad mother at all and I totally 'get' the personal space thing. It's interesting that it doesn't exist for your kids but does for everyone else. Are you a naturally suspicious person??
Don't worry at all - just find a solution that sits right with you and is sustainable in the long term. This is obviously bothering you for you to post here - maybe suggest evening meetups with your friend and have some proper catch up time?
no, I'm pretty friendly and easy going, just not very tactile. And I do need lots of space. Used to be the type who would move cities or countries every time things got too 'close'.
God knows what my dh did to get me to commit!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to respond and for helping me to find ways to think about it differently.
not sure about he dh with the boy ... don't really see him. He's not very sociable. Their weekend are their weekends, if you get me. I see her during the week.
think he's just not very sociable and believes that her place is in the home. She's always saying things like "dh won't let me buy these shoes" or "I'd love to have a summer party but dh won't let me" or "dh has said that I can * (usually something like replace a light fitting/ buy new curtains etc)
dd has said that she doesn't like to play because
a) 'he dribbles" and will potentially dribble on her and on her things (I know, I know how it sounds - she's not a bad kid, honest)
b) he's too rough
c) he always wants to hold her hand/ dance with her
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