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Question
Posted by: Friend | 2006/11/14

Are congratulations in order ?

A couple friend of mine has a 5 year old daughter.They decided to have another child and now have a 7 month old daughter.They have been really struggling financially,borrowing money they often struggle to pay back even before the birth of second child. I assisted where I could.When the 2nd child was born things went from bad to worse, car got repossesed, they were thrown out of the flat they rented because of arrears in rent. They are both working, not well paying jobs and sometimes food to eat becomes an issue. They are generally a happy couple,madly in love after 6 years of marriage.Now I've just heard that she is 3 months pregnant again with the 3rd child. I just dont know whether to congratulate them or what. I feel it was really a stupid and irresponsible move. They cant take care of the 2 kids adequately yet they are having another kid. She just e emailed me now to tell me that she is 3 months pregnant and I dont know how to respond.If she was my sister I would probably give her a lecture but I suppose that wouldnt help (its too late). Do i become honest with her or pretend to be happy for her whereas I feel it was a stupid move ?

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Our expert says:
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yes, to choose to have a third child when you know you can barely support the first too, is indeed an irresponsible action. Has this couple really never heard of cotnraception ? And maybe sterilization ? But lecturing them at this stage won't help, and congratulations would be inappropriate. Why not, as lee suggests, raise sensible points within a sympathetic response, not saying that you are happy ( you[re not ) but maybe hoping that she is happy at this news, and has worked out a way to cope with this extra responsibility. Like Echelle, I hope this message wasn't to remind you that further contributions will be expected. From your latters comments, you can congratulate them on the amount of l;ove you feel within and between them, even when things aren't easy for them,

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Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2006/11/14

It sounds like she could really use a good friend to talk to because she is probably feeling a lot mixed emotion right now. The joy that a new life brings, fear and apprehension about how her family will cope financially - that sort of thing.

The deed is done now and she's pregnant. How she got pregnant (whether it was planned or a contraceptive failiure) is irrelevant.

You know and she knows that the whole family are going to battle financially.

I'd just respond to her email and say you are there if she needs to chat to you.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Echelle | 2006/11/14

Like "..." said, real friends are the ones that's honest. I can understand that your heart is breaking for her kids and I understand why you're doing the things you're doing.

Reply to Echelle
Posted by: Friend | 2006/11/14

Kraizyzie

Yes I do have a child - 5 year old boy . Planning on having another one in 2 year's time after I finish my studies .

Reply to Friend
Posted by: Krayzie | 2006/11/14

Friend - do u hav kids?

Reply to Krayzie
Posted by: Annelize | 2006/11/14

Personally, I think it's too late to put them in their place now, as she is allready pregnant, nothing can be done. Even though they do struggle financially, it seems they are happy about the new sibling, so I think you can congratulate her, and mabe advise her not to fall pregnant again without offending her. A child is not some kind of bad omen, but the damage is done, the least you can do is congratulate her even if you feel like your sinking into the earth out of dissapointment.

Reply to Annelize
Posted by: Friend | 2006/11/14

I suppose i can tell myself that they are both adults and they should take responsibility for their actions but the bottom line is that I'm a very caring person and I really hate to see other suffering. I just cant stand it when they come to visit and you can see the 5 year old toddler is hungry and even the clothes she has on are old and worn out . But one thing about them is that they are such a nice couple, sweet and their home is full of love ( I really admire that in them ).They are not competitive at all- they are both content with their respective jobs , they say they dont want "other" jobs because they dont want stress in their lives. Where does one begin to help such people ? The woman is happy with counting stock for her entire " career" and so is hubby in his own job.

Reply to Friend
Posted by: kat | 2006/11/14

ok people like to be able to tell others like it is but they dont like it when others do that to them. ive just gone through a thing now with my mother in law where she had a lot to say about me and hubby to him over the phone, he still isnt realy speaking to her its been 2 months im chatting to her coz quite frankly i figure that if i can be honnest with others surely they should have the same right. anyway i put my pride in my pocket and thought about what she had said and quess what im glad it was her that said it coz it was said out of love, and honnestly she was right. its a hard pill to swallow but it helped. anyway be honnest with this person, tell her you are happy for the new life being born but you are conserned about how they will manage and find out if they have a plan. remember for all you know this could have been a opps, she might be on the pill it does happen.

Reply to kat
Posted by: C | 2006/11/14

People ususaly like to hear nice things, tell her, or him,or both, they cant even provide for one, how do they think they are going to provide for three.

Reply to C
Posted by: ... | 2006/11/14

Friends should be honest with each other even if it hurt now and again.

Reply to ...
Posted by: Echelle | 2006/11/14

They know that there is someone that will help them, so why do they care? You must tell her in a nice way how you feel, but it's already done, nothing anyone can do about the 3rd baby.

Reply to Echelle
Posted by: Lee | 2006/11/14

Friend, respond to her mail by saying that you're happy for her. However, in a subtle manner, ask her how she is feeling about it and why she never thought of contraceptives, since her baby is so young, etc.

First and foremost, tell her you shocked but happy for her, she may just think you're jealous.

Reply to Lee

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