Child without bedtime interrupting adult evenings
January 18, 2009 12:52 PM Subscribe
How can we get our friends to put their 4 year old to bed so we can have grown up evenings together?
posted by lilyflower to Human Relations (45 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We are a couple who are both in our late 20's without children and are friends with a couple who are in their late 30's with a 4 year old girl. We like to spend weekend evenings together but their lack of a bedtime routine with their 4 year old is interfering with our relationship as adults. We like to hang out on Friday and Saturday nights playing over 18 rated computer games and watching TV programs and films which are not suitable for a small girl. Due to our friends child being up with us sometimes until midnight we are not enjoying our evenings as our friends attention is being drawn to her as she interrupts conversations, she has tantrums as she is so tired from being up so late, and our behaviour is being moderated by our friends to create a suitable environment for a child.
We have been together as a couple for 2 years and my partner was friends with them first and spent time with them before I was around. He says that even when the daughter was a toddler she was allowed downstairs late at night as he believes the mother works full time and feels guilty about not spending enough time with her. When we go around to their house we feel we cannot say anything as it is their house, but when they come around to our house they bring their child and get her to sleep on a sofa which we allow but do not feel comfortable with. We would like to know how we can approach our friends about the lack of exclusive adult time we have with them. They do not have a baby sitter but do arrange for her parents to stay with them occassionally who can then babysit but are not around much. Our friends say that during the week they do have a bedtime routine but they seem to not bother with it when we are there at the weekend. We can see that as their child gets older and starts to perceive more of her surroundings she will pick up on adult content in our conversations and on the TV. We can forsee our friends will want to moderate our behaviour further so as not to expose their daughter to adult content.
How can we talk to our friends about this and have evenings with them as grown ups without a child in tow? We would appreciate comments from people who have experienced situations similar to this from either side.