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AIBU?

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:
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strawberrieshortcake · 23/12/2019 14:48

Rude insensitive and stupid. I can assure that nobody forced them to have kids and if it’s so bloody difficult they shouldn’t have had them. People love to martyr themselves as parents as if it’s not a choice.

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Howtosupportmyfriend · 23/12/2019 14:56

But reading this thread, I can see why so many mothers struggle silently with mh problems and stress. The attitude on here towards parents is awful. Parenting is wonderful but it is hard. It really is and parents should be allowed to say that just like anyone who’s struggling should be able to say they’re struggling, no matter what causes it. There seems to be this expectation that mothers should just suck it up and continue to struggle and then when they frazzle and snap, they’re criticises for it.
How about everyone just tries to be supportive of other people’s individual circumstances!

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Spitsandspots · 23/12/2019 14:57

I’d never think about her still feeling upset now, she’s 44

Well you really should. It isn’t an upset that goes away, no matter how old you get.

I once heard a colleague say to another, with an enviable figure, “it’s alright for you, it’s because you don’t have any kids”.
The poor woman had had several cycles of ivf and a miscarriage followed by a hysterectomy but yeah, it’s alright for her Shock

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StealthPolarBear · 23/12/2019 15:04

@ItsReallyNotOk love to you at Christmas x

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AllergicToAMop · 23/12/2019 15:06

Parenting is wonderful but it is hard. It really is and parents should be allowed to say that just like anyone who’s struggling should be able to say they’re struggling, no matter what causes it.

But they ARE allowed to say it obviously.
UNLESS!
It's the "I have it worse because I have children".

I think you misunderstood where the issue lies

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Yesterdayallmyfish · 23/12/2019 15:08

Quite frankly a lot of the comments on here spitting hate on OP's tactless friend last night seem to come from people far more unpleasant.

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VanyaHargreeves · 23/12/2019 15:09

The attitude on here towards parents is awful.

This is a parenting forum its primary ethos is to provide parents with support

All that is being said here is that parents should not elevate their experience into a hallowed position above the childless/childfree and verbally punish them in company. Not difficult.

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Butterflyflower1234 · 23/12/2019 15:12

This gets said to me ALL THE BLOODY TIME!! It drives me up the wall. I appreciate having children changes the dynamics but just saying "You don't have children so you wouldn't/don't understand".

There are some incredibly counsellors out there that probably have never had any of the issues that they see their clients for but that doesn't mean they also don't understand.

I've completely cut my sister out of my life due to a similar comment (well it was the straw that broke the camels back).

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WakeyShakey · 23/12/2019 15:12

@RainRainGoAwayComeAgain one of my aunt's is 83, she couldn't have children and she still wishes she could have. She would have been a terrific mum too.
It's so insensitive to make negative comments towards a childless person regarding their lack of opportunity to become parents.
Competitive tiredness winds me up.
💐 For you @ItsReallyNotok

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SerenDippitty · 23/12/2019 15:21

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.

You can move on from it - it’s 20 years since I was still actively ttc - but some insensitive comments can still catch you in the gut. And this one was very insensitive. It’s like having a scatpr that has healed but still aches or itches a bit sometimes.

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SerenDippitty · 23/12/2019 15:22

Scar not scatpr.

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Ihatemyseleffordoingthis · 23/12/2019 15:23

@Howtosupportmyfriend

"The attitude towards parents is awful" . Er, you what? This entire website is about supporting parents, that's it's point!

Of course, if people are struggling they should be able to say so, to ask for help, especially amongst friends. Telling someone struggling with childlessness they have it easy because they haven't had to go to the nativity as well as buy nice things for their kids is still inexcusably insensitive.

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plunkplunkfizz · 23/12/2019 15:24

This reply has been deleted

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beautifulstranger101 · 23/12/2019 15:36

Yes, its a very thoughtless hurtful thing to say, you never know who is struggling with infertility etc

However, I assume from the context of the comment it was an offhand remark which wasn't meant to be vitriolic. Not excusing it, just saying I wouldn't interpret malice behind it is all.

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ChasingRainbows19 · 23/12/2019 15:52

I don't have kids It's ok it's by choice. I work with them and enjoy being with them that way but the parent one upmanship pisses me off. I work in paediatrics for the NHS yes this time of year is the hardest for us, I'm bloody knackered due to how busy it is in work and it's stressful seeing these very sick kids day in day out.

I love Christmas but I get sad as my mum isn't here anymore ( she loved it!) but I don't say 'oh well least you have your mum so you can't get down at Christmas'. Everyone has there own battles and being a parent isn't the be all of life. I'm sure parents of adult children still get tired and stressed after they've left the nest....

I'm not stressed with Christmas tho I'm organised and all my family, friends etc have gifts ready wrapped. Everything is ready for Christmas Day. I'm actually not working so I will enjoy it for what it is and not get stressed over my non existent kids not enjoying the day or their gifts etc.

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reallychristmasaaagain · 23/12/2019 16:05

invalidating someone's feelings when they're expressing stress & overwhelm is always a thoughtless/nasty thing to do. I find Christmas/special events bring out the the best and the worst in people. You only have to go to a supermarket/shopping centre/town centre this time of year to see grumpy people pushing and shoving.

Not to mention the countless threads about dreading relatives visiting, fights about who is going where, moans about gifts etc. etc.

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User1483098432 · 23/12/2019 16:06

Some people don't seem to think before they speak. I've been trying for a baby for over 3 years and we're currently waiting for our referral for IVF. I've had similar comments made to me by other
people and whilst I don't think they always mean to be hurtful it still hits a nerve. Tell your friend to ignore it

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Straycatstrut · 23/12/2019 16:11

Thoughtless. I reckon it's the men who have kids letting the woman do it all - and I mean all - who have it easy. You know when Christmas just "happens" around them like they're still a kid.

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Ihatemyseleffordoingthis · 23/12/2019 16:12

"invalidating someone's feelings when they're expressing stress & overwhelm is always a thoughtless/nasty thing to do"

No-one has though, have they? Except on here, which won't hurt them. Unlike commenting on how someone's childnessness gives them an easy ride.

And tbh comparing infertility to a grumpy afternoon in the supermarket is quite odd.

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reallychristmasaaagain · 23/12/2019 16:17

eh? The Op is about a woman without kids who was saying how busy and stressed she was and was invalidated by being told she couldn't be as busy and stressed as a mum.

I think you've missed the point I was making about Christmas bringing out the worst in people in many manifestations and somehow got the wrong end fo the stick @Ihatemyseleffordoingthis

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Dolorabelle · 23/12/2019 16:19

people with kids come out with this pish all the time

Yup. Yet the people without children are the selfish ones. Apparently. Huh!

It’s ridiculous

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TheBlueStocking · 23/12/2019 16:20

In what way? Lots of reasons that can make Christmas very hard which have nothing to do with children

Are you aware how lacking in insight that comment is?

I'm sure you know how much insight a random stranger on the internet has into shit Christmases.

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mcmooberry · 23/12/2019 16:24

So rude and hurtful a comment as to make to someone who has no children but would have liked them. Appalling. Ideally she needs telling so she never does it again to anyone else.

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mcmooberry · 23/12/2019 16:27

@AllergicToAMop well said.

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SquashedOrange · 23/12/2019 16:36

It's the "I have it worse because I have children".

But having children does make any hard time you are having harder, it just does.

If I lose my job, it's made harder by having DC to care for.

If I'm ill, it's made harder because I still need to get on with and care for my DC.

If you have elderly parents to care for...it's made harder if you are also looking after DC.

If I'm tired, it's made harder by still needing to care for my DC.

And so on and so on.

Christmas comes with a million events that need to be attended/ remembered. Being responsible for not disappointing your kids on Xmas, isn't the same as buying gifts for other relatives.

I still think it was a twatty thing to say to OP's friend, but some of the comments on here towards parents are awful.

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