Do you make plans with someone & then those plans change because of their children? Does it happen a lot?
Over the last few years, most of the time I got out with friends they feel a need to bring their kids along. I don't mind children in small doses but they also stress me out & make my anxiety go through the roof so I really love not being around them. BUT they insist on bringing their kids. Like, to EVERYTHING. I've talked to them and asked if we can have a one on one day where it's just us. A quiet lunch or a couple hours shopping alone. I'm very accommodating. They are not. Most of the time they act like going out without their children will bring about the apocalypse.
Sometimes they'll even promise to be 'just us' next time. And then they bring their kids...
I have a friend / coworker who has 4 kids, & yet she works & she manages to hang out here and there without them even if it's just for an hour or two. She's a rarity though. Most people with kids just make me change MY plans to accommodate them.
For instance this past weekend was my birthday & my BFF promised to be just us. She offered
for us to have lunch then do some shopping. Then the morning of she texts me - asking to bring the baby as her husband was 'overwhelmed' by the kids (Even though the have just 2 kids & was only going to be for half the day...). Since the baby she was bringing is actually the quiet one - the one that rarely cries & is very calm, I normally let her take her kid with her. I really wanted to say no but then I noticed the time - considering she was taking a bus from the other side of town & we were to meet up in 20 minutes that told me she was already on the bus. So obviously I had to say yes. Otherwise an argument was probably going to ensue.
Anyways, that part was no big deal except our 'lunch' plans changed. She said she needed to watch the budget as she just bought a bunch of baby clothes for the kids. She was 'all set' for clothes & gifts for the kids for awhile. We just had to have a cheap lunch. So we ended up in the food court. We went shopping after as planned but she kept dragging us into the baby-shops. She JUST said she had bought all their birthday gifts and much of the Christmas gifts already (yes this soon...) and she told me she didn't need anything else. So we went into every single baby store. She had to lift up every single outfit and go 'aww'. I just smiled and nodded as I didn't want to get into an argument even though it was getting on my nerves. After awhile I just reminded her her that she had a budget. Eventually we got to the stores I liked.
Then she said her arms were hurting from pushing the stroller (which had all this stuff on it that she bought & felt like it was full of bowling balls). She wanted to cut the shopping short. But she asked me if I wanted to have dinner with her & her husband (who is also a friend) & she said she wanted to watch a movie with me as it's been 'ages'. So I agreed because it as around 3 by that point. Got to her house & her husband starts whining about doing 3 loads of laundry (poor baby... also, that's what I do all the time clothes/towels/linens...) & feeding their other daughter after she woke up from her 3 hour long nap. (so basically doing something for the last 20 minutes). He laughed it off passive aggressively then handed my friend the girl & went downstairs. So it ended up me basically babysitting with my friend, the two girls. Fun...
Then 'dinner' went from making a nice meal to ordering pizza. Fine, whatever... then the movie...*sigh* My friend insisted I pick as it was my birthday. At that point, the husband took the one kid downstairs with him and we had the quiet one with us so I was like 'finally some peace'. We get 40 minutes into it then my friend insists on picking the baby up to try to put her to sleep...baby starts screaming...screaming...screaming. Baby tries to get out of her arms. I know what the baby wants as I've been around them enough (and family's babies). I say 'I think she just wants to crawl around'.... and since the room has gates up, it's not a problem. So my friend puts the baby down, the girls grins and starts crawling & plays with her toys. 10 minutes later, friend picks baby up again...screaming screaming screaming... tries to get down. Round & round it went. Finally husband comes up and puts one kid to bed then takes the other up.
My friend starts talking about how tiring & frustrating kids are (meanwhile I have a few thoughts about that -like, take a few hours off away from the bloody kids! that might help!). Anyways, she goes on for about a half hour. I start talking about a few things I've wanted to talk about but didn't get the chance to. Then after talking for about ten minutes, I just wanted to relax so I suggested we finish the movie. She goes "I'm actually really tired now..."
I was so mad. I tried saying something but she looked half asleep so she wasn't paying attention. I just left.
I'm just glad I had done other things with people for my birthday on other days.. but seriously, every time we make plans, we end up at her place, basically babysitting the kids. (Not just her, but other friends do this too). I swear to God the next time this happens I'm going to start charging them for my services!