We all know how hard it is for parents to get out and enjoy themselves. So is it a crappy move to ditch your parent friends when they say they're bringing their kids?
A man took to Reddit to ask if he was the a-hole in exactly such a situation. His friend has a habit of announcing that he's bringing his partner and child along to social occasions at the last minute — and this guy's sick of it. He asked the internet for advice on whether he's in the wrong.
Here's the story.
Hello, I’ll try and make this short and sweet. I (18m) planned to go to the beach with my friends (18m, 17m, 18f) yesterday. It was cold but nice and seemed like the perfect weather for surfing.
However, before I left the house, my friend “Jay” announced to the group chat that he’d invited his girlfriend “Ellie” and their toddler with us. Honestly, I know how these things go, the day ends up revolving around whether the kid is too warm or too cold or needs a nap, so I made up an excuse not to go and stayed at home with my dog all day.
Unfortunately, Jay got suspicious. My mate “Tom” and I seem to have a habit of cancelling whenever his kid is involved and he got offended by it. We have explained multiple times before that being around the kid makes us uncomfortable and that springing it upon us isn’t fair, but he was still pissed off we cancelled short notice.
He said if we’re friends with him we need to be friends with his gf and toddler too. I have no issues with Ellie but I don’t want to hang out with his toddler all the time. I have nieces and nephews and kids just aren’t for me. AITA?
pizzamartini thinks Jay is cruising for a friendship bruising:
If Jay is going to make his friends hang out with his toddler, he is going to find himself without friends. It's totally reasonable for 18 year olds to not want to spend time with a toddler.
Darktwistedlady thinks a compromise can be reached:
The issue here is a lack of communication. You have expressed multiple times that you don't want to hang out with a toddler. Jay don't respect your no, and doesn't ask anymore. Not okay.
However, friendships are give and take. If you want to be a good friend, make a compromise. Jay sounds like a good boyfriend who actually includes his gf (who presumably is also young) and her baby. But you also need to spend time with him alone, and that's fair.
How about having the baby along, say, no more than once a week or every other week (depending on how often you hang out, majority of meets should be child free), or perhaps find certain activities where gf and toddler is invited, while others are off limits?
bringing your kid radically changes the whole outcome of the outing. I wouldn't want to either, he needs to understand that his childless friends in their late teens are probably not going to hang out with the toddler all the time. He has a completely different life.
But Fullback70 says there's no real issue here:
I’m not even sure how to rate this because it seems like such a non-issue. OP wants to go surfing, Jay wants to bring his girlfriend and toddler. Those things are mutually exclusive if you take separate vehicles. You meet at the beach. You go surfing with Jay. Ellie plays with the toddler on the beach.
If Jay has to leave early because the kid is tired or cranky, then he leaves and OP stays with the rest of his friends. OP and Tom don’t have to be around the kid at all. How was this solution not thought of?
KaliCalamity has a measured approach:
You aren't required to be around children if you don't want to be. But you have to understand that once someone becomes a parent, priorities have to change, and you can't always get out by yourself.
While it's kind of an AH move to decide to alter plans to bring along your significant other and child at the last minute, sometimes life gets in the way of spending quality time with our loved ones and we have to take the opportunities we're presented with.
Something you will need to come to terms with is the fact that being friends with someone that is a parent means their kid or kids are always part of the package. It shouldn't be too much to ask for occasional adult only time, but it's unreasonable to demand the kid is never around you if you want to be friends and not just acquaintances.
Hope they figure it out!