A Woman Feels Judged Because She Never Wants To Hang Out With Her Friends' Kids
She wants to know if she's being unreasonable for leaving any time a friend shows up with a kid.
Everyone needs adult time away from kids to rest, recharge, and just have an uninterrupted grown-up conversation. But it’s also super-hard for some moms to get away from their family and secure that time — especially single moms, stay-at-home moms, or anyone without much childcare support.
It begs a few different questions: when a mom can’t make it to many adult-only gatherings, is it okay to bring her kids? Should we draw clear lines around events that are for grown-ups only? And are our friends without kids within their rights to bail every time a kid will be around — or should they be called out for being unreasonable?
This week on Reddit’s infamous Am I The A**hole forum, readers got to hear the perspective of a woman who doesn’t have kids. In her eyes, she doesn’t want to spend her free time around minors and won’t stay at an event if a friend brings along her children. And she doesn’t think she should be judged for it, either.
Here’s the full story:
The woman has seven college friends who live in the same city as her. Of those, three have children, two are pregnant, and one is trying. She’s childfree. They rarely all get to meet up, but it happens a few times a year. This is where the trouble starts.
“Every time someone asks to meet up and we finally find a date everyone is available, one of the moms always asks if they can bring their child, or children,” she explains. “Its usually 1 of 2 moms, as the third actually wants to have a kid free evening. And before anyone else can answer, the other mom says yes. All 3 moms have husbands who can watch their kids. Most of them also have both sets of grandparents who are involved. But somehow they never manage to find someone who can ‘babysit,’ as they call it.”
The woman doesn’t attend if kids will be there.
“So at this point I've stopped answering until they've set a time and place, someone has asked about kids, and I say I can't make it,” she says. “I hang out with them one on one, or in smaller groups instead.”
The last time they all met, a woman showed up with a kid without telling the rest of the group.
“No one had asked about kids and we were having a bbq and wine night,” she says. “Well, who shows up with their 8 year old? Yep, one of the moms. I clearly didn't hide my annoyance and one of the girls asked me why. I just waved it off and 30 min later I excused myself and left. Said I didn't feel well. In those 30 min we hadn't had any ‘adult talk,’ we were just entertaining the kid. I would rather go home than do this for another 3-4 hours.”
This is the point where her other friends catch on to the fact that she boycotts events with kids present.
“After I left, I think they realised this was a pattern and I got text from most of the girls in the group,” she continues. “Some calling me an asshole, others just saying they were annoyed with me for leaving, while the third mom having my back, and asked to meet up later that week to have a proper wine night.”
The reason behind her actions are simply that she wants adult time with her friends.
“I don't hate kids at all. I work with them every day and don't want to spend my time off, relaxing with friend, having to entertain other people's kids again,” she explains.
Well, is she in the wrong? Down in the comments, she was declared not an a**hole, although responses were somewhat mixed.
Many people agreed that if it’s supposed to be a girls’ night out, kids should not be welcomed. And a “wine night” is clearly not meant for littles.
“Mom of 2. I’d be PISSED if someone brought their kids to a night out. If I’ve sorted a sitter I don’t want to see any kids,” one person wrote.
“It’s not appropriate to bring children to that kind of event. Even if it was, it changes the dynamic,” another said.
Other expressed that the woman simply needs to communicate her boundaries better — or come to terms with the fact that her friend group is changing and might not be a good fit any longer.
“It sounds like your friend circle is naturally fracturing, it's not necessarily a bad thing,” one wrote. “It is quite natural for young parents to want to socialise with their children in tow when their friendship circle consists of other parents in the same situation. It's also a nice way for their children to mix with others.”
“I’d be annoyed and do exactly what you did,” another wrote. “But I would communicate the lack of desire to be around children as it doesn’t seem this boundary (which is reasonable) has been established or communicated.”
It seems like most people can agree that people have a right to have boundaries about hanging out with kids, but also that sometimes moms have trouble getting childcare and need to tote their kids along. It’s almost as if communication and empathy could have gone a long way toward healing this friend gorup.