Frustrated Friend

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wifey's Weekly Q and A

Dear Wifey:

I am a young mom, and I am the only one of my friends that has a family. I have one friend in particular who is a young, single professional that is always talking about staying home and having kids like it's a prison sentence. Once she even said that she felt sorry for me because I'm "tied down to a husband and children at such a young age." I don't feel tied down at all – I happen to love the idea of having babies young because when I'm in my 40s I'll be vacationing with my husband and spoiling my grandchildren while she (my friend) changes diapers! Plus I love my husband, and our kids, and I couldn't imagine anything I'd rather be doing right now than being a stay at home wife and mom.

I've tried to tell her how I feel, but she is skeptical and thinks I "have to say that" to justify my choices. She's a really good, really old friend, but it's really starting to grate on me that she can't just be happy that I'm happy and support me the way I support her with her career. What do I do?

- Mrs. Frustrated Friend

Dear Mrs. Frustrated Friend:

Stop having that conversation with your friend. You don’t have to justify your decisions about your family life to anyone – including your friends. Career or family? Work or stay home? Those are touchy topics that having been driving wedges between women for decades – don’t let that happen that to you.

It sounds like you really care for your friend. Remember that people aren’t perfect and friends have flaws, too. You’ve both voiced your opinions and have opposing thoughts on the topic; that happens and it’s OK as long as you both remain respectful. It’s time to agree to disagree and leave it alone so that it doesn’t ruin your friendship. Next time the topic comes up simply let her know that you love the decisions you’ve made, you love her, and you’d love to change the subject.

Winks & Smiles,

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How about you? Do you have a touchy topic and a friend you disagree with? How do you handle it? Girlfriends everywhere want to know …

The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.


Stesha April 29, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

Maybe the friend is really envious of her. Sounds that way to me.

Hugs and Mocha,

Anonymous,  April 29, 2009 at 9:53 AM  

I agree with Wifey, but I will go a step further and say sometimes friends outgrow each other. That's not a bad thing. It doesn't mean you don't care for each other, it just means you're on different journeys in life. Sometimes people project their unhappiness on us. Maybe she's not as happy in her career as she's portraying. I sense a tad bit of jealousy on her friends behalf. Nonetheless, being a stay at home mom is a wonder opportunity millions of women want but can't have.

I was fortunate enough to say home when my twins were born until they went to school. So many time I wanted to put them in daycare and go back to work. I had a wonderful best friend who encouraged me to stay home and I'm grateful she did. Enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly.

Kathy B! April 29, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

Nicely said!

I disagree with friends and when it becomes clear we just re-focus on all the other things that drew us together in the first place.

Felicia - I complete Me April 29, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

I agree with Stesha, Diamond, and Wifey. Sometimes friends could be envious of your life and have to down yours in order to make them feel better. It is also very true that we do outgrow each other and that is okay too. We just have to learn to adjust our friendships. That has happened to me with some friends but they aren't any less friends. I do have friends that constantly talk about they don't want kids and how tied down marriage is, but I also let them know when you marry the right person things work out fine. Sometimes I respond by saying wow I can't imagine being single anymore, dating, the loneliness, not having someone there that loves you unconditionally through all your faults. That may sound bad, but some of my friends need a reality check. Like Wifey said you don't have to have that conversation. Let her know that you respect her decision and hope that she can respect yours and move on to something else.

Anonymous,  April 29, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

Dear Wifey,
I have a friend....a very good friend. I mean, she's a homegirl. I love her. Our sons are close in age and have played together since they were infants. And since they were infants her son has been out of control. He hits her, stomps his foot and says, "No!" when she asks him to do something. He's rude and blatantly disobedient. He doesn't listen to anybody. He was kicked out of preschool! He is five years old and the last time I saw them, she had to carry him to the car, kicking and screaming and strap him into his car seat. He scratched her face and neck in the process. Huh?
He's like this about 75% of the time. The other 25% he is just your run of the mill out of control meaning he will do what she says after she asks him three times and with just a few disrespectful words as opposed to flat out refusing to do it and daring her to try and make him.
Ok, herein lies the problem. I don't like it when my son plays with her son. She knows that her son is difficult and admits it, but seems to think that it is still within the confines of normal. In my opinion, this behavior warrants an intervention but that's besides the point. She is always asking me when the boys can get together. Her son is always asking to come to my house and if my son can come there. My husband has all but forbidden them from playing together and has offered to 'tell her myself'. How can I get out of these playdates and keep my friendship intact? I'm beginning to think there is no way. Can you imagine someone telling you, "I like you but not your kid?"

Leave Your Kid At Home April 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

I agree, well said. Sounds like the "friend" can't get past her own views and accept her friend's lifestyle choices.

Unknown April 29, 2009 at 2:02 PM  

Great input, Ladies!

And, great question Anonymous! I'd be happy to tackle that on another post ... if people aren't giving feedback here. I'm sure you are not the only one dealing with the that.

Winks & Smiles,

Ms. Wanda April 29, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

Hey, Anonymous, It's ever worse when you like the kid and not the parent! And Yes, Wifey, saying "I love you, but listen" is the best way to go:)

Alicia @ Chronicles of a Busy Mind April 29, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

I agree with you, just do not have this conversation with home girl any more. Keep it moving on the the next topic.

Hana Njau-Okolo April 29, 2009 at 10:23 PM  

Very wise words Wifey. We can choose what to discuss and what to leave alone.

Helene April 29, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

I love your advice to her!! I also think the friend may be a little envious, esp since she seems to bring it up often!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Angela Nazworth April 30, 2009 at 9:39 AM  

Excellent advice from Wifey and I also agree with Stesha, the first commenter...sometimes envy can be a factor without the other really even knowing it...

Maude Lynn April 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM  

Fabulous, fabulous advice!

Sandra Winn April 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM  

Wifey, your advice was wonderful. Like Diamond, I do have a bit of mine own to offer up--sometimes you have to be firm, especially with a person who tends to have a domineering personality. If it were me, I'd say, "Look, I love you and we've been friends for a long time. You're frank with me and now I'm going to be frank with you. Please do not bring up my choice to stay at home anymore, we've exhausted the topic and I will not discuss it anymore...So, do you think the media is over-hyping the Swine Flu?" ;-)

Grand Pooba April 30, 2009 at 7:25 PM  

Hmmm, I have a friend who is home with the babies while I am out being a business woman and I'm jealous as hell of her! Being a stay at home mom has got to be the toughest job out there!

The Rambler May 1, 2009 at 6:27 AM  

Great advice Wifey.

Just agree to disagree for now.

I linky loved you in my Thursday's post. ;)

Grand Pooba May 1, 2009 at 11:21 AM  

Hey Wifey! I've got you entered in the contest! Good luck and thank you so much for your love and prayers!

Jenni May 1, 2009 at 5:52 PM  

Good advice, Wifey! Someday when this friend has a family of her own, she will realize she had it all wrong...

LeNesha May 2, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

Touchy's definitely a difficult decision when situations and interactions strain friendships. Wifey, graceful advice. Communication and clarity are so important in any friendship. By remaining silent or not being absolutely clear, those that offend may not truly understand the gravity of their actions or the discomfort that is being caused.

Personally, I've not experienced such negativity from a friend, but I have had friendships that were strained because we grew apart. My friend was going through some serious changes in her life and we diverged along two separate paths. At a certain point I did share openly with her my thoughts of the friendship, left the ball in her court and allowed the relationship to go through a hiatus. I cared deeply for my friend and prayed for her on a daily basis. After about 6 months, I was inspired to call her. That reuniting phone call was phenomenal. We were able to reconnect and our relationship is stronger than ever. I believe that it was the power of prayer that truly worked a miracle in a relationship that I cared deeply about.

Anonymous,  May 4, 2009 at 12:50 AM  

Yeah she could be envious and lonely so she's saying those things to justify HER life to you. Both paths have their pros and cons and no ones situation is any better than the others. Wifey is so right, if it comes up again, just change the subject or this could definitely cause a wedge between the both of you.

My best, Lynn

Jennifer May 11, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

I bet her friend is jealous deep down.

I have hate having conversations with people who think the fact that I want to have kids (maybe soon) is not right... That I should wait until I'm "this successful" or have "this much saved" while sometimes I feel I want that too, I don't want other people telling me that! haha

I also get annoyed when I say that's what I want to do, then moms tell me I'm being selfish! I can't win!

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