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How to deal with mums you don't get on with if your child's best friends with theirs!

(17 Posts)
getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 19:32:43

Hi there
I've had a bit of tricky situation for the last year and a half. Let me explain - my son (age 7 and three quarters) has been friends with a boy in his class since he started school at the age of 5. For the first year and a half our boys would go back and forth to each others houses to play and for tea. I was also very friendly with the mum - we shared birthday parties, went to the pub with a group of other mums and it was all great. I'm a very bubbly friendly and chatty person (especially after a glass of wine) and I put my foot in it a couple of times - totally unintentionally and not intending to offend this mum. I apologised to the mum and she said "Oh don't worry about it - you haven't got a bad bone in your body!" I was relieved as I had felt bad about it. However all the invitations to her son's house for tea stopped and this mother avoided me on the school runs for well over a year. It was very awkward as she's friends with the same couple of mums as me - so it was awkward joining their group in the playground as we waited for our kids to come out of school.

I felt really upset as I've done her lots of favours and feel quite used and also sad that she couldn't discuss things with me as I'd thought we were good friends.

Then recently - she has been slightly more friendly - not consistently - just now and again. However today at a school barbecue she was just very fake and surfacy as usual.

I think about the situation all the time and feel guilty that I've affected my son's friendship with her son due to (I can only assume) offending her by being a bit merry and putting my foot in it a couple of times. I've spoken to her about it though and feel that I shouldn't beat myself up about it. I just feel a bit left out now as she's so friendly with my other two friends and I just can't join them when she's there as I feel so irritated with her now and sad when I think back to what good friends we used to be.

My son's still good friends with her son which pulls us together into this awkward situation. I wish I could just leave her and move onto someone else but I keep having to see her every day. All I can think about is another 5 years of it as her son's moving onto the same school as hers.

This probably sounds really OTT but it has affected me and I still want to stay friends with the other 2 mums in our original group.

Has anyone been in or is in the same sort of situation.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on how you handled it or what you would do if you were me.

Thanks

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 19:35:08

Hi there
I've had a bit of tricky situation for the last year and a half. Let me explain - my son (age 7 and three quarters) has been friends with a boy in his class since he started school at the age of 5. For the first year and a half our boys would go back and forth to each others houses to play and for tea. I was also very friendly with the mum - we shared birthday parties, went to the pub with a group of other mums and it was all great. I'm a very bubbly friendly and chatty person (especially after a glass of wine) and I put my foot in it a couple of times - totally unintentionally and not intending to offend this mum. I apologised to the mum and she said "Oh don't worry about it - you haven't got a bad bone in your body!" I was relieved as I had felt bad about it. However all the invitations to her son's house for tea stopped and this mother avoided me on the school runs for well over a year. It was very awkward as she's friends with the same couple of mums as me - so it was awkward joining their group in the playground as we waited for our kids to come out of school.

I felt really upset as I've done her lots of favours and feel quite used and also sad that she couldn't discuss things with me as I'd thought we were good friends.

Then recently - she has been slightly more friendly - not consistently - just now and again. However today at a school barbecue she was just very fake and surfacy as usual.

I think about the situation all the time and feel guilty that I've affected my son's friendship with her son due to (I can only assume) offending her by being a bit merry and putting my foot in it a couple of times. I've spoken to her about it though and feel that I shouldn't beat myself up about it. I just feel a bit left out now as she's so friendly with my other two friends and I just can't join them when she's there as I feel so irritated with her now and sad when I think back to what good friends we used to be.

My son's still good friends with her son which pulls us together into this awkward situation. I wish I could just leave her and move onto someone else but I keep having to see her every day. All I can think about is another 5 years of it as her son's moving onto the same school as hers.

This probably sounds really OTT but it has affected me and I still want to stay friends with the other 2 mums in our original group.

Has anyone been in or is in the same sort of situation.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on how you handled it or what you would do if you were me.

Thanks

saintmaybe Sun 12-Jul-09 19:47:47

What did you say?

you have to tell us if we are to judge

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 19:59:31

I was on a get fit campaign so kept talking about weight loss and this mum's a big lady - nothing wrong with that but I think she took my comment personally (when they were just general throw away rambling comments - after a glass of wine)

I also mentioned in a chattty friendly confiding way that I'd had an argument with my husband. This was because he'd told me about a mum (whose kids he teaches the piano) who had told him that her husband had died> I just said to my husband in a loving way that he should look after himself _ he isn@t bothered about healthy eating and i was just in one of my get fit phases (they don@t last long!) he got irritated with me and i just shared this with my group of friends (the mums)> the mum in question asked me who i was talking about and as she@d asked i told her the woman@s name (shouldn@t have done in retrospect) and it turned out to be her neighbour and friend> so i guess i offended her on two counts _ talking about her friend and weight issues>

there was also a situation in the playground at the end of term when we were having a celebratory glass of sparkling wine with some other mums and the mum in question was having a fag> i commented that it was amazing how a glass of wine made me feel like a fag even though i gave up years ago> she said "have one then and offered me one" and i relied: "no i wouldn@t want j (my son) to see my smoking!" (woops) i apologised in a friendly way and she said "don@t be silly and laughed"> however this apparent lack of offensive isn@t proved by her general avoidance and awkwardness around me>

i feel so sick of it as i@m just a friendly< chatty< bubbly person who sometimes puts her foot in it (who doesn@t) and i really want to talk to her about it but have gathered from hearing her talking in past conversations that she doesn@t have much time for sensitive people> (which i think she classes me as)

Jux Sun 12-Jul-09 20:08:12

Well it does sound like she's sensitive about her weight - and you've kind of rubbed it in a bit; and she's sensitive about smoking (no surprise, they're treated like pariahs these days) and your comment about not wanting your kids to see you smoke will have hit a nerve with her too. It sounds to me like she's feeling got at about her weight and smoking - both massive subjects.

You are going to have to be more careful about how you phrase things. If you'd said no to the fag because you didn't want to risk starting up again that would probably have been OK, but what you did say reinforced to her all the guilt she probably feels about smoking near/around her own kids.

Some people who think they occasionally put their foot in it, are actually putting their foot in it rather more often than they realise. You will have to look at yourself quite closely to see if that's true of you.

I suspect this woman can cope around you if she's feeling strong, and can't cope around you when she isn't.

saintmaybe Sun 12-Jul-09 20:11:13

None of that sounds terrible; I'd say she's overreacting if that's really the reason she's cooled the friendship.

Is it really awkward around the other mums/ her, or is it just that you want it to be like it was before?

Tbh, if you're not really missing her as a friend you you'll prob just have to work on ignoring it/ not caring so much.

as far as your ds is concerned, I really doubt that it'll impact much on his friendship.

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 20:13:59

yes _ that makes sense> i just felt that as we@d been friends for a couple of years (and she@s a very loud< noholdsbarred sort of person) that we@d got to the point where we didn@t have to mentally check everything before we said it> i hadn@t meant anything in any personal way whatsoever and assumed she@d understand that> they were just general throw_away comments> i realise that i need to be much more careful with people>
thanks for your comments _ i appreciate them>

Starbear Sun 12-Jul-09 20:17:19

haven't read the tread at all. My mum has never really got on with my best friend's mum. BUT BF Mum has never figured it out. Mum always polite to her face and turns up at all the important occasions just never the social ones. Tells me she doesn't like her behind her back. I've never said anything to anyone. This has been going on for 40 years!

bigchris Sun 12-Jul-09 20:18:30

hmmm.
one throwaway comment maybe
but aftera few I guess she thought you sounded a bit high and mighty and tbh so much advice on here is 'don't stay friends with people who make you feel bad' and intentionally or not this is what you did to this woman several times sad

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 20:18:39

my last message was to jux> this one@s to saintmaybe>

yes you@re right i just keep thinking about how great it was before and feel really sad that i@ve messed it up> she@s also a parent governor so very influential with other people which doesn@t exactly help! oh well _ another lesson learned! i must stop thinking about it everyday and swinging between beating myself up about it< feeling sad about it and feeling very irritated towards her as i have put my hands up and admitted my mistake to her and although she@s said there@s no problem there obviously is> why can@t people be more honest and open _ especially with their "friends"?

Mintyy Sun 12-Jul-09 20:22:14

I think parents often make friends with the parents of their children's friends in that first rush of bonhomie at nursery or reception age - only to find that they have very little in common and there is no reason or desire to carry on socialising with those parents after a couple of years.

I know I have. There are one or two mums I was quite friendly with a few years ago who I am not inclined to socialise with now. Not because I hate them or wish them ill or would bitch about them with other people - but just because I don't particularly enjoy their company. And I guess there are mums at school who now feel the same about me.

Your real friends are the people you've known for years and years, surely?

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 20:26:47

reply to mintyy _ yes my real friends are people i@ve known for years but i still have to deal with this situation twice a day for % days a week and i@m wondering what the best way forward is>

i@d like to try and rescue our original friendship but don@t quite know how to go about this>

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 20:36:46

what do you think is the best way forward in trying to repair the damage to the friendship?

saintmaybe Sun 12-Jul-09 20:36:51

You might not be able to

i'd pull back a bit and concentrate on having a relaxed, friendly time with other people

And maybe, if you tend to be a bit ott after a glass of wine, only drink around people you know a bit better

Tbh, although I have made friends at school, it's taken a while, and mostly they're just (very nice) acquaintances, more like work colleagues. I just wouldn't necessarily let my hair down with all of them till I knew them better.
But I really don't think it needs to affect your ds.

flopsyrabbit Sun 12-Jul-09 20:39:54

It sounds as if this woman being rather big and unhealthy finds you rather slim, all bubbly and popular? and so that alone can cause trouble I'm afraid.

Plumper people tend to have plumpish friends who share the same outlook on food etc. There's actually nothing worse than people talking to people plumper than they are about dieting etc.It's also a very tired topic unless you all share the same goal.

You sound like you make her feel inadequate and bad about yourself, so there's no point ingratiating yourself to her now.

Carry on being a happy bubbly person and try and widen your circle of friends by joining a committee or helping out. People like helpful people very much indeed.

Mintyy Sun 12-Jul-09 20:49:57

I think what I'm trying to say is that it sounds like she wants to step back a bit. It might be impossible for you to rescue this friendship. Don't dwell on the fact that its all about something you said when you'd had one or two too many. It could just be that she realises she has little in common with you, rather than out and out dislike iyswim? Whatever happens, do not take it to heart. There will always be other people you really do click with, I'm sure.

getmeoutofhere Sun 12-Jul-09 20:54:04

to mintyy _ yes you@re right _ thanks for the positive and encouraging comment _ i appreciate it>

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