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QUESTION: My Lifelong Best Friend Doesn’t Spend Enough Time With Her Infant Son: Advice?
“I was wondering if you could please post anonymously. I’m looking for some advice: my best friend (since we were infants, we’ve been inseparable) has a 9-month-old son. She’s a single mom who lives with her parents. She is 29, has a decent job, but she went through a breakup and moved in with them when she was pregnant.
Anyway, ever since her son was maybe two months old, she’s been acting like a single, childless woman. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her son, and you can tell she does, but she spends every weekend out with her friends or ‘dates.’ Sometimes some evenings after work too. And she leaves her son with her parents.
I have three kids myself; I understand parents need breaks, but it’s to the point where it’s several times a week, on top of being gone all day at work. I feel terrible. I feel awful for her son, whose father isn’t involved and who doesn’t get to see his mama as much as he should.
And I also feel bad for my friend. I feel like she’s missing so much of her son’s life, and later in life, she will regret it. Her parents are enabling her by agreeing to babysit as much as they do. I try to sneak little comments in about how she should stay home more without being blunt.
As her best friend I’m torn on what to do. I feel as though it’s not my place to say anything to her, but on the other hand, I feel as though maybe I should. Anybody have any advice?”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“My opinion is it’s not your business. If that’s how she chooses to parent that’s her choice. The baby is with loving grandparents and isn’t in harm’s way by any sort so leave it be. You also don’t know what she’s dealing with behind closed doors in her personal life.”
“I guess I’m that friend that’s going to call my best friend out when she’s out of line. She has the same moral compass I do though and will call me out if it’s the other way around. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s how I know I can trust her to be honest and genuine with me no matter what. We both know it’s out of love and done with respect. We are on each other’s teams and want to push each other to be the best that we can be. We will love and support each other through it all, and that includes bad decisions and mixed up priorities.”
“I think every mom deserves to have some time for themselves. Every parent needs some space and some “fun time”. But what you are describing seems a little bit more than i would ever feel comfortable doing. I think you could talk to her about it. Friends should keep each other accountable. Make sure she understands you are coming from a place of love for both her and her son. Make sure she understands that you just want the best for both of them! Friends should always have that type of relationship where they can call each other out when it’s necessary. Yes its great she finds time for herself and every parent deserves that! But there is a line.”
“Maybe you could suggest things to do together with her and her son so she and her son have you guys to set a good example for her.”
“When I went through my separation, I wasn’t the mom I could’ve or should’ve been. It put me in a really dark place & I didn’t want my child to see me that way so she spent a lot of time with her wonderful father & stepmom. I’m not saying don’t say anything. But, before you do, maybe check on her. Make sure mentally she’s not fighting demons you know nothing about.”
“As women, we are constantly made to feel like we’re doing things wrong. You’re feeding this same idea into your “friend”. Because she doesn’t spend the amount of time that YOU think she should with her child, you’re presenting it as if she’s doing something wrong. If the child is healthy, happy, and taken care of, it’s not really your concern. Let the woman have a break.”
“My advice is to worry about your children. If her parents are not complaining then you shouldn’t either.”
“Maybe instead of talking to her about how much time she spends away from her child, you can talk to her as a friend?? See what’s going on. Maybe she has PPD or something else is going on. As her friend I’d try to talk to her about her and not her child or how she parents.”
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