My feed

to access all these features

Use our Single Parent forum to speak to other parents raising a child alone.

Lone parents

Is this an equal relationship,and am I being paranoid? Please some advice guys.

32 replies

Lila07 · 02/06/2008 19:53

I apologise for posting something so insignificant compared with the issues written in here, but I need advice on something that has been bothering me.
I'm a single parent who has moved into a new naughtyarea less than 2 years now, my son is three years old, very sociable and happy little boy who is already going to reception this September. Recently I have meet a mum who has also a three year old daughter going to the same nursery as my son, and we started getting on as she offered to give us a ride in her car to home as we live a few metres next to each other. She usually goes to soft play and my son has started going with her and her daughter as I tough it would be nice as I don't get out much with my son due to lack of transport and sometimes extra money to do so.
But recently I started feeling a bit jealous as my son only asks for this mum, and talks about her constantly and even had a few temper tantrums when she comes around ignoring me and throwing toys around, and also making aces at me while this mum plays with him. She does play with him a lot, which I don't see her doing it with her daughter and the last time my son behaved like this she started going on about going to Macdonalds and at the end of the afternoon asked me if I wanted to let him go over to her house after he just spend all afternoon being really naughty and throwing things around the house, of course I said no! I feel in disadvantage as I don't have a car, I cant afford to take him to Macdonalds, (not to mention that I dont like it) as she does or to soft play and she has a family while I don't have any family over here. She offers constantly to have him around but despite offering to have her daughter around in my house too, she always smiles but does not say anything, as she probably does not need it as she has a partner, her mum and her mother in law who sometimes take her daughter. To solve my son's behaviour and the fact that sometimes she tries to take over, I decided he would only go to her house once a week, she offered to have him in the afternoon and they are going to her mum's who I don't even know, and after to Macdonalds. I talked to someone about this, and I do agree that it is good for children to have their own friends and go to their houses, as this is an important step in their life's, enhancing their social skills, but I find she has a great deal of interest in having my son over and going out with him.The other day we went to the park and she was cleaning his face a coupleof times and rearranging his trousers just like he was his child, and I felt completely useless and inappropriate,just like I was an outsider or just a family friend watching my son being clean by another person other than me. After that my son comes over with a I dont love mummy anymore I love x, which is this other mom in question.After that I had a chat with her and told her I felt a bit undermined and jealous of mu son asking for her all the time, and I wanted to give it a break for a while. I invited her to come over but she makes excuses, and now we barely see her. Am I being jealous and having a hard time letting him go, as he's been glued to my hips since he was born? Or do I have reason to be upset or suspicious that she is trying to take over?She is a nice person, but she doesn't say much about herself and this is clearly about the children, but I find myself thinking why so much interest?Im I just being paranoid as I am sometimes? Please some help as this is doing my head in!

OP posts:
Mamazon · 02/06/2008 20:05

First of all....when you make your next post, try and put some paragraphs in as it is very difficult to read.

Anyway, i dont think this other mum is trying to take over. your son probably plays really well with her child so it makes her life easier for her when he is there.

ultimatly he is your child and if you dont feel comfortable with anything that is happening you should stop it straight away.

Lila07 · 02/06/2008 20:24

Yes its my first post. I apologise again for the long post. Thanks Mamazon for your answer but I still dont think its ok that if your child is having a tantrum, another mum present starts talking about taking him to Macdonalds and what he is going to eat , while he is being horrible to his mum. And to say please and thank you its really my job to do.

I do think she takes over as we dont clique really well, and we are not friends as she doest seem very interested in it. I have friends coming over who sometimes tell my son not to be naughty to mum but thats ok with me because I know them for a while and there is a relation ship between us. This is different, and I guess I felll guilty at the same time because I dont want my son to be cut out of people he like because ogf me thats why Im asking advice. I know my first post is a bit confusing!

OP posts:
garnettopaz · 02/06/2008 20:28

she seems a bit over the top tbh - i wouldn't like it and in the same situation i'm likely to react like you!

Lila07 · 02/06/2008 20:32

Its a pity in a way because the kids seem to get on, but she just takes over and know after the chat I havent heard anything from her, so more reasons to feel guilty. And this is only my first so called playdate!

OP posts:
JoanCrawford · 02/06/2008 20:38

It's hard to tell not knowing the ins and outs but your friend seems very kind and without an ulterior motive.

If she has had your son over a lot then she would have developed a rapport with him. She would wipe his face etc when he was in her charge and sometimes it's instinctive to sort a child out if their face needs a wipe regardless of the fact their mother is there. I have done it myself.

Maybe she thinks she's helping you out. Why do you think she doesn't come over to yours. what's your gut instinct on that one?

Lila07 · 02/06/2008 21:33

I completely understand that her and my son have created a rapport, and they get on well obviously hence one of the reasons I fell guilty. But still I expect to clean my son's face if Im present and I offered her several times if she wanted some wipes to clean her daughter's face but did not carried trought doing it myself as I feel its a bit insensitive of me to do so, as I do if her child is behaving badly I expect her to take over, because she is her mother and perhaps because I dont ever have a chance to have her daughter over because she says she doest need it, or smiles only when I invite her.

And she is a good person, my son loves her and she did offer to take him with her to softplay or to her house in several occasions and I do like her.

I just feel put apart, as there isnt a relationship between us, as she keeps to herself a lot and doest seem interested in getting to know me while she takes my son for whole afternoons.

And while she tells my son to say please and thank you, as well as I do ,as I was raised with manners and expect the same from my child even tough he is only 4, and wont dare to say to her dauther to ay thank or please as I feel its not my place to do so.

So apart from the taking over a bit and the lack of relationship between us, her life is very different from mine, Im a single parents who struggles financially, takes the bus everywhere and make sacrifices for my son to have things God only knows! She has her family nearby has a partner, a car, and doesnt even know how much water she pays!

So its not equal in a lot of ways and I feel undermined and in disadvantage as I dont think its right for another person to offer things to my son that I cant but am working hard everyday so I can give him exactly that the best.

The reason she doest call any more its maybe because in her mind I am being ungrateful which I probably am, but still I feel in disadvantage all the time and it makes me feel like an unfit mother who cant even clean her son's mouth, or tell him to say thanks!
I apologise Im rambling again..

OP posts:
ANTagony · 02/06/2008 21:55

Putting the shoe on the other foot...

Do you think that she might think you're disinterested in her DD because you don't wipe her face and tell her to mind her manors?

Lila07 · 02/06/2008 22:05

I dont do it because as I said,I dont think its my place to do so,and I did offer several times to have her DD over,but she doest seem interested. For me people cleaning my son's mouth or me doing the same to their children is really only if we know each other for quite a while and are really either close friends or family!

I have a good friend of mine,she is single no kids and she tells my son off and changes his nappy while I cook our dinner,but I know her for more than 2 years now and she is part of the family and a good friend to me.

I feel because of the distance between us,that its not my place to do so! Only if I had her DD over without her mum,then of course I would, but not with her mum present.

OP posts:
alice123 · 02/06/2008 22:42

I also hate it for example when other people tell my son off as I feel it is my job to do it if I am there so I can understand.

I think people are insensitive but I am also over sensitive. I think maybe you're also over sensitive but I agree that I'd have found it really annoying.

Lila07 · 02/06/2008 22:50

Im starting to think Im in the wrong here.
Yes she is a nice person I haven't said otherwise, and I am over sensitive and maybe jealous which is silly. Yes she might have all the good intentions towards my son, I would just like to be included in things and perhaps then I wouldn't feel like that!

I have chatted with her about this, and she just backed off.
I feel bad about it, but the lesson I ve learned is next time I want to have a playdate thingy I just need to find another mum, who I get on well as well and maybe who's in the same situation as me!

I tried to keep it friendly and even send her a message the other day saying how she was, have a nice weekend my son sends kisses, but the answer I got was short and after that nothing!

OP posts:
alice123 · 02/06/2008 23:16

well I would ring her and explain that you do feel oversensitive on the subject but you still appreciate her help. People have said I'm over sensitive etc. It would be a shame to lose someone who helps and your son is attached to because of it. Maybe say you son misses her company and you didn't mean it the way it sounded.

I do agree with you though and I'd have felt the same.

purpleduck · 02/06/2008 23:17

I am probably WAYYY out on a limb here, but it almost sounds like she looks down on you a bit...?

Just my impression.

I would probably cut back on contact - it sounds like you could benefit from cultivating more friendships, both for yourself and your son.

Good Luck

Tinkerbel6 · 03/06/2008 10:30

Lila I hate it people tell other peoples children off I see it as some kind of control over someone else's child cause they cant control their own children, one of my friend's does this to all her friend's children and its nearly come to blows quite a few times, next time she does it nip it in the bud straight away and say to her that its ok you are caple of telling your own child off and that your parenting skills are different to hers and that you have other forms of punishement

Lila07 · 03/06/2008 13:00

Exactly, thanks for your answer you ve been very kind. I just think its hard enough to raise a child on your own, if you have people around who are not in the same wavelength as you are, then things get a bit frustrating, even more so if you don't have people to talk to, that understand you.

I wont apologise as I haven't done anything wrong to her, perhaps if she apologised for telling my son to say thanks and please in my own house and in front of me, then I would apologise for being so over sensitive.

Still, my son still asks for her and my heart aches, he plays with her DD at nursery and they get on so well, always giggling together, I certainly don't want to spoil that.

Its a pity that the Mums don't get on like that. I just want to know if anyone had similar experiences as me, and what did you do about it?

OP posts:
alice123 · 03/06/2008 13:29

I've had similar experiences but haven't handled it very well just got annoyed. so can't really help

nametaken · 03/06/2008 20:16

I think a lot of people have met women like this. I've met a couple and my gut instinct was that they were patronising me, in order to make themselves feel better.

Especially the telling my kid to say please and thank you - what they are really doing is saying that your child is rude.

Not saying your friend is, just that thats how I felt.

savoycabbage · 03/06/2008 20:29

My 4 year old is ALWAYS saying she likes her daddy more than me and it hurts a lot BUT I do have to do all of the mundane stuff like going to the supermarket and emptying the washing machine and the majority of the telling off too. Good old daddy gets to do all of the nice things so I can see where she is coming from but it makes me so sad. Really though he doesn't lover her does he? You have to know that deep down. He loves you more than anything.

She does sound like a pain in the arse but if your children are close you are in a difficult situation. I am really bossy but I can't imagine doing some of the stuff she is doing!

I think I would try and get him a new friend, not to replace this one but as an addition. He is only 3 so go to some mother and toddler groups or to the park and see if you can strike up some conversations with people.

Where do you live?

EachPeachPearMum · 03/06/2008 21:16

TBH- I would find it odd that another mother I didn't know really well wanted to take my 3 year old off for a whole afternoon without his mum!
It is good to encourage friendships of course, and its lovely that he likes her daughter so much, but playdates surely should have both mums there- what if there were a serious accident- toddlers fall over frequently- what if he needed emergency treatment? Would she take that responsibility on, and discharge it as well as you, his mother would?

Are there other toddler groups or stay and plays you could go to,to meet other parents and children?
Which area are you in? Do you have a surestart or childrens centre nearby maybe?

Lila07 · 03/06/2008 21:51

Yes there's a few groups around considering the area,but I'm a bit of a shy person and I always feel that I don't fit well. I'm a bit of a geek, going to Uni this year, and very introvert, I like people who talk a lot so I can have a few recharges in between, while they carry on!

I do like a good chat and a good laugh but its hard to find unpretentious people these days I think, who are not always trying to prove them selves in some way. Im quite simple person, a bit stressed with the amount of stuff I always have to do, but quite easy going Live and let live kind of attitude.
I have had a hard life and I've learned not to take things for granted.

I have tried a few groups but the feedback wasn't what I expected and I just gave up going, not to mention that in these groups you meet other Mums who talk a lot about their personal lives, but then you see them next day across the road and they just blank you out! I find that extremely rude and shallow too. I like to have my friends around but they have no children but at least I don't feel judged a lot, and with other mums unless they are very down to earth and relaxed, I find it hard to gel. But you ll never know!

But then again my son could do with a few friends, and me too so, I don't know, either just let him make his own friends as he is going to reception this year, and just go to the park or just meet another Mum who got something to do with me, there must be someone!

OP posts:
EachPeachPearMum · 03/06/2008 21:59

It is hard isn't it- meeting new people!
Online its sooo much easier
Maybe there will be a parents soc or something similar at uni?
At least you'd have something in common with them.

savoycabbage · 04/06/2008 10:08

I think it is really hard to find genuine friends who also happen to have children who are about the same ages as your own. I have often found myself in a room full of people thinking 'how did I end up here' with people I wouldn't be friends with if we didn't have children But every so often you DO find one who you do get on with. I have a few friends who I met through having children who are wonderful and I would want to be friends with anyway. And then I have friends who I am not my absolute real self with if you know what I mean but our children get on.

WilyWombat · 04/06/2008 10:50

I was in a similar situation to you where DC had a friend, we went on a playdate to their house and it was all very 'nice' but I just never got on with the child's mother and always felt she thought she was better than me. A few years on I know know she is the alpha mum in the playground and has her little clique who gather around and pretty much listen to what she has to say, other friends I have say she makes them feel inferior too.

The situation with us was pretty much that she wanted someone for her child to play with and wasnt interested in me - she is obviously quite materialistic/shallow and therefore not my kind of person anyway so her loss

It IS hard to make friends with other parents often your child makes friends with someone whose parents are not the type of people you would choose to be friends with yourself.

I too like people who talk a lot, all that struggling to find something to say with someone you have nothing in common with is hard but it DOES get easier with practice Also it is hard to carry on a normal conversation when one eye is constantly on a child. Sometimes when the children were younger I used to think where are all the fun people you can have a laugh with.

I think the other thing is when you are younger you can tell who is your "type" of person by how they dress and, particularly when the children are young, the whole style thing goes out of the window Just try smiling and talking to everyone and hopefully eventually you will click with someone.

Lila07 · 04/06/2008 12:37

Well, I saw her yesterday at Nursery she smiled and said hello like nothing was the matter, but never asked how we were or nothing of the kind!

The other thing about these play dates, its that it always happens when other people have the time, but you really don't have the time that day, you don't want to be rude, so you say yes! Im dreading the wanting to come home and relax, and there she is with her DD, "Oh just thought we should wait for you today!" Oh great there goes the laundry and the shopping out of the window, what sucker I am really!

And then after that you don't hear from her for days and days? She never asks how I am or my son, not to mention the rest that I already written here. Is this how playdates are supposed to be? I cannot believe it.

Honestly, when I was a kid, my Mother had plenty of friends with kids and everyone was really close and wed stay for whole weekends, just like a big family, and never had any fallouts or anything of the kind.

I find it hard to keep a what seems to me a superficial relationship, just so my son can be passed on to another house to play with another child, be spoiled by another Mum in way I cannot afford. Then we spend whole afternoons me and my son at home when the weather is bad, sometimes my son gets bored and where is the mum I invited to come over? Oh sorry she's yet again busy doing something and she cant come over! Oh nice, shall I say the same next time she asks for my son to go over a whole afternoon?

I cant do this really, I just hope the mug that I am manages to say, "Sorry cant do it today!"
Or for that matter of fact never again!
I just feel stuck to it really, and the worst is that I find myself trying to please her, the more distant she is the more I try, it leaves me drained and feeling horrible!Yes Willywomb not to mention the forced conversations,I think its the hardest part. I just talk about my son really, which seems to be the only thing I get a response from that last more than 2.5 mnts, apart from that is mortal silence.

You know guys I think maybe playdates are not for me, unless like I said I meet someone really nice and who talks trough her elbows and is interested in more than occasional entertainment for the children, as mothers also need entertainment I think!

Now I just need to find a special pill to give my tod, so he can stop asking for this other Mum all the time, and just erase her from his head! How horrible am I?

OP posts:
VinegarTits · 04/06/2008 12:56

My god i would be giving this woman a wide birth if it were me! she sounds overbearing, controlling and patronising but in a very passive aggresive way iykwim. She acts like your not even his mother! she has no interest in you as a person, and she undermines you in front of your son. If fact it sounds like she is taking pleasure in becoming your sons 'favorite' person over you, she must have serious self confidence issues to use a child to her own advantage, to make her feel better about herself! i would not sit back at let this woman take over control of your parenting skills any longer. If anyone corrected my child on his manners, in front of me, i would be telling them to fuck right off (but thats just me) even my best friend, who i have known all my life, would not dare to do this to my ds. Stay well away, your ds will forget her in no time.

Quattrocento · 04/06/2008 13:05

You know I think you've got this entirely out of perspective.

There is a distinction between your child and her child being friends, and you and she being friends.

My children play at a lot of other childrens houses. It doesn't mean that I make demands or try to force a friendship with the parents.

She may have enough to do and not need/or want any more friends. You said yourself that you do not naturally click. So why force a friendship that is not naturally there?

But if you two parents are not friends, that should be no barrier to the children being friends.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.