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View Full Version : Minor vent: friends as over protective parents



melis_d
03-10-2004, 03:24 PM
I just need to let this out, even though I know I am over reacting and that this is not worth my energy.

DH and I were supposed to have dinner with friends tonight who have a two week old infant. Last week I had a terrible cold. I was ill and although I went to this baby's bris, I wore a mask to keep the germs away. Since Saturday I've been fine: no runny nose, no fever, no sneezing, no post nasal drip, nothing to indicate that I am still ill. I have a residual cough from the cold...you know, one of those dry hacking coughs. DH (and this friend) are doctors and know that this cough does not mean I am still sick, it's just a throat irritation. DH is prescribing steroids and the cough should be gone in a few days.

Well, you can probably guess where this is going. DH called our friends to coordinate dinner plans (we were going to bring in take out, so I wouldn't even be cooking) and mentioned the cough just to make sure the friends know it is not due to residual illness. The friend cancelled dinner, said they are not comfortable having me around the baby. Of course, the friend says he knows he is being ridiculous since he is a doctor and recognizes that the cough is not going to communicate any illness to his child. In fact, DH is probably more of a threat since he's working in the ICU at a children's hospital where there are lots of germs.

For some reason, I am just really offended by them cancelling dinner. On the one hand, I get that they do not want their small infant to get sick and if I (or DH) thought there was any chance I would pose a threat, I would have cancelled myself. On the other hand, it just seems like this friend, who has a tendency to get really hyped about things, knows he is overreacting, but just can't or won't control it in this situation. It's not a huge deal, but I didn't plan to cook anything for dinner since we were ordering out with them and now DH wants to cook. I also just feel rejected somehow for no valid reason. What can I say?

Anyway, no one needs to respond, I just needed to get this out there. I really do care about my friends and their son and know they are probably just exhausted.

Thanks for "listening."

Melissa

rosie_one
03-10-2004, 03:48 PM
aw bummer...

That transition between being grown ups with free time and being parents is wacky. The responsibility factor of having a whole life in your care, for like 18 years can really wig some people out, especially, I can imagine, a Doctor who sees all the bad things that could possibly happen. I think the flu this year has every new parent on edge too.

Still no fun to feel snubbed and not "good enough" for precious baby. You could always take the high road by bringing them dinner. Nothing like a little ziti and fresh baked bread induced guilt trip to bring things in perspective.

DmOrtega
03-10-2004, 03:56 PM
I really wouldn't take it personally. New parents can be notorious for being over protective of babies. I would just reschedule a month from now and let it go.

sneezles
03-10-2004, 03:57 PM
It's a shame that some people do wig out when it comes to their children. When my second DS was about 3 weeks old we had to hospitalize him with bronchilitis that he probably got from either his older brother (most likely) or someone who came to visit. It was scary but he survived that and many more colds. DS#3 became very ill from a intestinal bacteria infection (lost 10 pounds a lot for a 6 month old). More than likely he caught it crawling around on a floor. He survived and still weighed in at 30 pounds on his first birthday. Sometimes it just takes awhile for new parents to realize things are going to happen no matter how protective they are.
Sorry your plans got dumped though! I'd go out to eat! :p

colleency
03-10-2004, 09:50 PM
I can kind of understand new parents being hyper-protective with a two-week old baby. Everyone I've talked to who's a parent says that they were absolutely paranoid with their first. I definitely wouldn't take it personally. Maybe you could offer to just drop the dinner off for them without coming in. That way it would be simply a gift from you to new parents who are probably absolutely exhausted and more than a little freaked out at being responsible for a tiny life.

HejazSunKat
03-11-2004, 02:00 AM
Yeah, annoying but I'd roll my eyes, chalk it up to new parent anxiety and let it go. Not worth jeopardizing the friendship over if it's an important relationship to you. Hopefully they will settle down and relax as they get more accustomed to their new role. Just an idle thought though: Aren't infants endowed with extra immunity passed on through the mother at birth or through breast feeding? Didn't I read that somewhere or am I dreaming?

Molli526
03-11-2004, 05:30 AM
Originally posted by HejazSunKat
Aren't infants endowed with extra immunity passed on through the mother at birth or through breast feeding? Didn't I read that somewhere or am I dreaming?

I don't think so, especially at 2 weeks. I don't think there are a lot of choices in medication, so if the baby does get sick, it is usually back to the hospital they go.

Don't quote me on that

I would also chalk it up to being new parents.

MrsReber
03-11-2004, 07:28 AM
Definitely new parent syndrome! If the baby is breastfed, the mother's immunities will pass to the baby. However, as Molli pointed out, there are few options when you have a sick 2 week old and mom may not have antibodies for all the viruses out there. If they get a high fever, it's off to the hospital for testing.

That being said, I would've LOVED for my friends to invite me over for dinner or to come to my house with a take out dinner. Those first weeks are so hard. Upon thinking some more, I'm betting your cough is not be the real reason they are backing out. Mom might be exhausted or feeling overwhelmed. Maybe she's got a touch of baby blues and just doesn't feel like being social. I know I was pretty emotional and moody for the first month or so after giving birth. I'd let it go. They're going through a huge adjustment period. Also, I find with a first baby that the doctors try to scare the daylights out of you with tales of illness in newborn babies and other fun stuff (what? No wet diaper for 5 hours? Bring him to the emergency room!). They did it to me, but I knew better the second time around!

ellielk
03-11-2004, 07:56 AM
I nursed all three of my children (of course this was in the dark ages) and was told that they had natural immunity plus the mother's milk passed on immunity for quite a while.

My daughter never was sick at all until I started weaning her to a cup. Now that I think of it, the same was true for my two boys.

jmarie
03-11-2004, 08:10 AM
Before I comment on your post....I have a question for you.....I kept the cough that you are speaking of for three months once. Took all of the cough medicines available, and you are saying that steroids would have cleared it up? I will have to remember that because sometimes I would cough until I was strangled and honestly thought I would die. I am really interested in your response to this.

Now for your post:

If I had it to do all over again, it would be so different.

I was one of those neurotic parents when I had my first child. I was determined that NO ONE !!! was going to hold her because I just knew she would get sore and cranky.

My mother-in-law made the comment that she didn't care what I wanted, she was going to hold that baby. And lo and behold, my daughter lived... And what's more than that, she didn't get sore or cranky! How could this be?

I know you are disapointed about the dinner cancellation, but give them a month or two. They will get it figured out....And they will relax a little.

I stayed in a tizzy when my DD was a newborn. It just wore me out. but sometimes we do that.... It is no reflection on their feelings towards you... and you know what? I think it shows how much they value your friendship by being honest with you.

Take heart and don't think it was you. It really wasn't, it was just them being overprotective. That's it.
Joyce

melis_d
03-11-2004, 08:19 AM
Thanks everyone for your kind words and reminders to be patient with my friends. After a nice dinner with just DH and a good night's sleep, I now have a better perspective on the situation. We'll just give them time to adjust to being new parents and deal with all that entails.

I think my reaction was more to this particular friend because he tends to overreact to everything and get all ginned up. We all have to treat him with kid gloves or do things that we wouldn't do otherwise to deal with his anxieties (ex., when we go out to dinner with him and his wife, we have to get to the restaurant at least half an hour before our reservation because he's concerned our table will be given away).

Anyway, thanks for the reminders and the support.

On a side note: Joyce, my DH tells that a combo of medications will get rid of the cough. To get rid of the irritation, he gave me a steroid inhaler (Flovent) and to take care of the bronchial spasms that come as result of the irritation, my doctor prescribed an asthma inhaler when I saw him two weeks ago. It seems to be working well, which is a relief. Hopefully you won't have this kind of cough again, but if you do, now you know!

Take care,

Melissa

tinalag
03-11-2004, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by MrsReber
[That being said, I would've LOVED for my friends to invite me over for dinner or to come to my house with a take out dinner. Those first weeks are so hard. Upon thinking some more, I'm betting your cough is not be the real reason they are backing out. Mom might be exhausted or feeling overwhelmed. Maybe she's got a touch of baby blues and just doesn't feel like being social. [/B][B]

I really like what Mrs. Reber said. Maybe the reason that you were feeling rejected was because you sensed that the baby thing might not be the whole reason. I know when I have this experience I have a tendency then to feel rejected because I figure somehow they don't want to be with me, when the truth is, it is hard for people to admit to what they might really need. Very often something like "not feeling up to it" does not feel like a good enough reason to cancel. If it's about the baby, you HAVE to understand, right?

I always figure we have the feelings we have, for a reason, the reason is just not always clear at the time(Melissa, you had mentioned that your feelings were not valid. Not logical perhaps since the reason was not apparent, but valid). Anyway, just my two cents. :)

Lauren
03-11-2004, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by ellielk
I nursed all three of my children (of course this was in the dark ages) and was told that they had natural immunity plus the mother's milk passed on immunity for quite a while.

My daughter never was sick at all until I started weaning her to a cup. Now that I think of it, the same was true for my two boys.

I'm not trying to start WWIII, but I disagree with comments like this. I bottle fed both of my boys and they were/are extremely healthy. I was a SAHM, which I think helped a lot. But, as I always say, you go to the grocery store where there are lots of germs and illness! It's unavoidable.

I may be overacting to your comment, but Perhaps it was a coincidence that when you weaned your kids they started getting sick. Typically kids are weaned around a year, which is also an age where they are walking, touching other kids, sharing toys, drooling. etc.

Melissa - All new moms are different. I would have loved being invited to a friends house for a home cooked meal!

mst
03-11-2004, 06:42 PM
I understand your friend's point of view. Last week, my friend had to take her 4 day old back to the hospital. There is nothing so pathetic as a tiny baby in that huge crib.

Aren't you glad that your friend feels that you are close enough to understand? And, if by chance her baby got sick, she would have always blamed you. Their biggest responsiblity in life right now is raising that child. And, if they feel that giving up a night that THEY would enjoy is the right health move for their child, then I respect them for making a tough decision.

I wouldn't hold it against them. It wasn't as though they rejected you as a person, but rather you as a "sick" person.

jmarie
03-11-2004, 07:09 PM
Lauren,
I think maybe you were being a tiny bit harsh. She didn't say that this was the gospel, just that she had been told that and then compared children. I had been told the same thing about the immunities.

I breast fed my first and started my second but cut it off quickly. I don't feel bad for not breastfeeding my second. It was a decision I made, you made, we all made in one direction or the other.

But you sounded so defensive and you have nothing to be defensive about. You made the right choice for you and your baby and she made the right choice for her and her baby and if she thinks her babies were healthy because of it, so what?

And in her defense, my first never got sick the first year and my second had the croup at 6 months. (I breastfed hthe first the longest)I never even considered that it was because he wasn't breastfed. I thought he got a germ.


Just my two cents.
Joyce

jellyben
03-12-2004, 09:26 AM
My first thought was that this had less to do with the threat of illness and more to do with the fact that this mom might not be up to a social outing. At 2weeks post-partum, I was a basketcase with all 3, would not have been up to this kind of thing at all. So try not to take it too personally! What a nice gesture on your part to have them over! I am sure they will be happy if you extend a similar invitation in a few weeks.

erinl
03-12-2004, 10:34 AM
We had some friends over 2 weeks after DD was born. I think I spent most of the evening up in her room "nursing" her. Never mind that she never breastfed well and usually ended up with a bottle. I just wanted to be away from everybody. It was way too soon.

Somewhat related story...Yesterday DD (20 mos)wasn't acting herself. I chalked it up to teething and we took her to a friend's house for dinner. Another couple was there with their 10 mo old. Hanne acted completely normally while we were out. When we got home she had a fever of 101.5 and she threw up 3 times. I called the other parents practically in tears because I felt so horrible for exposing their little boy. They were so understanding. Granted, their baby is 10 months, not 2 weeks, but I still think they were very sweet about it.