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Monday question: Love you, hate the kid

Posted by Robin Abrahams  May 3, 2010 06:21 AM

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This week's question is one I'm sure many of us have experienced some version of:

I am a married 35 year old who is childless by choice. My close friend DG was of the same mindset until she and her husband accidentally became pregnant two years ago. Today, they have a toddler who is a holy terror and she has a husband who doesn't believe in day care. As a result, I haven't spent time with her without her son in two years. I find that our friendship is strained because she spends all of our time together chasing her son, who is either smashing, breaking, or crying. I feel like my only choice is to not spend time with her unless I want to put up with her son too (which I don't). How do I convey this message without seeming hurtful or mean?

What do you think? Is the fact that the letter-writer is childless relevant, or a red herring? (She obviously feels it matters, but what do you parents think? Have you ever had to end or modify a friendship because a friend's kid was a brat?)

As usual, I'll post my response on Friday, and this Wednesday we'll have an online chat from noon-1. I hope to cyber-see you there!
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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