Dear Viv: My pregnant best friend has become too demanding

On this week's podcast, Viv discusses what to do when a friendship is changed by pregnancy

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By Viv Groskop on

Dear Viv, 

My best friend is having a baby in December, and her mum has organised a surprise baby shower for her. I've already had to pay £60 for the baby shower itself (we weren't consulted on the activity or the price, just told that that's what it was going to cost and we could like it or lump it), and I gave her a gift for the baby when I found out she was pregnant. Do I have to get her something else to give to her at the shower?

I'm obviously delighted that she's having a baby, but also I've already spent about £100 to pay tribute to this kid and I resent having to spend more. I just don't want to commit a huge social faux pas by not bringing something when everyone else will.

It's more complicated because I know that, six months ago, when she started trying, I wouldn't have worried about it as I would have known that she'd have been fine with me not bringing another gift. She's changed a lot since she got pregnant, though, and I don't feel like I know the rules of our friendship any more. I know that when you get pregnant your priorities change, and that's absolutely fine and understandable – I've had lots of friends have babies and our friendship has adapted accordingly – but she's behaving in a really unexpected way.

For example, she dropped into conversation that she isn't going to let people visit her and the baby after it's born unless they bring a gift with them, and keeps crowing about the fact that now she never has to travel to see her friends because they're all going to have to come and visit her in her home to play with the baby. She's also been really sneery about the things her parents or in-laws have offered to buy her for the baby, because they weren't expensive/good enough. I don't earn anywhere near as much money as her or her family, and whereas before she understood that and it didn't seem to matter, now the fact I can't buy "good enough" gifts seems like it might be a real problem.

I love babies and I was really looking forward to my best friend becoming a mother, but I don't know what's going to happen to our friendship now – either because she's changed so much that I don't think we'll get on any more, or because I'm going to offend her by not being able to give her and her baby good enough presents.

Got a question for Viv? Email her at The Dear Viv podcast airs weekly on The Pool at 5pm on Tuesdays. All letters will be edited for length. Unfortunately Viv cannot reply to your emails personally. 

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