Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My parents are obsessed with their friends' children

(37 Posts)
chocolateade Fri 24-Apr-15 14:45:41

My parents became friendly with a couple years ago when I was at primary school. This couple have 2 DCs; a girl a year younger than me and a boy three years younger than me. We are now all in our thirties.

I didn't have a very nice childhood but it was made even worse by my parents' obsession with their friends' kids, which has even carried on until today, as my parents and this couple are still good friends.

When I was a child, it was them saying things like the other children were better behaved than me, or were nicer than me, or were more fun than me. When we met up with them as a family, which we often did, my parents were always very affectionate to these other children, letting them sit on their laps and holding their hands, which my parents would never do with me. I would just basically be excluded and ignored, scorned a bit, and talked about.

Now I'm an adult, it's no better. During my pregnancies my mum showed no interest at all. Yet the wife of the other couple's son has just had a baby and my mum was so excited throughout the whole pregnancy and even went down to see them all when baby was a few days old. She has since gone on and on about how wonderful this baby is and how good the baby's mum is as a mother. Yet my mum does nothing but criticise my parenting.

The son of the couple has a pet cat. My parents are always going on about what a gorgeous cat he is and how lovely, yet they won't go near my cat and say my cat is ugly!! I know it sounds silly.

Plus I am always being compared to the other couples' children, constantly. Nothing I do is ever good enough but if my mum gets a birthday card from one of the other ones she goes on about it.

I am feeling like going NC with my parents over this, it has worn me down and I have had enough. I have tried to talk to my parents so many times but they have said I'm jealous!

ineedabodytransplant Fri 24-Apr-15 15:36:29

I would go NC. I know it won't be easy, but life is crap enough without losers making it worse.

You will never be good enough, whatever you do will never be enough.

Live your life, be happy for your children and keep these energy-draining idiots out of it.

You'll be so much happier and content.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Fri 24-Apr-15 15:38:48

Remove the poison. You will feel so much better off without these people in your life.

FenellaFellorick Fri 24-Apr-15 15:41:59

jealous? well, so what if you were? Your parents seemingly preferring other children to their own is something you're bound to have feelings about!

When you have raised it, have you asked them why it appears to be their view that you are not good enough?

Perhaps you need to really bluntly hit it home how they come across to you.

Or yes, tell them that since they seem to prefer other people's offspring to their own, they should enjoy their life having them in it instead of you and good luck to them.

hidingfromthem Fri 24-Apr-15 15:45:19

go NC.
i would.

derxa Fri 24-Apr-15 15:45:55

I feel for you OP, I really do. Try not to rise to their bait. Disengage emotionally. Good luck

Ratfinkandbobo Fri 24-Apr-15 16:03:06

Read Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
That is what they are.
I don't blame you for going NC.
Focus on yourself and your families happiness flowers

paisley256 Fri 24-Apr-15 16:06:28

They don't deserve you they really don't.

Poppytalk Fri 24-Apr-15 17:16:08

Why do some parents do this to their children, it really baffles me. My parents did this too, they are hideous snobs about job titles and money etc. I went NC with them both 6 months ago. Best decision I ever made. You have to look after yourself and not be drawn into their petty mind games. Good luck with whatever you decide.

FriendofBill Fri 24-Apr-15 17:34:21

Gosh, I know what you mean.

Sitting with my father while he blathers on about the little one that lives opposite, while forcibly brushing his grandchild from hanging around his neck.

Oh, she did this, that and t'uther, it was so sweet, funny, clever.

I keep them at arms length as its all a bit of a bore tbh and I don't want my children to feel less-than.

Can't think of much worse than being regaled with stories of a strangers child that I have hardly blessed eyes upon and Is of no consequence to me! I don't wish them harm but...yawn.

chocolateade Fri 24-Apr-15 20:14:02

Thank you for the replies.

I think going NC is the best option really. It doesn't do my self esteem any good having to see them all the time and listen to them bleating on about their friends' kids whilst having no interest in my life.

I just wish I had a normal family sad

HangingInAGruffaloStance Fri 24-Apr-15 21:21:53

You can have a normal family - without these excuses for parents thanks

Justusemyname Fri 24-Apr-15 21:23:19

What are the adult children like with you and do they lap up this obsessive behaviour from your parents?

Duckdeamon Fri 24-Apr-15 21:25:19

Sorry your parents are so crap and toxic sad

seaoflove Fri 24-Apr-15 21:30:29

That is so weird. I wonder if their friends' children have noticed and been weirded out by it?

Anyway, I know lots of threads in Relationships tend to be full of people saying "go NC", but in your case you're perfectly justified. I'm sure you won't miss them, and your parents will primarily miss having someone to criticise.

Corygal Fri 24-Apr-15 21:34:25

What a time you've been through. Yes, of course you'd be better off out of it but it might be easier to stay on polite but distant terms.

Whatever you do, withdraw, withdraw, withdraw.

Never share news, esp good news, or volunteer any information about your and your DCs lives at all. They'll notice and start trying to get updates out of you, but don't fall for it.

If you meet them, do so in public and arrange something to do so you don't have to talk to them. Because when you do talk to them, they use it against you.

But the first and most difficult thing is that you have to accept that your parents are the people they are. Not the parents you want or deserve. Or anyone would want or deserve. But they are who they are, and they probably won't change.

lottiesatitagain Fri 24-Apr-15 21:39:50

Your parents sound like narcissists who have made your neighbours children into the 'golden child' which is typical of narcissistics parents. Are you an only child? Toxic parents always have a scapegoat and you are it. They put the neighbours child up to put you down. No other reason. It is horrible and unacceptable. Google 'golden child ' and 'scapegoat' and you will see it fits your parents. x

lottiesatitagain Fri 24-Apr-15 21:41:54

Sorry for the typos on my phone

giraffesCantPluckTheirEyebrows Fri 24-Apr-15 21:41:54

how awful sad

Pastelsunset Fri 24-Apr-15 22:22:55

Gosh, I can sympathise ... my mother wasn't this bad (in fact looks saint-like in comparison!) but would compare my brother and I almost constantly to her friends' children. We both remember being trapped in the car with her for hours as she lectured us on how well other children were doing at school, how slim they were (I had puppy fat at 12), how much homework they did - it's horrible. She died when I was 14; I don't know what she'd be like if she was still around.

Sadly it's had a lasting legacy on my brother in particular.

Would going NC lead to other problems? If not I am inclined to agree with others that you don't need them - I agree it's awful you have had to put up with this sad flowers

Hussarsataparty Sat 25-Apr-15 11:51:41

My in-laws always banged on about their other granddaughter despite being entirely disinterested in our kids. It used to really upset DH and I, but we distanced ourselves, stopped playing the game, and now we don't care any more. We just learned that that was the way they were twats and that whatever we did, we'd always come second. It was kinda a relief to step off the treadmill.
It hurt like hell at the time, and you have my sympathy.

chocolateade Thu 30-Apr-15 17:51:51

Well, I have tackled them again about it one more time and my parents have said that I am a nasty jealous bitter person and that they want no more to do with me.

So that sorts that then!

Abusive arseholes!

AgathaF Thu 30-Apr-15 17:59:10

I'm so sorry you've had this continual crap from them. It looks like the decision has been made, but for what it's worth, I think it will be far better for you if they're not in your life. For your children too, as they will start to notice it in time.
Live well and enjoy your life. You deserve it.

Meerka Thu 30-Apr-15 18:03:08

Sitting with my father while he blathers on about the little one that lives opposite, while forcibly brushing his grandchild from hanging around his neck.

How very sad.

Best wishes, chocolate. They are such fools to look to the horizons and ignore the gem in front of them. It's got to hurt but you are worth far more than their meanspirited agenda.

BettyCatKitten Thu 30-Apr-15 18:06:04

Well, they'll grow old lonely then.
Well done for raising it and sticking up for yourselfflowers

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now