Ask Dr Laura: Toxic friends, Mom needs a break

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Dear Dr Laura: How do I tell a friend (who has become a "me, me, me" toxic friend -- very high maintenance) that I don't feel close to her anymore? Someone once told me that she had a narcissistic personality.

Answer: There are two important points to make here:

1. You don't have to explain anything to her, because it probably won't make any difference in her behavior.

2. Your affinity for a difficult, high maintenance person probably has it's origins in your upbringing with a parent who was hard to satisfy or get love and attention from.

It is sad, but true, that we tend to find situations as adults that give us a second chance to live and fix a childhood pain. You probably have a difficult time letting go of her because it is yet another failure in your mind; and you might just go find another such person to struggle with. Please read "Bad Childhood Good Life," for more help with this situation. Dear Dr Laura: I have a 15 month old son and I am contemplating putting him in a Mother's Day Out program two days a week. My husband travels 70% of the time and I need a break. What do you think?

Answer: I don't think a child should be made to pay the price for an unfortunate choice in parental lifestyles. Your baby needs you, not hired help, during this most important developmental time. Neither you nor your child can have quality bonding with husband/dad if he virtually is rarely there.

I would take my son to the park, to the mall, just everywhere, so I had different input, walking exercise, sitting under a tree, reading while he was cooing or throwing sand. When your baby naps and sleeps, that is Mommy-time... but Mommy-time should never be had at the expense of a child.