One minute she’s hanging out at the lamps, the next minute she’s wondering who that woman is who doesn’t want to leave and doesn’t raise her either. And what did you do to your sweet friend?
Inge (35), married and mother of three children (9, 6 and 3):
“We cried tears of joy: When I told my best friend Roxanne I was pregnant at two, I knew only a few hours ago that she was going to have a baby, first. How happy we were. It felt like a great golden border of our ten-year friendship.”
Seven years later, there was little left of that golden edge. Our sons were born a week after birth and are now over the age of six. I’m not saying my son Joshua is an angel – he’s a real boy: Existing, brutal physically and exceptionally loud at times. But it can be modified and that’s what I do, because there are rules here.
On the other hand, Roxanne’s son Sim seems to have grown up without any kind of rules. When he’s here, fifteen minutes later, I’m already exhausted from his screaming, throwing, jumping, and sneaking. But Roxanne does nothing. While he was demolishing our house, she was looking at him with a smile. “Rascal,” she calls out, shrugging off everything he does. Sim isn’t loud in an ordinary way, he’s just screaming. To attract attention, to get his way, to everything.
Rogue calls him and condones everything he does.
And if that’s all… but no. He ruined Joshua’s games and then blamed my youngest daughter, hit the other kids, and the other day he almost took our cat with a hockey stick. I texted Siem, who was alone here, at home and called Roxanne that this wasn’t really possible, but she said, “Ah, he also loves animals so much, he’s a little too excited.”
Oh, sorry? I was so angry that I said this wasn’t enthusiasm, but deliberate harm. And maybe she should see if she can get help with breeding, because this is out of control. She was angry. How dare I suggest she failed as a mother? I said I didn’t mean it, but she ignored me for a week. In the early days I found it hard to hurt her but it was really good if Sim didn’t come. Joshua also said: It’s nice and calm, Mom.
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Problem is: I know Roxanne struggles with parenting. They are very sweet and very soft, while a Sim needs a firm hand. The same goes for her husband. Sim takes advantage of that. By nature he knows few limits and since he doesn’t understand them either, he does whatever comes to his mind. At the expense of the other kids and that’s why I don’t really want him to play with Joshua anymore, but I’m not saying that. This is the death knell for our friendship.
My husband says why do you keep this friendship alive? Sim company won’t change, situation won’t change and I’m just frustrated. But then Roxanne and I went out for a kid-free night and had a lot of fun, just like before. She is my partner in crime, we understand each other without words and the next day I feel pain from laughing. Do I want to give up? Is there another way? Meeting without children yes, but this is difficult if you live close to each other. I’d like to help Roxanne be stricter with Sim, but she closed that door on that phone call.
The other times I’ve brought it up, I’ve noticed that she doesn’t want to hear about it. No problem, she says, and her child can be himself. Of course he can, but he also needs rules. I noticed other friends avoiding Roxanne. I recently complained that two girlfriends have little time to meet, although I know this is not true. It’s not cute, but I understand them. Getting together as friends is fun, but with Siem around, it feels like a tornado is raging in Ballorig. Within two minutes, nothing is out of place.
“Meeting as friends is fun, but with Siem there it feels like a tornado is raging in Ballorig”
Conversation is not possible. So I figured I’d avoid Roxanne, too. Last week I suggested going to an amusement park. I said without thinking that it wouldn’t work for now. Not cute, but I had no regrets. To save our friendship, it takes good conversation and a clear change, and I’m afraid that won’t happen.”
This article appears on Kek Mama 08-2022.
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