Author Topic: It's because of your kid UPDATE pg 6, 14  (Read 34039 times)

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RebeccainGA

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #165 on: October 03, 2012, 08:31:31 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.

Venus193

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #166 on: October 03, 2012, 08:58:26 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.

alis

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #167 on: October 03, 2012, 09:08:16 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".

Giggity

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #168 on: October 03, 2012, 09:19:40 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.
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Firecat

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #169 on: October 03, 2012, 09:57:13 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.

LeveeWoman

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #170 on: October 03, 2012, 09:59:17 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.

O'Dell

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #171 on: October 03, 2012, 11:04:54 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?
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alis

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #172 on: October 03, 2012, 11:09:05 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.

Yvaine

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #173 on: October 03, 2012, 11:09:55 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).

alis

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #174 on: October 03, 2012, 11:15:09 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.

Giggity

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #175 on: October 03, 2012, 05:31:10 PM »
Unless they think the kid will absorb the swearing subliminally in his sleep ... okay, I gotta admit, I got nothin.
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scansons

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #176 on: October 03, 2012, 06:03:49 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. 

CakeEater

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #177 on: October 03, 2012, 06:58:52 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.

cheyne

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #178 on: October 03, 2012, 09:50:02 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.


Sharnita

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Re: It's because of your kid
« Reply #179 on: October 03, 2012, 09:56:08 PM »
I think that is a good example because it has the club friendship feel rather than the straight friendship feel.