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Baby Rivalry

(19 Posts)
Joanna82 Sat 19-Jul-08 15:23:08

My current DS is 9 months old and dare I say it, a bit of a nightmare. So cute but sleeps very badly, eats very badly and will not be left to his own devices for a second. I keep bursting into tears and feel as though I don't even know who I am anymore.

My friend's baby was born just 5 days before and not only is he super advanced for his age, he's starting to walk and say his first words, but he also sleeps through from 7pm to 8pm and also has a nap during the day. AND he eats everything he is offered. She's even started potty training ... with success!!

Moreover, because she has so much more energy then me she spends her time be very worthy and domestic goddess slash sweet mother duck like (knitting, growing organic vegetables).

She is unbearably smug and loves the 'let's compare our babies' game and it has seriously affected our friendship. I'm actually trying to phase her out.

itati Sat 19-Jul-08 15:25:42

Take no notice.

If you are getting no enjoyment from this friendship let it go.

You could try and talk to her though, if you want to try and save the friendship. Tell her you are thrilled for her she seems to have a very easy child but it makes you feel inadeqaute when she mentions it all the time and maybe she would like to try and suggest helpful ideas for you to try??

Or just change the subject when she starts comparing.

Aarrgghh Sat 19-Jul-08 15:26:25

9 months and potty training??

S1ur Sat 19-Jul-08 15:26:25

Avoid. avoid will only sap your soul and make you feel badly about your dc.

ditch. it'll only get worse.

S1ur Sat 19-Jul-08 15:29:05

god don't open door for her to offer 'advice'
can you imagine??? yes algernon is learning to read now, have you tried reading with yours at bedtime? I find a routine helps.

bleurgh, not helpful, only ask for advice from mates you like.

AttillaTheHan Sat 19-Jul-08 15:29:44

Unfortunately most people know someone like this when they have children. If it becomes totally unbearable try to diplomatically say something or leave her well alone. It sounds like you are having a hard enough time without her smug-ness adding to your situation.
I had a friend like this when ds was small and I kept thinking to myself that when she had another child there was no way that she could have another angel child and she would then have a wake up call and realise what everyone else went through.

I hope you sort it out.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Sat 19-Jul-08 15:30:08

You poor thing, maternal competition is a dreadful thing, isn't it? Just remember, all babies are different, and they'll all be walking and talking and out of nappies by the time they're 9, so what on earth does it matter which one did it first?

She is not a better mother than you - she was just lucky and got an easier baby.

She might not mean to make you feel bad either, she's just living her life - you might be feeling a bit paranoid because you're tired, but if she really is being smug, then you are perfectly justified in seeing a bit less of her. But it sounds like you're finding things tough, so I would be wary of cutting off friends who might be able to help.

If you're bursting into tears a lot and don't feel yourself, have you considered that you might have a touch of PND? Is there anyone you can talk to and them know you're struggling - your DP/DH, a HV, a GP? It's not an admission of failure, thousands of people feel this way and get help and feel better.

Tell me to naff off if I'm completely wrong though wink

meep Sat 19-Jul-08 15:30:42

maybe her next one will be an absolute horror......!!! And her baby is only 9mo - plenty of time for all the sleeping/eating/potty training hmm to go tits up !

Stay out of her way and cuddle your ds and know that you are a great mum.

itati Sat 19-Jul-08 15:39:00

Only trying to suggest ways for them to stay friends and for perfect mum to realise what she is doing....

Joanna82 Sat 19-Jul-08 15:42:25

Thanks everyone,

I have considered looking for help LittleMyDancingForJoy ... and I may have to do this if things don't improve. It's hard to admit though, and I hate talking about my 'not coping' with DH. He's lovely and tries to be very supportive but often I think he just thinks I'm over reacting.

Yes, I have had secret hopes that her next one is a horror wink which makes me feel quite guilty.

She used to be so different, such a free spirit and I loved having her as a friend.

Also I keep thinking that I'm just jealous, which in a way, I am. My baby is adorable, and I think he's the cleverest and sweetest little boy in the world, and I wouldn't swap him obviously, but I am jealous that she has it so much easier, and I'd swap our sleeping patterns!

LittleMyDancingForJoy Sat 19-Jul-08 15:52:11

You said it, you don't want her DS or her life, you want yours to be a bit easier! that's totally natural, you're a mum trying her best in very difficult circumstances. and maybe she has some compulsion to over achieve and it makes her as stressed out as you, underneath wink

I have a friend a bit like this - she bakes, she gardens, she has a fabulous home, a DH who earns a lot so she's a SAHM, etc etc. Her DS slept through long before mine did (and mine was a relatively easy baby), and I always felt completely inadequate around her. And I did feel angry with her when I never seemed to have a muslin with me, and hers were always fresh and bright white, but she wasn't offering me the muslin to upset me, she was just trying to help.

But you know, our DS' are both two now, and I'm really glad we stayed friends. All that rivalry seems so long ago, and so ridiculous - the first year of a baby's life is so stressful and so tiring it's natural to get things a bit out of proportion.

She's a really supportive friend, and was there for me when I lost a baby, and a lovely person. I've just come to accept that her house will always be cleaner than mine and she will always deliver home made presents with a bow round them while I scramble round with something not wrapped bought at the last minute. She doesn't care though, so she must see something valuable in me wink

If you find it hard to talk to your DH, you could try your GP? They're completely used to mothers bursting into tears on them in the first year of a baby's life, and they will be very sympathetic and put you in touch with people who can help. It's completely normal to feel at your wits end when you have a tricky baby - even easy ones test us to the limit.

HTH - do keep posting if you need support, this is a good place to get it wink

ninedragons Sat 19-Jul-08 15:54:38

Reassuring words from Meep there - plenty of time for everything to go pear-shaped grin

Clench your teeth and change the subject. She's being very tactless - it's unfair to gloat about anything.

Tapster Sat 19-Jul-08 19:03:41

SIL was similar with her remarks her DS is 6 weeks older than my DD. Her DS slept through the night from very early on. My didn't and woke constant for months - obviously I should have given up BF and given FF at night (lovely piece of advice I did not follow). Her son then woke 3-4 times a night from 12 months for 4 months, just when she started back to work 4 days a week. She looked a bit tired and a bit less smug hmm

Limit contact, may be don't see her for a bit and then meet up and see how you feel. Or else just let her know how you feel about her remarks.

I think ditching baby friends is very common and necessary for your own sanity.

Podrick Sat 19-Jul-08 19:18:46

I had a very easy baby and found it soul destroying when every time I went to baby clubs the other mothers moaned constantly about how hard it all was. I never knew if they really found it harder than I did or if it was the done thing to exchange tales of woe but boy was it depressing!!! So I stopped going.

One reason it may have been easier for me is that my standards of housekeeping are pretty low wink.

Early walking btw I would say is crap from a mother's point of view! Great to show off about but crap to cope with in reality!!!

Poor eaters are a source of stress to the mother but frankly it matters little imo (as mother of ultra fussy kid who is also ultra healthy).

Early potty training also a mixed blessing in reality.

Kids are either early walkers or early talkers, if people say otherwise they are lying.

Playing alone is a personality thing; her next baby will be different.

Sleeping - well a bad night's sleep would make any of us feel awful. Maybe you could focus on trying to sort that out although easy for me to say as my child was always a good sleeper and the "controlled crying" thing would probably be more than I could bear...

If you like your friend then use the weapon of humour. When she says hers is eating well, tell her yours loves lobster & artichoke which is so convenient for you etc. If she can't see the funny side then dump her and move on!

neolara Sat 19-Jul-08 19:38:10

Hmm. I wouldn't be surprised if a year down the line you find out she hasn't been entirely truthful about everything.

Podrick Sat 19-Jul-08 19:43:21

V true
She is probably covering up a lot that would freak you out if you knew about it

weeonion Sat 19-Jul-08 19:49:56

i went through a simialr thing through a post natal group until i spoke up and said jokingly that i actually thought my dd was sooooooooo very far behind as all theirs seemed like geniuses. a few fessed up that life wasnt all rosy but wanted to keep up appearances.

also know another who was a bit smug about her pfb crawling, walking etc early - until the reality of tearing around after him sunk in. i at least had another couple of months to get ready for the mania.

Chaotica Sat 19-Jul-08 20:08:31

My 9m DS is a pain as well if it makes you feel any better (sounds a lot like yours). He is kind-of trying to walk and talk, but only because he does b*gger all else but scream and shout at us. It will pass... I hope smile

misdee Sat 19-Jul-08 20:09:28

this si why i dont go to baby and toddler groups.

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