My son just turned five, and full day kindergarten is on the horizon. The past few years, I have started to notice that some lifelong friends, who also have children, are making me, well, crazy. Our parenting styles differ and their children are, well, awful. This issue is starting to make for less frequent get-togethers because of the behavior of their kids. I think we need to break up.
When many of our friends started to have children, my husband and I were thankful to have some of our high school and college pals to walk this crazy road of parenthood with. Back then, when our kiddos were infants and toddlers, our parenting choices didn’t make a difference. Breastfeeding or formula feeding? Doesn’t matter to us. Co-sleeping or Cry It Out? No difference to us. I proudly talked to my family and work friends about how diverse our parenting support group was. We had single dads and co-parenting couples, organic-only parents and Gerber baby food parents. Diversity!
But then our babies started growing up and becoming tiny humans. They started disobeying and boundary pushing and the real part of parenting starts. The hard part of parenting starts. My husband and I are active parents, working hard to raise our son to be kind, polite and compassionate. I have no doubt that my friends want to raise their kids to be kind, polite, and compassionate too, but they are failing and their kids are animals.
My son isn’t perfect by any means. But, I no longer want to hang out with kids who tear up our house, run unattended through restaurants, and scream at and hit adults and other children without any consequence. Last summer we held a party at our home and I found two elementary aged children crushing up a bag of Doritos into my son’s bed (without my son around). They knew better, but when their parents don’t check up on them at all through the night, what do I expect? A few months ago, one of their preschoolers ran out into the street in front of our home. The parents weren’t paying attention and even when I went out to scoop up the little girl, the parents still didn’t mention a thing to their daughter. I think we need to break up.
When I talk to my mom about my frustration, and my conflict at breaking up with friends we have had for so long, she totally understands. “This is when friendships shift,” she says. This is when you see parenting styles (right or wrong) that are different and it directly affects the behavior of your child or the amount of fun that you have. So, we might have to break up or at least start seeing other people. It’s not you, it’s me – I can’t do it anymore.
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