Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Devix on September 11, 2012, 02:59:06 PM

Title: It's because of your kid UPDATE pg 6, 14
Post by: Devix on September 11, 2012, 02:59:06 PM
In a certain group of friends almost everyone is either married or in a relationship.  Out of the 8 or so couples only one couple has a child that's going to be 18 months old.

Now we're all in our mid-twenties and a fairly boisterous bunch so our choice of activities tends to reflect that.  We will usually all meet up together either once or twice every two weeks and go to a bar or bowling or really anything where we can have something to drink and just chat without having to keep our voices down.  All the venues and activities we pick are geared towards more adult groups where you can tell a dirty joke or two and not have to worry about annoying the people around you.  This has been our habit for a couple of years and its been going well except now the couple with the child are feeling left out.

Mary and Mark had a baby by choice and now they have to deal with the responsibility that comes with it.  They're okay financially though I know Mark has had his hours at work cut back.  Usually they're fun to be around but their priorities have shifted with their child as it usually does.  Now the rest of the group still goes out and has fun but Mary and Mark can't join in most of the time usually for lack of babysitter though that's because Mary doesn't trust anyone to take care of the kid for more than a couple of hours.  For the past few months both Mary and Mark have been complaining about how they feel left out that the rest of us are having fun and they don't get a chance to catch up with us.  A lot of the time Mary will invite people to their house instead of going to the bar which is fairly normal since we'll have little parties in our homes whenever we don't feel like dealing with crowds.

Unfortunately, the new baby makes having fun at their house kind of impossible.  He has a bed time at around 6 o'clock and most of us don't even get out of work until then.  Whenever we are at the house, Mary and Mark will constantly tell everyone to be quiet so we don't wake up junior.  Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.  There is also the matter of space in which their little two-bedroom apartment just can't hold that many people comfortably.  They also have a habit of directing all conversation right back to baby talk which no one is interested in.

Simply put; no one wants to hang out at their house.  We'd much rather go to a bar or go to another friend's house where we're not treated like naughty children every time we curse.  Mary and Mark are always invited to each gathering and we've never made it a point to exclude them but they usually can't come because of the baby.  Now Mary has been complaining more than ever about them feeling excluded and whining about how we'll gladly meet up at Casey's apartment or Joe's but we never want to go to theirs.

Should we let Mary and Mark know the reason why we don't want to go to their place?
Should you call your friends out when they're getting a bit baby-crazy?
Or should we all just kind of mumble and ignore?
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: C0mputerGeek on September 11, 2012, 03:10:04 PM
I do suggest being honest about why you don't want to go to their place. I think it's quite reasonable to want to gather where there are enough chairs and you can speak at a normal volume. Perhaps Mark and Mary will see this once it's been laid out for them. The priorities of Mark and Mary have changed, whih is fine. What is not fine is expecting the rest of you to fall in step.

One thing I might suggest, if this sort of thing appeals to you, is to change some of the outings up a bit. I know for my friends with kids, I'll also schedule kid-friendly stuff like museums and zoos where the entire family is included. That way, we can hang out and they won't need to worry about a sitter. Of course, parks and zoos and museums appeal to me to this is not a hardship for me.

I honestly think it will be quite difficult to tell a new parent that they are baby-crazy and have them not offense.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Zilla on September 11, 2012, 03:12:39 PM
Can you redirect it? Say, "Oh I don't want to disturb Junior's bedtime as I remembered we had to be quiet.  We can do it at my place where we can be as loud as we want to be.  Oh remember that time..." and change the subject. 


But honestly, if they don't want to use a sitter, that's on them.  I would just use a variation of the above each time.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MyFamily on September 11, 2012, 03:13:41 PM
Your subject line is not correct - you are not not hanging out with them as much because of their kid, you are not hanging out with them as much because of how they are acting.  Since they won't leave their child with a babysitter, and they want to host in their home but are not making it comfortable for their guests, it means you are not hanging out with them.

Yeah, if you tell them that they are very likely to yell 'you hate kids you evil nasty person!', so my feeling is don't say anything and keep going as you've been going.  They are likely to make new friends and create new circles that fit the stage of life they are currently in. I would suggest, though, that you try to do things with your friends outside of the group - ie get together for lunch on the weekends or just you go over for pizza and a movie, not as a group but as one or two people.  Change how you relate with them.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 11, 2012, 03:13:54 PM
Here's the thing, at least from my perspective.  Some people make those changes without having children. A lot of people reach a point where a dirty joke is really dirty more than anything and they prefer fun/humor that doesn't need to go there.  And a lot of people might have jobs that start early in the morning and require them to get to bed a bit early. Some people enjoy fairly quiet conversation.  Even if you enjoy the dirty jokes, the being loud, etc.  I find it hard to believe you can't enjoy quiet conversation at all or that you've never heard a clean joke that isn't funny.

I t sounds like you can do a lot of stuff without them but that they want to be included sometimes and when they are they would like to have their new tastes considered a bit.  I certainly don't think every event, or even most, need to be timed and held so they can attend but I do think going to their place once in a while and doing it "their way" is not a bit baby-crazy, it is the give and take that happens when friends care enough to be there for each other.  You are in your mid-twenties - more of you are going to change, so i'd be a bit open to it.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Cat-Fu on September 11, 2012, 03:21:14 PM
Presumably Mary and Mark knew about their friends' dirty sense of humor before they had a child. It's true that people change and interests shift, but I don't think the solution is scolding friends until their mannerisms and activities suit your preferences.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: WillyNilly on September 11, 2012, 03:21:27 PM
Should we let Mary and Mark know the reason why we don't want to go to their place?
Should you call your friends out when they're getting a bit baby-crazy?
Or should we all just kind of mumble and ignore?

Yes.  But gently, and soberly and don't mention the babysitter thing.

But as a friend be kind, be compassionate and say "Mary, Mark, listen this does need to be addressed.  We understand you feel left out.  We've felt your lack of presence and missed you too.  Unfortunately the reality is while we adore junior, we have all made a conscious choice to not have kids yet because we aren't ready to curtail our social lives yet.  That you made a different choice means your options are different then ours.  We absolutely would love for you to join us at the bar or the bowling alley, etc and will continue to invite you even though we know you often can't make it.  But its not fair to ask we stop going because you can't.  We'll keep inviting you to people's homes as well and the same goes for that.  But honestly we don't often go to your home because its not the same - we have to be quieter, we can't tell the same jokes and stories, we have to curtail our behavior in ways we didn't sign up for and aren't ready to take on.  Sure once in a while we will because we enjoy you both and want to spend time with you, but its not fair to blame your new social position on us when its due to your life choices."

Expect them to be hurt, maybe even offended but realize its not a hurtful or offensive thing to tell them the truth, gently and with love.

You might also ask that they find ways to make socializing work by having them suggest things everyone can do that work for them and everyone else.  Perhaps a Saturday afternoon BBQ, where adults can drink and the kiddo can run around out of earshot but in sight.  Or alternating events like Mary comes out for a Sunday brunch with cocktails and then you all go for manicures while Mark is home with the baby and next week the guys go out for golf & beer while Mary is home.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on September 11, 2012, 03:29:44 PM
Can you redirect it? Say, "Oh I don't want to disturb Junior's bedtime as I remembered we had to be quiet.  We can do it at my place where we can be as loud as we want to be.  Oh remember that time..." and change the subject. 


But honestly, if they don't want to use a sitter, that's on them.  I would just use a variation of the above each time.

POD to the bolded above.

Really, my guess is that Mary and Mark know what's going on but just don't want to admit it to themselves. The dynamic of the group is what it is and if you try to change to accommodate one couple, it's almost inevitable that the group will fall apart. In this kind of situation, if other couples in the group start having kids, the dynamic may naturally change to accommodate that. If not, Mary and Mark will probably naturally move on to find other friends and groups of friends who have the child aspect in common. Maybe they'll still be part of your group only not attend as often. Maybe as the child gets older, they will be ok with babysitters.

Just as an aside, the "be quiet while junior is sleeping" philosophy has always baffled me. When my kids were babies they could sleep through anything. I used to do all kinds of things in my baby's room while he slept, including rearranging his closet once. It's adults who need ultra-quiet to be able to sleep, not babies.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Paper Roses on September 11, 2012, 03:50:14 PM
I think one thing to keep in mind is that it's not really "because of their kid," but rather the way they insist people change their behavior around the child that is putting everyone off.  May seem nitpicky, but I think it's important to distinguish that it's not the child that's the problem, but the change in the parents since having the child.

Otherwise, I agree with the PPs about how to handle it.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MrsJWine on September 11, 2012, 03:54:33 PM
Be honest. A lot of things have to change when you have kids. A lot of things don't. But they're expecting to be able to maintain the same lifestyle while their friends make the sacrifices. It doesn't work that way. "I love you guys, but get-togethers aren't that much fun when we have to whisper all the time." "Can you come out this weekend, and Mark the next?"

White noise. I learned to love it very early on. A box fan set on medium will drown out almost anything. They also make white noise machines that cost very little. A towel crammed up against the crack under the door really helps, too, if you have one of those old, echo-y, hardwood floor houses with big spaces under the doors. Also, if you train your kid to sleep through voices in the other room, he will be very grateful as an adult.

I have a girls' night at my apartment every couple of months. Fifteen ladies in our little living room are not exactly quiet. We're like a herd of hyenas, actually. My kids sleep straight through it. The white noise drowns out a lot of it, and the little bit that you can hear in their room, they sleep through. As long as no one starts yelling in the hallway (they don't), everyone's fine.

When it comes to going out, my husband and I take turns. A babysitter every weekend would really add up. Hey, it's less fun than going out together every weekend like we used to, but it's better than whining at people who have the audacity to not bend to our new lifestyle.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on September 11, 2012, 04:21:49 PM
Your subject line is not correct - you are not not hanging out with them as much because of their kid, you are not hanging out with them as much because of how they are acting.

You're absolutely right.  The problem is with them and not the baby.  Junior is an adorably happy, bouncy baby boy and he's lot of fun to play with but he needs structure and stability to grow up healthy.  The problem is with the parents but it's become a bit of a running joke in our group that whenever anyone asks why Mark and Mary aren't there someone will always reply with "Because of the kid."

@Sharnita:  I can enjoy quiet conversation but I have no desire to.  The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.  It is a give and take but we've tried it their way on 3 separate occasions and they have yet to reciprocate and join in on occasions that didn't take place in their home. 


For those who suggested child-friendly activities...that just isn't an option right now.  Most of us work white-collar jobs and some of us are in grad school so the only time we really have to hang out are Friday and Saturday nights usually after 7.  Not a lot of child-friendly places are open that late and after a very long day at work we all just want to sit around and unwind.

Though WillyNilly's advice certainly seems spot on.  I wouldn't mind going to their home for a nice brunch or even just for a visit sometime during the weekend but these large group meetings just won't work. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on September 11, 2012, 04:25:58 PM
Hmmm I think when they suggested hanging out at their place, I'd say something like, "That doesn't seem to work out so well because it's hard to keep quiet enough to not disturb the baby. We'll meet at X Bar. Hopefully you can make it at least for a little while!"

They can either start getting a babysitter or miss out until everyone else starts having kids and the group starts to meet at the park. LOL. But for a while anyway they're on their own. They can't expect the whole group to change because of their baby.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MrsO on September 11, 2012, 04:38:16 PM


I t sounds like you can do a lot of stuff without them but that they want to be included sometimes and when they are they would like to have their new tastes considered a bit.  I certainly don't think every event, or even most, need to be timed and held so they can attend but I do think going to their place once in a while and doing it "their way" is not a bit baby-crazy, it is the give and take that happens when friends care enough to be there for each other.  You are in your mid-twenties - more of you are going to change, so i'd be a bit open to it.

What, so they have to change the whole group dynamic to suit the couple with a  baby?

Also, not wanting them to tell dirty jokes while the kid is *in bed* is just ridiculous.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Knitterly on September 11, 2012, 04:39:58 PM
I think one thing to keep in mind is that it's not really "because of their kid," but rather the way they insist people change their behavior around the child that is putting everyone off.  May seem nitpicky, but I think it's important to distinguish that it's not the child that's the problem, but the change in the parents since having the child.

Otherwise, I agree with the PPs about how to handle it.

Parking my pod right here.

I don't think it's nitpicky at all.  You phrased very succinctly what I was thinking when I first read this.

I have friends who have children and friends who don't.  Among those who have kids, I have two types of friends: those who change their lives significantly after having children and those who fit their children into their lives and do not expect their friends to change who they are.  It has been my experience that the former lose friends and have friendships fade while the latter manage to maintain their friendships and their social lives.  I have also noticed a marked difference in the behaviour of the kids between the former and the latter.  I find it more pleasant to be around the latter for many reasons.

I have had friends complain to me about losing friends after having kids.  It's very hard not to point out how difficult they make it for their friends to want to be around them when they have endless rules about how to change their behaviour.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 11, 2012, 05:05:00 PM


I t sounds like you can do a lot of stuff without them but that they want to be included sometimes and when they are they would like to have their new tastes considered a bit.  I certainly don't think every event, or even most, need to be timed and held so they can attend but I do think going to their place once in a while and doing it "their way" is not a bit baby-crazy, it is the give and take that happens when friends care enough to be there for each other.  You are in your mid-twenties - more of you are going to change, so i'd be a bit open to it.

What, so they have to change the whole group dynamic to suit the couple with a  baby?

Also, not wanting them to tell dirty jokes while the kid is *in bed* is just ridiculous.

No, I suggested going on as normal and just adjusting once in a while.  To me, that isn't changing "the whole group dynamic".   That would be making a small adjustment once in a while.  I do that for friends I really like.  Maybe I let them choose a movie that isn't my top pick.  Or they choose a restaurant that isn't my favorite. Now they don't call the shots all the time but do I sometimes put their needs or wishes ahead of mine - yes. It isn't an all or nothing situation in most cases.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: HonorH on September 11, 2012, 05:19:21 PM
I suspect the situation will resolve itself as Mark and Mary start meeting other couples with babies and begin forming friendships with people in their stage of life. They've changed their lifestyle and the rest of you haven't. It's what happens. No one's right or wrong.

In the meantime, keep inviting them out, but it would be good if someone could gently tell them that it's hard for a boisterous group like yours to meet at their apartment. Perhaps you could do some "all girl" things with Mary and the guys could have some "all guy" time with Mike to alleviate the babysitter problem. But I'd lay money that they'll start drifting away.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 11, 2012, 05:21:33 PM
I suspect the situation will resolve itself as Mark and Mary start meeting other couples with babies and begin forming friendships with people in their stage of life. They've changed their lifestyle and the rest of you haven't. It's what happens. No one's right or wrong.

In the meantime, keep inviting them out, but it would be good if someone could gently tell them that it's hard for a boisterous group like yours to meet at their apartment. Perhaps you could do some "all girl" things with Mary and the guys could have some "all guy" time with Mike to alleviate the babysitter problem. But I'd lay money that they'll start drifting away.

The guys doing a guy event /girls doing a girl event might be a good option from time to time.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: bah12 on September 11, 2012, 06:15:53 PM
As the only couple with a young child in my group of friends, I understand how Mark and Mary feel.  Feeling left out is normal when your life changes significantly and no one else's does.  Yes, they had a child by choice but telling them "deal with it" isn't how true friendships work.

You need to be honest with them and let them know why you don't enjoy hanging out at their house.  While they can't expect that their friends will cater to their new life 100% of the time, it certainly isn't unreasonable for their friends to cater to their new life once in a while.  And I'm sure there's room for compromise on both sides.  They can probably get themselves to the point of hiring a babysitter for outings they really want to attend and you guys can hang out their house every now and then so they don't have to get a babysitter...and yes, you guys can also not hang out sometimes.

Sure, they'll probably eventually fall into a new group of friends who are more readily able to socialize with them the way they feel comfortable and that's ok too.  I just think/hope that you (your general group of friends) would make some effort to keep the friendship you've had up to this point in tact.

If Mary is feeling particularly down and left out, why not invite her out for an all girls night and then trade off with the boys at a later date so her husband can have some fun too.  And yeah, if they want to hang out like old times together, then they need to break down and get a babysitter.  Maybe if you guys had some open and honest conversation about what's going on, they will be more ready to see how important it is that they do that.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lovepickles on September 11, 2012, 06:37:27 PM
One of my old BFFs from college had a kid. Wow was that a shock. I totally didn't get it. Well, until I had a kid. She tried sooo hard to keep up with us that she really stressed herself out. I wish I knew what she felt but sometimes you have to be in the situation to truly appreciate it. For other totally unrelated reasons our friendship ended but when I became a mom I remembered her and how hard she tried to keep her old life up. All I can say is that it is a rough transition to parent hood. Accept that your friendship may never be the same, she probably should too. But don't break ties over this because should you make the transition, one day, it helps to have friends on the other side!

I like the idea of a girls night. Then there is also the idea of a day-spa hot-springs kind of deal depending where you are. Or a pool. It is really hot today so that is about all I can suggest. Moms like daytime outings when they can leave the baby with Dad. Pedicures, shopping ... gawd this sounds really cliche. :p
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: fountainof on September 11, 2012, 06:38:13 PM
I was the one with the kid as well.  I guess maybe because I never really did the bar thing my DD just sort of merged into the activities I always did with my best friends such as lunch, shopping, etc.  Sure there was one challenging year there (age 1.5 to 2.5) where restaurants were hard but we did alternate things such as dinner at my place or another friend's.  My DH is disabled (blind) so it was difficult for him to watch DD alone until she could speak well and was potty trained.  Anyway, I do appreciate how accommodating my friends are and I try to be a good friend and tell them how much I appreciate it.

So I do think it would be nice to try and do a brunch every once in a while.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on September 11, 2012, 06:50:25 PM


I t sounds like you can do a lot of stuff without them but that they want to be included sometimes and when they are they would like to have their new tastes considered a bit.  I certainly don't think every event, or even most, need to be timed and held so they can attend but I do think going to their place once in a while and doing it "their way" is not a bit baby-crazy, it is the give and take that happens when friends care enough to be there for each other.  You are in your mid-twenties - more of you are going to change, so i'd be a bit open to it.

What, so they have to change the whole group dynamic to suit the couple with a  baby?

Also, not wanting them to tell dirty jokes while the kid is *in bed* is just ridiculous.

No, I suggested going on as normal and just adjusting once in a while.  To me, that isn't changing "the whole group dynamic".   That would be making a small adjustment once in a while.  I do that for friends I really like.  Maybe I let them choose a movie that isn't my top pick.  Or they choose a restaurant that isn't my favorite. Now they don't call the shots all the time but do I sometimes put their needs or wishes ahead of mine - yes. It isn't an all or nothing situation in most cases.


  The problem with this is the group is expected to do the accommodating and the parents none at all - and that is exactly the situation they have now.  They have done this THREE times and the parents have done nothing to fit into the group as it stands. That's going to lead to bad feelings - if it hasn't already ready.   The group likes itself as it is, it did not have the child, has already done some accommodating AND when they do that, they get treated shabbily by the parents. It's time to get honest and say  "We did not sign up for parenting and we have gone as far as we can in accommodating you,, you need to meet us halfway - or more."  It seems like the parents don't want to change themselves but want everything to change for them.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 11, 2012, 07:08:04 PM
As the couple with the first kid I POD WillyNilly.  Tell your friends the issue. 

But if they are true friends versus just "running buddies" find times that you can visit with them.  A foursome at their house with delivery pizza and a night of games with the two kids, or 3 couples get together for a dinner out with the baby in a high chair then the family heads home and the other two couples head to the bar. 

But being completely frank, even after I had kids I didn't enjoy hanging with people who were what we referred to as parental anal.  Lives revolving around feeding times or bed time or having quiet hours while baby was a sleep was not how we parented and I wasn't willing to accommodate that behavior in many cases.  So parental anal fell out of our social circle pretty early.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 11, 2012, 07:22:03 PM
As the couple with the first kid I POD WillyNilly.  Tell your friends the issue. 

But if they are true friends versus just "running buddies" find times that you can visit with them.  A foursome at their house with delivery pizza and a night of games with the two kids, or 3 couples get together for a dinner out with the baby in a high chair then the family heads home and the other two couples head to the bar. 

But being completely frank, even after I had kids I didn't enjoy hanging with people who were what we referred to as parental anal.  Lives revolving around feeding times or bed time or having quiet hours while baby was a sleep was not how we parented and I wasn't willing to accommodate that behavior in many cases.  So parental anal fell out of our social circle pretty early.

Same here. I guess it was partly because our boys were all pretty easy going as babies and thus easy to take just about anywhere.  My parents had told me they could take me anywhere and did when I was a baby.  So I guess I kinda learned from them that your social life doesn't have to come to a grinding halt when you have kids.  (Though I still wouldn't take a baby to a smoky pool hall like they did but that was the 70's so I guess it was different then)

We'd take our boys with us to friend's houses, feed them, let them socialize a bit, then we'd put the boys down, either in their car seat or a portacrib in another room and usually we could talk at normal volumes and even laugh loud without a worry.   DH has a LOUD laugh so if the boys could sleep through that, conversation at normal volumes wasn't going to bother them.

We did have the parental anals though, and it did get a bit annoying.  Especially when the kid was a toddler and trying to get into things and the parents wouldn't reign them in, or they'd do the "Let's go to bed, okay? Do you want to go night night?" Then when the kid said no they'd shrug and look at us like "What do you expect us to do? He doesn't want to nap!"  ::)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: weeblewobble on September 11, 2012, 07:27:29 PM
They can't have it both ways.  They can't be super-overprotective parents who don't want to leave their child with other people and don't want inappropriate humor/loudness to damage junior's psyche, and then complain because they're excluded.  Basically, they're asking everybody around them to adjust to them, rather than making the adjustments that every parent has to make when socializing.

When Mary announces parties at her house, decline.  If she tries to move activities to their house, say, "No, sorry, that won't work."  If they don't want to join in because the venue is not on their "approved" list, that's a decision they have to make. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Bob Ducca on September 11, 2012, 08:01:38 PM
People change.  Nothing wrong with that.  The problem is that some people think that their personal changes are *right* and everyone who doesn't change is *wrong*.  I don't care if it's because of kids, maturity, newfound wealth, or an adoption of a new belief system; when you expect everyone in your social circle to change long-standing behavior and/or traditions to suit your new preferences, it is selfish and entitled.

There is a middle ground.  The couple with a child can accept that their lives have changed and deal with it in a number of ways.  I think the OP should tell them (gently and nicely) that gatherings in their home won't work on a regular basis.  The couple's lives have changed, but they have to accept that not everyone else in their social circle got a vote, so they need to deal.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on September 11, 2012, 09:20:42 PM
How about inviting them out for girls'/guys' night out.  Not the same night - ladies can invite Mary out one night, and Mark can go out with the guys the following night.  That way, while one parent is out, the other one's home with the baby.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Bluenomi on September 11, 2012, 09:40:36 PM
How about inviting them out for girls'/guys' night out.  Not the same night - ladies can invite Mary out one night, and Mark can go out with the guys the following night.  That way, while one parent is out, the other one's home with the baby.

This! We do that now most of us have kids. We girls have bookclub once a month and the guys have poker/games nights. That way one parent can stay home with the kids while the other goes out. There are the odd events where both parents are invited and since we don't have any avalible babysitters besides friends who are probably going we either don't go or just one of us does.

If you have a kid, you need to adjust, not your friends
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on September 11, 2012, 09:56:55 PM
How about inviting them out for girls'/guys' night out.  Not the same night - ladies can invite Mary out one night, and Mark can go out with the guys the following night.  That way, while one parent is out, the other one's home with the baby.

This! We do that now most of us have kids. We girls have bookclub once a month and the guys have poker/games nights. That way one parent can stay home with the kids while the other goes out. There are the odd events where both parents are invited and since we don't have any avalible babysitters besides friends who are probably going we either don't go or just one of us does.

If you have a kid, you need to adjust, not your friends


This changes the entire tenure of the group - why do they get to get segregated into two groups ?  quiet for babyThis is a group of both genders that enjoy a certain type of interaction and humor. They should not have to give up interacting with half the group because this couple had a kid and won't accommodate anything but "it's at our house and you need to be very quiet for baby and only X type of jokes are allowed."
    I think the couple needs to re-evaluate what they are asking of their friends and the group needs to see that if they start giving into to this stuff the group will not be what it is now, and likely they will loose more than just the two people.
   
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 11, 2012, 10:06:06 PM
I certainly wouldn't do it all or even most of the time but once in a while - if somebody was truly a friend I would do some bending.  I guess it depends on how you view friendship and what you think that relationship requires of you.  I think they owe the group an understanding that most gatherings will be the way they always have been and the group owes them an occasional gathering that suits them.  That is, if they are all truly friends.  Now, if they are friendly instead of friends nobody owes anybody as much.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: WillyNilly on September 11, 2012, 10:22:32 PM
While I think an occasional girls night or guys night (or days) is a good idea, in general actually not even in relation to the new parents, the reality is the couple can trade off on nights out even if the whole group is still the whole co-ed group.  Just because everyone is going bowling Friday night doesn't mean Mary can't go with out Mark, or vice versa.  One parent can go out while the other stays in with the kiddo and the next week, the other goes out and the other stays in.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 11, 2012, 10:42:20 PM
While I think an occasional girls night or guys night (or days) is a good idea, in general actually not even in relation to the new parents, the reality is the couple can trade off on nights out even if the whole group is still the whole co-ed group.  Just because everyone is going bowling Friday night doesn't mean Mary can't go with out Mark, or vice versa.  One parent can go out while the other stays in with the kiddo and the next week, the other goes out and the other stays in.

very true.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: nuit93 on September 12, 2012, 12:47:51 AM
Did the couple expect that their social life would change dramatically after having a child, or did they expect things to stay the same?

I've known people who fell into the latter category (even after being repeatedly told "no, really, things are going to change and you won't be able to do all the things you used to do).  Reality ended up being harsh for them.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: O'Dell on September 12, 2012, 06:11:08 AM
He has a bed time at around 6 o'clock and most of us don't even get out of work until then.  Whenever we are at the house, Mary and Mark will constantly tell everyone to be quiet so we don't wake up junior. Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.  There is also the matter of space in which their little two-bedroom apartment just can't hold that many people comfortably.  They also have a habit of directing all conversation right back to baby talk which no one is interested in.

If it were just the underlined portions of your first post, I'd encourage you to suck it up once in awhile. I don't think being quiet or putting up with some discomfort in seating/space is too much to ask of a friend.

However, the bolded stuff is too much and puts the squarely into controlling and boorish behavior. Worrying about the jokes people tell when he's in another room asleep? Knowing what their friends are like and having been that way themselves pre-child? And anyone directing a conversation back to someone only he/she is interested in is rude.

If you don't want to drift away or modify your behavior (and why would you??), then I think you need to bite the bullet and say something. Others have given you some good wording. I'm afraid my tactic would be to "jokingly" point out the irony of how they spoke and acted before they had a kid. :P
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Knitterly on September 12, 2012, 08:25:41 AM
Did the couple expect that their social life would change dramatically after having a child, or did they expect things to stay the same?

I've known people who fell into the latter category (even after being repeatedly told "no, really, things are going to change and you won't be able to do all the things you used to do).  Reality ended up being harsh for them.

I'd just like to voice my experience on this matter.  Having Little Knit did not significantly impact my social life.  Having a baby does not have to change everything.  It does if you let it, but babies are remarkably adaptable and it doesn't have to.

I'll give two real examples of two friends who had kids before me.
Marissa was the first friend in our group to have a baby.  Things like movies, of course, stopped for a little while in the first year.  But her husband Brad still came out with the group for those.  Our games nights continued as normal.  There was no need for hushed voices.  They decided in the early days not to go around whispering when Lina slept so that she would learn to sleep through noise.  And she did.  Trips to retaurants involved bringing Lina along in her carseat.  She would quietly sleep.  Later, she would sit on Marissa's lap or cuddle up in a wrap.  Now, at 4, she can sit quietly in a restaurant and behave herself, and has been able to since she was old enough to sit up.  It's just a part of her life.  None of us changed and because Marissa and Brad were so easy going, we were all perfectly happy to accomodate their occasional requests to do things differently.

Duala also had a baby a short while later.  She did things very differently from Marissa.  Neither she nor her husband continued going to the movies.  If one couldn't go, the other wouldn't.  After bedtime, no one was allowed to speak above a low voice.  She thought it was abominably selfish to bring little Leslie out to a restaurant, even if Leslie was sleeping.  (Incidentally, at 3 almost 4, Leslie cannot sit still at a restaurant.)  Getting together with them was always on their terms.  After a while, their friends started dropping them from activities.

It was the attitude, not the child.

As a side note, I opted for Marissa's approach and slotted Little Knit into my life rather than making lots of changes and I have found myself much happier for it.  Of course, I modified things to an extent, but never expected others to make changes.  As a result, my social life is not extremely different now than it was before LK came along.

Edited, as I just realized I mixed up the ages of Marissa and Duala's kids. ;)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 12, 2012, 08:32:57 AM
Based on OP's description of the group as boistrous is sounds like they are a bit louder than normal conversation.  I am not sure if the parents are asking for whispers or that people refrain from shouting.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: VltGrantham on September 12, 2012, 08:51:50 AM
Quote
But being completely frank, even after I had kids I didn't enjoy hanging with people who were what we referred to as parental anal.  Lives revolving around feeding times or bed time or having quiet hours while baby was a sleep was not how we parented and I wasn't willing to accommodate that behavior in many cases.  So parental anal fell out of our social circle pretty early.

I avoid them like the plague too.  Telling an off-color joke or using the occasional epithet (though not my style) should negatively impact a sleeping child.  We tend to avoid parents who behave like this--just being around them stresses me out because I am not the type to go chasing after DD all the time, watching every single thing said or done, or not taking time for myself or even my husband.

I remember some couple at our church reacting in horror when they heard that not only had I gone to the spa for several hours just days after DD was born but that DH and I had gone to a movie that week as well.  They claimed we couldn't possibly love her, were selfish, and that it was shocking considering the lengths we had gone to, to have a child.  If we don't take time for ourselves and each other, we are cheating ourselves and DD.  No one can do that for a long period of time.  And it doesn't have to be a day at the spa or a night at the movies--it can be something as simple as napping and reading or having a romantic dinner at home when the baby is asleep.

Forgive me for saying this, but while we understood that our lives would be irrevocably changed, we had expected DD to conform in large part to our lifestyle, not the other way around.  I suspect that wouldn't work in all cases, but I do appreciate the fact that we can take her to nice restaurants, movies, theater, have adult parties at home, and still spend a lot of quality time together as a couple.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 12, 2012, 09:45:08 AM

As a side note, I opted for Marissa's approach and slotted Little Knit into my life rather than making lots of changes and I have found myself much happier for it.  Of course, I modified things to an extent, but never expected others to make changes.  As a result, my social life is not extremely different now than it was before LK came along.

It ends up being a lot easier on the parents and the kids for things to be more relaxed when they're babies.  We don't go to movies as much but that's mostly because it's expensive for a family of 5 to go with the tickets being anywhere between $8-$11 per ticket, and Piratebabe's getting to the age where it's not as easy to keep him still and quiet in the theater.   

Now it's easy to take them just about anywhere.  Once we had a retired school teacher compliment us on how well behaved our older two were when we were out to eat at a sit down family restaurant. :)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Auntie Mame on September 12, 2012, 12:19:37 PM
Based on OP's description of the group as boistrous is sounds like they are a bit louder than normal conversation.  I am not sure if the parents are asking for whispers or that people refrain from shouting.

Spending an evening in a small aprtment quietly whispering about one couple's baby does not sound like fun to me.  Because, as the OP stated, they direct all conversation back to the baby.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Minmom3 on September 12, 2012, 02:19:07 PM
About the white noise thing - I used to have a friend who had a preemie who stayed in NICU for many weeks.  When she finally got to bring him home, she did the 'silent house' thing that so many of us fall into, thinking it's a good thing.  Well, the baby would go down like a champ, but wake right up as soon as she put him in his crib.  Finally, either after talking to the Dr. or friends or somebody, she was reminded just how loud NICU is - it's anything BUT quiet.  From then on, she put a TV in the baby's room, or put his crib in front of the TV, take your pick.  TV was turned on to a fairly loud level, and lo and behold, that baby again slept like a champ.   She had fallen into the fallacy that the house needed to be all but silent, not realizing that silence was not what her baby was accustomed to.  Life was much easier for everybody once she realized that.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Oh Joy on September 12, 2012, 02:45:01 PM
...
Should we let Mary and Mark know the reason why we don't want to go to their place?
Should you call your friends out when they're getting a bit baby-crazy?
Or should we all just kind of mumble and ignore?

I think maintaining a tone of 'We're going to XYZ...I hope one or both of you can make it!' is a good approach.  If they suggest their own place instead, I don't see a problem with a response of 'Our group's so loud and off-color...we're probably better off somewhere we won't disturb Junior,' or something similar.

I don't think I'd call them out on being baby crazy.

Friendship dynamics change with life changes (I made a swift transition from active single gal to married mother and am still figuring out what works for me and my former circles) but that doesn't mean the whole group must accommodate the one couple.

Best wishes.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: cheyne on September 12, 2012, 03:52:34 PM
It sounds like the OP's group likes to go to loud adult places.   Bars and bowling alleys are not the most 18 month old child friendly places IMO.

...
Should we let Mary and Mark know the reason why we don't want to go to their place?
Should you call your friends out when they're getting a bit baby-crazy?
Or should we all just kind of mumble and ignore?

I think maintaining a tone of 'We're going to XYZ...I hope one or both of you can make it!' is a good approach.  If they suggest their own place instead, I don't see a problem with a response of 'Our group's so loud and off-color...we're probably better off somewhere we won't disturb Junior,' or something similar.

<snip>


I like what Oh Joy says here.  You are showing Mark and Mary that you still desire their company, but are unwilling to go to their home and completely change your group dynamic.   
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: hobish on September 12, 2012, 04:05:00 PM
Should we let Mary and Mark know the reason why we don't want to go to their place?
Should you call your friends out when they're getting a bit baby-crazy?
Or should we all just kind of mumble and ignore?

Yes.  But gently, and soberly and don't mention the babysitter thing.

But as a friend be kind, be compassionate and say "Mary, Mark, listen this does need to be addressed.  We understand you feel left out.  We've felt your lack of presence and missed you too.  Unfortunately the reality is while we adore junior, we have all made a conscious choice to not have kids yet because we aren't ready to curtail our social lives yet.  That you made a different choice means your options are different then ours.  We absolutely would love for you to join us at the bar or the bowling alley, etc and will continue to invite you even though we know you often can't make it.  But its not fair to ask we stop going because you can't.  We'll keep inviting you to people's homes as well and the same goes for that.  But honestly we don't often go to your home because its not the same - we have to be quieter, we can't tell the same jokes and stories, we have to curtail our behavior in ways we didn't sign up for and aren't ready to take on.  Sure once in a while we will because we enjoy you both and want to spend time with you, but its not fair to blame your new social position on us when its due to your life choices."

Expect them to be hurt, maybe even offended but realize its not a hurtful or offensive thing to tell them the truth, gently and with love.

You might also ask that they find ways to make socializing work by having them suggest things everyone can do that work for them and everyone else.  Perhaps a Saturday afternoon BBQ, where adults can drink and the kiddo can run around out of earshot but in sight.  Or alternating events like Mary comes out for a Sunday brunch with cocktails and then you all go for manicures while Mark is home with the baby and next week the guys go out for golf & beer while Mary is home.

I think i am going to cut and paste this into a word doc for personal use. Even though a lot of my friends have kids already - including 2 newborns - i have a feeling this situation will come up sometime for me, too. Of course it may very well be that i will be the unfortunate one left out because i don't want to talk about teething and diapers and all my friends will have kids while i am the one pleading "Why don't we go to the bar or a club? I am tired of the stupid park and restaurants with kids menus..." so it works both ways :)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Mikayla on September 12, 2012, 04:38:39 PM
They can't have it both ways.  They can't be super-overprotective parents who don't want to leave their child with other people and don't want inappropriate humor/loudness to damage junior's psyche, and then complain because they're excluded.  Basically, they're asking everybody around them to adjust to them, rather than making the adjustments that every parent has to make when socializing.

When Mary announces parties at her house, decline.  If she tries to move activities to their house, say, "No, sorry, that won't work."  If they don't want to join in because the venue is not on their "approved" list, that's a decision they have to make.

Exactly. 

The way I see it, it's not wrong for a couple to decide their social life will stop including typical adult activities.  But this is a choice, not a necessary byproduct of being a parent.  And, like all choices, there are consequences.

I also loved WillyNilly's wording on what to say (other than the part about offering to use their home occasionally for group activities).  Their home doesn't work for the group and it doesn't work for their preferred activities.  The focus should be on letting them know they're always welcome to join in on what the rest enjoy doing.

Edited for clarity
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: AliciaLynette on September 12, 2012, 04:53:15 PM
As a parent, I have to agree that your friends are trying to change the dynamic of the group because their lives have changed.  Since they're the only ones who are having problems with your usual routine, just keep inviting them out, and be honest that the group doesn't feel comfortable holding a night at the baby's house.

When we had Lilbit, my life changed, because I stopped working.  However, we made sure that DH went out one or two nights a week, and I went out one or two nights a week, and we went out together one night a week and left LilBit with a sitter.
Our social groups changed not because of our baby, but because several of the couples had babies within a couple of years and some moved away for work.  Children just changed who attended, not what happened.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Elphaba on September 13, 2012, 02:54:51 PM
While I think an occasional girls night or guys night (or days) is a good idea, in general actually not even in relation to the new parents, the reality is the couple can trade off on nights out even if the whole group is still the whole co-ed group.  Just because everyone is going bowling Friday night doesn't mean Mary can't go with out Mark, or vice versa.  One parent can go out while the other stays in with the kiddo and the next week, the other goes out and the other stays in.

This is exactly what I was thinking. The first couple in our group had a kid, and they had another and then a 3rd, and still none of the rest of us have kids. For YEARS I very, very rarely saw both halves of this couple together at a party or group gathering. They would alternate and one of them would go out ~ once a month but there were also times neither one would come. There were a few times (weddings, etc) that they got a sitter but it's pretty rare. Now that the kids are older (6, 5 and 3) there are more frequently together but as often as not it's one or the other.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: BeagleMommy on September 13, 2012, 03:25:54 PM
DH and I fit DS's routine around our lifestyle.  We didn't do the "silent house" thing because nothing would have gotten done if we did.

I seriously doubt that an 18 month old child will learn a dirty word that quickly.  Usually their just managing "mama" and "dada" at that age.  Very unlikely that an "F-bomb" will be dropped at that age (although I did have a cousin who used that word because that was how he pronounced "truck" at that age).

If Mary and Mark are unwilling to get a sitter for an occasional boisterous night out they can't expect the rest of the group to change their behavior for every get together.

Yes, your life changes direction after having a baby.  However, the world in general does not revolve around your child.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: CakeEater on September 13, 2012, 06:01:49 PM
It really depends what kind of baby you have, whether you can fit them into your lifestyle as easily or not. It's not *all* about the parents' attitude. I had one baby who I could have taken anywhere, and one who needed strict routine or she made life for everyone pretty hellish. Same parents, same attitude.

OP, I don't think you should have to change your whole group, or fit everything around this couple. However, something to bear in mind is that if you're all couples in your mid-twenties, it's fairly likely that more/many/most of you will be having kids in the next 5-10 years, and that the group might adjust more towards brunch in the park regardless. This might be the start of a trend, rather than one isolated couple, and it might be an idea to think about how you'll all react when it's two or three couples with kids, rather than just one.

And it's great to have all the best intentions in the world of being the kind of parent who just gets a babysitter and goes on with their life (me), but then you get a baby who screams blue murder if she's out past a certain time, and at 8 months, decides she just won't go to a babysitter, without all the screaming. It's hard work, and a bit of adjustment from my friends so I could see them occasionally was really greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 13, 2012, 08:23:17 PM
DH and I fit DS's routine around our lifestyle.  We didn't do the "silent house" thing because nothing would have gotten done if we did.

I seriously doubt that an 18 month old child will learn a dirty word that quickly.  Usually their just managing "mama" and "dada" at that age.  Very unlikely that an "F-bomb" will be dropped at that age (although I did have a cousin who used that word because that was how he pronounced "truck" at that age).

If Mary and Mark are unwilling to get a sitter for an occasional boisterous night out they can't expect the rest of the group to change their behavior for every get together.

Yes, your life changes direction after having a baby.  However, the world in general does not revolve around your child.

I think it really depends on the 18 month old.  My nephew is that age and he knows an amazing number of words: clock, train, truck, help, hi, bye, hair, eyeball, zipper, moon, nose, hair, bunny, puppy, turtle, frog... I think he probably adds 2-6 words a week and he pays close attention to what we are saying so he can learn the words for everything.  He would likely pick up on a new word so it could be a valid concern.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on September 13, 2012, 08:42:43 PM
I agree that it depends on the kid. My oldest would sleep through anything, and I thought it was because I was never careful or quiet around her when she was sleeping. But no, the second one actually need it to be quiet while she slept no matter what I did.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: gadget--gal on September 14, 2012, 07:40:42 AM
DH and I fit DS's routine around our lifestyle.  We didn't do the "silent house" thing because nothing would have gotten done if we did.

I seriously doubt that an 18 month old child will learn a dirty word that quickly.  Usually their just managing "mama" and "dada" at that age.  Very unlikely that an "F-bomb" will be dropped at that age (although I did have a cousin who used that word because that was how he pronounced "truck" at that age).

If Mary and Mark are unwilling to get a sitter for an occasional boisterous night out they can't expect the rest of the group to change their behavior for every get together.

Yes, your life changes direction after having a baby.  However, the world in general does not revolve around your child.

I think it really depends on the 18 month old.  My nephew is that age and he knows an amazing number of words: clock, train, truck, help, hi, bye, hair, eyeball, zipper, moon, nose, hair, bunny, puppy, turtle, frog... I think he probably adds 2-6 words a week and he pays close attention to what we are saying so he can learn the words for everything.  He would likely pick up on a new word so it could be a valid concern.

POD


plus, some kids learn things and use them later when they've 'learned' the context. last year I had a 20-month old chide me with "don't do that ava again!". when I told her mother jokingly, she was really surprised because the baby had never said that aloud before. It turned out this was what the mother used as a telling off for her siblings and the baby picked it up :D
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: darkprincess on September 14, 2012, 01:22:13 PM
DH has a regular event with friends that is loud and boisterous with lots of adult verbage. For a long time we were the only one with kids, recently another couple in the group had a child.

DH can attend more of these event if they are at our house, so he talked with the group about our house becoming the location. I assumed that the event would continue to be loud and boisterous with lots of adult verbage. When we invited them to our house we knew that the nature of the event would not change and we always had the option of having it at someone else's house.

Only once did a member of the group complain about how our child changed the dynamic and it happened three years after they started meeting at our house. They met in one room and DD hung out in another room watching tv. Sometimes she would pick a show that the group liked and the event would get distracted by the tv. They are a bunch of geeks  ;D and DD liked to watch the cartoon of Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings cartoons. I figured that they had to figure that out for themselves but I told them I would try to steer DD into cartoons that they wouldn't like such as Disney Princesses ::)

Once they did try to meet at another house and we recognized that their is nothing wrong with that and we will have to figure out what we will do, take turns, babysitter, etc. They discovered they liked our house better and came back.

On a side note DD can sleep through anything, and we have explained to her time, place appropriateness in language.
I think compromise is required on both sides and it doesn't seem that they parents the OP talks about are willing to compromise.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Deetee on September 14, 2012, 02:34:16 PM
I found that the lifestyle didn't change until the majority of our friends had kids.

With our friends that have kids we have afternoon get togethers and dinner around 5:30 or 6:00 so we have plenty of time to eat dinner while the kids run and play and before anyone gets too tired or cranky.

With our friends that don't have kids, we will have dinner at 7:30 or 8:00 (sometimes the invite is for then) after our kidlet is in bed. It's just easier for everyone.

Most of our dinners are early now, though tonight I will be heading out for dinner and my husband will be child-wrangling. We used to do a lot more of that, but then we found that we were spending time at work, with the kid, and with our friends as we kept up our pre-kid lifestyle but almost no time with one another.

When we didn't have kids, I loved to meet my friends at a park for a gourmet picnic lunch while the kids run around and played. It was so much easier to chat.

I realise this has little to do with the OP, but I think there is solid agreement that their behaviour is not based on the kid, but on the parents.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: nolechica on September 16, 2012, 04:07:15 AM
I'm curious how willing the group would be the do girl/guy nights or other such half way things, and how much of the group doesn't want to return to Mary/Mark's in the foreseeable future.  If most of the group wants bar/bowling meetups to continue, then Mark/Mary should be invited as usual, if halfway is doable, then that should be discussed.  As someone whose parents host parties a good bit because they have the largest space, I'd go with not enough room if they ask why people won't come to them.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Venus193 on September 16, 2012, 05:34:07 AM
 I'd go along with the ban on cursing near the child during waking hours, as the child is now just old enough to pick up words they'd rather he didn't.  However, I think the couple with the baby also needs to get over themselves about sitters and the quiet house thing.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on September 16, 2012, 03:34:21 PM
Girls/Guys night out is simply not an option because, frankly, no one wants to do them.  We like hanging out with each other as a group and for a lot of people who are working full time and going to school full time, these little outings are some of the few chances they have to actually go out and have fun with their S/O.  I have friends that I love doing "Girls night out" with but none of them are part of this particular group of people.  Honestly, the group was formed so we could all have fun doing couple-ish activities without annoying our single friends.  There is also the matter of fact that we also have a gay couple in the group and this is a terrible idea.  Matt pretty much stated "I don't want sit around watching football and drinking beer with the guys.  I'd rather get drinks and go dancing but that sure as sh*t doesn't make me a girl."

I'm really not looking for ways to do little half-way things right now because they really won't work for the situation.  I was just asking on what to tell Mary when she asks why we don't want to go to her house.  I certainly like Oh Joy's approach as it still opens the invitation up to them without forcing us to cancel our plans.   :)

As for other people in the group having children...it's a long story but chances are that only one other couple will actively try to have kids.  More than likely, the rest of us will remain child-free and while the group dynamics will change, they probably won't change in that direction.


Based on OP's description of the group as boistrous is sounds like they are a bit louder than normal conversation.  I am not sure if the parents are asking for whispers or that people refrain from shouting.

Oh no, they wanted whispering.  We all knew junior was sleeping so we modified out tone to our "quiet" voices and that still wasn't quiet enough.  Not to mention that there is a girl in our group who just happens to have a very loud laugh.  She doens't do it on purpose but it's her laugh and she can't help it.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: nolechica on September 16, 2012, 04:21:19 PM
Quote
I'm really not looking for ways to do little half-way things right now because they really won't work for the situation.  I was just asking on what to tell Mary when she asks why we don't want to go to her house.  I certainly like Oh Joy's approach as it still opens the invitation up to them without forcing us to cancel our plans.   :)

As for other people in the group having children...it's a long story but chances are that only one other couple will actively try to have kids.  More than likely, the rest of us will remain child-free and while the group dynamics will change, they probably won't change in that direction.

Thanks for clarifying, and the child-free angle does change things. I would definitely go with space as an excuse, but be cautious, because what if they move to a large place when Junior's older?
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: kudeebee on September 16, 2012, 04:43:31 PM
I would just be honest with her.  If you say space is an issue, what will you say if they move to a larger space as a pp suggested they might?  Just state it matter of factly, don't accuse them of ruining the evenings, etc.  If you tell a little lie now, believe me it will come back to haunt you later!

Mary--"Why won't you guys come to our house so we can have fun too?"

YOu--"We like hanging out with each other as a group and for a lot of people who are working full time and going to school full time, these little outings are some of the few chances they have to actually go out and have fun with their S/O. We like to be loud and boistrous, laugh, etc and not have to worry about our language and how loud we are getting.  Mary, when we are at your place, the dynamics of the evening changes.  You want us to watch our language, whisper, sit quietly so we don't disturb Junior.  That just doesn't work for our group.  We will still be meeting at different locations and will let you know where and perhaps you can join us from time to time.  Bean dip."

Mary-"But that's not fair!  We want to have fun, too!"

You--"I am sure you do.  We will let you know where we are meeting and perhaps you can join us sometime.  Got to go; talk to you later."

Then hang up the phone, leave, etc.  If she brings it up again, say the same thing over and over and over.  Maybe even clue the others in on what you are going to say, so you all say similar things if Mary asks someone elwe.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on September 16, 2012, 04:44:39 PM
Devix, i have a logistical question.  how often does your group of friends get together, and how often do Mark and Mary expect you to come to their house instead of going elsewhere?

also, when you do meet up at their house, do they host or is it BYOB?

i'm just curious, i don't in any way think that your entire group needs to change how you get together just for Mark and Mary. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on September 16, 2012, 04:59:25 PM
Devix, i have a logistical question.  how often does your group of friends get together, and how often do Mark and Mary expect you to come to their house instead of going elsewhere?

also, when you do meet up at their house, do they host or is it BYOB?

i'm just curious, i don't in any way think that your entire group needs to change how you get together just for Mark and Mary.

We get to together one or twice every few weeks which actually evens out to once a week or so.  Always on Friday or Saturday night and usually after 7 or 8 pm.  Mary and Mark would like us to come over as much as possible.  Whenever we mention going to the club or going bowling or even to a movie, Mary will pop up and say we should go over to their house instead. 

It's very casual hosting.  Usually, if we are at someone's house, we will order a pizza or some other takeout and everyone will pay their own way.  The host will provide some chips or snacks and soda as well as a few alcoholic beverages but everyone will usually bring something to drink as well.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on September 16, 2012, 05:06:25 PM
Devix, i have a logistical question.  how often does your group of friends get together, and how often do Mark and Mary expect you to come to their house instead of going elsewhere?

also, when you do meet up at their house, do they host or is it BYOB?

i'm just curious, i don't in any way think that your entire group needs to change how you get together just for Mark and Mary.

We get to together one or twice every few weeks which actually evens out to once a week or so.  Always on Friday or Saturday night and usually after 7 or 8 pm.  Mary and Mark would like us to come over as much as possible.  Whenever we mention going to the club or going bowling or even to a movie, Mary will pop up and say we should go over to their house instead. 

It's very casual hosting.  Usually, if we are at someone's house, we will order a pizza or some other takeout and everyone will pay their own way.  The host will provide some chips or snacks and soda as well as a few alcoholic beverages but everyone will usually bring something to drink as well.

okay, another question.  how do Mark and Mary know when your group is planning to get together?  do you use some kind of social networking site?  is that how Mary can pop up and say "oh no, don't go somewhere and have fun, come cram yourselves into my living room like sardines and whisper for a few hours"?   ;)

hey, i'm really sorry that Mary and Mark have to miss out on the activities that they enjoyed before the baby came along.  but it's completely unrealistic to expect your entire group of friends to give up movies, bowling, a night of drinking and dancing, and all activities that they enjoyed previously just because you now have a child and can no longer participate because you don't like leaving your child with a babysitter.  (general you's, of course)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: greencat on September 16, 2012, 05:31:37 PM
Every time Mary and Mark make the suggestion to move the venue to their place - "Oh, no, we wouldn't want to disturb the baby.  You know last time we couldn't talk above a whisper or have adult conversations, and we don't really all fit in your place anyway."  Follow that up with continuations of the original movie/bowling/clubbing plans.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Brockwest on September 21, 2012, 07:45:18 AM
New parents sometimes feel the are the first people in the world to ever have had a child and get very demanding about noise/germs/everything.  I've seen new parents demand you wash up before you hold the child.  It's amusing by the fourth child, they'll let just about anybody hold the child.
You can't change a new parent's way's about their child, and it's not advisable to even try.
The simplest solution here is to greet their complaints about being left out with silence, then offer the bean dip.  If they offer their home, don't attend.  I would imagine others would not attend either.
Make your normal plans to go whereever you want. 
I remember as a boy my Mom advised me not to talk about race/religion/politics as you aren't going to change someone's mind, and might make them angry. I'll change that to race/religions/politics/how their are raising their child.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on September 23, 2012, 03:36:28 PM
New parents sometimes feel the are the first people in the world to ever have had a child and get very demanding about noise/germs/everything.  I've seen new parents demand you wash up before you hold the child.  It's amusing by the fourth child, they'll let just about anybody hold the child.
You can't change a new parent's way's about their child, and it's not advisable to even try.
The simplest solution here is to greet their complaints about being left out with silence, then offer the bean dip.  If they offer their home, don't attend.  I would imagine others would not attend either.
Make your normal plans to go whereever you want. 
I remember as a boy my Mom advised me not to talk about race/religion/politics as you aren't going to change someone's mind, and might make them angry. I'll change that to race/religions/politics/how their are raising their child.

i would agree with everything you said, especially the bolded.

but these aren't new parents (and the term "new parent" being what applies to your post).  this child is nearly 18 months old.  how long should this group be expected to sit an whisper so Mary and Mark can be accommodated? 

i think Mary and Mark need to understand that it's not all about what they want the group to do.  frankly, if i was a member of that group, i would be declining every invitation to Mary and Mark's.  i would have been accommodating for the first few months.  buy there comes a time when accommodating becomes enabling. if it were me, that time would have come.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: GrammarNerd on September 23, 2012, 08:21:59 PM
Has anyone seen that Buffalo Wild Wings commercial about watching football?  Every time I see it, I think of this thread.  There's a scene where 2 couples are sitting on a couch watching a football game.  One couple is each holding a baby.  They're shushing the other couple.  A good play happens and the childless couple cheers.  The babies start crying.  Then, two toddlers in front of the TV start screaming.  The childless couple gets dirty looks from the other couple.  Then the childless couple goes to BWW, where they can enjoy the game and cheer to their hearts' content.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn_1k9_4Nj8

Perhaps if Mark and Mary continue to press people to come to their house and don't take other hints, you should send this commercial to them and say, 'We're trying to be polite about this, but really, with restrictions about noise and language when we come to your house, we feel like the couple on the left in this commercial.  The commercial is meant to be humorous, but this is pretty much how we feel.  We understand that Junior is your priority, but please understand that if we plan an evening out, relaxing and having fun is our priority, and having to stay quiet and constantly watch what we say does not really fit in well with that.  We love your company and Junior is a great kid, but it just doesn't work for us to have get-togethers at your house.'

And again, I say this as more of a last resort if they just don't get it.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 23, 2012, 08:36:04 PM
Has anyone seen that Buffalo Wild Wings commercial about watching football?  Every time I see it, I think of this thread.  There's a scene where 2 couples are sitting on a couch watching a football game.  One couple is each holding a baby.  They're shushing the other couple.  A good play happens and the childless couple cheers.  The babies start crying.  Then, two toddlers in front of the TV start screaming.  The childless couple gets dirty looks from the other couple.  Then the childless couple goes to BWW, where they can enjoy the game and cheer to their hearts' content.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn_1k9_4Nj8

Perhaps if Mark and Mary continue to press people to come to their house and don't take other hints, you should send this commercial to them and say, 'We're trying to be polite about this, but really, with restrictions about noise and language when we come to your house, we feel like the couple on the left in this commercial.  The commercial is meant to be humorous, but this is pretty much how we feel.  We understand that Junior is your priority, but please understand that if we plan an evening out, relaxing and having fun is our priority, and having to stay quiet and constantly watch what we say does not really fit in well with that.  We love your company and Junior is a great kid, but it just doesn't work for us to have get-togethers at your house.'

And again, I say this as more of a last resort if they just don't get it.

Actually, that commercial makes me sympathetic for both couples.  I would certainly say that football is not the event for them to socialize over but if the couple with children said they were never willing to come over to participate in a some quieter socializing I would think they didn't value the friendship tremendously.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Ceallach on September 23, 2012, 08:37:06 PM
I've told this story before on eHell, but it's very relevant here.  When the first of DH's friends had a child, it was a huge shock - to him.   He couldn't believe how much his friends changed.   Suddenly they couldn't go anywhere or do anything.  Visits to their house revolved all around the baby.   Their entire life, personality, and topics of conversation were all baby focused.   It really affected him.    Fortunately, a year later we moved away near to a relative of mine who DH made good friends with.  They were just starting their family too, and had their first child shortly after we arrived.  Yes, some things changed - as loving parents obviously caring for their child becomes a priority.  But they still socialised, they still had interesting conversations, their house was still a welcoming, fun place to be at.   (In fact, if anything they become MORE social at home because that way they had easy access to baby food and baby's bed etc so could slip off and sort baby out without disrupting the party).   Both sets of parents are truly wonderful people, and are really great parents.   The difference is that one set sacrificed their entire identity to become parents and gave up their own lives, while the others saw it as just another wonderful part of who they are and adapted accordingly.   It was this second modelling of parenthood that encouraged DH - it's the type of Dad he wants to be, one who is a super Dad but still has his hobbies, friends, and life. 

I think the problem is that new parents will always think that *their* way of doing things is the right way.  It's hard for any feedback to come across as anything but criticism.   I do think it's SS of Mary to be complaining so vocally about this - if people weren't accepting my invitations I'd realise pretty quickly it was something wrong with the way I was hosting!!  It's sad that she's just driving people away instead.  But I don't think I'd address it with her too directly as there's not really a nice way to say that you don't enjoy going to their house.  All I'd do would be to encourage her to come out more.  After all, she's invited.  She's the one choosing not to go out and socialise.  Life is choices!
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on September 23, 2012, 09:16:10 PM
I've told this story before on eHell, but it's very relevant here.  When the first of DH's friends had a child, it was a huge shock - to him.   He couldn't believe how much his friends changed.   Suddenly they couldn't go anywhere or do anything.  Visits to their house revolved all around the baby.   Their entire life, personality, and topics of conversation were all baby focused.   It really affected him.    Fortunately, a year later we moved away near to a relative of mine who DH made good friends with.  They were just starting their family too, and had their first child shortly after we arrived.  Yes, some things changed - as loving parents obviously caring for their child becomes a priority.  But they still socialised, they still had interesting conversations, their house was still a welcoming, fun place to be at.   (In fact, if anything they become MORE social at home because that way they had easy access to baby food and baby's bed etc so could slip off and sort baby out without disrupting the party).   Both sets of parents are truly wonderful people, and are really great parents.   The difference is that one set sacrificed their entire identity to become parents and gave up their own lives, while the others saw it as just another wonderful part of who they are and adapted accordingly.   It was this second modelling of parenthood that encouraged DH - it's the type of Dad he wants to be, one who is a super Dad but still has his hobbies, friends, and life. 

I think the problem is that new parents will always think that *their* way of doing things is the right way.  It's hard for any feedback to come across as anything but criticism.   I do think it's SS of Mary to be complaining so vocally about this - if people weren't accepting my invitations I'd realise pretty quickly it was something wrong with the way I was hosting!!  It's sad that she's just driving people away instead.  But I don't think I'd address it with her too directly as there's not really a nice way to say that you don't enjoy going to their house.  All I'd do would be to encourage her to come out more.  After all, she's invited.  She's the one choosing not to go out and socialise.  Life is choices!

and again i would make the point that i made in my reply, #62.  Mark and Mary are not "new" parents.  their child is nearly 18 months old. 

i would be hard pressed to not ask Mary how old her child is going to be before she accepts that others are allowed to socialize in the way they prefer, and not all pile into Mary's house.  when the child goes to kindergarten?  when the child can drive himself and is taking himself to parties somewhere else?
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Ceallach on September 23, 2012, 10:04:43 PM
I've told this story before on eHell, but it's very relevant here.  When the first of DH's friends had a child, it was a huge shock - to him.   He couldn't believe how much his friends changed.   Suddenly they couldn't go anywhere or do anything.  Visits to their house revolved all around the baby.   Their entire life, personality, and topics of conversation were all baby focused.   It really affected him.    Fortunately, a year later we moved away near to a relative of mine who DH made good friends with.  They were just starting their family too, and had their first child shortly after we arrived.  Yes, some things changed - as loving parents obviously caring for their child becomes a priority.  But they still socialised, they still had interesting conversations, their house was still a welcoming, fun place to be at.   (In fact, if anything they become MORE social at home because that way they had easy access to baby food and baby's bed etc so could slip off and sort baby out without disrupting the party).   Both sets of parents are truly wonderful people, and are really great parents.   The difference is that one set sacrificed their entire identity to become parents and gave up their own lives, while the others saw it as just another wonderful part of who they are and adapted accordingly.   It was this second modelling of parenthood that encouraged DH - it's the type of Dad he wants to be, one who is a super Dad but still has his hobbies, friends, and life. 

I think the problem is that new parents will always think that *their* way of doing things is the right way.  It's hard for any feedback to come across as anything but criticism.   I do think it's SS of Mary to be complaining so vocally about this - if people weren't accepting my invitations I'd realise pretty quickly it was something wrong with the way I was hosting!!  It's sad that she's just driving people away instead.  But I don't think I'd address it with her too directly as there's not really a nice way to say that you don't enjoy going to their house.  All I'd do would be to encourage her to come out more.  After all, she's invited.  She's the one choosing not to go out and socialise.  Life is choices!

and again i would make the point that i made in my reply, #62.  Mark and Mary are not "new" parents.  their child is nearly 18 months old. 

i would be hard pressed to not ask Mary how old her child is going to be before she accepts that others are allowed to socialize in the way they prefer, and not all pile into Mary's house.  when the child goes to kindergarten?  when the child can drive himself and is taking himself to parties somewhere else?

Sorry, let me rephrase that - I actually meant "first time parents", not "new parents".

I do agree with you, but at the same time it really isn't anybody's business how she chooses to parent.  It is rude of her to complain to her friends at length about her lack of socialisation  - seeing she is declining invitations because of her different priorities - but it is still her right to set those priorities.   I personally disagree with the way she is choosing to parent and some of her decisions, but that is her right.    I don't think there's much her friends can say to her that will change that.   She has to learn to "cut the cord" a bit in her own time. Some people learn it straight away, others learn the hard way with their first kid and take forever to get back to any type of normality in their lives.    Hopefully she will finally get to the point where she realises that she needs to compromise if she wants to socialise more.  For her own wellbeing as well as her family and friends.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: nolechica on September 30, 2012, 01:31:45 AM
Any updates?
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: O'Dell on September 30, 2012, 11:12:23 AM
From Devix:  Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.

The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.


My apologies, Devix, for cobbling together a couple of quotes from your posts, but these 2 stuck out of to me. I hope I haven't taken them out of context.

I've been watching this thread because a couple that we are good friends with had a baby recently. We've bonded over many a drink and dirty joke. I've witnessed a few people who, like your friends, seem to go off the deep end when they have kids and was concerned that my friends might do the same. I needn't have worried. They didn't change and baby is now just another part of their normal lives. In fact I met their baby for the first time at a bar! (Dad's a musician and mom and baby came to watch him. :))

I think that in a case like yours, I might approach the problem from the angle that they have changed and I'm curious and even concerned. Stepping back from the more immediate situation of socializing with them and looking at their behavior, I think questioning it or even expressing concern would be fine.

I'd start with questions about how they were brought up. Didn't their parents drink, swear and tell dirty jokes? Where did they learn to do that so that they fit in with your crowd? Where had they gotten the idea that it got into their kids psyche and caused problems? Had what they'd heard caused problems for them? Is there a point when the kid's psyche is no longer so fragile? What's behind this change? Then I'd see where that led. I would never lecture them or suggest that their parenting is bad, but I might express concern about their emotional and psychological well-being.

If nothing worked, I'd start socializing with them outside the group events. I'd still invite them to events, but I'd decline to go to their apartment until things change. Because the dynamics of the friendship are bound to change, for better or worse, as the kid ages. You can reassess at a later time.

Anyway, I feel for you and wish you luck. Your situation makes be feel like I've dodged a bullet.  :-\
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: CakeEater on September 30, 2012, 05:25:29 PM
From Devix:  Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.

The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.


My apologies, Devix, for cobbling together a couple of quotes from your posts, but these 2 stuck out of to me. I hope I haven't taken them out of context.

I've been watching this thread because a couple that we are good friends with had a baby recently. We've bonded over many a drink and dirty joke. I've witnessed a few people who, like your friends, seem to go off the deep end when they have kids and was concerned that my friends might do the same. I needn't have worried. They didn't change and baby is now just another part of their normal lives. In fact I met their baby for the first time at a bar! (Dad's a musician and mom and baby came to watch him. :))
I think that in a case like yours, I might approach the problem from the angle that they have changed and I'm curious and even concerned. Stepping back from the more immediate situation of socializing with them and looking at their behavior, I think questioning it or even expressing concern would be fine.

I'd start with questions about how they were brought up. Didn't their parents drink, swear and tell dirty jokes? Where did they learn to do that so that they fit in with your crowd? Where had they gotten the idea that it got into their kids psyche and caused problems? Had what they'd heard caused problems for them? Is there a point when the kid's psyche is no longer so fragile? What's behind this change? Then I'd see where that led. I would never lecture them or suggest that their parenting is bad, but I might express concern about their emotional and psychological well-being.

If nothing worked, I'd start socializing with them outside the group events. I'd still invite them to events, but I'd decline to go to their apartment until things change. Because the dynamics of the friendship are bound to change, for better or worse, as the kid ages. You can reassess at a later time.

Anyway, I feel for you and wish you luck. Your situation makes be feel like I've dodged a bullet.  :-\

Regarding the two bolded sections. Many people learn to drink, swear and tell dirty jokes from their peers later in life and hide these abilities from their parents pretty well.  ;) It's not an unusual stance for parents to try to cut out their own swearing around their young kids. Even if they feel fine with adults swearing, they may feel like a stream of Fs coming out of a toddler's mouth is a little off.

It's great that your friends have been so able to maintain their regular social lives. However, newborns are pretty portable, and can sleep thrugh noise when they need to. It could be that in a year's time, your friends with an 18month-old might find having him/her running around in the bar to be a bit more difficult to deal with. And when he/she starts talking at the same time, they mightn't want jnr exposed to a lot of swearing either. It depends on the child, as well, of course and how much they need routine.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on September 30, 2012, 06:03:19 PM
I think expressing concern for their psychological well-being because they have decided they don't get as much of a kick out of rowdy behavior, dirty jokes and blue language as they used to would be strange to say the least. While that is not a universal experience it is pretty darn common for people in their twenties, whether or not they have had children.  The idea that it should cause concern over somebody's psychological well-being is a stretch so far that you are going to pull a muscle.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on September 30, 2012, 07:57:41 PM
From Devix:  Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.

The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.


My apologies, Devix, for cobbling together a couple of quotes from your posts, but these 2 stuck out of to me. I hope I haven't taken them out of context.

I've been watching this thread because a couple that we are good friends with had a baby recently. We've bonded over many a drink and dirty joke. I've witnessed a few people who, like your friends, seem to go off the deep end when they have kids and was concerned that my friends might do the same. I needn't have worried. They didn't change and baby is now just another part of their normal lives. In fact I met their baby for the first time at a bar! (Dad's a musician and mom and baby came to watch him. :))
I think that in a case like yours, I might approach the problem from the angle that they have changed and I'm curious and even concerned. Stepping back from the more immediate situation of socializing with them and looking at their behavior, I think questioning it or even expressing concern would be fine.

I'd start with questions about how they were brought up. Didn't their parents drink, swear and tell dirty jokes? Where did they learn to do that so that they fit in with your crowd? Where had they gotten the idea that it got into their kids psyche and caused problems? Had what they'd heard caused problems for them? Is there a point when the kid's psyche is no longer so fragile? What's behind this change? Then I'd see where that led. I would never lecture them or suggest that their parenting is bad, but I might express concern about their emotional and psychological well-being.

If nothing worked, I'd start socializing with them outside the group events. I'd still invite them to events, but I'd decline to go to their apartment until things change. Because the dynamics of the friendship are bound to change, for better or worse, as the kid ages. You can reassess at a later time.

Anyway, I feel for you and wish you luck. Your situation makes be feel like I've dodged a bullet.  :-\

Regarding the two bolded sections. Many people learn to drink, swear and tell dirty jokes from their peers later in life and hide these abilities from their parents pretty well.  ;) It's not an unusual stance for parents to try to cut out their own swearing around their young kids. Even if they feel fine with adults swearing, they may feel like a stream of Fs coming out of a toddler's mouth is a little off.

It's great that your friends have been so able to maintain their regular social lives. However, newborns are pretty portable, and can sleep thrugh noise when they need to. It could be that in a year's time, your friends with an 18month-old might find having him/her running around in the bar to be a bit more difficult to deal with. And when he/she starts talking at the same time, they mightn't want jnr exposed to a lot of swearing either. It depends on the child, as well, of course and how much they need routine.

CakeEater, with all due respect, if Mary and Mark feel so strongly, then they need to find new friends who are parents of children in the same age group as their child.  they do NOT need to dictate that their circle of friends will only socialize stuffed into their small apartment, sitting on the floor and speaking in whispers.  since Mary and Mark require all of their friends to whisper whilst Junior is asleep, i doubt their language is an issue.  first, Junior is asleep.  second, no one is allowed to speak in a normal tone of voice, so Junior can't hear them. Junior isn't likely to be absorbing bad language and off-color jokes in his dreams.

i have a 4 month old grandson.  i find myself not using swear words that i might have used before.  the hubs does the same thing.  i also notice that my son (grandbaby's daddy) is watching his language as well.  but we're doing it by choice.  no one is telling us that we HAVE to watch our language.  that's what Mary and Mark are doing. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Venus193 on September 30, 2012, 09:01:16 PM
When I was in broadcasting school we were instructed to eradicate profanity from our speech specifically so we don't fall into the habit of using it when under stress.  That is a good argument for them learning to not use swear words now before Junior is old enough to hear them clearly and start repeating them.

However, the dead silence and everything else will still come back to bite them on the tush.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: CakeEater on October 01, 2012, 12:55:55 AM
From Devix:  Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.

The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.


My apologies, Devix, for cobbling together a couple of quotes from your posts, but these 2 stuck out of to me. I hope I haven't taken them out of context.

I've been watching this thread because a couple that we are good friends with had a baby recently. We've bonded over many a drink and dirty joke. I've witnessed a few people who, like your friends, seem to go off the deep end when they have kids and was concerned that my friends might do the same. I needn't have worried. They didn't change and baby is now just another part of their normal lives. In fact I met their baby for the first time at a bar! (Dad's a musician and mom and baby came to watch him. :))
I think that in a case like yours, I might approach the problem from the angle that they have changed and I'm curious and even concerned. Stepping back from the more immediate situation of socializing with them and looking at their behavior, I think questioning it or even expressing concern would be fine.

I'd start with questions about how they were brought up. Didn't their parents drink, swear and tell dirty jokes? Where did they learn to do that so that they fit in with your crowd? Where had they gotten the idea that it got into their kids psyche and caused problems? Had what they'd heard caused problems for them? Is there a point when the kid's psyche is no longer so fragile? What's behind this change? Then I'd see where that led. I would never lecture them or suggest that their parenting is bad, but I might express concern about their emotional and psychological well-being.

If nothing worked, I'd start socializing with them outside the group events. I'd still invite them to events, but I'd decline to go to their apartment until things change. Because the dynamics of the friendship are bound to change, for better or worse, as the kid ages. You can reassess at a later time.

Anyway, I feel for you and wish you luck. Your situation makes be feel like I've dodged a bullet.  :-\

Regarding the two bolded sections. Many people learn to drink, swear and tell dirty jokes from their peers later in life and hide these abilities from their parents pretty well.  ;) It's not an unusual stance for parents to try to cut out their own swearing around their young kids. Even if they feel fine with adults swearing, they may feel like a stream of Fs coming out of a toddler's mouth is a little off.

It's great that your friends have been so able to maintain their regular social lives. However, newborns are pretty portable, and can sleep thrugh noise when they need to. It could be that in a year's time, your friends with an 18month-old might find having him/her running around in the bar to be a bit more difficult to deal with. And when he/she starts talking at the same time, they mightn't want jnr exposed to a lot of swearing either. It depends on the child, as well, of course and how much they need routine.

CakeEater, with all due respect, if Mary and Mark feel so strongly, then they need to find new friends who are parents of children in the same age group as their child.  they do NOT need to dictate that their circle of friends will only socialize stuffed into their small apartment, sitting on the floor and speaking in whispers.  since Mary and Mark require all of their friends to whisper whilst Junior is asleep, i doubt their language is an issue.  first, Junior is asleep.  second, no one is allowed to speak in a normal tone of voice, so Junior can't hear them. Junior isn't likely to be absorbing bad language and off-color jokes in his dreams.

i have a 4 month old grandson.  i find myself not using swear words that i might have used before.  the hubs does the same thing.  i also notice that my son (grandbaby's daddy) is watching his language as well.  but we're doing it by choice.  no one is telling us that we HAVE to watch our language.  that's what Mary and Mark are doing.

No, no, I don't disagree with you. Absolutely the couple don't get to change the whole group dynamic. I was just responding to the idea that people learn to drink, swear and carouse from their parents, and that wishing to stop their child witnessing said behaviour is evidence of psychological problems.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: RingTailedLemur on October 01, 2012, 04:45:00 AM
I think expressing concern for their psychological well-being because they have decided they don't get as much of a kick out of rowdy behavior, dirty jokes and blue language as they used to would be strange to say the least. While that is not a universal experience it is pretty darn common for people in their twenties, whether or not they have had children.  The idea that it should cause concern over somebody's psychological well-being is a stretch so far that you are going to pull a muscle.

Strawman.  No-one is saying that not liking swearing and dirty jokes indicates a problem with psychological well being.  It is the very abrup and sudden change in attitude and demeanour which has people wondering if there is a deeper problem.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 01, 2012, 07:00:03 AM
People make abrupt and sudden changes all the time without having psychological problems.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 01, 2012, 07:22:39 AM
People make abrupt and sudden changes all the time without having psychological problems.

Additionally, they have had the course of the pregnancy plus several months of the "babyhood" to get to this point - I don't know that I would find that sudden or abrupt.  It isn't like it happened in the middle if an evening.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 01, 2012, 07:26:52 AM
I think expressing concern for their psychological well-being because they have decided they don't get as much of a kick out of rowdy behavior, dirty jokes and blue language as they used to would be strange to say the least. While that is not a universal experience it is pretty darn common for people in their twenties, whether or not they have had children.  The idea that it should cause concern over somebody's psychological well-being is a stretch so far that you are going to pull a muscle.

Strawman.  No-one is saying that not liking swearing and dirty jokes indicates a problem with psychological well being.  It is the very abrup and sudden change in attitude and demeanour which has people wondering if there is a deeper problem.

i don't think that Mary and Mark are suffering from any kind of deep psychological problem at all.  they have become parents.  they are charged with raising their child in the best way possible.  this involves limiting swearing around their child, lest he give a very rude response to Granny at Sunday dinner when she asks him if he'd like more peas, causing her to faint face-down into the gravy.  this requires them to change their own behavior to something that they want their child to see.

however, Mary and Mark also want to be included in their long-standing group of friends too, while choosing not to get a babysitter.  this requires them to monitor and attempt to dictate the behavior of those friends. 

they don't have psychological problems, they have these two conflicting desires above.  the first desire is pretty common with parents.  the second desire is understandable, but not realistic, and usually doesn't go on for 18 months. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 01, 2012, 07:27:47 AM
People make abrupt and sudden changes all the time without having psychological problems.

Additionally, they have had the course of the pregnancy plus several months of the "babyhood" to get to this point - I don't know that I would find that sudden or abrupt.  It isn't like it happened in the middle if an evening.

in this case, it's 18 months of "babyhood". 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: RingTailedLemur on October 01, 2012, 08:12:17 AM
I think expressing concern for their psychological well-being because they have decided they don't get as much of a kick out of rowdy behavior, dirty jokes and blue language as they used to would be strange to say the least. While that is not a universal experience it is pretty darn common for people in their twenties, whether or not they have had children.  The idea that it should cause concern over somebody's psychological well-being is a stretch so far that you are going to pull a muscle.

Strawman.  No-one is saying that not liking swearing and dirty jokes indicates a problem with psychological well being.  It is the very abrup and sudden change in attitude and demeanour which has people wondering if there is a deeper problem.

i don't think that Mary and Mark are suffering from any kind of deep psychological problem at all.  they have become parents.  they are charged with raising their child in the best way possible.  this involves limiting swearing around their child, lest he give a very rude response to Granny at Sunday dinner when she asks him if he'd like more peas, causing her to faint face-down into the gravy.  this requires them to change their own behavior to something that they want their child to see.

however, Mary and Mark also want to be included in their long-standing group of friends too, while choosing not to get a babysitter.  this requires them to monitor and attempt to dictate the behavior of those friends. 

they don't have psychological problems, they have these two conflicting desires above.  the first desire is pretty common with parents.  the second desire is understandable, but not realistic, and usually doesn't go on for 18 months.

Nor do I.  I agree with your post.  I'd just be honest with them - they are severely policing people's behaviour and then getting upset that people don't want to come to a place that requires them to submit to that.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 01, 2012, 08:25:53 AM
People make abrupt and sudden changes all the time without having psychological problems.

Additionally, they have had the course of the pregnancy plus several months of the "babyhood" to get to this point - I don't know that I would find that sudden or abrupt.  It isn't like it happened in the middle if an evening.

Yeah, 27 months is a long time to plot and take a different course.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: veryfluffy on October 01, 2012, 09:10:16 AM
Now we're all in our mid-twenties and a fairly boisterous bunch so our choice of activities tends to reflect that.  We will usually all meet up together either once or twice every two weeks and go to a bar or bowling or really anything where we can have something to drink and just chat without having to keep our voices down.  All the venues and activities we pick are geared towards more adult groups where you can tell a dirty joke or two and not have to worry about annoying the people around you.  This has been our habit for a couple of years and its been going well except now the couple with the child are feeling left out.


Unfortunately, the new baby makes having fun at their house kind of impossible.  He has a bed time at around 6 o'clock and most of us don't even get out of work until then.  Whenever we are at the house, Mary and Mark will constantly tell everyone to be quiet so we don't wake up junior.  Whenever anyone tells a dirty joke or a story that has us giggle they'll complain that they don't want junior to hear things like that as it could affect his psyche and they don't want him learning naughty words.  There is also the matter of space in which their little two-bedroom apartment just can't hold that many people comfortably.  They also have a habit of directing all conversation right back to baby talk which no one is interested in.

Essentially what the OP describes is a sort of informal club, let's call it the "Boisterous Adults Relaxation Society."  People are part of the club because they enjoy certain sorts of activities with the other people who are members. It could just as well be a scrap-booking club or a naturist group, or a heavy metal music society. The people involved go out to play with like-minded individuals to have a good time doing the things they all enjoy doing. Although there may be strong personal friendships among group members, it sounds like these are not best-friends-forever-love-me-whatever sorts of  feelings. 

So if one member of the club decides they now have other interests, it does not follow that the rest of the group should change too, or do anything at all to accommodate that. Rather, the couple who no longer want to meet up to be loud and boisterous need to go and find the "Adults who talk quietly about babies at a convenient time and place" club. Just like if they decided that naturism wasn't appropriate around their toddler, inviting the group over to sit around wearing clothes just wouldn't fly.

The suggestion that the OP, or other members of the group, should try to arrange other activities to suit the Parent members assumes that there is some level of deeper friendship that should be preserved. I didn't get the feeling that this was the case.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Shoo on October 01, 2012, 09:27:52 AM

The suggestion that the OP, or other members of the group, should try to arrange other activities to suit the Parent members assumes that there is some level of deeper friendship that should be preserved. I didn't get the feeling that this was the case.

This is exactly that I've been swirling around in my head and having trouble finding a way to say.  This doesn't sound like true "friendship" to me.  It sounds like shared interests.  If these folks were all really good friends, they'd "endure" an evening devoid of swearing, drinking, and dirty jokes so they could hang out with their friends in their home once in a blue moon.  The fact that no one is willing to do that indicates that the folks with the kids don't really mean that much to them.  Nothing wrong with that, but someone really ought to tell the folks with the kids this, so they can move on to people who value them as friends.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on October 01, 2012, 03:32:00 PM
okay, another question.  how do Mark and Mary know when your group is planning to get together?  do you use some kind of social networking site?  is that how Mary can pop up and say "oh no, don't go somewhere and have fun, come cram yourselves into my living room like sardines and whisper for a few hours"?   ;)

A lot of the planning is done over facebook.  We have a group set up especially for those involved in our group where we can post events and talk about plans which is a lot easier to do than having to call up each person and trying to track who can do what.  They have access to the group and can see whatever is being discuses.  We'll also sometimes just text each other with plans if we don't want to use facebook.


Quote
Regarding the two bolded sections. Many people learn to drink, swear and tell dirty jokes from their peers later in life and hide these abilities from their parents pretty well.  ;) It's not an unusual stance for parents to try to cut out their own swearing around their young kids. Even if they feel fine with adults swearing, they may feel like a stream of Fs coming out of a toddler's mouth is a little off.

I have to agree with CakeEater.on this.  I learned to drink, swear and tell dirty jokes from my peers late in my high school and in my university years mostly.  These aren't things I learned from my parents and most of us go out of our way to be on our best behavior in front of our parents.  Just because they don't want us swearing around Junior wouldn't make me think that there is anything wrong with them.  They're just overprotective (in my opinion) not psychologically defective. 


Anyway, there has been an update and it's a real doozy.  Please note that a lot of what happened between Mary and Claire is second-hand information so take it with a grain of salt.

UPDATE

On our facebook group, Claire posted about all of us going to a piano bar this Saturday since her cousin was performing and we could get a nice group discount on drinks and food.  The plan was to meet at her and Clark's place first at around 8 pm and then we could all head over to the piano bar since it was only a couple of blocks away from their apartment.  Everyone was looking forward to it and accepted the invitation talking about how they couldn't wait until Mary chimed in with this little gem: (This conversation was on the fb wall of our group)

Mary's Post:   Gee, it must be nice that you guys can go out and get drunk while the rest of us have responsibilities to deal with.   ::)
Claire:  Sure is!  I love going out and being all irresponsible and not trying to push my choices on other people.
Mary:  Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.
Claire:  Real friends know that the world doesn't stop spinning just because they popped out a brat.

According to Clark (Claire's Fiance), Mary called Claire about twenty minutes later and a screaming match ensued.  Apparently there was a lot of name calling, yelling and the beginnings of WW3 if Clark is to be believed.  I'll probably end up getting the details of what happened a little later today or tomorrow but suffice to say that it appears the brown goo has hit the fan.

As for myself, I'm just trying to stay the ehell out this though Mary has called me once (while I was at work) and I'm sure she'll call me again wanting to say how terrible Claire has been to her.  Not sure if I should ignore the calls or pick them up since I don't know if I can trust myself to keep my mouth shut.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Shoo on October 01, 2012, 03:33:53 PM
Popped out a brat?  That Claire is a real classy gal.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on October 01, 2012, 03:44:28 PM
Things have been testy between Claire and Mary for a while now so we were all holding our breath and waiting for something like this to happen.  It's going to get messy and I'm just going to try and stay as far away from the problem as possible.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Kaypeep on October 01, 2012, 03:44:32 PM
WOW!  Just wow!

I think Claire really botched this.  I would have probably responded with something like "I'm sorry you can't join us Mary.  Hopefully we'll see you at the next get together." 

Mary is being a drama llama, but some tact was definitely required to respond to this outburst.

If she calls you, OP, I would maybe listen to her but also try to get one message across to her, something like "You know Mary, we're all getting older and living our different lives.  It would be great if we could ALL respect that and not try to make the others feel guilty about eachother's lives, leisure activities or whatever.  I think you were both out of line with your comments on FB, but it's clear that you struck first.  And even though you directed it at Claire, I felt offense directed at me, too.   It was not cool what you said and there was no reason to be so mean.  However you and Claire deal with this is fine, but I have to tell you that your comment rubbed me wrong, too."
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on October 01, 2012, 03:47:59 PM
Wow. Sounds like there are a lot of pent up frustrations all around. Mary shouldn't have made any comment at all beyond, "sorry we can't come, hope y'all have fun." Claire sure did cross the line with her comments and it almost sounds like both of them were itching for a fight. I can't agree that Claire's choice of words was appropriate, but Mary sure seemed to be asking for it.

Should you answer the phone when she calls? I'd probably just avoid her calls for now. I'd want to say that her choice to take on the responsibility of having a child was exactly that: her choice, and that she shouldn't be projecting the consequences of that choice on others. But I'm not sure I'd have the self-control to keep my composure.

Mary has a real problem here. She needs to come to terms with the fact that she is now a parent and as such, she must make sacrifices for her child. If the biggest sacrifice she ever makes is missing an evening out with friends at the piano bar, she's really lucky! But the reality is that it's a lot tougher than that, raising kids, and she needs to let go of all that resentment before her child is old enough to see it. That's a much worse thing to teach your kids than a few curse words in my opinion!

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MrsJWine on October 01, 2012, 03:52:26 PM
Yeesh. I'm totally on Claire's side here, but she pretty much ruined any chance of having a productive conversation with Mary that she or the rest of you might have had. If there ever was one.

Although, to be honest, I can't imagine being too broken up over losing such an obnoxiously passive-aggressive member of a group of friends. I guess if you've been friends with Mary for a really long time, it might be hard to let go after such a (relatively) short time.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 01, 2012, 04:18:02 PM
I think the club analogy probably is correct, at least for some people in the group.  They aren't so much real friends so much as people who happen to share an interest in shared behaviors and events.  For that reason Clair does not feel at all compelled by the "real friend" argument.  The problem is that the club has never been identified as a club and this couple thinks of it as a group of friends who should be acting like "real friends".
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: thedudeabides on October 01, 2012, 04:38:41 PM
Fails on all sides here. I agree with Sharnita that it's time to clue Mark and Mary in that the other members don't consider them friends and all move on. Might as well get it over with, since I somehow doubt the situation is going to improve any time soon. Then I'd just go with not answering the phone when Mary calls. Their priorities have changed, but nobody's handling it well on either side.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Eeep! on October 01, 2012, 04:47:40 PM
Fails on all sides here. I agree with Sharnita that it's time to clue Mark and Mary in that the other members don't consider them friends and all move on. Might as well get it over with, since I somehow doubt the situation is going to improve any time soon. Then I'd just go with not answering the phone when Mary calls. Their priorities have changed, but nobody's handling it well on either side.

Without knowing how everyone feels, I don't think it's very fair to say that all of the other members don't consider Mark and Mary friends just because they continue to schedule events that they can't come to.  Based on this thread, that would appear to be any event that isn't at Mark and Mary's house. I have two children who are now 3 years old and 4 months and I don't do as much as I used to out of the house just because of logistics. But I don't expect my friends to stop doing things with our other friends. For instance, for several years now I have had season theater tickets with my sister and a mutual friend.  When I first had my ODS I bowed out for a season because I was adjusting to being a new mom and breastfeeding and all that jazz (second time around I'm just missing one play. heh.)  It would never have occurred to me to that my sister and friend should stop going to the plays. And the plays really are my primary means of socializing with my one friend. Now if both my friend and sister NEVER did anything with me then I would be hurt but not just because they continued with tradition without me.

Of course, if the group is fairly large, it is likely that some people are closer friends and some our more like "club members" but that doesn't meant that the whole group should be painted with one brush.

Regarding the FB exchange - how unfortunate that Claire decided to handle it that way. However, it does show that Mary really does believe that people should stop doing the things the group has always done just because she has a baby. Which is just ridiculous in my opinion.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 01, 2012, 04:52:03 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 01, 2012, 04:55:25 PM
Yikes! What a mess, all around. If you want to remain friends with Mary I wouldn't keep dodging her calls, but if you want to cool off the friendship, I suppose now's a good time as any...
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Eeep! on October 01, 2012, 05:01:20 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take.

Ah OK - I see what you are saying. But it sounds like there was an initial willingness for the give and take and it just isn't really that feasible, mostly because of Mark and Mary's demands.  So I still don't know that's a very good barometer for friendship.  I guess that the group could suck it up a few times a year and do a "quite night in with Mark and Mary", but one could say the same about M&M getting a sitter or something. 

Although as I'm thinking about it, if people in the group rarely ever do anything outside a group setting, that does really push it more into group territory. But I would presume that would go the same for Mark and Mary. Are they trying to do things with individuals as you would more close friends or are they only wanting to stick to the group setting? Because if it's the former, then I guess it could be said that they should just inform the group that they aren't really friends either.  ;)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Queen of Clubs on October 01, 2012, 05:10:03 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take.

Ah OK - I see what you are saying. But it sounds like there was an initial willingness for the give and take and it just isn't really that feasible, mostly because of Mark and Mary's demands.  So I still don't know that's a very good barometer for friendship.  I guess that the group could suck it up a few times a year and do a "quite night in with Mark and Mary", but one could say the same about M&M getting a sitter or something. 

Although as I'm thinking about it, if people in the group rarely ever do anything outside a group setting, that does really push it more into group territory. But I would presume that would go the same for Mark and Mary. Are they trying to do things with individuals as you would more close friends or are they only wanting to stick to the group setting? Because if it's the former, then I guess it could be said that they should just inform the group that they aren't really friends either.  ;)

I agree.  That's how the situation reads to me.

As for the update - ouch.  Claire certainly didn't mince her words and she should have phrased it far, far better than she did, but Mary was out of line in the first place.  It sounds like she expects the group to stop getting together (except at her place, of course) unless she and Mark can be there.

OP, if you don't want to agree with Claire's sentiment (not the wording, obviously), I think you'd be better to duck Mary's calls.  At this stage, I think anything other than agreeing fully with Mary will set her off again.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on October 01, 2012, 05:11:07 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take.

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.

Friendship is a give and take but they're not giving anything.

I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MrsJWine on October 01, 2012, 05:20:20 PM
I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.

I don't think you even need an excuse. I think it's pretty obvious that nothing's going to change, and maybe she needs to see that none of the other people in the group are siding with her. If they're such takers, I wouldn't be interested in sustaining the friendship anymore, either. I wouldn't pull a Claire if I were you, but I would be honest: "Sorry, Mary. Claire wasn't polite, but she was right. We're not going to change everything just because you guys had a kid. We don't expect you to do everything you used to with us, but you've made no effort whatsoever to compromise." You don't have to be all speechy like that, since that sounds pretty stilted, but I think she needs some directness. At worst, she'll stomp off and not be your friend anymore. At best, she might reevaluate her own role in this.

Ducking her calls and then claiming it was because of work will just drag out the misery for both of you.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 01, 2012, 05:25:16 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take.

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.

Friendship is a give and take but they're not giving anything.

I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.

You said earlier that there wasn't really a lot of interest in a quiet evening of conversation form time to time.  As far as the times in their apartment, it doesn't sound as if it was all that hushed, more like they were asking that it be and then were dismayed to have at least some outbursts.  I think that if it isn't something you want to make an effort to do to keep the friendship going then that is fine but it does seem to indicate that it is not a high priority friendship - possibly on either side.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 01, 2012, 05:52:17 PM
Popped out a brat?  That Claire is a real classy gal.

i don't love how Claire expressed it, but it does seem that Mary wants the entire group to not have any fun that she can't have.  it's a fact that Mary and Mark had a baby.  it's also a fact that the rest of the group might like to do something besides plunking their butts into Mary and Mark's living room, sharing pizza and talking in whispers lest they wake the toddler.

Mary needed to hear what Claire said.  i hope she listened.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 01, 2012, 06:19:32 PM
Mary:  Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.

this comment, right here, by Mary? was pretty much what i've been feeling through this whole thread.  Mary can't go out and have fun, so no one else can go out and have fun.  all of the crowd of friends must only socialize at her apartment in whispers so as not to disturb the toddler. 

i think Mary got a huge dose of reality.  she's basically tried to hold this group hostage so she can socialize with them on her terms, but she's not willing to allow them to do anything that doesn't include her.  which is anything that takes place outside of her apartment, because she doesn't want to leave her toddler with a babysitter.  completely her choice.  but she can't get bent out of shape if others decide they want to go to a bar, or a restaurant, or a baseball game.  she made her choice.  she needs to accept it. she needs to develop new friendships with other parents who are willing to sit on the floor of her apartment and speak in whispers so as not to disturb the sleeping children.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Yvaine on October 01, 2012, 06:32:56 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take.

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.

Friendship is a give and take but they're not giving anything.

I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.

You said earlier that there wasn't really a lot of interest in a quiet evening of conversation form time to time.  As far as the times in their apartment, it doesn't sound as if it was all that hushed, more like they were asking that it be and then were dismayed to have at least some outbursts.  I think that if it isn't something you want to make an effort to do to keep the friendship going then that is fine but it does seem to indicate that it is not a high priority friendship - possibly on either side.

I don't know if you've experienced this, but people can be unreasonable about their shushing even during a quiet night of conversation. They'll shush for levels of volume that are not actually very loud, or (in one case in my own experience) start admonishing people for not instinctively knowing the acoustic quirks of the parents' house. You could speak in a normal tone in this corner of the room, but they'd bite your head off if you used the same tone in that corner of the room, because sound carried up the stairs better from there even though the stairs were nowhere nearby, and so on. And they didn't brief people beforehand--"btw, try to be quiet in these spots, it'll wake the kid"--they just let people blunder into talking in the wrong places and then got huffy.

Because really it had a lot to do with wanting to control their friends (more than it had to do with not waking the kid), which ended up coming out in a lot of other ways too and lost them the friendship of most of our group eventually.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 01, 2012, 06:49:44 PM
I can enjoy quiet conversation but I have no desire to.  The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.  It is a give and take but we've tried it their way on 3 separate occasions and they have yet to reciprocate and join in on occasions that didn't take place in their home. 


Based on OP's early response it kind of sounds like the group dynamic is the primary concern which is what gives the club vs. friend vibe, IMO. I think that can be made clear without resorting to nasty phrasing like Claire used.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Winterlight on October 01, 2012, 06:52:00 PM
Claire and Mary both flunk. Claire for being rude, Mary for being PA and rude.

Mary:  Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.

this comment, right here, by Mary? was pretty much what i've been feeling through this whole thread.  Mary can't go out and have fun, so no one else can go out and have fun.  all of the crowd of friends must only socialize at her apartment in whispers so as not to disturb the toddler. 

i think Mary got a huge dose of reality.  she's basically tried to hold this group hostage so she can socialize with them on her terms, but she's not willing to allow them to do anything that doesn't include her.  which is anything that takes place outside of her apartment, because she doesn't want to leave her toddler with a babysitter.  completely her choice.  but she can't get bent out of shape if others decide they want to go to a bar, or a restaurant, or a baseball game.  she made her choice.  she needs to accept it. she needs to develop new friendships with other parents who are willing to sit on the floor of her apartment and speak in whispers so as not to disturb the sleeping children.

Yep. She's trying to run the group to suit her, and nobody else wants to play along because she's so demanding and SSy.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 01, 2012, 06:57:26 PM
I can enjoy quiet conversation but I have no desire to.  The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.  It is a give and take but we've tried it their way on 3 separate occasions and they have yet to reciprocate and join in on occasions that didn't take place in their home. 


Based on OP's early response it kind of sounds like the group dynamic is the primary concern which is what gives the club vs. friend vibe, IMO. I think that can be made clear without resorting to nasty phrasing like Claire used.

i would disagree.  i have already stated that i didn't agree with how Claire phrased it, but once Mary proclaimed that if anyone planned anything that they couldn't be a part of wasn't a friend, when they can't do such things because Mary refuses to get a babysitter, it was time for Mary to hear some home truths.

personally, i think it's long past time for Mary and Mark to find a new bunch of friends who are more in synch with their new reality of being parents.  it's most unfair for them to want all of their current group of friends to give up all fun activities that take place outside of their apartment, just so they can take part.

frankly, i'm surprised the group has humored them for this long.  i would have given them 6 months to figure it out.  not 18 months.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on October 01, 2012, 07:13:56 PM
Eeep!, I think it is more because there is an indication that they don't want to have some events that accommodate Mark and Mary.  I absolutely think it is reasonable to schedule things that they can't attend but OP has indicated that there is not much interest in some give and take.

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.

Friendship is a give and take but they're not giving anything.

I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.

  At times in life friends need to be the givers to someone else's takers...and this can go on for extended periods of time, if say a family member has cancer or some other disease that can be acute for years, or a baby, or what ever. Usually in GOOD friendships these periods even out. And no one expects everyone else to stop living because of a  life changing event.
  The problem for me is the constraints Mark and Mary are putting on everyone else because of the life change...come over to visit and act normal? Sure thing, talk in whispers and only about the baby? that's extreme.
  Go to a park for a bbq so junior can join us, ok, I'll bite. Never do anything with out you, because you had junior? not so much.
  I think Mark and Mary are going to have a hard time finding friends even among parents with the conditions they set.....after all parents have kids and kids are hard to keep still and at a whisper.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: nolechica on October 02, 2012, 12:55:52 AM
Devix, you might want to know where the other couples are on the scale between you and Claire. I say that because if you want to approach Mary, you need to know what to say.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: greencat on October 02, 2012, 07:14:32 AM
I don't think Dervix should be speaking for the other couples - Dervix can speak for her?self.  Dervix does not like being forced to sit and whisper quietly - Dervix does not like never hanging out anywhere but Mark and Mary's apartment.  Dervix does not like the snide comment Mary made, and Dervix should probably be up front with Mary and say so - probably in a written missive, rather than over the phone.

Claire was rude - but so was Mary.  Also, it was how Claire expressed herself that was rude, whereas what Mary was expressing was rude in and of itself - passive-aggressive and selfish and insulting.

I would actually suggest asking the group admin to remove Mary and Claire's exchange.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: RingTailedLemur on October 02, 2012, 08:03:14 AM
Claire was rude - but so was Mary.  Also, it was how Claire expressed herself that was rude, whereas what Mary was expressing was rude in and of itself - passive-aggressive and selfish and insulting.


Agreed.  Claire's words were rude, but the sentiment and meaning was absolutely right IMO.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: ellebelle on October 02, 2012, 08:16:19 AM
Chiming in late here.....

Although I agree that Mary needs to get over it and leave the kid with a sitter if she wants to participate in some activities, I also don't see any indication that people have made any effort to do things to include her and her family. If that just isn't what the groups wants, then I think it is only fair to tell her that the group has no interest in family friendly activities.

However, I personally think that what Claire said is an absolutely SLAP in the face to Mary.  It seems that everyone is willing to say, well...she was rude but Mary deserved it. I thought that rudeness because of rudeness what NEVER ok. Personally, I wouldn't care to even be friends with someone who said I chose to 'pop out a brat.' So it seems like the group would get what they want anyway - to get rid of Mary and her family. I don't think that anyone handled this well, but it seems that no one has even been willing to talk to Mary about the problem, just talk horribly about her. Yes, she has been PA and NO, I don't think her requests are reasonable at all. However, even PA people who are my friends, I try to work with them occassionally. At least then I can say I tried. And if it doesn't work out, I talk to them and tell them why.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 08:39:28 AM
Chiming in late here.....

Although I agree that Mary needs to get over it and leave the kid with a sitter if she wants to participate in some activities, I also don't see any indication that people have made any effort to do things to include her and her family. If that just isn't what the groups wants, then I think it is only fair to tell her that the group has no interest in family friendly activities.

i'm not really sure what you mean by the bolded.  Devix has already stated that Mary and Mark want ALL activities changed from a night of bowling, seeing a comedy show, going to a bar, to the group going to their apartment where they will enjoy an evening of whispering so as not to wake the baby.  they don't want anyone to go anywhere but their apartment.  every time there is planning underway for an outing, Mary pops up and suggests everyone come to her place.  that's unreasonable.

to quote Devix:
The reason we all gravitated together as friends is because we're all loud, boisterous people who share the same weird sense of humor.  No one else in the group has shown any displeasure about the way we act except for Mark and Mary.  They're the ones who have changed from the group dynamic and I don't feel as if I have to alter my personality just because they have.  It is a give and take but we've tried it their way on 3 separate occasions and they have yet to reciprocate and join in on occasions that didn't take place in their home.

For those who suggested child-friendly activities...that just isn't an option right now.  Most of us work white-collar jobs and some of us are in grad school so the only time we really have to hang out are Friday and Saturday nights usually after 7.  Not a lot of child-friendly places are open that late and after a very long day at work we all just want to sit around and unwind.


Mary and Mark's lives changed substantially when they had a child.  that's what happens when one becomes parents.  but the rest of the group don't have to change their lives so completely.  frankly, i think part of the problem is that they have accommodated these two for far too long. 

this group is not a good fit for Mary and Mark at this point in their lives.  it would be a kindness to all concerned for Mary and Mark to try to make more family-oriented friends. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 08:48:12 AM
Yeah, even if I didn't want to bend to Mary and Mark's will I think I'd be really put off by the nastiness of Claire's comment.  To use the phrase "popped out a brat" is just gratuitously mean.  I think the concept could be expressed clearly with blunt language that isn't actually aggressively offensive.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2012, 08:56:47 AM
Chiming in late here.....

Although I agree that Mary needs to get over it and leave the kid with a sitter if she wants to participate in some activities, I also don't see any indication that people have made any effort to do things to include her and her family. If that just isn't what the groups wants, then I think it is only fair to tell her that the group has no interest in family friendly activities.

However, I personally think that what Claire said is an absolutely SLAP in the face to Mary. It seems that everyone is willing to say, well...she was rude but Mary deserved it. I thought that rudeness because of rudeness what NEVER ok. Personally, I wouldn't care to even be friends with someone who said I chose to 'pop out a brat.' So it seems like the group would get what they want anyway - to get rid of Mary and her family. I don't think that anyone handled this well, but it seems that no one has even been willing to talk to Mary about the problem, just talk horribly about her. Yes, she has been PA and NO, I don't think her requests are reasonable at all. However, even PA people who are my friends, I try to work with them occassionally. At least then I can say I tried. And if it doesn't work out, I talk to them and tell them why.

Regarding the bolded, I don't think anyone is saying that what Claire said is ok. Everyone agrees that Claire went over the top with her choice of words and that she was incredibly rude.

But the point is that Mary is asking everyone to never ever do anything as a group other than meet at her and Mark's apartment and speak in hushed tones. To be honest, if I was a member of a group and one of the other members decided that we should one specific activity every single time we got together, even if that particular activity was the funnest thing ever, I'd object. The fun of getting together with friends is to do a variety of activities, otherwise it gets old. And on top of it, this group has acquiesced three times now, doing something they had not only had no interest in doing, but that made them completely uncomfortable for an entire evening, for the sake of this friendship. Instead of appreciating that and meeting the group half way, Mark and Mary now expect the group to do this every single time they get together. And when they don't, Mary posts snarky PA comments on the website.

Again, I don't condone or excuse Claire's comments in any way. She was completely out of line. But the original problem still exists. Mark and Mary are at fault here.

As a side note, when my kids were young, I had a group of friends who also had kids all around the same age range. We all got together fairly regularly but we did not do the same thing every time. We went out to a kid friendly restaurant or we got together at someone's house and played games or watched a movie, or we did a day activity and went to the park, etc. And yes, we did these kinds of things regardless of the fact that among us, we had kids ranging in age from infant to elementary school age.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 09:03:15 AM
I don't think you even need an excuse. I think it's pretty obvious that nothing's going to change, and maybe she needs to see that none of the other people in the group are siding with her. If they're such takers, I wouldn't be interested in sustaining the friendship anymore, either. I wouldn't pull a Claire if I were you, but I would be honest: "Sorry, Mary. Claire wasn't polite, but she was right. We're not going to change everything just because you guys had a kid. We don't expect you to do everything you used to with us, but you've made no effort whatsoever to compromise." You don't have to be all speechy like that, since that sounds pretty stilted, but I think she needs some directness. At worst, she'll stomp off and not be your friend anymore. At best, she might reevaluate her own role in this.

Ducking her calls and then claiming it was because of work will just drag out the misery for both of you.

i don't think the bolded is speechy in the least.  i think it's pretty darn near perfect, actually.  it's calm, it lays out the issue succinctly, and it makes it clear that Devix is not happy with Mary's expectations.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Eden on October 02, 2012, 09:10:19 AM
Yeesh. I'm totally on Claire's side here, but she pretty much ruined any chance of having a productive conversation with Mary that she or the rest of you might have had. If there ever was one.

Although maybe this is the avenue into the conversation. If the OP chooses to respond to Mary's calls she could gently say that she does not approve of what Claire said and acknowledge that it was hurtful and then lead into something along the lines of knowing it must be difficult not to always be able to participate, but that it also hurts her feelings when her friend makes comments that seem to begrudge her friends making plans similar to what they have always done. Maybe reiterate she doesn't agree with what Claire said but that she understands Claire's frustration.

That is if the OP cares to bother. I personally would have no time or patience for such passive aggressiveness.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 09:26:38 AM
Yeesh. I'm totally on Claire's side here, but she pretty much ruined any chance of having a productive conversation with Mary that she or the rest of you might have had. If there ever was one.

Although maybe this is the avenue into the conversation. If the OP chooses to respond to Mary's calls she could gently say that she does not approve of what Claire said and acknowledge that it was hurtful and then lead into something along the lines of knowing it must be difficult not to always be able to participate, but that it also hurts her feelings when her friend makes comments that seem to begrudge her friends making plans similar to what they have always done. Maybe reiterate she doesn't agree with what Claire said but that she understands Claire's frustration.

That is if the OP cares to bother. I personally would have no time or patience for such passive aggressiveness.

so would i.  her comment

Mary:  Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.

was bad enough.  it's quite clear what her expectations are..."everything the way i want it to be, no one else gets a vote".  but then she called Claire to continue the argument?  nope, that would tear it for me.  i would be done.

i wonder if Mary was always like this, and it's just become more pronounced.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: NyaChan on October 02, 2012, 09:38:40 AM
I would simply speak for myself and say "Mary, what happens between you and Clair is not my business.  As far as I am concerned, however, I am unwilling to stop going out with this group of friends simply because you can't or won't attend." and then hold firm on that.  If I was inclined to socialize with Mary if she was willing to compromise, I might mention that gatherings at her house have become stressful due to the new conditions, but that I'd be willing to work on an arrangement that might work for us both.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Brockwest on October 02, 2012, 10:18:20 AM
"Mary: Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.
Claire:  Real friends know that the world doesn't stop spinning just because they popped out a brat."

Choking here laughing. Yes, yes, I know it was poor etiquette but who here hasn't wanted to actually say what everyone in the group was Really thinking after dealing with a demanding person." 

If Claire had just changed it to "because they had a kid," then she would have been on solid ground. Mary was attacking the group and it appears it was the last straw for Claire. Sounds like the group feels about the situation like the OP does.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: rose red on October 02, 2012, 10:31:38 AM
"Mary: Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.
Claire:  Real friends know that the world doesn't stop spinning just because they popped out a brat."

Choking here laughing. Yes, yes, I know it was poor etiquette but who here hasn't wanted to actually say what everyone in the group was Really thinking after dealing with a demanding person." 

Throw me into Ehell, but I laughed too.  And it was even worse because I first misread "popped" as "pooped"

I too would never ever say that out loud and since this was a written conversation, there was time to think of better words, but I couldn't help but laugh and secretly agree with Claire.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Shoo on October 02, 2012, 10:41:55 AM
"Mary: Funny.  Nice to know who our real friends are.  Real friends wouldn't keep scheduling stuff when they know we can't come.
Claire:  Real friends know that the world doesn't stop spinning just because they popped out a brat."

Choking here laughing. Yes, yes, I know it was poor etiquette but who here hasn't wanted to actually say what everyone in the group was Really thinking after dealing with a demanding person." 

Throw me into Ehell, but I laughed too.  And it was even worse because I first misread "popped" as "pooped"

I too would never ever say that out loud and since this was a written conversation, there was time to think of better words, but I couldn't help but laugh and secretly agree with Claire.

The problem with Claire's statement, as well as the title of this thread, is that an innocent toddler is being labeled as the problem.  No, Claire, Mary did NOT pop out a "brat."  And no, OP, it's NOT because of her kid.  Mary is a brat, and SHE is the problem.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: NyaChan on October 02, 2012, 10:44:42 AM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 10:53:53 AM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.

Devix has already previously stated, quite clearly in this thread, that she and the other members of the group are very well aware who exactly the problem is in this situation.  she's also stated that the toddler is a cute, happy little guy. 

"it's because of your kid" has simply become the group shorthand for why Mary and Mark won't attend something yet again, or why they want everyone to come to their place.  no one is blaming the toddler for anything.  and if anyone is using him, it's his parents, as a tool to make their friends do what they want.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2012, 11:32:15 AM
Chiming in late here.....

Although I agree that Mary needs to get over it and leave the kid with a sitter if she wants to participate in some activities, I also don't see any indication that people have made any effort to do things to include her and her family. If that just isn't what the groups wants, then I think it is only fair to tell her that the group has no interest in family friendly activities.

However, I personally think that what Claire said is an absolutely SLAP in the face to Mary.  It seems that everyone is willing to say, well...she was rude but Mary deserved it. I thought that rudeness because of rudeness what NEVER ok. Personally, I wouldn't care to even be friends with someone who said I chose to 'pop out a brat.' So it seems like the group would get what they want anyway - to get rid of Mary and her family. I don't think that anyone handled this well, but it seems that no one has even been willing to talk to Mary about the problem, just talk horribly about her. Yes, she has been PA and NO, I don't think her requests are reasonable at all. However, even PA people who are my friends, I try to work with them occassionally. At least then I can say I tried. And if it doesn't work out, I talk to them and tell them why.

  Why is it the groups job to find family friendly activities?  They have tried the ONE thing Mark and Mary deem acceptable - and that activity is sitting around in the too small apartment whispering only about the baby. So why is it there job to find things for the group to do that center on this family? That's not the types of thing the group likes, and they should not have to put forth ALL the effort to change and "compromise" while Mark and Mary do nothing but dictate new standards of behavior for their adult friends.  Mark and Mary need to make some effort too.  They are not. What they are doing is trying to change the entire tone of the get togethers forever because of their choices. And they don't get to do that.  The rest of the people in that group have the right to do things they
enjoy when they have the chance to do it .
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Shoo on October 02, 2012, 11:38:08 AM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.

Devix has already previously stated, quite clearly in this thread, that she and the other members of the group are very well aware who exactly the problem is in this situation.  she's also stated that the toddler is a cute, happy little guy. 

"it's because of your kid" has simply become the group shorthand for why Mary and Mark won't attend something yet again, or why they want everyone to come to their place.  no one is blaming the toddler for anything.  and if anyone is using him, it's his parents, as a tool to make their friends do what they want.

Maybe, but every time I see the title of this thread, I find it hard to not feel like the OP has a thing about children in general.  And then after what Claire said, I start to think maybe it's the whole group.  It's not hard to change the title of a thread.  To me, the title of the thread indicates a bias that the OP probably doesn't mean to indicate.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: NyaChan on October 02, 2012, 11:41:45 AM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.

Devix has already previously stated, quite clearly in this thread, that she and the other members of the group are very well aware who exactly the problem is in this situation.  she's also stated that the toddler is a cute, happy little guy. 

"it's because of your kid" has simply become the group shorthand for why Mary and Mark won't attend something yet again, or why they want everyone to come to their place.  no one is blaming the toddler for anything.  and if anyone is using him, it's his parents, as a tool to make their friends do what they want.

My comment really wasn't meant to be directed to Devix - I can understand a cute phrase for a thread title, we all do it.  I was responding more to the tone of some of the recent posts re: Clair's brat comment, a comment which to me at least had a very negative attitude towards the child itself rather than the parents.  Posters were saying that Clair while rude, only said what people in the group were actually thinking - I doubt that Devix actually thinks that the baby is a brat in the true sense of the word. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2012, 11:48:27 AM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.

Devix has already previously stated, quite clearly in this thread, that she and the other members of the group are very well aware who exactly the problem is in this situation.  she's also stated that the toddler is a cute, happy little guy. 

"it's because of your kid" has simply become the group shorthand for why Mary and Mark won't attend something yet again, or why they want everyone to come to their place.  no one is blaming the toddler for anything.  and if anyone is using him, it's his parents, as a tool to make their friends do what they want.

My comment really wasn't meant to be directed to Devix - I can understand a cute phrase for a thread title, we all do it.  I was responding more to the tone of some of the recent posts re: Clair's brat comment, a comment which to me at least had a very negative attitude towards the child itself rather than the parents.  Posters were saying that Clair while rude, only said what people in the group were actually thinking - I doubt that Devix actually thinks that the baby is a brat in the true sense of the word.

  I wonder what the parents say when they forbid certain language and activities. When I read the first post in this thread and some of the clarifying ones, I can just about hear those words "Don't do that because of the baby", "Don't talk above a whisper because of the baby", "Don't XXXXX, because of the kid" ,"We can't join you because of the kid" - if the parents are phrasing things like this,, the natural response from the friends is going to be to pick up the parent's attitude, and start wording things as being because of the kid.
 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Minmom3 on October 02, 2012, 11:51:37 AM
I don't remember who posted it here earlier, but somebody had a child and did NOT act as Mark and Mary have done; they fit the baby in with the ongoing activities.  Kid gets accustomed to the group's normal, group only has to make minimal adjustment to accommodate new parents  and infant.  How would Devix's group have reacted if Mark and Mary had done this?  We'll never know, because they didn't, but I'd bet solid money that if M&M had done as the other new parents did, Devix's group would have been much more likely to accommodate Mary's wishes.  Mary chose to be repressive and restrictive, and should not be surprised and offended when the group resists.  While Claire's words were awful, the sentiment behind them, that Mary has no right to expect the group's activities to stop just because Mary feels she can't participate any longer, is, IMO, perfectly correct.  IMO, Mary's nuts to expect that, and she most likely got that hostile response because she's been so rigid and uncooperative for so long.  9 months of pregnancy and 18 months of an alive baby is more than long enough to expect any social group to cater to you....
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 11:52:42 AM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 11:58:50 AM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.

Devix has already previously stated, quite clearly in this thread, that she and the other members of the group are very well aware who exactly the problem is in this situation.  she's also stated that the toddler is a cute, happy little guy. 

"it's because of your kid" has simply become the group shorthand for why Mary and Mark won't attend something yet again, or why they want everyone to come to their place.  no one is blaming the toddler for anything.  and if anyone is using him, it's his parents, as a tool to make their friends do what they want.

My comment really wasn't meant to be directed to Devix - I can understand a cute phrase for a thread title, we all do it.  I was responding more to the tone of some of the recent posts re: Clair's brat comment, a comment which to me at least had a very negative attitude towards the child itself rather than the parents.  Posters were saying that Clair while rude, only said what people in the group were actually thinking[/b] - I doubt that Devix actually thinks that the baby is a brat in the true sense of the word.

i think the way Claire stated it was terribly rude, and have said so here.  i also think the sentiment behind the statement probably IS what the rest of the group is thinking.  i probably would be.   not the actual remark, but the reason the remark was made.  Mary's snotty little comment "must be nice...." was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 02, 2012, 12:03:25 PM
I feel sorry for the kid if the parents retain this attitude through life. SS helicopter parents.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2012, 12:05:47 PM
And everyone has said Claire was wrong in her wording and she's the only one who called the kid that.  BUT the sentiment that is coming across that things have to be done Mary and Marks way "because of the kid" are coming from none other than the parents. And to loose that in the OP would change the entire sense of what's going on here. The child is being used as a weapon to control other people. By his PARENTS.  After a few months of hearing "because of the kid" or such it probably became almost a sung refrain in the group - it would in mine. And its frequency of use is probably why the title was chosen as it was.
 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 12:07:09 PM
Shoo I think you put your finger on what was bothering me quite well.  The child is neither the problem nor a brat.  Mary and Mark's expectations of others are the problem.

Devix has already previously stated, quite clearly in this thread, that she and the other members of the group are very well aware who exactly the problem is in this situation.  she's also stated that the toddler is a cute, happy little guy. 

"it's because of your kid" has simply become the group shorthand for why Mary and Mark won't attend something yet again, or why they want everyone to come to their place.  no one is blaming the toddler for anything.  and if anyone is using him, it's his parents, as a tool to make their friends do what they want.

Maybe, but every time I see the title of this thread, I find it hard to not feel like the OP has a thing about children in general.  And then after what Claire said, I start to think maybe it's the whole group.  It's not hard to change the title of a thread.  To me, the title of the thread indicates a bias that the OP probably doesn't mean to indicate.

i don't get any "thing" against children.  i see a group of 14 people in their mid-20's who doesn't want to spend all of their go-out-to-party-hardy time accommodating a couple who have chosen to have a child at this time in their lives.  the group hasn't declared themselves to be rabidly child-free and voted the parents out of the group.  not being at a point in one's life where they do not want children at this time is not a bias.  it's being at different places in life.

i don't understand your "maybe".  i've gone back to read Devix's posts, and she said what i attributed to her.  regarding changing the title of the thread, Devix hasn't been here that long.  most of us know how to change the title, and most of us do so to reflect updates.  maybe Devix doesn't know how to do that, or hasn't noticed the changing of titles to reflect updates.  i don't see that as a bias either.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Minmom3 on October 02, 2012, 12:07:49 PM
And everyone has said Claire was wrong in her wording and she's the only one who called the kid that.  BUT the sentiment that is coming across that things have to be done Mary and Marks way "because of the kid" are coming from none other than the parents. And to loose that in the OP would change the entire sense of what's going on here. The child is being used as a weapon to control other people. By his PARENTS.  After a few months of hearing "because of the kid" or such it probably became almost a sung refrain in the group - it would in mine. And its frequency of use is probably why the title was chosen as it was.
 

PODDILY PODDILY POD POD POD
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 12:12:59 PM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.

one person called him a brat, in the midst of a FB fight started by the child's mother.  the group isn't using it as the toddler's new nickname, and the child isn't on FB.  people say things in the heat of the moment.  Claire did so.  it wasn't at all deliberate.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: fountainof on October 02, 2012, 12:15:25 PM
Well, calling the baby a brat is way over the line and I cannot support that.  However, Mary does seem to be the world revolves around my baby kind of person.  And while parents need to focus on their child if they do it and discount everything else it will be hard to maintain friendships.  I think it is fine for Mary to never do anything without her child but she must accept the consequences, right now she just wants it all and that is not fair to other people in the group.

I have a friend who just had a baby and while she hasn't reached Mary territory she does blame the rest of us for the lack of contact as she would like us to arrange everything around the baby, only going to her house as well.  The thing is I have a kid too and my friend's house is boring for my 3 year-old so I have to get a sitter when I visit my friend, which is okay some of the time but I won't have a sitter for my child every week to go visit another child. 

We have a mutual best friend friend who I think is a bit done at this point and probably will move on.  They have been friends for decades so that is sad.  I have always known the friend with the baby is self-absorbed and I have always worked with that so I am not so disappointed/hurt with how the relationship is now but my best friend she didn't see the other friend's selfish tendencies as much and has been really hurt because the friend with the baby never even asks her about her life, it is all ME ME BABY BABY, etc. when they talk.   
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 12:31:10 PM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.

one person called him a brat, in the midst of a FB fight started by the child's mother.  the group isn't using it as the toddler's new nickname, and the child isn't on FB.  people say things in the heat of the moment.  Claire did so.  it wasn't at all deliberate.

You don't think Claire's wording was deliberate?  Are we giving Mary the same pass?  I think Claire knew exactly what she was saying and was going for the most hurtful thing she could say.  If she can't control herself in the heat of the moment then she might want to avoid social media because calling toddlers names just seems inexcusable to me.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 12:41:41 PM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.

one person called him a brat, in the midst of a FB fight started by the child's mother.  the group isn't using it as the toddler's new nickname, and the child isn't on FB.  people say things in the heat of the moment.  Claire did so.  it wasn't at all deliberate.

You don't think Claire's wording was deliberate?  Are we giving Mary the same pass?  I think Claire knew exactly what she was saying and was going for the most hurtful thing she could say.  If she can't control herself in the heat of the moment then she might want to avoid social media because calling toddlers names just seems inexcusable to me.

i'm giving Mary a small pass for her part of the FB argument because it doesn't sound to me like anyone has ever straight up told her, "Look Mary, we like you, we like Mark, Toddler is adorable.  but we're not willing to spend one evening a week crammed into your living room, whispering and being lectured on our language, and never ever again doing anything fun."  she feels people pulling away, but doesn't seem to have the self-awareness to figure out that it's her actions causing it. 

i don't know if Claire's wording was deliberate or not; i wasn't sitting next to her when she posted it.  but i might have had a strong reaction to having Mary tell me flat out that true friends wouldn't do things anymore that she couldn't.  i get that the word "brat" is incendiary.  it's not a word that i like.  but if Claire had used the phrase "had a baby" instead of "popped out a brat", would you agree with the point she was making?

i've said things in the heat of the moment that i have regretted, especially in my mid-20's. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Firecat on October 02, 2012, 12:48:31 PM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.

one person called him a brat, in the midst of a FB fight started by the child's mother.  the group isn't using it as the toddler's new nickname, and the child isn't on FB.  people say things in the heat of the moment.  Claire did so.  it wasn't at all deliberate.

You don't think Claire's wording was deliberate?  Are we giving Mary the same pass?  I think Claire knew exactly what she was saying and was going for the most hurtful thing she could say.  If she can't control herself in the heat of the moment then she might want to avoid social media because calling toddlers names just seems inexcusable to me.

I don't think either Mary or Claire acquitted herself very well. However, the fact remains that Claire followed the group's ordinary practice in posting the event details on Facebook, and Mary chose to make a completely uncalled-for nasty comment in response. If Claire had chosen to stop with "Yep, I love being irresponsible," Claire wouldn't have done anything wrong.

But I also think that people are overreacting somewhat to the child being referred to as a brat. If his parents are raising him to believe that the world revolves around him - which I think is a not-unreasonable conclusion based on their behavior to the friend group - then "brat" may be a nearly-inevitable result. However, it wasn't said directly to the child or even in the child's presence, so the chances of the child being directly hurt by it are minimal at most. In this case, I think the group's bias is not "anti-child," but "anti-obnoxious parent."

However, I think it's fair to say that the description was aimed at the mother, not the child...and was mostly a return volley with the mother's chosen weapon - that is, the child. Doesn't make it ok, because as I said, I don't think either participant acquitted herself politely...but I also think it's fair to say that this has been simmering for awhile, and that Mary largely brought it on herself.

Yes, Claire was rude in this one specific instance. Mary has been way beyond rude - she has been passive-aggressive, controlling, and judgemental of people who are only continuing behavior in which she herself engaged before her situation changed. So on the rude behavior scale, I'd personally sentence Mary to a much deeper level of EHell than I would Claire. Especially if Claire apologizes for her terminology...but NOT for the sentiment.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 12:48:55 PM
I absolutely would agree with her had she chosen different wording but the wording is hugely important, at least to me.

Let's say a friend started dating somebody and he expected everyone to change their normal routine to do what she liked to do.  now they could say, "Just because you started dating that girl doesn't mean we need to change everything" or "Just because you started banging that slut..." Wouldn't the language in second option be downright offensive?  Would the "heat of the moment" be a reasonable excuse to refer to her that way?  It doesn't even address the person making the unreasonable demands. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Firecat on October 02, 2012, 12:51:45 PM
I absolutely would agree with her had she chosen different wording but the wording is hugely important, at least to me.

Let's say a friend started dating somebody and he expected everyone to change their normal routine to do what she liked to do.  now they could say, "Just because you started dating that girl doesn't mean we need to change everything" or "Just because you started banging that slut..." Wouldn't the language in second option be downright offensive?  Would the "heat of the moment" be a reasonable excuse to refer to her that way?  It doesn't even address the person making the unreasonable demands.

So...while in your mid-20s and angry (and, in my opinion at least, angry for good reason), you always worded everything perfectly, and never used language others might consider inflammatory or offensive? I know I didn't.

But I think that Claire's one-time offense is, while still an offense, a lesser offense than Mary's long-term pattern of behavior.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 12:53:19 PM
I absolutely would agree with her had she chosen different wording but the wording is hugely important, at least to me.

Let's say a friend started dating somebody and he expected everyone to change their normal routine to do what she liked to do.  now they could say, "Just because you started dating that girl doesn't mean we need to change everything" or "Just because you started banging that slut..." Wouldn't the language in second option be downright offensive?  Would the "heat of the moment" be a reasonable excuse to refer to her that way?  It doesn't even address the person making the unreasonable demands.

So...while in your mid-20s and angry (and, in my opinion at least, angry for good reason), you always worded everything perfectly, and never used language others might consider inflammatory or offensive? I know I didn't.

But I think that Claire's one-time offense is, while still an offense, a lesser offense than Mary's long-term pattern of behavior.

I can honestly say I never went after toddlers, especially for the offenses of their parents. If other people can't say the same I don't know what to tell you. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Queen of Clubs on October 02, 2012, 12:56:36 PM
I think everyone (or nearly everyone) is agreed that saying "popped out a brat" is rude.  Arguing over it will probably get the thread locked.  Claire was rude to say what she said, can we agree on that and move on?

It's not the fact that M&M have a child that's the problem; it's their attitude and demands that the group rearrange their meetings and go sit in their living room, and only talk quietly (and, IIRC, M&M drag the conversation back to their baby) that's the problem.  I don't blame the group at all for not wanting to do that, especially as they've accommodated M&M three times while M&M have refused every invitation unless the get together takes place in their living room.  Now Mary is complaining that people are refusing, well, I don't blame them.

M&M need to change their attitude, join in when they can, or find a group of friends who will accommodate their demands.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Firecat on October 02, 2012, 12:59:00 PM
I absolutely would agree with her had she chosen different wording but the wording is hugely important, at least to me.

Let's say a friend started dating somebody and he expected everyone to change their normal routine to do what she liked to do.  now they could say, "Just because you started dating that girl doesn't mean we need to change everything" or "Just because you started banging that slut..." Wouldn't the language in second option be downright offensive?  Would the "heat of the moment" be a reasonable excuse to refer to her that way?  It doesn't even address the person making the unreasonable demands.

So...while in your mid-20s and angry (and, in my opinion at least, angry for good reason), you always worded everything perfectly, and never used language others might consider inflammatory or offensive? I know I didn't.

But I think that Claire's one-time offense is, while still an offense, a lesser offense than Mary's long-term pattern of behavior.

I can honestly say I never went after toddlers, especially for the offenses of their parents. If other people can't say the same I don't know what to tell you.

What makes the difference for me is that, as I previously stated, Claire didn't say it to the child, in the child's presence, or even in a medium the child is likely to be able to understand on his own (at least, I'm asssuming the little one can't read yet, and most likely doesn't have access to his mother's Facebook...or at least I sincerely hope so...). Claire said it to Mary...when Mary has been using the poor kid as a weapon to attempt to control the others...so in a way, Mary herself made the child the focus of the battle.

Once again, I agree that what Claire said was wrong. I just don't agree that one comment, made when understandably angry, is somehow worse than what Mary's been pulling all along...or is even really on the same level. In general, I find a one-time lapse more forgiveable than a history of bad behavior, provided that nothing like physical violence is involved.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Tabby Uprising on October 02, 2012, 01:04:35 PM
I think everyone (or nearly everyone) is agreed that saying "popped out a brat" is rude.  Arguing over it will probably get the thread locked.  Claire was rude to say what she said, can we agree on that and move on?

It's not the fact that M&M have a child that's the problem; it's their attitude and demands that the group rearrange their meetings and go sit in their living room, and only talk quietly (and, IIRC, M&M drag the conversation back to their baby) that's the problem.  I don't blame the group at all for not wanting to do that, especially as they've accommodated M&M three times while M&M have refused every invitation unless the get together takes place in their living room.  Now Mary is complaining that people are refusing, well, I don't blame them.

M&M need to change their attitude, join in when they can, or find a group of friends who will accommodate their demands.

Been reading through this thread and have thought of comments along the way, but this pretty much says it all!
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: buvezdevin on October 02, 2012, 01:25:18 PM
Wow, what an update and interesting follow on posts.

I don't care for Claire's choice of wording, but the mental images conjured by some other posts of an 18 month old shaking a finger and scolding adults for bad language in his presence, or checking his mother's Facebook and taking umbrage at being referred to as a brat, gave me chuckles.

While neither Mary nor Claire handled the posting of messages optimally, I think Mary's posts reflecting her unrealistic expectations and dismissiveness of others social planning (unless catering to Mary only) are infinitely more appalling than Claire's poor choice of phrasing when expressing a completely understandable (from my POV) frustration with *Mary* - not the child, but the childish parent with demands.

I realize my view is not universal on that point, but to me - Mary was passively aggressively insulting the group, and trying to press her unreasonable agenda.  Claire reflexively made defensive posts, which unfortunately included a derogatory phrasing, but the logic of Claire's posts is one I would otherwise endorse, unlike Mary's.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2012, 01:36:19 PM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.

one person called him a brat, in the midst of a FB fight started by the child's mother.  the group isn't using it as the toddler's new nickname, and the child isn't on FB.  people say things in the heat of the moment.  Claire did so.  it wasn't at all deliberate.

You don't think Claire's wording was deliberate?  Are we giving Mary the same pass?  I think Claire knew exactly what she was saying and was going for the most hurtful thing she could say.  If she can't control herself in the heat of the moment then she might want to avoid social media because calling toddlers names just seems inexcusable to me.

i'm giving Mary a small pass for her part of the FB argument because it doesn't sound to me like anyone has ever straight up told her, "Look Mary, we like you, we like Mark, Toddler is adorable.  but we're not willing to spend one evening a week crammed into your living room, whispering and being lectured on our language, and never ever again doing anything fun."  she feels people pulling away, but doesn't seem to have the self-awareness to figure out that it's her actions causing it. 

i don't know if Claire's wording was deliberate or not; i wasn't sitting next to her when she posted it.  but i might have had a strong reaction to having Mary tell me flat out that true friends wouldn't do things anymore that she couldn't.  i get that the word "brat" is incendiary.  it's not a word that i like.  but if Claire had used the phrase "had a baby" instead of "popped out a brat", would you agree with the point she was making?

i've said things in the heat of the moment that i have regretted, especially in my mid-20's.

I don't see how Mary deserves a pass for what she said on FB.
She is essentially saying to the group that she feels that they should not be able to do anything that Mary cannot/chooses not to do as a result of her choice to have a baby. Who says that to their friends?
What if you posted on FB that you were going to see the latest released movie and that anyone interested should join you, and then one of your friends replied that she can't come and that because she can't come, neither you nor any of your other friends should go either. And said it in such a way as to attempt to lay a guilt trip on you for even thinking of going to a movie when she can't go.

The way Mary (and Mark) are trying to manipulate this group of adults into conforming to their requirements is mind-boggling. "Hey! None of you can ever have any fun anymore because Mark & I had a baby and if we can't have any fun then neither can any of the rest of you!" Yeah. Those are folks I want to maintain a friendship with. Not.

I don't really see why anyone would have to straight-up tell a reasonable intelligent adult that her behavior and expectations are out of line. Yeah, they could have that conversation, but based on Mary-and-Mark's reactions to what's already been done and said, I wouldn't want to be the one to engage in it.

This is a case of people trying to bend over backwards to accommodate increasingly unreasonable requests and being scolded for not bending over backards far enough.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: jemma on October 02, 2012, 01:40:25 PM
I agree that it doesn't sound like you guys are really friends, and it may be hard for Mary to realize that the people she was spending all her time with weren't friends, they were just people with whom she could be rowdy with.  I think Mary is on the path to realizing she needs to make new friends which is hard and sad.  I'm like Mary in terms of how I choose to parent, but she's in for a hard lesson when she realizes what that means for her social life.  If I were you I would continue to invite her to events if I wanted her presence, and politely decline her invitations if they don't appeal to you. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 01:44:23 PM
Since the parents are asking those things and not the kid it still makes no sense to call him a brat.  If the kid was going around telling them to be quiet and not to swear, etc. I might have some sympathy but since this is all coming from the parents calling the 18 month old a brat strikes me as a deliberately low blow.

one person called him a brat, in the midst of a FB fight started by the child's mother.  the group isn't using it as the toddler's new nickname, and the child isn't on FB.  people say things in the heat of the moment.  Claire did so.  it wasn't at all deliberate.

You don't think Claire's wording was deliberate?  Are we giving Mary the same pass?  I think Claire knew exactly what she was saying and was going for the most hurtful thing she could say.  If she can't control herself in the heat of the moment then she might want to avoid social media because calling toddlers names just seems inexcusable to me.

i'm giving Mary a small pass for her part of the FB argument because it doesn't sound to me like anyone has ever straight up told her, "Look Mary, we like you, we like Mark, Toddler is adorable.  but we're not willing to spend one evening a week crammed into your living room, whispering and being lectured on our language, and never ever again doing anything fun."  she feels people pulling away, but doesn't seem to have the self-awareness to figure out that it's her actions causing it. 

i don't know if Claire's wording was deliberate or not; i wasn't sitting next to her when she posted it.  but i might have had a strong reaction to having Mary tell me flat out that true friends wouldn't do things anymore that she couldn't.  i get that the word "brat" is incendiary.  it's not a word that i like.  but if Claire had used the phrase "had a baby" instead of "popped out a brat", would you agree with the point she was making?

i've said things in the heat of the moment that i have regretted, especially in my mid-20's.

I don't see how Mary deserves a pass for what she said on FB.
She is essentially saying to the group that she feels that they should not be able to do anything that Mary cannot/chooses not to do as a result of her choice to have a baby. Who says that to their friends?
What if you posted on FB that you were going to see the latest released movie and that anyone interested should join you, and then one of your friends replied that she can't come and that because she can't come, neither you nor any of your other friends should go either. And said it in such a way as to attempt to lay a guilt trip on you for even thinking of going to a movie when she can't go.

The way Mary (and Mark) are trying to manipulate this group of adults into conforming to their requirements is mind-boggling. "Hey! None of you can ever have any fun anymore because Mark & I had a baby and if we can't have any fun then neither can any of the rest of you!" Yeah. Those are folks I want to maintain a friendship with. Not.

I don't really see why anyone would have to straight-up tell a reasonable intelligent adult that her behavior and expectations are out of line. Yeah, they could have that conversation, but based on Mary-and-Mark's reactions to what's already been done and said, I wouldn't want to be the one to engage in it.

This is a case of people trying to bend over backwards to accommodate increasingly unreasonable requests and being scolded for not bending over backards far enough.

i guess i didn't explain clearly why i posted that.  from the information that we have, no one has come out an told Mary no.  just no, we don't want to sit on your floor every time we get together.  and i did make it clear that it was a very small pass.

i find Mary and Mark's behavior and demands to be completely outrageous, and wouldn't have enabled them for 6 months, let alone the 18 months that toddler has been on this earth.  i'll be surprised if many couples in the group are willing, going forward, to accede to her demands, after seeing her statement about true friends giving up what she can't do anymore.  and Devix probably isn't the only member of the group getting calls from Mary. 

there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 01:50:47 PM
I agree that it doesn't sound like you guys are really friends, and it may be hard for Mary to realize that the people she was spending all her time with weren't friends, they were just people with whom she could be rowdy with.  I think Mary is on the path to realizing she needs to make new friends which is hard and sad.  I'm like Mary in terms of how I choose to parent, but she's in for a hard lesson when she realizes what that means for her social life.  If I were you I would continue to invite her to events if I wanted her presence, and politely decline her invitations if they don't appeal to you.

i don't see a single problem with how Mary, and you, are raising your children.  don't want to leave your child with a sitter?  i think that's a fantastic decision for you and your child, and support you (and Mary) to the max.

it really doesn't matter to me if this is the Weekend Rowdy Group, or if they've been friends for years.  Mary is being unrealistic as to how her friends must behave now that she has a child.  it's not Mary's parenting decisions that are causing all of the drama; it's her attitude and expectations.  and her attitude when those unrealistic expectations are not met.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2012, 01:59:55 PM
Yeah, still in va, I get you. I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be the one to have to explain to her why her expectations are not reasonable. It seems to me that the group has made it pretty clear that after the third time of hanging out at M&M's house they aren't going to do it again. Sure, no one came out and explicitly said why not, but really I find it pretty hard to believe that M&M don't know why. I'm guessing they know perfectly well that the evenings spent at their house are nothing like the normal group dynamic. They just have the attitude that if they are stuck at home using hushed tones and not cursing, well, then their friends should be there with them doing the same thing. (Misery loves company.) And if they want to sit around and talk about nothing but their child then their friends should be thrilled to listen with rapt interest.

I seriously doubt that it's going to come as a surprise to them why the group doesn't want to come over anymore. And when someone attempts to explain that to them, do you really think they will be receptive to it, even if it is handled completely civilly and politely? I just can't see that.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: YummyMummy66 on October 02, 2012, 02:00:41 PM
I think I am the only one who has no problem with the word "brat". I don't see Claire as calling the child a brat, as in what everyone else seems to be thinking, in that the child is a bad child.

I have a four year old granddaughter who I love dearly, and I call her "Bratella".  But, she has never, ever been a brat.  Well, for me at least, not her mommy!  So, the nickname did not derive from being a bad kid, just my little cutie patootie.  Actually, I think my mom came up with the nickname. 

I saw it as Claire saying the word brat instead of kid, but not meaning bad child, just a child.   

And le'ts be realistic here, going by the parents themselves and already how they are acting, who here who has posted doesn't think that this kid growing up is going to be one, big, spoiled diva???  (or, ok, a brat?).
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 02:05:29 PM
Yeah, still in va, I get you. I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be the one to have to explain to her why her expectations are not reasonable. It seems to me that the group has made it pretty clear that after the third time of hanging out at M&M's house they aren't going to do it again. Sure, no one came out and explicitly said why not, but really I find it pretty hard to believe that M&M don't know why. I'm guessing they know perfectly well that the evenings spent at their house are nothing like the normal group dynamic. They just have the attitude that if they are stuck at home using hushed tones and not cursing, well, then their friends should be there with them doing the same thing. (Misery loves company.) And if they want to sit around and talk about nothing but their child then their friends should be thrilled to listen with rapt interest.

I seriously doubt that it's going to come as a surprise to them why the group doesn't want to come over anymore. And when someone attempts to explain that to them, do you really think they will be receptive to it, even if it is handled completely civilly and politely? I just can't see that.

oh i don't think they're going to be receptive or civil at all.  especially since Mary called Claire after the FB exchange, where apparently words were exchanged....forcefully.  Mary wants what she wants, and she doesn't care if someone else wants something different.  too bad, so sad.  i wouldn't have the patience for that.  at THIS time in my life, i would have told her straight out that i wasn't going to give up all of my fun times out because she couldn't (due to her parenting choices) go out anymore.  i'm not sure i would have done that in my 20's.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Winterlight on October 02, 2012, 02:09:25 PM
I think everyone (or nearly everyone) is agreed that saying "popped out a brat" is rude.  Arguing over it will probably get the thread locked.  Claire was rude to say what she said, can we agree on that and move on?

It's not the fact that M&M have a child that's the problem; it's their attitude and demands that the group rearrange their meetings and go sit in their living room, and only talk quietly (and, IIRC, M&M drag the conversation back to their baby) that's the problem.  I don't blame the group at all for not wanting to do that, especially as they've accommodated M&M three times while M&M have refused every invitation unless the get together takes place in their living room.  Now Mary is complaining that people are refusing, well, I don't blame them.

M&M need to change their attitude, join in when they can, or find a group of friends who will accommodate their demands.

Agreed. Substituting dog, rabbit or hand puppet for baby makes no difference. M&M are trying to remake the group to suit them, their demands are unreasonable and the rest of the group object.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2012, 02:15:07 PM
I think everyone (or nearly everyone) is agreed that saying "popped out a brat" is rude.  Arguing over it will probably get the thread locked.  Claire was rude to say what she said, can we agree on that and move on?

It's not the fact that M&M have a child that's the problem; it's their attitude and demands that the group rearrange their meetings and go sit in their living room, and only talk quietly (and, IIRC, M&M drag the conversation back to their baby) that's the problem.  I don't blame the group at all for not wanting to do that, especially as they've accommodated M&M three times while M&M have refused every invitation unless the get together takes place in their living room.  Now Mary is complaining that people are refusing, well, I don't blame them.

M&M need to change their attitude, join in when they can, or find a group of friends who will accommodate their demands.

Agreed. Substituting dog, rabbit or hand puppet for baby makes no difference. M&M are trying to remake the group to suit them, their demands are unreasonable and the rest of the group object.

I agree.  I hardly think "brat" is a nasty, venomous, horrible word.  I think its simply a low key casual way to refer to a child who's being bothersome... which pretty much does describe this kid.  No its not the kid's fault he's getting in the way - he didn't ask to be born or ask to be parented as he is, but he is being put in the way of his parents socializing with this group.

In my family kids are rather universally and quite affectionately referred to as "goops" (a la Gelett Burgess).  Now if you are familiar with The Goops, you know it is essentially a synonym for brat.  But its also just a fun word to call a kid.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2012, 02:38:41 PM
Yeah, still in va, I get you. I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be the one to have to explain to her why her expectations are not reasonable. It seems to me that the group has made it pretty clear that after the third time of hanging out at M&M's house they aren't going to do it again. Sure, no one came out and explicitly said why not, but really I find it pretty hard to believe that M&M don't know why. I'm guessing they know perfectly well that the evenings spent at their house are nothing like the normal group dynamic. They just have the attitude that if they are stuck at home using hushed tones and not cursing, well, then their friends should be there with them doing the same thing. (Misery loves company.) And if they want to sit around and talk about nothing but their child then their friends should be thrilled to listen with rapt interest.

I seriously doubt that it's going to come as a surprise to them why the group doesn't want to come over anymore. And when someone attempts to explain that to them, do you really think they will be receptive to it, even if it is handled completely civilly and politely? I just can't see that.

oh i don't think they're going to be receptive or civil at all.  especially since Mary called Claire after the FB exchange, where apparently words were exchanged....forcefully.  Mary wants what she wants, and she doesn't care if someone else wants something different.  too bad, so sad.  i wouldn't have the patience for that.  at THIS time in my life, i would have told her straight out that i wasn't going to give up all of my fun times out because she couldn't (due to her parenting choices) go out anymore.  i'm not sure i would have done that in my 20's.

LOL, I'm the exact opposite. Back when I was in my 20s I would have expended time and effort trying to make Mary see my point of view and how her behavior was affecting everyone and blah blah blah. At this point in my life, I wouldn't waste my time. Experience has taught me these two things (among others):
1. People mostly know exactly what they are doing and choose to do it anyway
2. Trying to convince someone to do the right thing when they are clearly set on doing the wrong thing is more frustrating than actually physically banging my head against a brick wall.

I'm pretty sure that even if someone were to put it to M&M as bluntly as you suggest, it would fall on deaf ears. Yeah, I've been down that road.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: KenveeB on October 03, 2012, 12:03:51 AM
Yeah, still in va, I get you. I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be the one to have to explain to her why her expectations are not reasonable. It seems to me that the group has made it pretty clear that after the third time of hanging out at M&M's house they aren't going to do it again. Sure, no one came out and explicitly said why not, but really I find it pretty hard to believe that M&M don't know why. I'm guessing they know perfectly well that the evenings spent at their house are nothing like the normal group dynamic. They just have the attitude that if they are stuck at home using hushed tones and not cursing, well, then their friends should be there with them doing the same thing. (Misery loves company.) And if they want to sit around and talk about nothing but their child then their friends should be thrilled to listen with rapt interest.

I seriously doubt that it's going to come as a surprise to them why the group doesn't want to come over anymore. And when someone attempts to explain that to them, do you really think they will be receptive to it, even if it is handled completely civilly and politely? I just can't see that.

I agree. Do you really need to explain to an adult that "let's all sit on the floor and whisper about my child" is not really an acceptable group party plan? Especially for a group that has always had rowdy parties and that you've spent the entire evening shushing because they can't follow the whisper rule? That's absurd. Mary lashed out at everyone else because she knows they don't want to do things her way, and she paid the price for it. You can't run around waving matches and kerosene and then be upset that a spark catches.

Add me in to the people who don't see "brat" as some heinously awful word too. I saw it in Claire's post as more of dismissive term, contradicting Mary's apparent belief that having a child means the world stops and revolves around you from now on.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Hollanda on October 03, 2012, 05:22:07 AM
"Brat" is not a nice word to describe a child to me. Sorry, but affectionately meant or whatever, it's just not. If anyone called my DS one then to say I wouldn't be happy is an understatement.

Back on topic. I've had people round whilst DS was asleep upstairs. MIL actually, last Christmas. We had wine and nibbles, talked, laughed and sang. Guess what? He slept through it. We've never talked more quietly because he was asleep. Consequently now we can Hoover whilst he is in bed and he sleeps through anything pretty.much. Point being if you tiptoe around sleeping babies they do demand silence to sleep. It's possible to have people around and have a great time with a child asleep upstairs. We've done it since with friends, too.

I don't get why these people choose to make things so awkward for themselves. If they cannot have people around, they could get a sitter and go out for the night. Sadly I think they are the sort of people who will look for a flaw in whatever advice is offered. I have no time for that. When they start losing friends maybe they might reconsider.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MariaE on October 03, 2012, 05:48:15 AM
"Brat" is not a nice word to describe a child to me. Sorry, but affectionately meant or whatever, it's just not. If anyone called my DS one then to say I wouldn't be happy is an understatement.

"Idiot" isn't a nice word to describe somebody either, but when I tell my DH, "You're an idiot" what I mean is "I love you."

Similarly when I tell my niece "You're such a brat" it also means "I love you". My sister has certainly never complained. It's all in the tone of voice.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Hollanda on October 03, 2012, 05:54:36 AM
Well why not just say "I love you"? I'm missing something here. :-\
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: MariaE on October 03, 2012, 06:21:28 AM
Hollanda, have you ever seen the episode of "How I Met Your Mother" where Ted teaches Barney a "Robin 101" class? It's explained perfectly there. If not, I'll try to give it a go :)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 03, 2012, 06:34:12 AM
I'm not sure if this has been covered yet, but would Mark and Mary (and the group) be willing to compromise on the choice of activity every so often? I realise the OP said the group prefers hanging out on Friday and Saturday nights. But would everyone be open to say, a fun picnic in the park on a Sunday afternoon (perhaps with a nice bottle of wine, if your local by-laws allow it)? That way Mary's family can attend with their toddler, and the group can still hang out, and make noise, etc? This doesn't have to be every week, but once in awhile wouldn't hurt.

Has anyone asked Mary and Mark if they'd be willing to compromise and do a family-friendly activity outside their apartment, when Junior is awake (and hence, make it more palatable for the rest of the group)? If not, that's what I'd be suggesting if I was the OP.

Of course, Mary might say "Absolutely not! The only activity we want is for everyone to come to our apartment and have whispered conversations about the baby." But at least you know that you tried to find a compromise.



Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: alis on October 03, 2012, 06:48:46 AM
I think Mary and Mark need to grow up and move on. We are also the first pair of our late 20's/early 30's to have children and I would never expect a group of 20-somethings to re-arrange their lifestyle/activities around our toddler's strict 7pm bedtime or strict 11am nap time. We either get a babysitter, or leave early, or don't go at all. Our toddler is "high needs" in that he cannot cope well with routine change (and would have woken up with people visiting after bedtime) and so yes, our social lives revolve around him when there is no babysitter available - that is our choice.

I would never make such a snarky comment to my childless friends. I simply say, "Enjoy NYC/Mexico/the dance club!" and be done with it.

It would be nice if their friends could have an occasion get-together where the toddler could attend, but as a mother, I also understand that most childless people have zero interest in toddler-friendly activities. Seriously, M&M were childless as of less than two years ago, they should know this.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 03, 2012, 06:52:38 AM
I'm not sure if this has been covered yet, but would Mark and Mary (and the group) be willing to compromise on the choice of activity every so often? I realise the OP said the group prefers hanging out on Friday and Saturday nights. But would everyone be open to say, a fun picnic in the park on a Sunday afternoon (perhaps with a nice bottle of wine, if your local by-laws allow it)? That way Mary's family can attend with their toddler, and the group can still hang out, and make noise, etc? This doesn't have to be every week, but once in awhile wouldn't hurt.

Has anyone asked Mary and Mark if they'd be willing to compromise and do a family-friendly activity outside their apartment, when Junior is awake (and hence, make it more palatable for the rest of the group)? If not, that's what I'd be suggesting if I was the OP.

Of course, Mary might say "Absolutely not! The only activity we want is for everyone to come to our apartment and have whispered conversations about the baby." But at least you know that you tried to find a compromise.

From Devix on 10/1 in #97:

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: KenveeB on October 03, 2012, 07:25:47 AM
"Brat" is not a nice word to describe a child to me. Sorry, but affectionately meant or whatever, it's just not. If anyone called my DS one then to say I wouldn't be happy is an understatement.

"Idiot" isn't a nice word to describe somebody either, but when I tell my DH, "You're an idiot" what I mean is "I love you."

Similarly when I tell my niece "You're such a brat" it also means "I love you". My sister has certainly never complained. It's all in the tone of voice.

I don't mean "I love you," but I don't think it's a hideous insult either. Neither one is a nice word, but it's not nearly the same thing as, say, calling a woman a c**t. I will tell my friends they're being an idiot if I think it's warranted or sometimes just because I'm mad at them. We get over it. I just don't see "brat" as the most hideous unforgiveable insult you can unleash on a child.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: RebeccainGA on October 03, 2012, 07:31:31 AM
You know, my sister was like this when she first had her baby - extreme 'baby centeredness' and ignoring of the rest of the family, and of the world. We nearly throttled her. thankfully, she 'outgrew' it - sister, not the baby - and has actually swung to the other side of the pendulum. It's a form of narcissism, that's allowed by so many parenting groups, that once you have a baby, your life is completely over except for caring for the child. It's also pretty uniquely American - in most of the rest of the world, it just doesn't happen very often that an otherwise sane person turns off all of their brain except for the part that cares for a child. Even in places like urban China, where the one child rule makes little princes of the boys, mothers don't just totally check out and have others find them normal.

M&M need to realize that no child wants that much attention from their parents. These are the same tendencies that have 20-somethings bringing mommy to college to explain to the big mean professor that having to show up for an 8am class is hurting their creative abilities (and yes, I have witnessed this firsthand). Kids want to be part of the family circle, but not the sole focus. I'd be checking out from them for a few years, at least - and if they want back 'in', they need to be able to show they are whole people again.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Venus193 on October 03, 2012, 07:58:26 AM
I also think that Claire probably used the word "brat" as an attention-getter for Mary.  She meant to shock her because that may be the only way to drive the point home because Mary has extreme tunnel-vision.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: alis on October 03, 2012, 08:08:16 AM
I don't think it's an American phenomenon for the most part, but perhaps a western one. The thing is, that in many other places, people also don't expect a couple to be the sole providers for a child. It is hard to not be child-centred when you do not have much help (or any) from family, or you cannot frequently obtain babysitting (due to cost or availability), or others refuse to participate in family-friendly activities.

In many places of the world (I am not American), we do not think the world revolves around our children - but at the same time, family and friends do not necessarily emphasize all activities as being adult-only. To me, it is sort of like the whole "adult-only wedding" concept that exists in many western cultures. To those of us who live in cultures where "my child is your child" (ie, my in-laws have just as much "reign" over my kids as I, the mother does), I can *sort of* see M&M's point in that they are stuck in a rock and a hard place.

They seem to wish to continue life "as normal" but also don't necessarily have the family or friend support to do so, and so are probably quite resentful that they are constrained in that manner.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I would never expect my friends to change their lifestyle/social life for me as a mother, but at the same time, my friends and family also accept babies and children as equals, in the sense that they deserve to participate as well.

It seems a western phenomenon IMO to even have to adjust from childless to parents because there is such a stark divide between the groups. If the children were never really excluded in the first place, would it still be narcissism?

The Chinese mother can leave her baby with her parents if she wants to go out. I have British friends who think it "pawning off".
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Giggity on October 03, 2012, 08:19:40 AM
Maybe, but every time I see the title of this thread, I find it hard to not feel like the OP has a thing about children in general.  And then after what Claire said, I start to think maybe it's the whole group.  It's not hard to change the title of a thread.  To me, the title of the thread indicates a bias that the OP probably doesn't mean to indicate.

There's nothing at ALL in Devix's posts to indicate that.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Firecat on October 03, 2012, 08:57:13 AM
I don't think it's an American phenomenon for the most part, but perhaps a western one. The thing is, that in many other places, people also don't expect a couple to be the sole providers for a child. It is hard to not be child-centred when you do not have much help (or any) from family, or you cannot frequently obtain babysitting (due to cost or availability), or others refuse to participate in family-friendly activities.

In many places of the world (I am not American), we do not think the world revolves around our children - but at the same time, family and friends do not necessarily emphasize all activities as being adult-only. To me, it is sort of like the whole "adult-only wedding" concept that exists in many western cultures. To those of us who live in cultures where "my child is your child" (ie, my in-laws have just as much "reign" over my kids as I, the mother does), I can *sort of* see M&M's point in that they are stuck in a rock and a hard place.

They seem to wish to continue life "as normal" but also don't necessarily have the family or friend support to do so, and so are probably quite resentful that they are constrained in that manner.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I would never expect my friends to change their lifestyle/social life for me as a mother, but at the same time, my friends and family also accept babies and children as equals, in the sense that they deserve to participate as well.

It seems a western phenomenon IMO to even have to adjust from childless to parents because there is such a stark divide between the groups. If the children were never really excluded in the first place, would it still be narcissism?

The Chinese mother can leave her baby with her parents if she wants to go out. I have British friends who think it "pawning off".

I don't think it's fair to assume that the parents in this scenario don't have support from their friends. I don't think it's true to say that the friend group is never willing to do family-friendly things; they just don't want to sit around in a too-small space and hold whispered conversations about the baby. And I don't blame them. Mary and her DH are not only constraining themselves, they're trying to constrain everyone else, too, and that's just not ok.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 03, 2012, 08:59:17 AM
I don't think it's an American phenomenon for the most part, but perhaps a western one. The thing is, that in many other places, people also don't expect a couple to be the sole providers for a child. It is hard to not be child-centred when you do not have much help (or any) from family, or you cannot frequently obtain babysitting (due to cost or availability), or others refuse to participate in family-friendly activities.

In many places of the world (I am not American), we do not think the world revolves around our children - but at the same time, family and friends do not necessarily emphasize all activities as being adult-only. To me, it is sort of like the whole "adult-only wedding" concept that exists in many western cultures. To those of us who live in cultures where "my child is your child" (ie, my in-laws have just as much "reign" over my kids as I, the mother does), I can *sort of* see M&M's point in that they are stuck in a rock and a hard place.

They seem to wish to continue life "as normal" but also don't necessarily have the family or friend support to do so, and so are probably quite resentful that they are constrained in that manner.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I would never expect my friends to change their lifestyle/social life for me as a mother, but at the same time, my friends and family also accept babies and children as equals, in the sense that they deserve to participate as well.

It seems a western phenomenon IMO to even have to adjust from childless to parents because there is such a stark divide between the groups. If the children were never really excluded in the first place, would it still be narcissism?

The Chinese mother can leave her baby with her parents if she wants to go out. I have British friends who think it "pawning off".

I don't think it's fair to assume that the parents in this scenario don't have support from their friends. I don't think it's true to say that the friend group is never willing to do family-friendly things; they just don't want to sit around in a too-small space and hold whispered conversations about the baby. And I don't blame them. Mary and her DH are not only constraining themselves, they're trying to constrain everyone else, too, and that's just not ok.

Yep. Devix in #97 on 10/1 said that M&M have refused all offers to do things outside the house.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: O'Dell on October 03, 2012, 10:04:54 AM
I don't think it's an American phenomenon for the most part, but perhaps a western one. The thing is, that in many other places, people also don't expect a couple to be the sole providers for a child. It is hard to not be child-centred when you do not have much help (or any) from family, or you cannot frequently obtain babysitting (due to cost or availability), or others refuse to participate in family-friendly activities.

In many places of the world (I am not American), we do not think the world revolves around our children - but at the same time, family and friends do not necessarily emphasize all activities as being adult-only. To me, it is sort of like the whole "adult-only wedding" concept that exists in many western cultures. To those of us who live in cultures where "my child is your child" (ie, my in-laws have just as much "reign" over my kids as I, the mother does), I can *sort of* see M&M's point in that they are stuck in a rock and a hard place.

They seem to wish to continue life "as normal" but also don't necessarily have the family or friend support to do so, and so are probably quite resentful that they are constrained in that manner.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I would never expect my friends to change their lifestyle/social life for me as a mother, but at the same time, my friends and family also accept babies and children as equals, in the sense that they deserve to participate as well.

It seems a western phenomenon IMO to even have to adjust from childless to parents because there is such a stark divide between the groups. If the children were never really excluded in the first place, would it still be narcissism?

The Chinese mother can leave her baby with her parents if she wants to go out. I have British friends who think it "pawning off".

I'm in the US. IME, it can be the way you describe here, but it tends to be a class and/or economic level thing. And maybe even a little dependent on ethnic background? At any rate, in my family and among my friends, kids are included if the event takes place at home. If there is swearing and drinking, no one worries much about it. Kids just learn that they can't swear or drink when they are little. Only adults can do those things. And many grandparents are happy to look after the grandkids so the parents can go out, including having the kids spend the night on short notice. It would only be pawning off if it happened to often and/or interfered with the grandparents having fun. Not everyone I know is this laid back about kids, but most everyone I associate with is this way.

I just find the idea of not swearing around the kid because it might get into their psyche to be bizarre. That's what I was trying to get at earlier when I talked about concern about the parents. Do they have a basis for this theory? Did they cook it up out of their own weird emotional or psychological baggage? Do they have unfounded anxieties related to swearing and dirty jokes around kids? I'd question the parents about their philosophy and maybe make comments that would get them thinking if they were open to change. I wouldn't dismiss their concerns or insult them in any way. Basically open a dialogue about it.

BUT...from the description of the facebook group, etc. these people don't even seem like friends. They seem like acquaintances. It doesn't should like there is much relationship to salvage. So why bother?
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: alis on October 03, 2012, 10:09:05 AM
I don't disagree with you at all - I think it is M&M's perceptions that are off here - but it sounds like they THINK that their friends are unsupportive in all ways and perhaps they are still at that stage where they are struggling to find a balance between the mindset of their friends and their own baby-centred views, if that makes sense.

I don't think the friends are wrong at all here. I think M&M just don't "get it" yet and perhaps THINK that their friends are excluding them due to the child. I hope that makes sense. I have a toddler and for many new parents, it can be difficult to re-settle back into the "normal" world (ie. the world that doesn't revolve around your baby). It sounds like M&M haven't reached that point yet. I also find it quite common with new first-time parents, and when it's not their first, they have already got that.

To me, it is kind of like the person who has decided to start losing weight and feels that friends going to the same restaurants as before are "saboteurs" and they "don't understand" and suddenly their whole life revolves around this new weight loss kick. Eventually they settle down and realize the world is not against them, but they are just so hyped up on "X" (baby, weight loss, bridezilla) that they get tunnel vision.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Yvaine on October 03, 2012, 10:09:55 AM
I just find the idea of not swearing around the kid because it might get into their psyche to be bizarre. That's what I was trying to get at earlier when I talked about concern about the parents. Do they have a basis for this theory? Did they cook it up out of their own weird emotional or psychological baggage? Do they have unfounded anxieties related to swearing and dirty jokes around kids? I'd question the parents about their philosophy and maybe make comments that would get them thinking if they were open to change. I wouldn't dismiss their concerns or insult them in any way. Basically open a dialogue about it.

Yeah, the biggest worry about swearing in front of kids (IMO) is that they'll parrot the words in an inappropriate situation, not that they'll actually be damaged by them. One child in our family cracked everyone up at the age of 2 or 3 by running around the house at Thanksgiving dinner shouting "(S-word)! (S-word)! (S-word)!" But he's mentally and emotionally OK (he's 12 now).
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: alis on October 03, 2012, 10:15:09 AM
I can understand requesting not swearing around an 18 month old - an 18 month old will parrot the words without any comprehension of the meaning.

When the 18 month old is asleep, well, that is just bizarre. I suspect M&M are still very confused about their own parenting philosophy and are adopting extremes because of a lack of confidence.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Giggity on October 03, 2012, 04:31:10 PM
Unless they think the kid will absorb the swearing subliminally in his sleep ... okay, I gotta admit, I got nothin.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: scansons on October 03, 2012, 05:03:49 PM
I don't think it's an American phenomenon for the most part, but perhaps a western one. The thing is, that in many other places, people also don't expect a couple to be the sole providers for a child. It is hard to not be child-centred when you do not have much help (or any) from family, or you cannot frequently obtain babysitting (due to cost or availability), or others refuse to participate in family-friendly activities.

In many places of the world (I am not American), we do not think the world revolves around our children - but at the same time, family and friends do not necessarily emphasize all activities as being adult-only. To me, it is sort of like the whole "adult-only wedding" concept that exists in many western cultures. To those of us who live in cultures where "my child is your child" (ie, my in-laws have just as much "reign" over my kids as I, the mother does), I can *sort of* see M&M's point in that they are stuck in a rock and a hard place.

They seem to wish to continue life "as normal" but also don't necessarily have the family or friend support to do so, and so are probably quite resentful that they are constrained in that manner.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I would never expect my friends to change their lifestyle/social life for me as a mother, but at the same time, my friends and family also accept babies and children as equals, in the sense that they deserve to participate as well.

It seems a western phenomenon IMO to even have to adjust from childless to parents because there is such a stark divide between the groups. If the children were never really excluded in the first place, would it still be narcissism?

The Chinese mother can leave her baby with her parents if she wants to go out. I have British friends who think it "pawning off".

Interesting. 

First off, in the States, I think a lot of it has to do with distance.  Many people simply don't live near their parents.  For instance, my sons are 4 and 6.  Until about six months ago, we lived 20 hours by car away from our nearest relatives.  Now we're down to two and a half hours.  While my children are certainly welcome at family events,  they just didn't get to go very often.  And the only time our parents watched them was when we were visiting.  Maybe once or twice a year.  It's just not feasible, so you have to learn to cope without Grandparents near by.  If your friends aren't child minded, it can be time to find new friends and resources.   

Secondly, although it doesn't apply in this case, their are still growing numbers of single often teenage mothers in the States.  I think that adds to the "pawning off" phenomenon.  There is a difference between leaving Grandma with the baby once or twice a month, or even once a week, and expecting that Grandma is always going to be there to watch the baby whenever you want.   The first is something that can be worked out between adults,  the second denotes a certain lack of maturity.  It can be a blurry line. 

Also, I've traveled in Japan.  My husband has traveled in China.  We both were amazed at the far more permissive attitude parents seem to take with their children in these countries.  I think as a culture in the States we expect far more out of a child's behavior in public.  I've been to church services in Japan where toddlers were just allowed to wander aimless, even up to the altar, while the sermon was being given.  We'd be horrified if that  happened in the States.  They seem to take it as a matter of course in Japan.  We seem to expect our children to behave more like adults earlier, but we give them much longer "childhoods".  In Japan at least, they seem to expect less out of children's behavior, but "childhood" is a much shorter time. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: CakeEater on October 03, 2012, 05:58:52 PM
I don't think it's an American phenomenon for the most part, but perhaps a western one. The thing is, that in many other places, people also don't expect a couple to be the sole providers for a child. It is hard to not be child-centred when you do not have much help (or any) from family, or you cannot frequently obtain babysitting (due to cost or availability), or others refuse to participate in family-friendly activities.

In many places of the world (I am not American), we do not think the world revolves around our children - but at the same time, family and friends do not necessarily emphasize all activities as being adult-only. To me, it is sort of like the whole "adult-only wedding" concept that exists in many western cultures. To those of us who live in cultures where "my child is your child" (ie, my in-laws have just as much "reign" over my kids as I, the mother does), I can *sort of* see M&M's point in that they are stuck in a rock and a hard place.

They seem to wish to continue life "as normal" but also don't necessarily have the family or friend support to do so, and so are probably quite resentful that they are constrained in that manner.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I would never expect my friends to change their lifestyle/social life for me as a mother, but at the same time, my friends and family also accept babies and children as equals, in the sense that they deserve to participate as well.

It seems a western phenomenon IMO to even have to adjust from childless to parents because there is such a stark divide between the groups. If the children were never really excluded in the first place, would it still be narcissism?

The Chinese mother can leave her baby with her parents if she wants to go out. I have British friends who think it "pawning off".

Interesting. 

First off, in the States, I think a lot of it has to do with distance.  Many people simply don't live near their parents.  For instance, my sons are 4 and 6.  Until about six months ago, we lived 20 hours by car away from our nearest relatives.  Now we're down to two and a half hours.  While my children are certainly welcome at family events,  they just didn't get to go very often.  And the only time our parents watched them was when we were visiting.  Maybe once or twice a year.  It's just not feasible, so you have to learn to cope without Grandparents near by.  If your friends aren't child minded, it can be time to find new friends and resources.   

Secondly, although it doesn't apply in this case, their are still growing numbers of single often teenage mothers in the States.  I think that adds to the "pawning off" phenomenon.  There is a difference between leaving Grandma with the baby once or twice a month, or even once a week, and expecting that Grandma is always going to be there to watch the baby whenever you want.   The first is something that can be worked out between adults,  the second denotes a certain lack of maturity.  It can be a blurry line. 

Also, I've traveled in Japan.  My husband has traveled in China.  We both were amazed at the far more permissive attitude parents seem to take with their children in these countries.  I think as a culture in the States we expect far more out of a child's behavior in public.  I've been to church services in Japan where toddlers were just allowed to wander aimless, even up to the altar, while the sermon was being given.  We'd be horrified if that  happened in the States.  They seem to take it as a matter of course in Japan.  We seem to expect our children to behave more like adults earlier, but we give them much longer "childhoods".  In Japan at least, they seem to expect less out of children's behavior, but "childhood" is a much shorter time.

Both very interesting!

My 3 year old has autism. Of course we didn't know she had autism at birth, and through toddlerhood, although I had my suspicions faily early. She just seemed like a very difficult baby/toddler.

Trust me, I was more than happy for others to watch her. As a newborn, I passed her around to anyone who would have her. To be honest, I just didn't want to inflict her on anyone. And past about 7/8 months, she literally wouldn't be looked after by anyone except DH or me without all the screaming. She otherwise appeared completely normal, ie met all her milestones, so we were completely confused about how all these other parents were able to leave their kids with babysitters, while the few times we tried it, it was such a hideous experience for all concerned that we kind-of gave up.

And we live an hour and a half from our nearest relations, and 3 hours from the ones who were best with her.

We had the best of intentions of continuing to lead a normal-ish social life. And luckily, most of our friends were having kids at around the same time, and we were having kid-focused social activities, usually, so it wasn't a big drama. But the idea that you just have to have the right attitude, and be willing to hire a babysitter to carry on seeing your friends isn't always easy or accurate.

And this was my issue, others have issues with funds, or babysitter's availability, or trust issues. None of those things automatically mean that the parents will be interfering in their child's university education. That's a whole different situation.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: cheyne on October 03, 2012, 08:50:02 PM
In response to those stating that the group didn't try to arrange "family friendly" activities for M&M and tot, I liken this group to our golf buddies.  We get together on Saturdays to play golf.  Not everyone makes it every Saturday, but the focus of our "friendship" is golf.  It would never occur to me to change the activity and go to Martha's house because Martha's daughter had a child and she has to babysit every Saturday.  The focus of the group is the activity, not necessarily the great friendships of the people involved, KWIM?

It's past time for Mary and Mark to move on.  I think if Claire had substituted "had a baby" for "popped out a brat" she would have been fine.

Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 03, 2012, 08:56:08 PM
I think that is a good example because it has the club friendship feel rather than the straight friendship feel.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 03, 2012, 09:25:24 PM
In response to those stating that the group didn't try to arrange "family friendly" activities for M&M and tot, I liken this group to our golf buddies.  We get together on Saturdays to play golf.  Not everyone makes it every Saturday, but the focus of our "friendship" is golf.  It would never occur to me to change the activity and go to Martha's house because Martha's daughter had a child and she has to babysit every Saturday.  The focus of the group is the activity, not necessarily the great friendships of the people involved, KWIM?

It's past time for Mary and Mark to move on.  I think if Claire had substituted "had a baby" for "popped out a brat" she would have been fine.

But, the group DID try to do just that! M&M refused to go along with it.

No. 97 on 10/1 addresses this.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 03, 2012, 09:41:44 PM
I think they were at M&Ms apartment but and did try to be quiet but I it sounds like they were there after bed time and the language and jokes were probably still a little blue so "family friendly"  and "activities for M&M and tot" doesn't really fit exactly, either.  They did have it where M&M could attend and they tried not to wake the toddler. They gave in that respect for sure. 
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 03, 2012, 09:52:08 PM
I think they were at M&Ms apartment but and did try to be quiet but I it sounds like they were there after bed time and the language and jokes were probably still a little blue so "family friendly"  and "activities for M&M and tot" doesn't really fit exactly, either.  They did have it where M&M could attend and they tried not to wake the toddler. They gave in that respect for sure.

Here is post: ETA #97

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.

Friendship is a give and take but they're not giving anything.

I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 03, 2012, 10:07:14 PM
Not really sure why you quoted that - that is exactly the basis for what I wrote.  They moved what they ususally do to M&M's apartment, got shsused because either they were too loud or used "bad" language.  That is pretty much my point.  They moved it 3 times so M&M could be there but I would not say that alone made the even family friendly and nothing in that post describes events for the tot.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 03, 2012, 10:08:20 PM
I think they were at M&Ms apartment but and did try to be quiet but I it sounds like they were there after bed time and the language and jokes were probably still a little blue so "family friendly"  and "activities for M&M and tot" doesn't really fit exactly, either.  They did have it where M&M could attend and they tried not to wake the toddler. They gave in that respect for sure.

Here is post: ETA #97

I have to disagree.  One of the main reasons this is such a problem is that all they do is take.  We have already changed plans and pushed the events to their house on 3 separate occasions despite all the shushing and the cramped space.  They have attended exactly 0 of the other events that weren't at their house and have complained about it.

Friendship is a give and take but they're not giving anything.

I'm going to be ducking her calls at least for the next few days and luckily work has been hectic with a new project so I'll at least have an excuse.

But there seems to be a spectrum, with Mary and Mark down one end (wanting very-child-friendly activities at their home) and the OP's group up the other end (wanting very-adult-oriented activities in places like bars and clubs). It's not clear (to me) from the OP's post how hard both sides have tried to compromise and meet in the middle of this spectrum.

Is it a case of:

OP's Group: "We're going clubbing on Friday night!"
Mary and Mark: "No, clubbing is unacceptable, and means we'll be excluded. Why don't you guys come over to our place instead?"
OP's Group: "Aw, ok then."

or is it:

OP's Group: "Why don't we all meet for a fun picnic in the park on Sunday afternoon? We'll provide the cheese and wine."
Mary and Mark: "No! Picnics in the park are unacceptable! In fact, any event that takes place outside our home and doesn't revolve around Junior is unacceptable! Why don't you guys come over to our place instead?"

If the OP's group has tried the latter approach, then yes, Mary and Mark are being totally ridiculous and entitled. However, if it's the former, I can kind of see where M+M are coming from (although obviously it doesn't excuse Mary's PA comments). In that case, it would be kind for the OP's group to try and meet them in the middle once in awhile.


Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: buvezdevin on October 03, 2012, 10:09:50 PM
If M&M wanted to see this group, in a fun activity other than sitting in a small apartment, whispering and returning repeatedly to the subject of baby(ies) - it's clear that Mary understands and is able to post to the group.  She doesn't seem to have chosen to propose any activity, family friendly or not, other than "don't plan or do things, *other* than come to me on my terms at my home."

Myself, I would not respond to that by thinking "Mary, what a dear - she can't conceptualize initiating a group activity on her own other than issuing a summons, hey, why don't *I* suggest a picnic!"
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: snowdragon on October 03, 2012, 10:56:12 PM
   I still want to know why it's the group's responsibility to play family friendly activities? It seems to me that people post suggested activities to the group...why are the parents not responsible for suggesting the family friendly activities?  It sounds like Clarie ( or someone) proposed bowling this time, if that's not good for the  kid, the parents should be suggesting a park bbq so the kid can play while everyone else does what they normally do, or a visit to the museum for the community days or a trip to the zoo, or what ever  the kid likes that adults can do.  Really,  I am not sure how many people who don't have kids yet would know what a toddler likes to do.  And really the it seems like this is not what the group is about - and that should not have to change because one couple has a kid.
   Another thing is this child has a bedtime that is about the time many folks get out of work, so getting together for family friendly things might not work with their schedules and there's little room for compromising when it comes to work schedules.  Since the parents won't get a sitter, and seem uninterested in doing anything outside their house, I am unsure how much the group is supposed to give up for this couple.
   if it's the parent's choice to raise their kid how they want - then it's the groups choice and right to spend their free time how they want, one does not trump the rights of the the other and all the responsibility to change does not fall on the group.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 04, 2012, 08:28:44 AM
   I still want to know why it's the group's responsibility to play family friendly activities? It seems to me that people post suggested activities to the group...why are the parents not responsible for suggesting the family friendly activities?  It sounds like Clarie ( or someone) proposed bowling this time, if that's not good for the  kid, the parents should be suggesting a park bbq so the kid can play while everyone else does what they normally do, or a visit to the museum for the community days or a trip to the zoo, or what ever  the kid likes that adults can do.  Really,  I am not sure how many people who don't have kids yet would know what a toddler likes to do.  And really the it seems like this is not what the group is about - and that should not have to change because one couple has a kid.
   Another thing is this child has a bedtime that is about the time many folks get out of work, so getting together for family friendly things might not work with their schedules and there's little room for compromising when it comes to work schedules.  Since the parents won't get a sitter, and seem uninterested in doing anything outside their house, I am unsure how much the group is supposed to give up for this couple.
   if it's the parent's choice to raise their kid how they want - then it's the groups choice and right to spend their free time how they want, one does not trump the rights of the the other and all the responsibility to change does not fall on the group.

I think that part of the problem is that everyone's work schedule calls for later hours then tend to work for a toddler. And I don't even think that they need to compromise.  Some people might want to if they thought it meant a lot to highly valued friends.so it was mentioned in that context.  Somebody else felt they had participated in family friendly gatherings that offered activities for the toddler.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Yvaine on October 04, 2012, 08:37:43 AM
Not really sure why you quoted that - that is exactly the basis for what I wrote.  They moved what they ususally do to M&M's apartment, got shsused because either they were too loud or used "bad" language.  That is pretty much my point.  They moved it 3 times so M&M could be there but I would not say that alone made the even family friendly and nothing in that post describes events for the tot.

Regarding the bolded, I definitely don't think they have the responsibility to plan activities for the baby to do. Especially since the baby is 18 months old--there are things that, say, a 10-year-old and an adult might both enjoy, but I don't think the whole group's activities need to revolve around the activities a toddler finds enjoyable.

If they want to compromise and do activities that the baby can tag along for--even if the baby can't really appreciate it yet--like a picnic or the zoo, that's great, though M&M will then need to compromise on their end and be willing to leave the house. But I don't think there's any obligation for the rest of the group to watch Barney or play with blocks.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Sharnita on October 04, 2012, 08:40:19 AM
Not really sure why you quoted that - that is exactly the basis for what I wrote.  They moved what they ususally do to M&M's apartment, got shsused because either they were too loud or used "bad" language.  That is pretty much my point.  They moved it 3 times so M&M could be there but I would not say that alone made the even family friendly and nothing in that post describes events for the tot.

Regarding the bolded, I definitely don't think they have the responsibility to plan activities for the baby to do. Especially since the baby is 18 months old--there are things that, say, a 10-year-old and an adult might both enjoy, but I don't think the whole group's activities need to revolve around the activities a toddler finds enjoyable.

If they want to compromise and do activities that the baby can tag along for--even if the baby can't really appreciate it yet--like a picnic or the zoo, that's great, though M&M will then need to compromise on their end and be willing to leave the house. But I don't think there's any obligation for the rest of the group to watch Barney or play with blocks.

No, but once a poster claimed that they did have activities for the toddler it seems reasonable to respond to that claim doesn't it?
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2012, 08:43:04 AM

<snip>
For those who suggested child-friendly activities...that just isn't an option right now.  Most of us work white-collar jobs and some of us are in grad school so the only time we really have to hang out are Friday and Saturday nights usually after 7.  Not a lot of child-friendly places are open that late and after a very long day at work we all just want to sit around and unwind.

This post from Devix way back toward the beginning of the thread addresses the family-friendly-activity suggestions. Picnics in the park and other daytime activities are not what this group is about.

As far as M&M wishing to continue life "as normal" as alis suggested, I don't see that at all. What I see is M&M wishing for everyone else change their "normal" to suit M&M's "new normal". If they wanted to continue life as normal, even a little bit, they would at least try to compromise and find some way to attend the adult events - even if they alternated one of them going out and one staying home as was suggested earlier.

Even when my kids were little, there were times that I wanted to go out without them for some adult time. And they were my kids. So really, it's not all that weird that people who don't have kids don't want to spend much of their leisure/social time with other people's kids.

As for the stark divide between the groups, I think that's a pretty broad generalization. As an example, when my kids were babies/toddlers, my DH & I were very good friends with a couple who had no kids and never intended to have any. We still got together with them regularly. Sometimes we hung out at our house and sometimes we got a babysitter and went out. It was a compromise. And they were happy and willing to meet us half way. Of course, we didn't impose any unreasonable expectations on them when they were at our house. We all talked and laughed and did whatever, same as we always had.

And to clarify, that's just one example. There are plenty of child-free adults who are friends with adults who have kids and who keep their friendships. It's just a matter of both sides giving a little bit, and as has been clearly established by Devix, in this case, one side, M&M, are not willing to give at all.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Yvaine on October 04, 2012, 08:43:34 AM
Not really sure why you quoted that - that is exactly the basis for what I wrote.  They moved what they ususally do to M&M's apartment, got shsused because either they were too loud or used "bad" language.  That is pretty much my point.  They moved it 3 times so M&M could be there but I would not say that alone made the even family friendly and nothing in that post describes events for the tot.

Regarding the bolded, I definitely don't think they have the responsibility to plan activities for the baby to do. Especially since the baby is 18 months old--there are things that, say, a 10-year-old and an adult might both enjoy, but I don't think the whole group's activities need to revolve around the activities a toddler finds enjoyable.

If they want to compromise and do activities that the baby can tag along for--even if the baby can't really appreciate it yet--like a picnic or the zoo, that's great, though M&M will then need to compromise on their end and be willing to leave the house. But I don't think there's any obligation for the rest of the group to watch Barney or play with blocks.

No, but once a poster claimed that they did have activities for the toddler it seems reasonable to respond to that claim doesn't it?

OK, I'm not even sure what post you mean. I've only found posts saying they came up with activities that are OK for a toddler to attend, not activities specifically aimed at entertaining the toddler, so obviously I've missed a post somewhere.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: alis on October 04, 2012, 08:50:34 AM
Problem too here is that there is not much that an 18 month old can really share with a group of childless adults (IMO) unless the toddler is particularly easygoing and will fall asleep anywhere or be content to sit. 18 month olds are at that rigid baby-toddler transition where they have the attention span of a flea and can go into WW2 meltdown when their routine is disrupted. It seems only reasonable that M&M participate in activities when they can get a babysitter if the group cannot be comfortable at their home during the toddler's sleep.

I am 9 months pregnant with #2 and have a 2.5 year old... when my first was 18 months old, it was pretty much a given that we got a babysitter or we just didn't hang out with the childless friends. They all had a later schedule (usually off work at 6-7pm which is a toddler bedtime) so it made no sense to expect toddler friendly plans. Besides, I wouldn't expect them to hang out during my toddler's 6-9am primetime for play, so fair enough.

M&M's major problem here is that they cannot seem get a grip on the change that their toddler has brought and seem to refuse to accept it. They should line up babysitting and if they can't, then no biggie, they can just watch a movie at home together instead. That's life with a toddler. We have one other set of friends with kids, but their kids are 12 & 13, so they have more liberty. It's a life stage.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: BeeGee01 on October 04, 2012, 08:56:41 AM
What alis said....it's perfect.

It's not up to a group of adults to change their routine if they don't want to.  I'm a mother of four, never in my wildest dreams would I have expected my friends way back when I had my oldest kids to change their routine for me. 

It's mind boggling to me that people think the group needs to come up with ideas for an 18 month old.  You can't fit a square peg into a round hole, and the parents are demanding the rest of the group keep trying to do so. 

I do think the one friend, Claire was it, had the perfect chance to explain to the parents what the problem was, but she blew it with her snide answer.  That's one of those times that while the thought was in her head, she should have used a filter before expressing it!
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: alis on October 04, 2012, 09:14:39 AM
When my son was 2-3 months old it was feasible to bring him out to a restaurant and leave him in a carseat at 7-9pm (which we did!), and I could just take a walk with him when fussy, but 18 months?? No way, there are a few things that really get more difficult as they get older and "childless" friendly activities were certainly one of them!

I agree they could go to a zoo or whatever but honestly I don't know many people who like going out for drinks at night who will be just as satisfied to spend $30 on a daypass to a zoo or something! lol. I know when *I* get a babysitter, I will spend that precious time/money on doing something fun and adult!!!  ;D
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: amylouky on October 04, 2012, 11:23:32 AM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: RingTailedLemur on October 04, 2012, 11:56:21 AM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 04, 2012, 11:58:33 AM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff

fine, change it to our Solar System.  Mary needs to get the clue that she ain't the center of "it", whichever term one uses for "it".
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Auntie Mame on October 04, 2012, 01:05:53 PM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff

Now, now, it's just a silly expression.  We can't all be rocket surgeons.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Firecat on October 04, 2012, 02:02:20 PM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff

Now, now, it's just a sill expression.  We can't all be rocket surgeons.

Or brain scientists...
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Queen of Clubs on October 04, 2012, 02:21:33 PM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff

fine, change it to our Solar System.  Mary needs to get the clue that she ain't the center of "it", whichever term one uses for "it".

Or, there's always the version I know: "Copernicus called; you are not the centre of the universe."
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: AfleetAlex on October 04, 2012, 02:38:26 PM
My friend once used the phrase this way, "He seems to think it's a Chris-o-centric universe." It has stuck.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: nolechica on October 04, 2012, 02:46:03 PM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff

fine, change it to our Solar System.  Mary needs to get the clue that she ain't the center of "it", whichever term one uses for "it".

Or, there's always the version I know: "Copernicus called; you are not the centre of the universe."

I think that's the version I heard
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: still in va on October 04, 2012, 02:47:05 PM
there's always the popular statement that Mary needs to hear:  "Copernicus called; he wants to remind you that the Sun is the center of the universe."

*snort*  I have never heard that one, actually. Love it and am going to have to steal it.  ;D

That quite makes my teeth itch, because the Sun isn't even the centre of the Galaxy, let alone the universe (which has no centre).

/geekhatoff

fine, change it to our Solar System.  Mary needs to get the clue that she ain't the center of "it", whichever term one uses for "it".

Or, there's always the version I know: "Copernicus called; you are not the centre of the universe."

that's actually the one that i know as well.  just couldn't remember the last part last night, so i made up my own!   ::)
Title: Re: It's because of your kid
Post by: Devix on October 04, 2012, 02:56:12 PM
Maybe, but every time I see the title of this thread, I find it hard to not feel like the OP has a thing about children in general.  And then after what Claire said, I start to think maybe it's the whole group.  It's not hard to change the title of a thread.  To me, the title of the thread indicates a bias that the OP probably doesn't mean to indicate.

What an interesting assumption.


I'm not sure if this has been covered yet, but would Mark and Mary (and the group) be willing to compromise on the choice of activity every so often? I realise the OP said the group prefers hanging out on Friday and Saturday nights. But would everyone be open to say, a fun picnic in the park on a Sunday afternoon (perhaps with a nice bottle of wine, if your local by-laws allow it)? That way Mary's family can attend with their toddler, and the group can still hang out, and make noise, etc? This doesn't have to be every week, but once in awhile wouldn't hurt.

Has anyone asked Mary and Mark if they'd be willing to compromise and do a family-friendly activity outside their apartment, when Junior is awake (and hence, make it more palatable for the rest of the group)? If not, that's what I'd be suggesting if I was the OP.


This really just isn't an option.  It's not that we prefer to hang out on Friday and Saturday nights.  It is that those are the only nights that are feasible for us to hang out on.  We all work until around 7 pm on weekdays and Sundays are reserved for church, family, chores and the like.  There are very very few options available for family friendly activities that are open 8pm or later on Friday or Saturday night.  I don't really want to hang out in parks in my city after dark since they can be dangerous and the zoos aren't open that late.  Junior's bed time is around 6-7pm so there is no way we can meet while he is still awake anyway.


I'll try to address each topic that has been brought up but please forgive me if I skip over anything as there are quite a few posts to read through.

@ THREAD TITLE

I honestly had no idea you could even change the title.  The title comes from a bit of an inside joke because of the excuse Mary and Mark would give not to come along.  Whenever they couldn't make it they would always say it was because of the baby.  Eventually, whenever someone asked why M&M weren't there, the person hosting would reply it was because of the baby.  This is not a slight at Junior who is adorable and has done nothing wrong.  This is because M&M would always use Junior as an excuse and always say they couldn't do anything because of the baby/toddler/kid.

@GROUP DYNAMICS

Honestly, I'll say that I don't consider Mary to be a very close friend.  There are a few friends (in this group and in others) that I would be willing to wake up for at 2 am and drive to the middle of nowhere dodging falling cows and deranged serial killers to pick up.  Mary is not one of them.  There are different relationships in the group and some couples are closer with others.  Mark and Mary do have a few people in the group who they probably considers very good friends but even they have tired of all this business.


I do have a bit of an update and some clarification of what happened while Mary and Claire were talking.

UPDATE

My husband is good friends with Clark (Claire's fiance) so he filled me in on what Clark told him happened.  Apparently Mary had called about 20 minutes after the FB post and started yelling at Claire who promptly started yelling back (not good, I know).  Mary called Claire a selfish "female dog" who didn't know how to treat her friends and how dare she call Junior a brat.  Mary also said that she hoped Claire never had children because she would be a terrible mother.  This was a very low blow on Mary's part since, due to medical reasons, Claire will most likely never have the chance to carry a child to term.  Obviously, that remark set Claire off and she started crying and telling Mary that she was just horrible before hanging up angrily. 

Even with everything that happened I'm disgusted that Mary would stoop so low and attack a very sore point for Claire.  Mary and Mark have been removed from the FB group (Claire was Admin).  Mary has called a bunch of people in the group to try and complain but everyone has been brushing her off.  Frankly, after all of this I have no desire to hang out with Mary ever again.  Junior is a cute kid but I feel sorry for him knowing that these are the influences he's going to have in his life.
Title: Re: It's because of your kid UPDATE pg 6, 14
Post by: Wordgeek on October 04, 2012, 03:10:15 PM
This seems like a good point to close the thread.