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Old 02-11-2013, 12:00 AM
 
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Kind of curious if anyone else has gone through this. I have friend that I met 18 yrs ago. We met at a job and quickly became friends. We had similar interests, hobbies and so forth. We hung out together as well as with our husbands. I ended up leaving the company but we still remained close. She had been trying to have a baby for about a year and when she called me late one night to share the news she was expecting, I was excited for her. In the few years I had known her, I knew she always wanted to be a mother. She wanted a lot of children, at least 4. My husband and I were told we couldnt have children and we were still in the stage of trying to process it. I mentioned that I was late and my friend insisted that I drive to the local late night pharmacy to get a pregnancy test, sure enough I was expecting as well. It was such a bizarre moment and as I expressed my fears and excitement, we ended up talking all night long. We had a serious bond and when our sons were born, we had visions of them growing up together and being great friends.

We were both SAHMs and spent a lot of time together, it was great when our sons were babies but when we entered the toddlerhood phase, things started to change. Her son was a much bigger built child than mine and very aggressive in his play. This bothered me and I tried to not be a smothering type of mother but my son started to get hurt. Her son would try to smash toys over my son's head and he also was very destructive at my home. He would intentionally break things on purpose. I was a bit baffled by my friend's reaction to it all. "Boys are supposed to be rough and get hurt" (even though her son was never the one getting hurt) and "things get broken" (even though my son never broke anything of hers). She never offered to pay or even show any kind of remorse when something got destroyed but she also didnt seem bothered by her son's aggressive play. it started to be a source of contention. I tried the playdates at her house but I still had the issue of her son being aggressive.

I tried talking to her about it because I was not enjoying the playdates anymore and also I felt I was putting my son in harms way. She would get defensive. One day she happened to be in my neighborhood and stopped by. During the visit her son almost broke my son's nose. He smashed a metal tonka truck in my son's face. As I was patching him up, I told her we had an issue. She was immediately defensive and told me that she was disappointed in the fact I was making my son into a wuss and that he needed to be toughened up (the kids were 3 yrs old). Before I could even react to that statement, she also stated that she didnt want to hurt my feelings but she has been concerned for quite sometime that I chose a name for my son that sounded gay. I was completely blown away. First off by her whole attitude and this insight on her feelings about gay people. She put on her coat to leave and as she grabbed her purse, her son kicked over my house plant. She looked at the plant and then walked out the door. So I had the pleasure of cleaning up that mess. I figured the friendship was over. My feelings were hurt over the whole thing.

2 months later she called me up apologizing and crying. She said she missed me and was sorry about what happened. She said she was stressed out because she has been wanting baby #2 for a while and her husband didnt want anymore kids. He even mentioned that since my husband and I chose to only have one child, we seemed happy with it. I dont know if this upset her the most and that is why she let her son bully mine? Anyway, I tried to let it go because we had been so close for a while but there was a line that had been crossed. I tried to dismiss it. A few months later we tried being together again but this time in a neutral location. We met at a mall. It was going well until we had lunch. Her son was running around the restaurant and when my son wanted to do the same thing I told him no. She said I was overly strict and she was concerned about me being mean. So I go from being a soft parent to an overly strict one.

We just became phone friends after that. We would go months without talking. We definitely were fading out. Its been years now and our sons are teenagers. She did go on to have more kids and over the years she has had issues with her eldest son bullying other kids. She even told me once that I had been right. Im not a perfect parent by any means but our styles were so vastly different it changed our friendship. She had never been that rude to me before our kids were born.

I guess what made me think of all this is we have gone over a year and half without speaking and she called me up tonight. We had a very nice conversation about all sorts of things for 2 hrs. It made me think about how close we had once been before the kids.

Anyone else experience a demise in a friendship this way?
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:19 AM
 
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Yes. But I think it's normal. We make friends but we don't really know who these people really are and what their parenting style will be.

One lady had a child that would hit my 3 year old and tell her she was going to murder her. Nice. The lady tried to discipline her kid and get her to change but she couldn't. The child was a tyrant who would throw huge temper tantrums that would last hours and even days. So I just had my child be "busy" with someone else from then on. When the lady came over without her child one day, I walked out of the room for some reason and when I started to enter the room again I saw her grabbing my 3 year old child's arm and squeezing it till she squealed in pain. We had words, my child's arm was red and swelling and she left. I know full well that my child is not perfect but she was 3!

Then I have another life long friend that had nothing but husband trouble and loud fights. I never let my kids go there but gave in once. There was a doozy of a fight, we had words and never again did my kids go there. We are still friends and she understands my decision. You might be able to rekindle your friendship again, if you want.

We are the mama bear guarding our cubs and if that means losing a friend that is toxic I guess it has to be.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:46 AM
 
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Honestly that's not a parenting style issue, that's your friend being a defensive jerk. And now her son is a big bullying jerk. Big surprise there.

But yes, it's definitely hard when it comes to differing parenting styles... even within families. I don't understand why my sister does the things she does, but I can't really say anything because all it'll do is trigger a huge row. If she wasn't family, seriously I doubt we'd even hang, LOL. Its just one of those things you can't really comment on because people just take it real personal.

I did once make a comment about a friend who follows a very strict macrobiotic diet and her young son had to follow it as well. She would never give him a cookie or anything sugary/sweet, never allowed him to go to a fast food restaurant. I mean, she wouldn't bend on this issue even when he asked her. Even her own doctor was against the child being on the macrobiotic diet. When the boy was about 9 years old, he got invited to a party that was held at McDonald's. Usually, she would flat out deny the opportunity and not allow him to even go to parties, but the boy cried. So she let him go this one time. It was the first time ever that he tried fast food... Needless to say, his body didn't handle it well at all. He was sickly miserable, and she gloated and laughed in his face, telling him this was why he wasn't allowed to eat that vulgar fast food. I thought that that was cruel and told her that it was inappropriate especially since his body wasn't even used to processing such food, especially since its fatty as well. Well, we stopped talking because I'm too "narrow-minded" about the macrobiotic diet and the fact that I was too lazy to follow it says a lot about me. We see each other around every now and then, its very superficial and curt. Its interesting to see and hear how her now-teenaged boy really fights her on food.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:33 AM
 
5,702 posts, read 16,185,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayekaye View Post
Yes. But I think it's normal. We make friends but we don't really know who these people really are and what their parenting style will be.

One lady had a child that would hit my 3 year old and tell her she was going to murder her. Nice. The lady tried to discipline her kid and get her to change but she couldn't. The child was a tyrant who would throw huge temper tantrums that would last hours and even days. So I just had my child be "busy" with someone else from then on. When the lady came over without her child one day, I walked out of the room for some reason and when I started to enter the room again I saw her grabbing my 3 year old child's arm and squeezing it till she squealed in pain. We had words, my child's arm was red and swelling and she left. I know full well that my child is not perfect but she was 3!

Then I have another life long friend that had nothing but husband trouble and loud fights. I never let my kids go there but gave in once. There was a doozy of a fight, we had words and never again did my kids go there. We are still friends and she understands my decision. You might be able to rekindle your friendship again, if you want.

We are the mama bear guarding our cubs and if that means losing a friend that is toxic I guess it has to be.
Wow! How abusive! I agree that being parent does let you see a side to people that they keep hidden. I think it was one of the somberly moments of being a new parent.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:42 AM
 
5,702 posts, read 16,185,719 times
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Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Honestly that's not a parenting style issue, that's your friend being a defensive jerk. And now her son is a big bullying jerk. Big surprise there.

But yes, it's definitely hard when it comes to differing parenting styles... even within families. I don't understand why my sister does the things she does, but I can't really say anything because all it'll do is trigger a huge row. If she wasn't family, seriously I doubt we'd even hang, LOL. Its just one of those things you can't really comment on because people just take it real personal.

I did once make a comment about a friend who follows a very strict macrobiotic diet and her young son had to follow it as well. She would never give him a cookie or anything sugary/sweet, never allowed him to go to a fast food restaurant. I mean, she wouldn't bend on this issue even when he asked her. Even her own doctor was against the child being on the macrobiotic diet. When the boy was about 9 years old, he got invited to a party that was held at McDonald's. Usually, she would flat out deny the opportunity and not allow him to even go to parties, but the boy cried. So she let him go this one time. It was the first time ever that he tried fast food... Needless to say, his body didn't handle it well at all. He was sickly miserable, and she gloated and laughed in his face, telling him this was why he wasn't allowed to eat that vulgar fast food. I thought that that was cruel and told her that it was inappropriate especially since his body wasn't even used to processing such food, especially since its fatty as well. Well, we stopped talking because I'm too "narrow-minded" about the macrobiotic diet and the fact that I was too lazy to follow it says a lot about me. We see each other around every now and then, its very superficial and curt. Its interesting to see and hear how her now-teenaged boy really fights her on food.
My husband's sister is pretty wacky about her kids diets. At first I understood her reasoning as her husband's family have major issues with heart disease. It then kind of snow balled into this huge obsession. The kids werent allowed to eat so many things. When the kids would show up for holiday parties, there would be treats of course. The kids eyes would glaze over and its all they thought about. It was their chance to eat sweets. If my SIL walked out of the room, the kids would immediately start shoving cookies in their mouths before she got back. Their hands would shake like a druggie that finally got their fix. It was kind of sad to watch. I have family that parent their children in a way I wouldnt but I usually let it go because it wasnt really my business but with my friend, it was just an different experience. One of those situations where I realized that motherhood was going to change a lot more than thought! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:51 AM
 
5,936 posts, read 5,433,039 times
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Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
But yes, it's definitely hard when it comes to differing parenting styles... even within families.
This is true. I have these issues with my own sisters sometimes. We have very different parenting outlooks so I keep a bit of distance because of it, mainly because I don't want my kids subjected to certain things.

OP, it happens. Usually it is for the best. I guess every major transition in your life will cause some rethinking in the friend department, come to think of it. Lifestyles change, outlooks change, and sometimes folks just aren't compatible with the new you. It makes those friends you manage to stay with through everything even more valuable I suppose.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:32 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,656 posts, read 23,235,665 times
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Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
Kind of curious if anyone else has gone through this. I have friend that I met 18 yrs ago. We met at a job and quickly became friends. We had similar interests, hobbies and so forth. We hung out together as well as with our husbands. I ended up leaving the company but we still remained close. She had been trying to have a baby for about a year and when she called me late one night to share the news she was expecting, I was excited for her. In the few years I had known her, I knew she always wanted to be a mother. She wanted a lot of children, at least 4. My husband and I were told we couldnt have children and we were still in the stage of trying to process it. I mentioned that I was late and my friend insisted that I drive to the local late night pharmacy to get a pregnancy test, sure enough I was expecting as well. It was such a bizarre moment and as I expressed my fears and excitement, we ended up talking all night long. We had a serious bond and when our sons were born, we had visions of them growing up together and being great friends.

We were both SAHMs and spent a lot of time together, it was great when our sons were babies but when we entered the toddlerhood phase, things started to change. Her son was a much bigger built child than mine and very aggressive in his play. This bothered me and I tried to not be a smothering type of mother but my son started to get hurt. Her son would try to smash toys over my son's head and he also was very destructive at my home. He would intentionally break things on purpose. I was a bit baffled by my friend's reaction to it all. "Boys are supposed to be rough and get hurt" (even though her son was never the one getting hurt) and "things get broken" (even though my son never broke anything of hers). She never offered to pay or even show any kind of remorse when something got destroyed but she also didnt seem bothered by her son's aggressive play. it started to be a source of contention. I tried the playdates at her house but I still had the issue of her son being aggressive.

I tried talking to her about it because I was not enjoying the playdates anymore and also I felt I was putting my son in harms way. She would get defensive. One day she happened to be in my neighborhood and stopped by. During the visit her son almost broke my son's nose. He smashed a metal tonka truck in my son's face. As I was patching him up, I told her we had an issue. She was immediately defensive and told me that she was disappointed in the fact I was making my son into a wuss and that he needed to be toughened up (the kids were 3 yrs old). Before I could even react to that statement, she also stated that she didnt want to hurt my feelings but she has been concerned for quite sometime that I chose a name for my son that sounded gay. I was completely blown away. First off by her whole attitude and this insight on her feelings about gay people. She put on her coat to leave and as she grabbed her purse, her son kicked over my house plant. She looked at the plant and then walked out the door. So I had the pleasure of cleaning up that mess. I figured the friendship was over. My feelings were hurt over the whole thing.

2 months later she called me up apologizing and crying. She said she missed me and was sorry about what happened. She said she was stressed out because she has been wanting baby #2 for a while and her husband didnt want anymore kids. He even mentioned that since my husband and I chose to only have one child, we seemed happy with it. I dont know if this upset her the most and that is why she let her son bully mine? Anyway, I tried to let it go because we had been so close for a while but there was a line that had been crossed. I tried to dismiss it. A few months later we tried being together again but this time in a neutral location. We met at a mall. It was going well until we had lunch. Her son was running around the restaurant and when my son wanted to do the same thing I told him no. She said I was overly strict and she was concerned about me being mean. So I go from being a soft parent to an overly strict one.

We just became phone friends after that. We would go months without talking. We definitely were fading out. Its been years now and our sons are teenagers. She did go on to have more kids and over the years she has had issues with her eldest son bullying other kids. She even told me once that I had been right. Im not a perfect parent by any means but our styles were so vastly different it changed our friendship. She had never been that rude to me before our kids were born.

I guess what made me think of all this is we have gone over a year and half without speaking and she called me up tonight. We had a very nice conversation about all sorts of things for 2 hrs. It made me think about how close we had once been before the kids.

Anyone else experience a demise in a friendship this way?
Yes, I have gone through some thing similar and the details were eerily similar!

The woman was a neighbor and the mother of three boys. The youngest was a year older than my son. My son was 4 and my daughter was two. Her boys were 8, 7, and 5.

She was a little rough around the edges yet she could be funny at times. We got along well when the children were not in the picture. When they were, it was pretty disastrous.

She was ultra traditional about her sons. One of her favorite sayings was "Boys will be boys". and "Bous need to toughen up!" and she also believed that boys should get hurt when they played and that aggressive and even violent play was not only normal, but part of growing up. She was like a throw back to another decade.

Her boys were spoiled, inconsiderate and destructive. They were rude toward her and she took it. When they did something particularly horrible she would laugh " and say something like "Oh it was no big deal! You know my boys..they have good hearts". Actually I did know her boys but having good hearts was not anything I'd ever noticed.

Here is but one example of how her sons interacted with mine. My son was 6 at the time.
Once she invited us over to her swimming pool and the three of her sons were are ganging up on my son. Dunking him, punching his arm and pushing him off the side deck when he was about to dive. I couldn't take it any more. It seemed like they were trying to kill him or drown him. I repeatedly asked her to intervene and she'd say " Ahh there having fun, there boys" and " calm down you baby him too much." This went on for an hour and a half.

Finally I called for my son to get out of the pool and I told her that I was going home and why. She accused me of being over protective and overly sensitive.
At this point I was convinced that she derived some sort of sick pleasure out of watching her son's mistreat mine. They were husky and big boned. My son was slender and taller. He was no match for these three boys.

Strangely she also thought that my son's name was effeminate, She ignored my daughter. She said what ever was on her mind which she called "being forthright" ? I thought she was brash and rude,

She was very different about boys and roughness whan a neighborhood boy got sick of being taunted by her middle son and punched him a few times. She had called me up crying that day.

She also could not control her son's at the beach, the mall, or at my house.All she did was make excuses for them, ignore their rowdy behavior and accuse them of being "strict". I am far from strict, but anything does not go, and I have standards of behavior.

Now my son is a Freshman in college, on the Dean's list and is popular handsome and accomplished. Her son's look like thugs and one did not complete HS, and another dropped out of a community college. The third got his girl friend pregnant. She is probably proud of all three; You know, boys will be boys.

After that day at the pool I told her that I needed to take a break and to reassess things. She continued to critique my rigidity on the phone and said I wa going to be sorry when my "son did not grow up like other boys" I told her to "go to hell" and terminated the conversation.

A momth passed and she called to say that she missed me. She was crying. I was firm. I said that we and our children were too different and that I really had nothing more to say to her. "She started screaming at me and I did something that I almost never do. I put down the phone. A minute later she called back still screaming at me. I said very firmly to "never call me again."

I think that your situation, and that woman who was once your friend was threatened by you. Her style of parenting is not to parent. Let them do what they want. On some level women like this know something is wrong and they are threatened by normalcy. You represented that to her.

Also I think that both women are similar and raise their sons in a very gendered way. They are frightened of their son's exhibitng and behavior that is not a caricature of masculinity.

I am very curios, was this woman of the same social class as you? Was her son as good looking as yours? How did she dress him?

I think that some of your bonding with her took place over the timing of your pregnancies. I also think that your former friend like mine tended to impulsive, a little immature and prone to do things on the spur of the moment. In the case of mine, she had a rough child hood and I think that spoiling her son's by letting them run wild was a way to compensate for feeling unloved. I'd also be interested to know what your friend's childhood was like.

It doesn't sound as though the loss of this friend ship was a significant one for either of us. There were moments when we connected very well and she could be witty and insightful. But it did not make up for the rest of the time.

Last edited by sheena12; 02-11-2013 at 04:45 PM..
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:49 PM
 
Location: here
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What sad stories. I have been through something similar but no where near as bad. We relocated when our kids were 1 and 3. The first friend I made in our new town had boys the same age, and was going through some similar struggles with them, and we hit it off right away. The more we got together, the more I saw how rough and destructive her kids were, and how she caved in and gave empty threats of punishment when they misbehaved. It didn't seem to work very well to have them over at our house, so we mostly met in neutral locations. After a couple years, my kids were telling me that they didn't like her kids. I can't say that I blame them. The issue kind of resolved itself. The kids started school, and I went back to work. Now we occasionally meet for lunch and that's enough. I feel like your friendship is not on the level it once was though.

ETA my son also has a name some might consider effeminate. hhhhmmmm...
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:43 PM
 
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I heard this saying the other day...It felt like it fit some of my friendships...The ones that you really don't know what happened, time, different life stages, relocations...but they just drift similar to yours.
A person comes into your life, for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I have no idea who authored that, but it does seem appropriate.
Your friend probably needs you, but you need to decide if you need her. I don't think she was a very good friend back in the day. It is up to you if you have the energy and the inclination to let her have another go at you, or if you want to have another go at a friendship with her period. It really didn't sound like you had a real friendship the first time. Good luck on whatever you decide. LOL...Hide the Tonka trucks and move the houseplants
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:18 PM
 
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Don't you just hate that "boys will be boys"? I know full well boys are not girls. But there is no excuse for bullying like those examples above. They also have to learn good sportsmanship, and jostling with willing participants not bullying and know where to draw the line. Those moms were just using that excuse for not being able to control them. The sad thing is you have to control boys when they are little so they are not wild and dangerous when they are 6 feet tall. A friend of mine was always making excuses for her 5 boys,
speeding tickets: the cops had it out for them
driving through spring planting at someones farm: all boys do that
smoking dope: it's not as bad a drinking
fighting: boys need to fight
staying out all night: that is normal for growing up
She had an answer for everything, and now? They are all grown up bums in trouble all the time and even in severe physiological problems, broken marriages, spread all over the country and she and her husband are running raged rescuing them all the time.
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