FWP: Her Daughter’s Best Friends Are Hers, Too
PROBLEM: A friend insists on bringing her mother to every social gathering, without even so much as a head’s up. The worst part: she insists on being “one of us” and tries to discuss intimate details of our lives, giving us relationship advice and the rest. My friend seems to think it’s perfectly normal because her mom is cool. How do we politely escape from this wannabe aunty, whilst still staying friends with her daughter?
KB: Yikes. This one is awkward. My favorite is always the direct approach: just tell your friend straight up that there are lots of things you want to discuss with her that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing in front of her mom. That should do the trick.
And if it doesn’t, I hate to say it, you may have to stop inviting that friend along to these group activities unless you want a mom-third wheel at every concert. Plan B… sign her mom up for a dating site?
LG: I’m sure your friend’s mom is a lovely person, but just because they’re best friends doesn’t mean that, for the rest of you, it’s anything other than dealing with an overbearing mother who’s not even yours. It’s unreasonable if the woman expects her daughter’s best friend to be hers, too; presumably she doesn’t, so I’m going to suggest your friend is the problem. She is conflating chill with cool.
There’s no hinting your way out of this one. Make a plan and specifically request she not bring her mother. If mom is already married then … actually, yeah, KB’s still right: maybe a dating site? Might wake up uncle, who can take responsibility for entertaining her.
SB: That’s really sweet that your friend and her mom have such a close relationship. It’s one of those things that parents think they want (to be their kid’s bff) but is pretty awkward if it actually happens. Agree on being direct with your friend about how you feel.
Meanwhile, if aunty is married and under-socialized, maybe have your mom start inviting her to age-appropriate, peer-focused stuff? If she’s unattached and on the prowl, I like KB’s approach. I say you have a hot single dad come hang out for a couple of your next events and let the two of them pair off to do their own thing.
RT: Mothers, best friends and all other overbearing loved ones are a touchy subject. I think the best you can do is ask politely, like LG suggested, to not bring the mother to the next event. Confronting directly might seem offensive unless you are smooth af. Or Ryan Gosling. But if all else fails, from now on only do exclusive double hangouts with her, her mom, you and your mommy dearest. Family bonding FTW!
Got any first world problems? Write to the Swaddle Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll sort you out. Kind of.