Post # 1
I have a friend, M, that just recently had her first baby. Its been very hard on her because she has no support system where we live and her baby daddy’s family is also no help. I have been there for her since the beginning of her pregnancy, and after the baby was born I was there. The first night M and the baby came home from the hospital she asked me to come over because she was so nervous about being home alone with him (her shitty baby daddy had to work). I gladly went and every other time she needed help or felt like she couldn’t use the bathroom with the baby because something awful might happen or she couldn’t hear him cry while she was away for a few minutes. So that was back at the start of the year and now the baby is coming up on 9 months old, he’s honestly the cutest thing in the whole world and M considers me to be the baby’s Godmother (in a sentimental way not so much the legal way).
So now the issue is I think she has unreasonable expectations of the help I (and our other mutual friends) should provide to her now, especially with an older baby. The latest example is last Friday when M and I with our two other friends were going to go shopping after work. We were going to pick up the baby and take him with us but after she had left work the babysitter called and told her the baby has something wrong with his eye so she takes him to to the emergency room. She asks me to meet her at the hospital after we’re done shopping if she was still waiting. I told her I would which she ended up being done before we were so i didn’t need to meet her. She goes home and then calls me after she spend a few hours running around trying to find the a pharmacy that carries the pink eye medication, and asks me to bring her something to drink because she doesn’t want to leave the house again; with the baby. I told her no because its not like she lives down the road from me she lives across town. She was surprised and continued to ask when i told her no and then finally said she would call a different one of our friends to see if she would do it. Im not sure how that turned out.
Another example is when the baby had a diaper rash. It was a saturday and she had asked me to come over and I told her i couldnt because of something that was happening with my mom (my mom was recently diagnosed with Cancer). She asked me to bring her diaper rash cream when i was done with my mom. So she wanted me to leave my mom, go to the store and then drive all the way across town just to give her this medicine just because she dosent like to go out alone with the baby. I told her i would if i could but i never went.
Im always a little taken aback when she asks me things like this and I know its because she feels overwhelemed and like she has no one else to lean on but i dont want to have to deal with this. I dont mind being there for her but it just seems constant; i dont want children and I dont think i should be expected to drop everything at a moments notice because shes afriad to shower by herself with the baby.
What do you guys think?
Post # 2
chrissybee : She is asking a lot.
Why would you need to bring her something to drink, like a soda? A coffee? She should drink what she has at the house, even if it’s water. That part is really weird.
The baby rash stuff, not AS crazy but still weird that she thinks you should drop everthing for her. Can she not leave the house with the baby to go to the store? Do you guys live in a city that has like grocery delivery or Amazon Prime same day delivery?
It sucks that she doesn’t have a support system, and that the dad sucks but that’s not your fault. I assume that she chose to have this baby knowing her circumstances, she needs to be more responsible and figure things out on her own.
Post # 3
I am totally on your side here. It’s one thing if she just gave birth and she can barely walk but at this point, she’s just being lazy and taking advantage of her friends. It won’t kill the baby to leave him in his crib for 15 minutes while she takes a shower and his immune system is mature enough to leave the house. She either needs to get a grip or download Postmates and have everything delivered to her lol.
Post # 4
She is totally over-reaching and expecting too much from you. It’s inapprpriate and it is unfair of her to try to guilt you into offering more help than is reasonable.
Asking you to run errands for her and drive all the way across town to bring her stuff outside of an emergency situation is absurd. It would be one thing if you were already coming over to hang out and she asked if you could stop for this or that along the way.
It sounds to me like she has basically gotten used to you being at her beck and call. Maybe she doesn’t realise how reliant she has become on you and how unfair it is. Only thing you can do is sit her down and be honest with her about it. Tell her that while you love her and her baby and are happy to be able to help, there are limits and she needs to stop making unreasonable requests of your time, money and energy.
Post # 5
I don’t really understand why she can’t go out with the baby alone….it’s 9 months old. A newborn, yes, I can understand a little but 2+ months I went out with my son alone all the time. My ex worked out of state for about 3 months when my son was little so I was constantly going out alone.
I agree with PP that it sucks that she doesn’t have a good support system but she also needs to learn how to be independent.
Post # 6
chrissybee : She is asking a lot of you. I think because you have been such a good friend and supportive, she’s running with that. I would tell her that while you love the baby, ultimately it is HER baby and you can’t be at her beck and call for everything.
Post # 7
chrissybee : yes, she is being unreasonable. If she tries to give you a hard time then maybe you can sit her down and tell her face to face what’s up. You were happy to help when the baby was younger. It was a huge inconvenience but you did it because you absolutely had to. Without you, the baby or her health would have been at risk. But now that he can go out in public and be left alone for 15 minutes, you’re focusing on other areas of your life, self care or your sick mother, that you had neglected to help her care for her newborn.
Post # 8
Definitely an overreach. Why on earth would she need you to go so far out of your way to bring her a drink??? There’s water in the tap, that’s not even close to an essential. And for the diaper cream – of course it’s more difficult going out with a baby, but it’s something you need to learn to do..
The main thing about this is that they aren’t even things that she NEEDS that a support system would be expected to provide. These are things she should be doing on her own.
Post # 9
futuremrs2020 : Yeah she didnt have anything in the house besides tape water and the babys water so she wanted like soda or something.
kittykax : sboom : Yeah i thought this might be it like she was jst used to me being there.
beevincent18 : She just gets nervous about being out alone with him. I know its just because she gets ovewhelmed by all the baby stuff she has to bring and the stroller and all the what ifs.
Thanks guys! I honestly feel like such a shitty friend when i get aggravated with her.
Post # 10
You’ve been very supportive but at this point she’s taking advantage of your friendship. She needs to hold sleazy lazy baby daddy accountable.
Post # 11
I do not think you are overreacting. She is not an invalid. You are doing the right thing in setting boundaries and saying no.
However, I do think you need to have some sensitivity towards this. Have you considered the possibility of postpartum depression and or anxiety? I would be hesitant to think the worst of her and just assume that she is trying to take advantage of you. I would maybe chalk some of this up to a lot of anxiety that she needs to be working through not depending on you.
If this were my friend, I would continue saying no to these requests or only saying yes to them when it is convenient for you, such as being willing to stop at the store to pick up something while you were already on your way to a planned meeting with her. And the next time that you are together in person I would probably sit her down for a heart to Heart with a little bit of a come-to-jesus talk. I would approach it from the standpoint of wanting to know whether she is okay and being concerned about the excessive amount of anxiety she has with being alone with her child or taking her child out alone after 9 months of age. Kindly explain that you love her and the baby and want to help when you can, but you can’t be her entire support system and she needs to be more self-sufficient for the sake of her child. Perhaps even offer to help her find some resources such as a reduced fee or sliding scale psychologist or maybe a support group or a mommy and me group. If nothing else I would suggest to her that she speak to either her own primary doctor the next time she has an appointment or to her child’s pediatrician about the concerns she has about taking her child out alone and any anxiety she feels about that. I’m sure both her primary and her child’s pediatrician probably have a lot of resources they can point her to.
Post # 12
annabananabee : I agree with this.
My thought is that yes, she is asking too much. However, thinkgs like not wanting to leave the house with baby can by a symptom of PPD of PPA. If she has never been the type of person to take advantage of you or anyone else before I doubt she would turn into that now out of laziness.
Post # 13
chrissybee : I say this as someone who suffers from anxiety and has a 10 month old baby: she’s asking way too much!
Post # 14
chrissybee : It sounds like she’s calling on you to ask for things that her partner should be doing (I wish everyone would drop the term “baby daddy;” especially when it’s said (or written) in a sneering tone. That is either her child’s father or her partner or her ex).
Having a baby is hard and doing it alone is really fucking hard but that doesn’t mean that you need to become her default errand person, especially when her reasoning is that she “doesn’t want to go out with the baby”. Then that means you aren’t that thirsty and you can wait until next time.
I think you should make a list of what are the reasonable requests you are willing to help with and what are some examples of things that she needs to ask her partner for (or just not ask you for) and then you need to have a conversation with her. And then start saying no more directly. Don’t say “I will if I can” because then she continues to wait and see and that doesn’t address the fact that you do not want to and you won’t.
Also, you being there to fill in the gaps and do things for her could be helping her put off having an uncomfortable conversation with the father of her child about how much he is or isn’t doing and if he isn’t showing up, then she needs to address that, not rope friends into doing things for her.
Also- maybe she needs to join a mom’s group and make more friends who are mothers. Then she can call on a community that knows what she’s going through and they can provide helpful feedback and support. They can also let her know that she can (and should) do more than she thinks she can with the baby on her own.
I really don’t think it’s okay for a woman to be left on her own with a baby. It’s massively isolating and shitty for her and for the baby. But she needs to find better solutions than she has been, it sounds like. And it’s perfectly okay for you to put some updated boundaries into place with her.
Post # 15
chrissybee : If it’s not an emergency, I suggest you get comfortable saying no.