Dear Aunt Becky,
I am a mom of an 8 month old beautiful (and perfect, of course) little girl. One of my closest friends has a 6 month old son. During our pregnancies, we were both really excited to have kids so close together, saying they could grow up together like siblings.
But after my friend had her baby, she changed. I know everyone changes after they have their kids, but this is extreme change. She has this holier than thou attitude, judges all of my decisions as a mother (and everyone else’s parenting choices), and it just seems that now that she has a child, she’s looking down her nose at everyone. I love my daughter, and do what’s best for her, but my friend takes the cake when it comes to overprotective. She won’t take her child outside for more than a trip to and from the car for fear of mosquito’s and *gasp!* the sun. She won’t let anyone hold her baby for more than a few minutes. I could go on and on. Normally, I’d find this behavior to be overprotective, but wouldn’t think much of it.
However, she’ll make rude comments to me when I do take my daughter into the sun or let other people hold her, or even babysit her. I let this go in the beginning, thinking it may be a postpartum issue, but it’s gotten to the point that I’m sort of ready to end this friendship, but I feel horrible for doing it. When you have a friend that goes absolutely insane judgmental after having a child, do you stick by and hope it will go away, or say “Peace out” and head your separate ways? Is there a way to suggest she speak with her doctor about postpartum depression without offending her?
There are a lot of really cutesy terms people could make up to call your “friend.” They’d probably involve a lot of hyphens and Capitol Letters and maybe some RANDOMLY CAPITALIZED WORDS, but I’m going to be uncharacteristically brief here: I’m afraid that your friend has turned into a kind of bitch.
It happens sometimes to new parents, and forgive me if I’m wrong here, because maybe I am, but their personalities, well, sometimes they change.
I don’t imagine that there’s any way that you’re going to politely be able to tell your friend that she’s being insane because she won’t see it and that she should seek help because I’m sure that she thinks that she’s being nothing but rational.
YOU, my friend, will be made out to be the asshole no matter how delicately you phrase it and I’m sorry. I know a couple people that I have thought about politely nudging toward Prozac and have decided to keep my wide trap shut for once in my life. There is just no way to say it without looking like a jackass.
Maybe, just maybe, your friend will return to who she was, but only if she realizes that there was a problem on her own (or at the suggestion of her spouse). Could you speak with the spouse?
If you can’t, I’d walk, nay RUN away from this person, because if there is ANYTHING that I have learned from being a parent for over 8 years it is this: people who live their lives FOR their children are not going to be your friend.
*Gasp, won’t SOMEONE think of the CHILDREN?!?*
They will constantly be comparing their Darling Johnny to your much less adorable Little Billy. Noting you will ever do will pass muster. I’m sorry. In this case, it’s really not you, it’s her and her Perfect Little Suzie. I promise. You cannot possibly win.
Being the eternal optimist in pessimist’s clothing, I’d probably distance myself as much as possible, because REALLY, who needs to be badgered by a friend that often, while hoping that my friend would come back. But really, I’d probably prepare myself for the worst.
You do always seem to lose people during the major transitions in life. I’m sorry, love. It’s not you, it’s her.
Will I ever reach a point where my appearance matters more to me than the appearance of my kids? Or will I go through the rest of my life licking the PB off their cheeks and brushing the hair out of their face but personally shunning a mirror like the vampire I am?
With the way that my mother still lunges toward my brother and I if she detects the slightest hint of a pimple forming on either of our delicate hairlines, I’m assuming that the answer is no. But she was wearing earrings today and, well, I didn’t brush my hair when I left the house to go blow a wad of cash on clothes for my kids. I own 3 shirts that fit properly and my children could go months without doing laundry.
Also: do you want to make out with me now? I’ll let you touch my boob.
How do I win at LIFE, Aunt Becky?
I’m pretty sure it does NOT involve mayo, pickle relish OR John Mayer, but I’m sensing that a lot of you may disagree with me on this one.
Because this felt like I ended it really abruptly (AND because I felt all naked today from not posting today–posting every day of the week is kind of—stalkery on my end, isn’t it? Like, I should I give YOU a break from me and my stupid antics or something.) I am presenting you with a festive shot of my daughter:
She’s too young to run away yet, but the look in her eyes is pleading, Internet, please, please…
….pass me some yogurt.