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Sunday Confessional — I Can't Stand To Be Around My Friend and Her Baby

Sunday Confessional — I Can't Stand To Be Around My Friend and Her Baby

My best friend recently had a baby. She and her husband tried for years to get pregnant, so when it finally happened for them, she was over-the-moon excited. Since she's had her beautiful baby boy, she's gone above and beyond the call of mom duty, and has completely let all her other relationships fall by the wayside.

As a mother myself, I know how time-consuming caring for a child is, but she has taken things to a whole other level. She's become a huge germaphobe and is reluctant to take her baby outside of her house, she constantly talks in baby voice, and all she ever wants to talk about is babies.

If her friends want to see her, we have to go to her (which is fine at first), but when we do go over, we have to go through a lengthy process of washing our hands and disinfecting everything that comes in contact with the baby. I love my best friend with all my heart, but I have to admit that it pains me to be around her and her child. It's gotten to the point where I make up stories to avoid them and I'm starting to feel incredibly guilty about it. Can I be forgiven?

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cbaby28 cbaby28 8 years
i wouldnt want to be around her either!
beautiful-disaster beautiful-disaster 8 years
I have met a few mothers and all of them were different. But, the KIDS i liked the most according to how the parents raised them are the ones who let others hold their kid, who didnt freak out when the dog came up and just licked the poor thing from head to toe, the ones that let him/her fall over and get up again. Kids need this. At one point, my mom would stop worrying about my brothers bruises from falls in the back yard because you know what? its all part of learning. If he doesnt fall or get sick he wont know how to pick himself up and keep going. This is going to be a child that, apart from not having the best immune system, will be one that cannot separate from mommy and will be the kid crying everyday in kindergarden. Have a talk with her, maybe throw in "you should go out with him, take walks around the block. I was scared to do it but my docotor said it was very important for his defenses." and if she doesnt listen.. its just how she is. accept that if you want to maintin the friendship, eventually she will venture outside the house again, but until then be patient (oh yes, its totally forgiveable, i want to smack my aunt, who is the GRANDMOTHER of my cousins baby when she freaks out about the dog, or the baby wanting to suck on someones finger) suerte!
Squeaks26 Squeaks26 8 years
I know how you feel. My friend isn't as bad but the only time I've seen her in the past few years is when I go to her house. Her kids are undisciplined, the house is a mess, I hate sitting down on anything, and all I can smell is breast milk. I hate that most of my friends are married with children. It's not that they're married and I'm not, it's that they have horrible husbands, bad marriages, nasty kids, they're poor, and they try to ignore it. At one point all of these women were successful, independent, amazing women and now they're all fat and miserable.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Forgive. My aunt was and still is the same way with her kids. She turned into a completely different person when she had her first baby and her relationship with everyone changed and she became the authority on EVERYTHING. I'm not yet a parent but I hope I don't end up turning into a crazy new mom one day. I don't blame you for not wanting to be around your friend. It's exhausting.
sunshinepointe sunshinepointe 8 years
Forgive - she's being a spaz and it would make me nutty too. I'd stop making excuses though and just tell her flat out why you aren't going over. Maybe she'll listen.
kristyy kristyy 8 years
Sounds like my friend! I get tired of going over to her place too. It's always about the baby. To her, the baby is the most beautiful thing in the world and nothing else matters, which I get sick of hearing. That kid is going to grow up being weak and sick all the time because of mom being overly cautious. I don't know if talking to your friend will help. She's in her own world right now and knocking her head on common sense probably won't do much except piss her off because she'll see you as being insensitive, uneducated, dirty, blah blah blah. If I'm not up to dealing with her rules, I just make up an excuse to not go over there.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
She doesn't sound like she has time/desire to be a friend right now. Just stop talking to her for a while.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
You need to talk to your slightly barmy friend about the dangers of not exposing a child to germs. It's just not possible! She is doing more harm than good. He'll grow up a sickly child otherwise. You and your friends need to club together and speak to her about her behaviour. Has she had parenting classes? Now might be the time! Is she ignoring her husband too?
a_mama a_mama 8 years
say, "oh I used to do that when little x was a baby, until the doctor told me that really lowers his immune system. How does your doctor feel about it?". This is exactly what I was going to say, I use this method all the time in talking about difficult topics.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
Tell her she'd better get the kid outside and dirty (let him play with dog pooh and put it in his mouth!!) "If the immune system is not challenged early in life and does not develop normally it may mount an inappropriate response to infections encountered later in childhood and that this could provoke the development of leukaemia." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428084232.htm Seriously. Other than that, this woman sounds like the kind of person who'd also neglect her friends + normal social behavior because she's in love with a new man (you know the type). I don't think there's anything you can do about it.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
I say forgive. That sounds annoying as hell! I'd speak to her about it though, since it will only get worse and/or remain unresolved.
julea julea 8 years
Ok, I cannot get over how cute that baby is in the stock photo. Those cheeks! :) /off topic blather
gossipqueen gossipqueen 8 years
FORGIVE I'd be making up stories too. :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Forgive. I knew someone like that, and it was toxic. She alienated everybody, including her own mother (the child's grandmother). She was really absurd.
jessie jessie 8 years
totally forgive!! girl..i don't blame ya!! its more trying to have to go thru that process...what a PITA! all the talking to in the world won't help. but it is her choice and her child. just keep your convos to the phone until she decides to join the real world.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
your firend has something bigger than you going on right now. i'm sure it was difficult for her to watch you become a parent, and now it's YOUR turn for the less that fun part. if her worst fault is that she is an adoring mother she sounds awesome.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
As a mom myself, I can understand to an extent about getting all 'freaked out.' But I'm not about to make everyone sterilize themselves before going to handle my kid LOL. My son is far from being the 'sterilized' kid, he's just a kid. That's just being extreme, then again, my cousin is kind of the same way as your friend's (similar background: hard conception, hard pregnancy, etc), so I totally understand your reluctance to hang out with her. But I'm not about to lecture her/your friend on how to be a mom. Everyone has their own way of raising their child, and unless she's endangering her child and neglectful, there's no reason why you should be butting in her business of raising HER kid. If anything, her hubby should've been the one to say something first because he lives with them and he's the dad, that is, if he finds her action to be excessive (who knows what he thinks)--My hub was the guy who reminded me to not be too freaked out when our son ate mud or a crayon in the past LOL--and mom and dad are the two people whose voice matter the most in raising a child in every household. Maybe wait until the baby is older too to really hang out with her (keep in touch with phone/e-mail is always cool meantime) or do come around when you feel ok about it. I learned from experience that every moms have different timeline on when they're finally ready to kind of 'leave' the baby with a caretaker (whether babysitter/grandparents/etc) and start coming back to socializing without the baby. Good luck to you.
lifeloveandlattes lifeloveandlattes 8 years
I don't get how to choose forgive/not forgive on this one. It doesn't sound like either of you did anything wrong. She's overprotective of her little one (which is common with new moms) and you're annoyed with her overprotectiveness. Both reactions are natural. It sounds like you two just need to talk...
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
Your friend needs to chill out before she harms her child, either physically by not exposing him to things that will actually strengthen his immune system OR psychologically, by teaching him that the universe revolves around him.
Ster Ster 8 years
Could you maybe ... talk to her? I'm sort of hesitant in suggesting this, since I know parents (and especially mothers) can get really defensive about the way they raise their children and it's just extremely difficult to talk to them about it. But, since you say in your post that you are a mother yourself, she may be willing to listen to you. Especially if you could try to wrap it up, so it doesn't sound as criticism. E.g. when you see her disinfecting her child and everything around him from top to bottom, say, "oh I used to do that when little x was a baby, until the doctor told me that really lowers his immune system. How does your doctor feel about it?". It doesn't sound like harsh criticism, but you're still putting it out there that her behaviour is kind of unhealthy. If she's not picking up on it (which in all honesty she probably won't), you can up it a notch by saying you feel like your presence in her house is making her uncomfortable, and that that is making you uncomfortable. You wouldn't want to impose yourself and your germs ... Invite her out even if you know she probably won't come. Just make it clear that the door is always open if she choses to venture outside, but that you have difficulties with the way things are going now.
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
Totally forgive. However, keep in mind, sometimes being super-protective can be a sign of post partum depression. Even if you can't stand to spend time with her, phone in to check on her.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
Wow, I would hate to be around the first time that kid gets a fever or an earache, which of course, he will. Obviously, she is obsessive about her kid because he was a long time coming, but her obsessiveness to me to above and beyond normal new mom jitters. Granted, I am not a parent, but I have many siblings and cousins with kids, and no one acted like that with their first. I would give her time and space to get adjusted with the kid, as lindssaurus suggested, and maybe touch base with her later on. Be prepared for the fact that she may be this way for a long time, and adjust your relationship accordingly. Friendship is a two way street, but her germaphobe behavior would get old really fast, and is borderline insulting. I vote forgive, and I also hope she mellows a bit, or that kid will be a neurotic mess by the time he's 10.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
How old is the baby? maybe later on you can try to get her out of the house without the baby. like go to a cafe.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
It sounds like your friend is freaking out - which is natural, considering the circumstances - but have you talked to your other friends about it? what does her husband think (if she's married)? I agree that's she's gone over the top with her behavior, but there's not a lot you can do, I don't think, or you risk losing your friend. Anyway, the question was about forgiving, so of course you can be forgiven for being annoyed by her behavior.
cjmara805 cjmara805 8 years
That baby is going to grow up to have zero immune system. Poor thing.
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