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To think this was an an awful comment to makr

280 replies

Misscromwellrocks · 23/12/2019 12:17

A friend of mine is having her parents and several siblings and nieces and nephews for Christmas Dinner.
A few of us were out last night and one of them remarked how busy she was and how much she still had to do. My friend said something like Oh I know how you feel and the response was 'well in fairness you don't have kids so it's not the same stress and hassle'.

My friend would love to have children and is a brilliant aunt but just hasn't met the right person and is now 43. She went very quiet and I could see she was trying to force herself to join in and be sociable for the rest of the night.

Aibu to think it was an insensitive and rude comment to make?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

2162 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
NoParticularPattern · 23/12/2019 13:24

Parents don’t get the monopoly on tiredness. Nor do shift workers/teachers/double glazing salesmen..... Everyone is allowed to be tired and stressed, it doesn't come with selection criteria. Your friend was a knob. I’d check in with the hurt friend to see if she was feeling ok after the comments that were made.

Oh and I have two kids, I’m tired and stressed. I’m not ridiculous enough to assume that means I win at tiredness top trumps by default. Because I’m not an idiot

CharityConundrum · 23/12/2019 13:24

I don't think it's insensitive. It's merely factual that they don't have kids. People are far to quick to be offended. It's literally a fact.

You seem to be under the impression that being a fact means something can't be insensitive. That's not the case:

I find buying presents stressful.
Yeah, but your mum's dead, so you're not as stressed as me because I have to buy a present for mine as well as everyone else.

Doing the food shopping is a nightmare.
I don't know what you're complaining about - you're in a wheelchair, so you can do it all sitting down while I have to stand up.

YouretheChristmasCarcass · 23/12/2019 13:24

I find that most of the parents I know who come out with that shite are 'parent martyrs' anyway. They're 'Elevenerifers' not only to the childless/free, but also to other parents. No one has it as hard as they do. If the Holy Family told them about the dangers during the flight into Egypt, they'd tell how much harder they had it driving the family 100 miles to the sea.

Give your friend a hug, tell her that life has treasures and surprises in store for us all.

NoNameNoGame · 23/12/2019 13:26

Very rude and insensitive!

My SIL makes these comments to me all the time! And always goes on about "when you've got 3 kids!" She even once said to me when her DD2 was having a tantrum, "don't have kids, get a dog!" I was fuming. Always using her kids as an excuse for what she can't do in life. Buts that's another post.

BlingLoving · 23/12/2019 13:29

Not only was it rude and insensitive, nothing is more annoying than this attitude that a person without children can't possibly be as tired/busy/stressed etc as a person with children. It infuriates me. And every single comment on this thread suggesting that with children means everyone else doesn't understand has annoyed me.

Having children doesn't give yo a monopoly on stress or busyness. Or how you cope with those things. Some things my children do I don't cope with at all but I know other parents who let it roll past them. Similarly, issues that don't even make my radar can drive other parents crazy. And that's just in the context of children. Entertaining, hosting, preparing and planning Christmas can be as stressful and hectic as a person makes it or their personality makes it feel.

Also, for record, it IS possible for non parents to be more tired than parents. So please don't ever say in my company either, "oh, wait until you have kids, you have no idea what tiredness is" or "you can't possibly be as tired as I am after I was up all night with DC." Because I will (and have, frequently) jumped on such comments even when not directed at me.

GiveHerHellFromUs · 23/12/2019 13:32

First Christmas as a mom and the easiest so far. Can't wait to leave boring family functions using the "oh best go, baby's tired" excuse Grin

Yesterdayallmyfish · 23/12/2019 13:34

Your friend may not have meant anything by the comment. Your poor other friend, hearing that, if she wants children but doesn't have them. If she doesn't want them she probably doesn't care about the comment. Either way your tactless friend may not have meant anything other than 'oh, I'm busy. I have children. Get me a drink.' She may not have realised she was being insensitive. I think people on the internet are very quick to assign nasty motives to things people say when they aren't really meaning much at all. Sometimes I come home from a night out and die with embarrassment at half the things I said and how someone else could have misinterpreted what I meant. I think I only started doing this after joining Mumsnet.

PinkiOcelot · 23/12/2019 13:37

I hate it when parents think they’ve got oneupmanship on everything. You haven’t!!
People can be stressed regardless of having kids or not. It’s pathetic. I would have told her that as well.

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis · 23/12/2019 13:47

SO tactless

I have three kids. It takes time and energy and care. I'm knackered. However, it's an absolute privilege to have them!

And if Christmas is making you stressed you're doing it wrong IMO.

Dagnabit · 23/12/2019 13:47

ItsReallyNotOk I'm sorry; that's awful Flowers

bringincrazyback · 23/12/2019 13:47

@ItsReallyNotOk I'm so sorry for your situation. Flowers

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis · 23/12/2019 13:48

Don't get me started on people who think having a kid in a pram is licence to behave like an arsehole as if they are doing something special for the world.

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis · 23/12/2019 13:52

@ItsReallyNotOk . All best to you. I hope you can still get some pleasure, joy and rest this festive season. I'm sorry things are as they are for you.

MissDew · 23/12/2019 13:54

Don't get me started on people who think having a kid in a pram is licence to behave like an arsehole as if they are doing something special for the world.

Frankly, when it comes to the way some parents behave, the selfishness and self entitlement leaves me speechless.

Yet, apparently, it's people who choose not to have children are selfish. Whoa !

RainRainGoAwayComeAgain · 23/12/2019 13:59

Thing is you do have so much to do with kids on top of all the other usual prep, I find it far far more busy, we don’t spend Xmas eve in the pub anymore now! I’d have thought at 43 she’s given up and moved on, I have a relative in her 40s who wanted kids but her partner never did so they didn’t, I’d never think about her still feeling upset now, she’s 44.

BarbedBloom · 23/12/2019 14:01

I don't have children so I can't be stressed or tired in the same way apparently according to some posters. Well I am having a flare up of my auto immune condition and yesterday I crawled to the bathroom as I cried every time I stood up because I was so exhausted. I woke every half hour last night as my joints were so sore that everytime I moved the pain woke me. I have to go out soon as I am cooking for 6 on Wednesday.

Believe me, I get tired. Children will grow up, I will never grow out of this. But I don't play stress or tiredness top trumps because I don't know what other people have going on or how many plates they are trying to keep spinning. It is rude and assumptive to do so. But then I am also infertile and I am used to horribly insensitive comments like this.

@IAmNotOkay I am so sorry Flowers

I would call them today and check they were okay.

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis · 23/12/2019 14:08

I’d have thought at 43 she’s given up and moved on, I have a relative in her 40s who wanted kids but her partner never did so they didn’t, I’d never think about her still feeling upset now, she’s 44.

Well, there you go. You know your relative, maybe she has. But 3 of my dearest friends are late 40s/early 50s and (2 single, one with a partner who didn't want children) - I know for a for a fact there is still a sadness about that for them. Tactless comments like that would be very hurtful.

The busy-ness of xmas with children is the fun fgs.

ThinkWittyThoughts · 23/12/2019 14:13

Bloody hell @Havelock that bingo card is awful. I have 2 but I didn't think I could have kids at all so for all my 20s got Shitty comments - but nothing as bad as "you're not a real woman until you have kids". I'm gobsmacked.

OP phone your friend - make sure she's okay and let her know this is one dickhead - most people don't believe that shit.

AllergicToAMop · 23/12/2019 14:13

I’d have thought at 43 she’s given up and moved on, I have a relative in her 40s who wanted kids but her partner never did so they didn’t, I’d never think about her still feeling upset now, she’s 44.

😱 And the medal for the most "WTF" comment today goes to this one. And trust me, there was some REALLY tough competition...

GabsAlot · 23/12/2019 14:21

its the 12inch remix of you dont know what it s like ah ha aha

JorisBonson · 23/12/2019 14:24

I get this all the time. Unlike your friend, I don't want children so it's water off a ducks back, but I can imagine it was very hurtful for her. YANBU. Hope your friend is ok.

hobnobsaremyfavourite · 23/12/2019 14:29

RainRain are you actually that dense in real life


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MarshaBradyo · 23/12/2019 14:29

RainRain it doesn’t work like that for everyone. No where near. The friend might be still feeling it.

GabsAlot · 23/12/2019 14:30

Oh if its so fucking hard dont have kids simple solution

Howtosupportmyfriend · 23/12/2019 14:45

Totally insensitive thing to say...but... maybe she was at the end of her rope and speaking from a place of stress? It really can be tough at Christmas with kids but it’s become unreasonable to mention it and maybe nobody has cared how she’s doing or been there to support her?

Christmas is stressful. Stress makes people behave in ways they might not normally. I don’t think a big deal should be made of it. If check on your friend today and then encourage her to let it go. No point dwelling on it.

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