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'AITA for shouting at my friend for showing off using my newborn child?' UPDATED

'AITA for shouting at my friend for showing off using my newborn child?' UPDATED

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When it comes to your kids, there's really no space for people being weirdos.

"AITA for shouting at my friend for showing off using my child?"

I (35f) have a friend group of five women (including me). We are all the same age and we have been friends since we were 13. Four of us me included have kids, with my five week old son being the youngest.

The fifth friend Emily (fake name) doesn't have kids and hasn't really ever been in a relationship that lasted longer than a couple of weeks. Emily works in a day care centre and has been working there for over 10 years. Nowadays she mainly does admin work but sometimes covers shifts if someone is sick. So she has a lot of experience with kids even though she doesn't have any herself.

The problem with Emily is that she likes to make it known how good she is with kids. So when ever we spend time together as a group with our kids she acts like she knows best when it comes to kids. For example if a kid is having a tantrum she will insert herself in the situation instead of letting the mom take care of it.

Or if a child is doing something it shouldn't like eating too much candy, Emily will tell the child "Don't listen to mommy, auntie Emily says it's fine". She also does this at bigger gatherings showing off her superior skills with kids while making us look like we don't know anything. I've talked about this with the other moms and they find it annoying as well.

We thought about saying something but we agreed that taking care of children is such a big part of Emily's identity that it would really hurt her. On to the problem at hand. Couple of days ago we were hanging out again. Emily asked if she could hold my son and I said yes. A little later the baby started to cry. I went over and tried to take him back.

Emily wouldn't let me and kept saying she knows how to do it and tries rocking the baby. I knew my son was hungry so no amount of rocking was going to stop him from crying. I asked Emily again just to give me the baby and she again refused. I was getting upset and asked again and she just kept saying that she knows how to take care of a baby. I said I know but I need to take my baby.

I was about to blow but she had my son in her arms so I didn't want to upset her. Suddenly she tried to take the baby to the other room but I stopped her and almost forcefully took my son from her. I was seething and once I had set my son down, I let it all out. I shouted at her that she has no right to keep me from my child and that even with all her experience she can't go over me when it comes to my child.

I also told her that I'm sick of her trying to show off her skills using my child. She was really upset and left shortly after. I don't think anything I said was wrong but AITA for shouting at her? My friends think it's something she needed to hear but going of on her like that might have been too much.

The comments quickly came in.

Comfortable-Sea-2454 wrote:

NTA - she was overriding what the kids mother wanted/knew.

"Emily asked if she could hold my son and I said yes. A little later the baby started to cry. I went over and tried to take him back. Emily wouldn't let me and kept saying she knows how to do it and tries rocking the baby.

I knew my son was hungry so no amount of rocking was going to stop him from crying. I asked Emily again just to give me the baby and she again refused. I was getting upset and asked again and she just kept saying that she knows how to take care of a baby. I said I know but I need to take my baby. I was about to blow but she had my son in her arms so I didn't want to upset her.

Suddenly she tried to take the baby to the other room but I stopped her and almost forcefully took my son from her." Not only was she ignoring you, she tried to remove your child from your presence to apparently "prove her point that she knew best"!! Personally would never let her hold my kid[s] again.

leairek wrote:

NTA. You should never need to repeat the phrase "give me back my baby." Once most certainly is enough, and if she resists you on that point please make her explain exactly how many times in GREAT detail "since you work with kids, how many times did I need to ask for my child back before it became kidnapping?"

The answer is one and she KNOWS it.

You don't try to leave the room with someone's child after they've requested you return them, and if she doesn't KNOW that then she doesn't KNOW ANYTHING about looking after children. She isn't your friend.

deshi_mi wrote:

HUGE NTA. "Don't listen to mommy, auntie Emily says it's fine"

For me, that alone is a big red flag and would be a reason for an immediate ban on any communication with my children. And what about the situation - I just would go NC with that person.

NoSalamander7749 wrote:

I think this is a lesson in why you should talk to your friends about their behavior before it reaches a boiling point. For that, I'm tempted to give you a gentle E S H - but Emily's behavior in refusing to give you back your infant child was absolutely 100% out of line, and it seems like you were doing your best to keep her feelings in mind as well.

Shouting at her wasn't the ideal way to go about it, but when she puts you in a position like that it's kind of hard to see a different way that could have gone. So though I feel like some people may disagree, I vote NTA.

I think it's important to consider what you want going forward - if you want to remain friends, I think you should reach out to her and ask to meet for coffee (sans baby) or something, and talk things out.

Apologize for shouting at her and for not talking to her about it before it reached a boiling point - but she has to recognize that she was completely out of line in refusing to hand your son back over to you. GL with this one.

Five days later, OP shared an update.

Thank you all for your comments. I was happy to see that I wasn’t completely out of line with my outburst but I agree that the way we had been handling (or not handling) the situation wasn’t good. We tried contacting Emily right after that incident but she just messaged our group chat that she was busy and she’ll get back to us.

I managed to get hold of her after the post and invited her to have coffee at my place on Sunday. We met with one other friend from the group. We thought having all of us there might be too much pressure.

My husband took the baby to see my in-laws so he wasn’t there. It was a bit awkward and didn’t get better. I started by apologizing for shouting at her but told her that keeping my child from me wasn’t acceptable behavior from anyone. I told her that we know that she is good with kids and the kids like auntie Emily very much but sometimes she oversteps and gets in the way of how we want to parent our children.

My friend gave a couple of examples of the situations but Emily refused to see any problem with her behavior. Emily got really defensive and told us that we are really ungrateful for all the help she has given and she has put so much effort into kids that aren’t even hers. I told her that of course we are grateful for the help and all we need is for her to be a bit more mindful in certain situations.

She doubled down on nothing being wrong about the way she acts. She also started getting nasty about our parenting and bringing up things that we did wrong. I know myself and my friends sometimes make mistakes as do all parents but my friends are great moms who love their kids and would do anything for them.

Then she got really angry and told me that I don’t deserve my child as I didn’t even want him. Background to this was that I was hesitant to keep my child when I found out I was pregnant since I had had some mental health issues and I was really scared that I would get PPD and might not handle taking care of a baby.

I’m so happy that I decided to have him but it was tough back then even with my husband being really supportive. That was the final straw and I kicked her out and told her she will never be allowed around my child. After she left we called the others and told them what happened.

We decided that we would take a step back from Emily for now.

Emily has since blocked all of us on everything. One of our other mutual friends told us that Emily has been making Facebook posts about fake friends who don’t appreciate her help and advice.

She’s not naming names but everyone knows she’s talking about us. Most people have seen her in action at get togethers so they understand where we’re coming from. For now we are keeping our distance and maybe if she realizes the problem and apologizes then we might reconsider.

The comments kept coming in.

BlueNoyb wrote:

I can't get past someone thinking it's ok to refuse to return a child to their parent. Much less try to flee the room with the child after repeatedly being asked to return the child.

SeamStressed1 wrote:

Sounds like you guys have it covered...BUT the you don’t deserve him is a scary remark. And I would make sure you have working security cameras.. I know I am paranoid but…

ArtemisGirl242020 wrote:

Sounds like you guys have a much less stressful future on the horizon. Emily was by far in the wrong and her inability to see that shows that she is A) immature (Facebook posts "not naming names"? What is she, 14?) and B) cannot sympathize/empathize with what it means to be a mom.

Honestly, I wouldn't reconsider friendship with her in the future unless there are major apologies and changed behavior. You don't mention it in either post, but it sounds like Emily has some major mental health issues/trauma regarding having kids. Is it possible she is unable or unlikely to have children?

Even if it's just something she suspects and doesn't know for sure? It seems like it, in which case she needs therapy and it's probably best that she no longer be a part of a group she cannot control herself around.

crunchylegs wrote:

Disgusting, even if she apologized you should never speak to her again. I could never trust someone like that around a child coming from someone who works with kids as my profession. She has no respect for you or your children and has already displayed secretive behaviour behind your back.

I'm not saying this is the case but offering special treats and things can be the first steps in building very inappropriate relationships with children, and it's interesting she mostly spends time around people with kids for the sake of being around children. Women can be creepy bad people too and I wouldn't take that chance no matter how small.

Sources: Reddit
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