Friendship Changes After Baby
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Friendship Changes After Baby
I was supposed to have brunch with two friends of mine, but
found out a couple of days prior that my husband would be out
of town that Sunday and I couldn’t get a babysitter on short
notice. I told my friends I couldn’t make brunch, unless I
could bring the kids. I added that since I was going to be
alone all day with the kids (age 2 and 4) maybe they could come
over to the East Bay (they live in SF) and hang out with us for
the day. Their response was “Let’s reschedule brunch.” This
is most infuriating to me because they are always offering to
come over (“Oh, I really want to see the kids!”), but when I
actually pin them to a date, something always comes up. The
last excuse was a raging hangover. One of the friends is my
daughter’s godmother, and she hasn’t seen my daughter since
January, and that was only because I brought the kids to her
Super Bowl party.
Am I being a total brat? I don’t expect them to babysit or
take care of the kids, but just keep me company while I am
watching the kids, maybe get to know them. I don’t know how to
approach it, because inside I am so pissed – all I can see is
their selfishness. Please give me insight into my bitterness.
I feel like the tables will turn when we are old, and I have my
two darling adult children…and they are alone. And have
cirrhosis of the liver because they will be drinking themselves
I think you need to just let it go. I personally know it is
difficult to transition to another stage of life and leave some
friends behind. Some people have the grace and energy to enter
into that new stage with you and others are just... well... like
you said, they don't get it, aren't interested, and that's that.
I think it's important that you recognize this and move forward.
I don't think there would be anything wrong with having a nice
conversation (when you aren't so pissed) about it ~ WITH EXAMPLES
but haven't confirmed a date'' ''I want to hang out with you AND my
kids at the same time, for example our brunch date, but you
didn't'' .... Then you have to be GRACIOUS and STRONG enough to
hear what they have to say. Maybe they really don't like your
kids. (I know, how could they not, but :) .... you never know)
Maybe restaurants and kids don't mix with them. You never know
what it might be. Maybe they don't like the way you are around
your kids. Maybe they're jealous. It could be some really yucky
stuff that you don't need/want to hear. Or maybe, you're right,
they are just selfish. You have to decide if you really want to
Then, move forward. Know that these are your ''no kids'' friends
and you don't include your kids in your relationship with them.
Maybe in the future they will grow up and become great with your
kids. You don't know, but unfortunately you cannot make them
something they are not.
I wish you the best, I know these transitions are difficult!
change is hard
Well, I don't blame your friends for not wanting to come and hang
out with you and your 2 and 4 year old for the day. When I was
single, that would have been a total nightmare invitation, no
matter how much I liked you. If you don't have kids, it is SO
much work being around them - especially ones that age. In fact, the
only time I could handle being around a 2 yo was when my own child
was 2, and ditto re 4. Now that my kid is 8, I don't want to be
around 2 and 4 yo's at ALL. You can call it "selfish" and yes it is,
but you're being selfish in the same way, too, wanting them to
come and keep you company so that you won't be stuck alone with your
kids. There's nothing wrong with you wanting that, but there's
nothing wrong with them NOT wanting to do it. Wait and
see, I think when your kids are 10 and 12 and your friends have
toddlers, you won't want to spend the day with them either. Try
to see it from their point of view. In the meantime, hire a babysitter
from 12-2, and ask your friends to come at 11, see the kids and then
head out to a grownup lunch.
Like it or not, many people without kids just don't enjoy
hanging out with kids all that much. I've come to terms with
the fact that I have a category of old friends whom I only see
once or twice a year now, because they've chosen to be
single/childless/globetrotting and I'm here in the East Bay with
my 2 kids and hear about their adventures through emails. I'm
slightly envious sometimes, but for the most part I don't miss
that lifestyle. I think the best thing is if you can accept it
(easier said than done, I know, but possible), make friends with
other families, and keep those single friends for an occasional
much-needed girls' night out. In my experience, it's not worth
the trouble of trying to mix those two worlds. Besides, every
now and then one of them has kids and gets back in touch!
Happy In My Rut
You asked: Am I being a total brat?
In short, I would say that the answer to that is a resounding
''yes.'' I don't know you at all, but you sound quite angry. Maybe
your kids aren't really well enough behaved for other adults to
want to have to spend time with you when you have your kids. That
thought certainly came to mind when I read the tone of your post.
Good luck to you.
Glad it's not me
I'm sorry you feel bitter, but it just sounds like you have grown
apart from people you no longer have something in common with. It
might make you feel better temporarily to judge them as being
selfish---so go ahead and do it, but its not going to get you
Your friends have chosen a different life than you have. You are
happy with your choices, they are happy with theirs. Why should
your friends have to spend time with kids if they don't enjoy it?
Why should you have to go out drinking if you don't enjoy it?
Make family plans with other families. Make going out plans with
Might be time to find new friends
I just wanted to tell you I know EXACTLY what you are feeling.
One friend of mine, who was the worst offender when my kids
were babies and toddlers, finally just had kids herself. I was
SO looking forward to her seeing things from the other side
(and me giving her a little s#*t about it), but then she HAD to
go and have twins! So much extra work, so it's still all about
her and I can't give her a hard time! ;-) But at least now she
expresses interest in my children, which was not the case
My only advice is to try to understand that most people without
kids do not understand the lives of people who do. They are
selfish about their time because they have not yet had to
devote themselves to another human being. If they ever have
kids, that may change; if they don't, that may still change at
some point, or not. Try to let them go for now, develop new
friendships with other parents if possible, and wait for your
friends to come back around, or drift away. It's not worth it
to feel bitter. (Which, if you are like me, is partially just
jealousy that you no longer have the same freedoms. But you DO
have your wonderful kids, which, like you said, they do not.)
Speaking of my selfish friend: once, in a moment of honesty,
she told me that she couldn't be around her friends with kids
because she felt too sad that she didn't have any herself. Yes,
still self-centered, but perhaps your friends are also
suffering from feeling like they are missing out on the
relationship/children part of life?? If that's a possibility,
maybe try to be more compassionate?
Wow, you are angry. I hope you're feeling a little less bitter
by the time you read this. I can totally understand both sides
since I've been the single gal and I am now married and have
two boys, 2 and 4. I have to say even now when I hang out
w/''the girls'' I really don't want my kids or any others there.
It's just too distracting. I wouldn't take it personally
unless your children are out of control, which I'll assume
they're not. They may have been really looking forward to
catching up w/just you and not having constant interruptions
which is hard to avoid no matter how quiet and delightful your
kids are. It's also possible that something came up for one of
them and they were feeling guilty about flaking and were
relieved to reschedule. Either way, try to give them the
benefit of the doubt and don't go to war over this. I imagine
a month from now it won't be worth it. As a side note, not
everyone is familiar w/what being a godmother means, and
especially if you don't have kids. Some people just think it's
a nice honorary title.
Been on Both Sides
Have you considered that they may have a problem with your
children's behaviour? This comes to mind because as someone who
was never terribly interested in children until I had my own, I
often reacted very strongly to children that were not extremely
well-behaved. I still do, to some extent. This is probably
because I was raised to be quiet, polite and respectful around
adult company and in other people's homes. Anyway, no offense
intended (your kids may be very well-behaved for all I know),
just a guess.
Your friends don't want to hang out with your kids. Not a big
deal. Don't get bitter or holier than thou on them. I have lots
of friends without kids. They like my kids in small doses (mine
are three and five). If my friends want to 'see the kids' then I
plan to host a very late dinner party. My friends arrive thirty
minutes before bedtime. They see the kids. If they are so
inclined then they may read the bedtime story. My husband OR I
put the kids to bed and then we hang out, drink wine, eat and
gossip. Not a big deal. Or, they will come over to pick us up
to go out, spend thirty minutes with the kids before the sitter
arrives and then we are off.
Honestly, I have kids and certainly don't want to hang out with
you while you watch your kids (unless mine are along). Minding
the monsters just isn't a fun social activity for me as I imagine
it isn't for your friends. In a couple of years, your kids will
be able to sit through baseball games or other fun things and
your friends may be more inclined to hang with them for longer
-don't get bitter...
First and foremost, I'm a mother of two myself, and can totally
relate to how frustrating it can be when friends make comments
about kids that might be less-than sensitive...
With that said, however, I do think you might want to take a
step back and consider the fact that perhaps your friends'
intentions were not to imply that they don't like your kids.
It sounds like it might very well be possible that they simply
wanted to spend uninterrupted gal-time with YOU! :) There is
no doubt that 2 & 4 are busy, demanding ages. No matter how
accustomed those of us with children have become to the fast-
pace and constant activity of having a couple little ones (even
well-behaved) in-tow, it is a simple fact that this buzz is
usually enough to make people with grown kids thankful that
their kids are gone and single folks thankful to be flying
Remember that your friends love you for YOU. They most
certainly respect you as a mother, but it doesn't mean that
they don't miss you as a girlfriend. Rescheduling your brunch
for another day without the kids, is a gift to you as well...
We mothers get so little time to ourselves!
Mom of 2, too
Sounds like your childless (?) friends don't understand kids. I
remember that I was downright frightened to spend much time with
kids before I had my own. And my childless sister is the same
way with my kids. But really, she doesn't have a clue how to
engage with a child. Sounds like your friends are that way too,
and frankly it's their loss. It sounds to me that you have a
right to be disappointed in your friends, but try to keep it from
turning you bitter. You may need to tell them about your
disappointment to get beyond it. It's not easy, but important in
the long run.
I don't blame your friends for not wanting your kids at brunch.
I have 2 (now teens) boys and even I would not have wanted them
joining me on a girlfriendz date. It becomes a distracted kid
focused visit, rather then a fun chatty visit with the girls.
Single kidless people don't necessarily want to drive across
the bay and hang out with someone with kids. I realize this is
a gross generalization, but I found this to be true of some of
my kidless friends when I had kids.
They are well meaning, nevertheless. Could you honestly tell
them it hurts your feelings and have a heart to heart about it?
lost some friends, gained others
I had the same problem with a couple of my friends and one was
also my child's godmother. I've mostly just accepted that they
don't want to hang out with my child and I and now see them very
infrequently. I don't have a lot of free time and when I do I
like spending it with my child. I was hurt and annoyed too, but
I've found that some single people especially just don't have the
patience or desire to spend time with little children. I feel
its my friends loss as they are missing out on developing a
special relationship with my child. But sometimes I still do
feel sad and angry at the loss of the relationship.
I think I must be like your friends. My kids are teens now and I have
for younger kids. My work life is so hectic, when I do get the chance to
friends, I crave peaceful, adult-only time. It's clear your friends want
to see YOU. Is
it really so awful that they don't want that time to be about the kids?
If you can't get
a sitter and you need some friend time, maybe invite them to a specific
something you love that people without children might not know about.
example, ''we're going to the Discovery Museum in Marin -- the views are
If I pack a lunch for us, can you come? We can visit while the kids run
Leave the date up to them. If they don't want to do this, maybe they're
just not kid-
Been There, Done That
I don't know what to do about your friends - but I loved your
post. Most people might say ''don't be bitter or angry'' - but I
think you should be mad. My brother-in-law and his wife love to
talk about how much they LOVE our baby, but they only babysat
twice in his first 10 months. Especially when he was littler (and
we were completely exhausted) - they loved to invite us to come
to their house to ''relax.'' Ha. What is relaxing about having to
pack our tired butts up and the baby and go to their house so
they can ''visit'' with the baby? How about coming to our house and
bringing a casserole and watching the munchkin while hubby and I
take nap - that would have been relaxing.
Now the only thing I can say is that when my sister had kids and
I was not yet married, I really found it hard to spend time with
her because I couldn't get a word in edgewise (she has a lot of
kids), she never asked me how I was doing - she could only manage
to talk about her kids or her husband, and she corrected me
everytime I said something to the kids.
I am sure you don't do that stuff and your friends are just LAZY
and SF-centric. No one from SF ever came to visit me in Oakland
unless they had a really good reason.
So, your friends are lazy, and for sure don't understand how
exhausting it is to have kids and how nice it is to have people
just come hang out. If I were you, I would talk with them at some
point - maybe over a margarita when you are all loosened up a
little. Say something like ''I'm really sad that I don't get to
see you guys that much - I can't just put the kids in the closet
and go out - but I'd love to be able to hang out a little more.''
I don't know, that sounds hard, maybe just get new friends.
I am a mom. I would not want to hang out with your two
children when I planned a day for just adults. Your friends
have a different lifestyle than you do. They want to hang out
with you and talk. They don't want to spend time with two
young children. Why is that bad? Why are you so bitter?
Their relationship is with you and not your children. Why
would you want to force a relationship with your children when
they aren't interested? If it so upsetting to you than you
should no longer continue the friendship. Or accept their
limitations and enjoy them.
Mom who likes adult time
I'm sorry about your situation but I'm actually glad you wrote
and described your situation. The same thing has happened to
me. Yeah, it is a tad insulting, but you know, maybe our single
friends really aren't into our kids and you know that's okay. I
recall when I was single, I wasn't too keen on hanging out with
little kids because frankly I didn't know how to and that may be
the case with your friends or maybe your friends really don't
want to spend time with your kids, and you know, that's okay.
They just want you. I'd choose to let go of being ''pissed''
about it. Sometimes people just try to be nice but when put to
the test, they're true intentions come out, so take it for what
it's worth, and let it go. You'll find friends who will want to
hang out with you and your kids. It just happens, it's not
I had the same experience with some of my single, childless friends
after I had my
daughter. I hate to say it, but I'm not friends with them anymore. I
feel like we
outgrew each other. It was sad and hard at first and I felt very upset
and mad at
them for not accepting my new life and wanting to be a part of it. One
of them I was
going to induct into the aunt hall of fame, but decided against it as
she was so
wrapped up in her stuff and couldn't step up to the plate. One of those
a child now, but thankfully lives far away so I don't have to have
anything to do with
her new family. I don't think she ever really saw how selfish she had
been. Okay, I'm
still bitter, but now know that I couldn't make them see beyond their
and am basically glad that I'm not trying any more.
Now my friends are ones who either have kids or who are more sympathetic
and can relate to kids.
I guess it's just part of living in this modern world!
Yes, this is too much to expect. I think there are two issues,
the primary one being that you sound very disappointed that your
childless friends are not really that interested in immersing
themselves in your lifestyle. That has happened to me, and a
lot of my other friends, and the result is that eventually I
have made new friends who do have kids and so we relate on that
basis. Second, when a group of women make plans to do something
without kids, having the kids along just changes the whole
dynamic. I know as a mom of 3 myself, even if I make plans with
another friend, if something happens to my babysitting or my
husband can't watch them, I reschedule myself. Your friends
probably had a nice, festive time planned, and adding toddlers
to the mix just wasn't what they had in mind. Intead of being
resentful, perhaps you could try seeing it from their
perspective. As a mom, wouldn't you rather they tell you now,
than grudgingly saying yes to your request and then acting
resentful during brunch?
The weather this weekend should be nice. Plan some fun outdoor
activity with your kids and have brunch another time.
I read your post and felt like I had to respond. Your friends
sound horribly selfish to be honest. Is your child's godparent
expected to take over as a parent if something were to happen to
you and your husband, because if that's the case find someone
else. Even when I didn't have a child I took an interest in my
friend's children and or at least made the effort to hang out
when they could. I get that not everyone loves or wants kids,
but I don't love dogs and I still make the effort to visit
friends who have dogs (no slight intended towards dogs or
children :-). It may be that these folks really don't know how
isolating it can be when your kids are little but it may also
just be time to make new friends. Sorry for your dilema
You seem to be overreacting to this situation (my humble
opinion). You seem resentful of the fact that you have
oligations around the kids. Well we all feel that way! That is
part of being a parent, we don't get to go to every outing and
sometimes we are left out of things because we have kids. (I
assume these friends of your do not have kids.)
I have two kids myself and I would not want to hang out with
your kids if the original plan was an adult gathering. I don't
think it has a thing to do with your kids. These women just
don't want to hang out with kids. I think they say they want to
at times simply to be polite.
My advice: hang with other parents and their kids on days when
you are going solo with your kids.
As a childless friend of friends with children, I'll just say
that visiting dear friends with young children can be
frustrating, even if you like the children. At ages 2 and 4,
children love to interrupt their mother. And you, as mother, are
probably more used to being constantly interrupted and to the
idea that your kids come first, even when you're with friends.
So it's hard to carry on a rewarding conversation or activity,
and the dynamics of the friendship are very different. Your
friends probably want the you they remember--who could focus on
them and them alone for rewarding one-on-one time. I love my
friends but haven't always had the energy to endure the chaos of
a child-centered household.
Are these friendships are important to you? Try hard to put
yourself in your friends' shoes: they have been downgraded in
importance in terms of your attention, so a trip across the Bay
Bridge doesn't seem like it will offer much of the kind of
friendship they may crave from you. You could try to have a
heart-to-heart about what works for them regarding get-togethers
with or without kids. I sometimes go with mom friends and their
kids to museums, parks, or playgrounds. As your children get
older and less needy, I also think you will find that
get-togethers with your old friends are much easier. In the
meantime, try to find more ways to spend time in a way that works
for both of you, so the friendship stays warm.
Wow, you really weren't kidding. You are pissed, or must be, to
be wishing cirrhosis on your good friends, one of whom you
allowed to be your child's godparent.
While people may like kids, it doesn't mean they always feel
like hanging out with them. I'm a nanny and most of my friends
have kids, so I gotta deal with it to hang out with them. But
with my free time, sometimes I just don't feel like spending
time with kids, which is Why I Don't Have My Own, so that it is
always my option. Just like your friends... I would NEVER
accept an invite to spend a whole day with my friends AND their
children. Maybe 1-2 hours, sure. But kid-free people tend to
get overwhelmed with kid chaos. You are asking and expecting
too much of them. I think it's great that they know themselves
enough to steer clear of breeding, since it's not the life they
really want. Why are they selfish for not being in the mood to
be around kids? You made the choice to have kids. Good for you.
But they didn't, so respect them for where they're at.
There is also the issue of expectation. They're planning and
looking forward to adult interaction - they're probably bummed
that they don't get to see (just) you this time. Considering
how many parents lose their non-breeding friends (maybe for
exactly this difference?), pat yourself on the back that your
personality is so interesting to them that they continue to
maintain the relationship (obviously they don't realize how
evil you really are).
I don't drink, but if I had a raging hangover, I'd cancel
whatever our plans were too! Are you sure you're not somewhat
upset because you can't live your life according to your whim
anymore, but your friends still can?
Well, I've been on both sides. I have an older teenager now. I
guess I'd just say a no-kids brunch with friends is way
different than a day in the living room with one, and you were
asking to change the whole tone of the thing. Plus, a whole
day? This may sound awful, but I loved my kid at all ages, I
loved hanging out with other parents with kids all before and
after pre-school hours endlessly, I loved other kids, I became
deaf to screaming, whining, fights, never being able to finish
a darn adult sentence or thought... all that. I even used to be
a teacher, loved those kids too.
Now if I have a choice - PASS! No thanks! That hormone or
whatever that kicks in that allows us to be fascinated by baby
poop and screaming, childless people don't have. And once past
it, I personally don't have it any more either. Seeing a cute
neighbor kid on the sidewalk, I have about a 5-minute tolerance.
I'd say one day (even an hour) plus a big drive is way too much
to ask of your friends. They don't owe you anything. You're
probably misdirecting your bitterness at being overworked and
sleep deprived onto these innocent friends who have easier
lives. Jealousy is totally understandable. I like it when the
underside of parenting comes out in public like this, so we can
drop the guilt of hating how hard it is sometimes!
I'd say find friends in similar straits. Don't wish ill on
these gals. Make the effort for them when you can and keep
Give it a rest and reschedule (if you are wanting to maintain the
friendship). They are not going to ''get'' your circumstances as a
parent and you obviously don't appreciate their circumstances of
being a ''free'' adult without children.
Maybe your children are great kids and your friends just really
don't want the everyday inconveniences of children while they
relax for brunch. Maybe your children are difficult to deal with
and you are immune to that while your friends really don't want
to deal with behavior problems.
You cannot expect people to make room for the choices you have
made in life. However, if they don't celebrate those choices
with you, they may not be friends worth keeping in the long run.
As someone who did not get married or have kids until mid-30s to early
remember feeling bitter when friends who did have kids and got married
felt that I
had to deal with their lives in that way. While I adore it when my
friends want to see
my kids, I do believe that it isn't always appropriate to foist that on
understand that they want time with me, not with my kids and I don't
to it. Being the single person without kids is difficult when everyone
enters family world so look at it from their point of view. Perhaps this
event was not appropriate for you to bring your kids and they were
to time with you only. Maybe they don't want to spend time with your
kids but that
doesn't mean they don't care. I find that we do kid things with our
friends with kids
and we tend to see our kidless friends in more adult situations and we
babysitter. Not always, but a lot of times. Kidless people live in a
different world. I
did. So, try not to feel so bitter.
I've been on both sides of the fence so sympathize with both you
and your friends. In their defense, being single is not fun and
hanging out with married women with children doesn't make it any
easier. Why do you think they drink so much? They probably feel
their lives lack meaning and hanging out with your kids just
reminds them of that. Plus, it's really hard to have a meaningful
conversation with two little ones running around demanding attention.
But, I also know how it feels when you have kids and suddenly
lose all your friends. It's like their a disease or something and
no one wants to be near you! The sad thing is that unfortunately
I think single people and people with kids just don't have a lot
in common. Of course there are always single people that can make
that leap to understand your world, but for most of us that's
really hard. Hopefully your friends will have kids at some point
and will understand your position better. In the meantime, just
accept that you won't be seeing them as much and look for other
friends who you have more in common with right now. It doesn't
mean losing them, it's just having them be in a different place
in your life. Kids change a lot in our lives, and friendships is
one of them.
A very good friend of mine from highschool/college dropped off
the face of the earth, never called, emailed, or came over for a
long time. She's single, has all sort of relationship problems,
drinks like crazy. And since I'm married, have a son, am
successful at work, I know it intimidates her, makes her feel
like we don't have anything to talk about any more. At first it
really hurt my feelings when she wouldn't try to get in touch
with me, since I always enjoy her company. So I was really
tempted to just stop trying to get in touch with her, but instead
every six months or so I found myself sending her a message or a
birthday card, nothing too big of a deal. Well, it finally paid
off, she's finally coming around and is going to come visit in a
few weeks (unless she cancels at the last minute!). The thing is
that relationships transition, and although we like to think we
don't have to put any effort into messaging the egos of our
girlfriends (afterall, they must know how much they mean to us,
right??), sometimes we do. I had to just keep trying with this
friend, gave her lots of space just like I would with an
ex-boyfriend I wanted to still be friends with. I needed to
convince her that our friendship was never based on us having the
same life style or going out and getting drunk, but was genuinely
based on me liking her company. Maybe there is a disconnect
there between your friends understanding of the basis and yours,
but I think in a situation like that, time, patience, and
persistence is the only way you are going to convince them that
they still have a place in your life.
I didn't see your original post, but I thought I'd respond.
Friendships drastically shift when we go through different
phases in our lives at different times. If you have children
and your friend does not, she simply cannot understand the
effort it takes a mother to organize quality time with a
friend. You need to arrange care for your kids if you are
venturing out for an outing without your family. If you welcome
her to your home, that takes quite a bit of planning and effort
when there are little people around with needs as well. THat
was by far the most frustrating part of entertaining a good
single friend during my early years as a mother. She didn't
understand or appreciate my efforts OR my kids for that matter.
She simply needed to talk about her latest dating exploits and
that grew as tiresome for me as surely the latest potty training
news was to her. So, needless to say, we drifted apart. She
hopes to one day start a family of her own and will understand
the challenges of maintaining a long standing friendship when
the needs of your family truly come first. Naturally, I am
fostering newer friendships with parents from the kids' school.
We have so much in common, live 5 minutes from each other and
our kids are friends! That is not to say that I don't hold my
older friend dear in my heart. I do, but spend less time with
her than in past years. Life is short and our free time is
Making good choices
I am a first time pregnant Mom to be and I am experiencing some
distance with my girlfriend relationships. The intellectual part
of me knows this is natural, but the emotional part of me feels
hurt and a little isolated. Although I'm 33, I'm one of the
first in my circle of friends to become pregnant. Other friends
are waiting or ambivalent about having children. They have
become distant, not checking in as frequently as we used to with
eachother. Although I'm pregnant, I am still me, and I feel
I have sought out other pregnant Mom's and Mom's with children
and I am developing these new friendships. I just miss my old
friends, we have been through a lot together, and I hoped to go
through this experience with them.
Missing my girls
I don't have advice, but will say that happened to me too. I was hurt
that my close
friends weren't so interested in the pregnancy, and extremely hurt when
them didn't send a baby gift or call or even reply to my email with
pictures after the
birth. Some of those friendships will never fully recover.
I've thought a lot about why. I think sometimes people have things going
on in their
own lives that make it hard to deal with a friend's pregnancy. (I later
found out one
friend was dealing with infertility.) And for the others, my only guess
is it felt like
such a monumentous thing in my life that they couldn't share, so they
But you'd think they'd still know to send a present. I'm still hurt.
I think once your baby is born, it'll be easier to find new friends with
pregnant is sort of an in-between stage and it can be hard to feel like
you have all
that much in common with parents. It's funny, I think people blame
pulling away from childless friends and forming new friendships, but in
experience it was the other way around.
Sorry to hear you're going through this.
This happened to me as well. It was really hurtful, and i know
what you're feeling. I tried to be the more mature one, and I
took the high road. I had a very close friend, one who had
traveled with me, worked with me, been my sounding board, and me
hers through break-ups, abortions, dilemmas, death of pets and
friends; I thought we were going to be friends till the end.
Upon the news of my pregnancy she said she was really happy about
it, and even cried at the idea of me having a baby and her being
the ''crazy auntie''. However, after the day that I told her, she
stopped returning my phone calls, and basically vanished. After
feeling angry and hurt for 5 months, I finally had a chance to
confront her. She made up some b.s. excuse about needing time to
herself, and how she was going through a ''selfish'' period in her
life. I told her how I felt, and she promised to be more
involved. This never happened. I sent her a baby shower invite,
and she never RSVP'd. I never spoke to her again, and I still
miss her and feel really upset about how our friendship came to a
Why this happens I have a few ideas: many women, especially
women in their late 20's (as I was) and early 30's are really
anxious, nervous, and hyper-aware of their own biological clocks
ticking. Having a best friend who becomes pregnant is sometimes
too much to bear. It's like having their noses rubbed in the
fact that they haven't found that special person yet with whom
they want to start a family. And it's a very blatant reminder of
their deep desire for children and a family.
I also think that some women feel uncomfortable with the idea
that the relationship they once had is now going to change
forever (or at least for a long time). My girlfriends and I went
out at night, did a lot of partying, a lot of sleeping around, a
lot of sleep overs with manicures, face masks, and talking until
wee hours. It was sad for me to know those days were ending, but
I knew they wouldn't last. For some of my girlfriends, they
still are acting the same as when we were 22. My life has
changed dramatically. So there is a bit of a disconnect there.
And perhaps some women don't want to feel immature, or as if
their life is stagnant. Hanging out with a married/knocked-up
friend may make some people feel like their own lives aren't as
''together'' as they want them to be.
I know it seems really lonely and you feel sad. The best I can
offer is to confront your friends, tell them how you feel. If
they change their tune, great, if not, realize that there will be
others who come along.
About 15 years ago, I was the bad friend you are describing, when my
absolute best friend from high school had her first child. We lived
on opposite sides of the country, so it wasn't like I was going to
get together with her or anything, but I look back now and I
am amazed I was so uninterested in her entire experience.
I have letters we wrote during that time frame (yes,this was
pre-email days) and I barely responded to anything she told me
about her pregnancy or baby. I don't remember making a decision not
to respond, or even being conscious of being uninterested, although I
acted like it. But really, I just had nothing to offer her on this
part of her life, because I had no personal experience of it. And I
love to tell you I was a clueless 22 year old, but actually, I was
30. I think it is just such a wide gulf between those who go
through this and those who haven't, that there is no way
to connect on it if you don't have the personal frame of reference.
Maybe think about it as if you've moved to a foreign country
your friends have never visited.
Anyway, in my case, our friendship survived this fork in the road.
Happily, when *I* had a baby nine years ago, we reconnected (my friend
a fabulous person and didn't hold it against me) and are now closer than
Are your friends just busier and maybe you're more sensitive
about them not calling? Are you calling and asking about what's
going on with them and keeping up the old topics? Maybe make
more of an effort for a while so they know you haven't moved on
without them. And maybe don't talk about the pregnancy too
much. It's very possible that one of more of your friends is
actually trying and having trouble or else struggling with
whether they want kids at all and being with you is tough.
At any rate, it's good that you are meeting new people who will
have more in common with you for a while. For sure, once your
friends get to your phase, you will find yourselves talking to
them a lot more again.
You could also just ask what's up - at least then you'll know
what's going on. Pregnancy and fertility are tricky topics -
they bring out a lot of emotions in people. Maybe it's a chance
to connect on a deeper level, who knows?
If you are first in the group, you are definitely paving the
way. I look back at my friend who was the first and feel badly
that I wasn't there for her more... It's just hard to fully
relate to the pregnancy/new mother experience if you haven't
been through it. That said, I think that what you are
experiencing is very normal. Just know that when your ''girls''
start to get pregnant/have babies, you will reconnect. That's
what happened with me. You will also meet lots of new mommy
friends when baby comes (join a mom's group). I know that I
had a handful of mommies that I hung out with when my first was
born and they were lifesavers! Now that our kids are a little
older we've dispersed a bit and now I spend most of my time
with my old ''girls''. Like I said, I think it's normal!
Ride the wave...
I remember going through the same thing. I feel your pain. My
kids are preschoolers now, but I still sometimes miss my old
friendships. I tried really hard to maintain these friendships
while I was pregnant and after my daughter was born (I was also
the first in my group of friends to have kids), but after awhile
I got tired of my old friends treating me like I was so
different. Some friends were weirded out that I was a mom, some
were jealous and uncomfortable around me and my infant. But I was
surprised by a few of my friends, not necessarily the closest
ones, really hanging in there with me.
While I was hurt by most of my friends' distance when I was
pregnant, I think the drifting became mutual after my daughter
was born. Not only could my old friends not relate to me, but I
could no longer relate to them. It was a hard time. It did help
to join a mother's group. Although I had nothing in common with
these women other than the fact that we were all mothers, it was
still helpful to have adult interactions. When my daughter was
old enough to play at the park I slowly met a bunch of other
parents that I really liked. I was able to have gradual, natural
friendships occur. I still keep in touch with most of my old
friends but rarely see them. Occasionally I feel jealous because
they are all still close with each other, but not with me. But it
is a comfort (in a strange way) to remember that during different
cycles in my life my friendships changed, like after high school,
when I changed jobs, when I moved to a new city, etc.
My only advice is to keep meeting new friends who have kids or
really enjoy kids and try to make your old friends feel included
as much as they want to be in your new life. It is natural to
feel hurt and angry by their actions. But on the flip side you
will be really busy once you have a child and probably will not
be as available to them as you are now. Maybe try to accept a
different, more casual-friend relationship with them. Hopefully
the true friends will stick around and you'll be able to be close
again later on.
Best of luck!
Hi, Congrats on your pregnancy! I understand what you mean about growing
from some of your friends. I think that happens. I think reaching out to
them would be
great. Like, 'hey I miss you, can we hang out??' But also know that,
it's going to change
your life and you will be making new friends. Definitely check out a new
group--or just start your own--once you have your baby. Those mamas are
my best friends now. Good luck!
Having a baby can be a trauma in many respects, quite honestly.
It's a huge change for all involved, especially you. Your real
friends will stay with you and will sense this profound new
stage of your life and may feel alienated by it; just know that
your life has taken a turn that will be enriching, difficult,
joyous, and life-changing. Again, your real friends will be
there. Single friends will be especially unable to identify
with all that you're going through. Hang in there. Experiencing
how the cycle of life continues is well worth feeling the bumps
in the road as you go along. This is a big event. Don't
Mother of two
Well, I can certainly relate to that. I was fortunate that two
of my friends from my youth were pregnant at the same time and
that worked out great but I had a few that weren't in that
space whatsoever. I am a transplant from the East Coast and the
friend that I moved out here with completely blew me off in my
pregnancy and subsequent birth. She didn't see me once while I
was pregnant and didn't meet my child until he was 10 months
old! I think it's very common. Also, I had friends with older
kids that I didn't hear from much. It was kind of like, ''been
there, done that...'' and now we are ''too busy with our bigger
kids lives'' (which I also understand!)-- and mind you, I
actually was very involved with their pregnancies and babies
when we weren't yet ready for kids. I think it depends upon the
person-- some people are just better at keeping in touch. Don't
Enjoy your pregnancy-- you will never be pregnant for ''the
first time'' again. And soon enough, you will have this
beautiful baby to take care of and everything will fall into
perspective. If your friends choose not to involve themselves,
it's their loss. This baby will be a blessing of love and light
and everyone benefits from that....
I would encourage you not to dwell on this too much. Friendships
evolve and change, as we go thru life changes. For the close
friends that you really treasure, however, I would encourage you
to ask them individually that you'd like to see them/talk to them
more, etc.. I found as a single woman when my friends were
embarking on families, I felt so clueless and had little to add.
And, often, I didnt' want to talk all about baby stuff, to be
honest. Now that I'm a Mom, I get it more. But, I have to tell
you, I have found that my friendships since becoming a mom have
really changed. OF course, my dearest friends are still just
that. But, some friends who don't have kids - or even those that
do - have really evolved since becoming a mother - some stronger
some weaker. I would encourage you to speak honestly to those
you really care about and to try to look at this as an
opportunity to reach out too. Good luck!
Oh honey! I know what you mean. First of all, it just depends on
the crowd you run in. I was also the first of my crowd, at a
totally respectable age, to have a kid. I'm sure there are some
other people who wish to remain child-free and are surrounded by
pregnant friends. There are a few things I wanted to tell you.
First, you may be a trend-setter. Some of your ambivalent friends
will decide to go for it and your child will have some 9 months
younger friends! Second, if you want to see your friends, call
them up and propose an activity and talk about whatever you used
to talk to them about. It is possible that your friends just
really dread talking about ''baby stuff'' (Yes, I know, you haven't
really even mentioned it but they are afraid you will) or they
have some funny idea that you are feeling too ill to go out or
something. Make the calls and emails and do whatever it takes to
do lots of movies, nights out, manicures, walks sans strollers,
etc you can because you won't get the chance again for awhile.
Just wait for them to ask you about any baby stuff, and make sure
you are still taking an interest in their life without asking ''Do
you think you are going to have kids???''
You're life is changing soon, more than you can imagine. kids
are a huge deal. maybe your friends' ambivalence about their own
reproductive lives are partly behind the distance.
My advice is keep in touch with your friends and know that
when/if they have kids, you will be there for them and you will
be a great resource. In the meantime nurture your new
friendships - you will need them!
strength in sisterhood
Ooh, same thing happened to me - not easy. My closest friend
(since age 7, we're now 33) is having infertility issues and
distanced herself during my pregnancy...we worked it out
through a crying-phone call - but it still hurts her to see my
little guy now, because she's so desperately trying to have her
own child, and my joy makes her hurt more. :(
My heart goes out to you...so try this:
- Try to reach out MORE to now-distant friends, about things
you (used to) care about. Remember that, even if you don't mean
to, you're likely all about belly size and kick counts and Dr.
Sears and BabiesRUs all this baby crap that your old friends
don't know about and are - at best, scared of, and at worst,
insanely jealous of.
- DO make new friends with other pregnant women and moms with
kids ~ your age. Work hard at this. You will need them -
because they will know or know how to find answers to the
1,001 'little questions' you will have in the next 6 months.
- Include your partner in your life/love/fears/hopes
discussions - you'll need this person a LOT once the baby
comes; might as well start the emotional rollercoaster now.
:) Good luck!
New Mom Feelin' For Ya!
Oh, I am so sorry that is happening. It sucks. I think
definitely say something to your friends and tell them how much
you miss them and ask them to make the effort to connect with
you. But, having said that, you guys may have different paths
for awhile until they have kids. It is such a different life
that they just cannot grasp.
We lived in New Orleans when we had our child and our friends
just could not ''get'' that we couldn't party til 4am... not
because we didn't want to or couldn't get a sitter, but because
we would DIE of exhaustion from getting up the next day. This
may be a hard and sad time for you losing your girlfriend group
like that, but (a) you will get them back when they have kids and
(b) you will meet wonderful mommy friends who ''get'' what you are
doing and why you are doing it. And at the end of the day your
life will be filled with all of these people... maybe playing
different roles than they once did.
I had a similar experience to yours when I was pregnant with my
first, but I suppose it is different because I didn't have all
that many female friends to begin with (I was/am an engineer, and
most of the people I worked with here in the Bay Area were male).
I did notice that one of my oldest friends totally grew distant,
however--she lived here for a time and rarely made any effort to
contact me, didn't come to my shower or give any good reason why
not, and lives here again now and will hardly answer my
IMs/emails/calls. I also feel like I don't have much in common
with her or our other friend from our high school trio, since
both of them have not even found a partner (and don't show any
signs of it) and are focused on their careers instead. While the
2nd friend still makes an effort to call me from time to time and
shows interest in my 3 year old daughter and 2nd pregnancy (and
came to my shower 3 years ago all the way from Minneapolis), it's
clear we don't have a lot to talk about anymore because her life
is all about work and mine's not.
That being said, I feel so much more fulfilled now that I have
new women friends who have a lot in common with me; one should
never underestimate the bond of motherhood. Although it is sad
to lose touch and feel like your old childless friends aren't
interested anymore, by the time you have your baby and have gone
through pregnancy, labor, the newborn period, and the toddler
years with the support of other moms who have done the same
thing, you will have friendships the nature of which you probably
can't imagine now. Not that they can replace the old
friendships, but at least it's something new and tremendously
rewarding in its own right. This may sound cheesy, but I liken
it to having a ''tribe'' almost; it feels like this is what
primitive women do when they sit around and talk and cook or work
and the kids all play together and stay out of your hair. Very
natural and satisfying.
--Love my new mom friends
It must be sad to feel this way at a time when you probably
want to be able to share the changes you're experiencing and
your excitement with friends who have been there for you in the
past. It's possible you may be a little extra-sensitive at
this time in your life. Have you tried talking to your friends
(or one in particular) about what's going on? You could try
telling them you feel like you're not as close as you used to
be, and you feel sad about it, but you're not sure if you're
imagining things. You could ask if they've noticed anything or
have any observations about what's going on. (I'm not
suggesting that you really are imagining these changes in your
friendships, but in my experience the direct-yet-gentle/humble
approach can be helpful in opening up a dialogue). Maybe they
have some feelings (perhaps triggered by your pregnancy) that
they're not fully aware of - but your asking them will cause
them to reflect. Maybe your friends have feelings about their
own fertility or related issues that are interfering with their
ability to be as open with you as you'd like. Who knows? It's
worth a try to open up the conversation and see where it takes
you. Good luck!
The same thing happened to me. I didn't realize how much of my
revolved around going to bars and late night clubs until I just didn't
feel like doing that
when I was pregnant. I tried so hard to keep in touch with my former
girlfriends, but it
just didn't work out. I'm sure it's very common. I don't have anything
to tell you about
keeping your old friends. I had much better luck making new pregnant (
yoga class) or new mom friends (join a mom's group right away no matter
you do after the baby is born, it will be the best thing you can do for
Please bear with me through this soap opera: I heard that having
a child will strain certain friendships and strengthen others.
Well, my wife and I were friends with a young woman for a few
years before having a kid, and since the appearance of our
daughter (she's 7 months old now), this friend of our has grown
to be more and more of a burden.
As new parents, our priorities have shifted radically - there is
just no way we can go on an all-day hike with her, nor can we
come over for dinner or go out for a movie. Truth be told, we're
hardly interested in things like that anymore. Our priority is
the baby and each other. This friend's reply is ''other people
have babies and have a life too''; then she tries to load us with
guilt as though all these difficulties in our friendship are the
result of us simply not wanting to be around her anymore. Talk
about a self-fulfilling prophecy!
What's worse, she's obsessed about her upcoming marriage, and we
don't have any time or desire to share in it.
We do have a friend who fits in well with our new baby, who helps
out when we need help or just comes by to spend time with all
three of us. Needless to say, our other friend is intensely
jealous of this relationship and has grown ever more upset. It's
just not any fun at all being with her anymore, but we don't know
what to do about it. For my part, I've tried telling her that
relationships do change, but that doesn't mean they stop - they
change and grow, too. But I don't think she paid attention.
So do I consider this friendship a casualty of our new baby? How
do you know when it's time to ''break up'' with a friend? What are
some similar experiences you BPNers have had? Are we alone in
preferring our kid to many (but not all of our) old friends?
Happy Parents, Few Friends
I don't mean to sound harsh, but I am really not sure what your 'friend'
is getting from this relationship. You have no interest in her or the
important things going on in her life. At the same time you expect her
show endless support and interest in the things going on in your life.
It is okay to live in a new mom fog for a while...we've all been there.
At some point though, you are going to want to rejoin the rest of the
I had a similar situation with a friend after my daughter was born.
Truthfully, I was tiring of this friend's self-centeredness before the
baby, but becoming a mom pushed me over the edge and I finally "broke
up" with her when my daughter was a little less than a year. Being a
parent changes your priorities, and if you're going to be parenting
someone, it ought to be your kid, not your friend.
I did, however, want to be as kind as I could about it, and I eventually
decided that writing her a letter (not an email, btw, a real letter) was
the best way to explain how I was feeling and why I needed to stop
seeing her. I told her all the ways I admired her and enjoyed her and
wanted the best for her, but that what she wanted from me wasn't
something I had to give at this stage in my life. She wrote back saying
that she understood, and we haven't seen each other for several years.
I imagine I may be friends with her again one day, but I don't know.
Only you can decide what's right for you to do in your situation.
For me, it was the right thing and I've felt good about it.
There is so much stress in being a new parent that it seems smart to me
to remove any sources of stress you can.
I have no idea what to tell you about the friendship. If you don't like
spending time with this friend, then don't. But I think she's right when
she says that other people with babies have a life. Sure your life
changes when you have a kid, and it's hard sometimes when people without
kids don't get the limitations you have. No more 7:30 dinners, no more
casual nights at the movies. But unless you have a particularly
difficult baby, it sounds like you have really overstated your
limitations. Hiking? I did tons of it -- my baby loved being in the
backpack. Dinners over at friend's? Bring the baby and put her to bed in
a portacrib, or have dinner early and go home at bed-time. You may not
realize it, but your kid is more portable now than she will ever be
again. Take advantage of it.
It's great to revel in the pleasure of having a new baby, but when you
say you prefer being with your baby to being with most of your old
friends, I worry about your future as a couple, and your daughter's
future as the object of all your adoration.
Babies grow up and develop their own social lives and if you've
dispensed with all your friends in order to devote yourself to adoring
your baby, you're in for a lonely time of it. Friends are a valuable
commodity, but you have to treat them well if you want to keep them.
Explain your limitations clearly to your friend (e.g we really need to
go home by 7:30, because Fiona tends to melt after
that) but try being more giving to her as well.
There's no way she can understand your experience -- no one without kids
can understand. But are you trying to understand her's? You sound pretty
selfish in your post when you say that you're just not interested in her
upcoming marriage. Not interested? Yeesh. It's her WEDDING for Christ's
Sake, it's a big life changing event for her, just like your baby is to
If you can't work up a little enthusiasm, I'd say she's better off
without the friendship.
If you have to ask should you drop your friend, you weren't friends. You
were friendly but not friends. By all means, she seems to care more
about your friendship than you do. Stop deceiving her and let her find
real friends that will love her despite her drama and allow her time to
adjust and mature as people transition into new seasons of life.
The test of a friendship is not the fun but the constancy and loyalty
through troubled times. This is the kind of friendship that is built on
a rock that no storm can destroy.
Best of Luck
This is interesting. I admire your caring about a person who seems to be
making you so unhappy. It seems to me, if you have a ''friend'' who is
not being a friend, you just gradually let go of them, don't nurture the
friendship and they will disengage.
Or, they may take your cues and alter their behavior. It sounds like
there may be a little more to this, some reason why you feel obligated
to remain ''friends.'' Talk it over with your mate and approach the
problem together. Good luck!
Oh, a difficult place for you and your friend. I don't blame you for
nesting around your child and family. Nor do I blame your friend for
feeling left out. Children really change--not you so much as the was
you live your life. Your child is still a baby, so in some ways you can
hang on to the illusion that you still can do things the old way (though
you may not want to). As your child gets older, it will be increasingly
difficult to maintain the old ways, because your child simply won't fit
those ways all the time. For instance, a hike: a baby in a backpack is
thing: you can still go on that hike. But a toddler who wants to run,
snuggle, walk, nap, play, and snack all within the space of hald an hour
will make hikes much harder for everyone! Your friend will be
frustrated, you will be frustrated, your child will be frustrated.
Pretty soon, you'll start doing more and more with people who also have
to remember to bring the sippy cup, or to rush home for that essential
1:00 p.m. nap. Maybe the flurry of planning a wedding makes your friend
more self centered than usual (weddings do that to people), or maybe she
just really misses you. If you could somehow tell her that it's not
that you don't like her anymore, it's just that your needs and
availabilities have really changed with the arrival of your baby.
Friendships wax and wane. Maybe in time, especially if she has kids of
her own, you'll start to have shared needs and interests again. Part of
being a good friend is allowing another person to change without blame.
Happy Parents, Few Friends,
Congratulations on your new baby. But while you're getting used to being
parents, remember to treat your friendships with care. It's sometimes
hard when friendships shift and change, even though it's inevitable.
You need to be a bit more patient, it sounds to me, with your friend as
she (and you) get used to the evolution of your friendship and
parenthood. Your friend is right: people DO indeed have babies and a
life. And frankly, people ought to have babies and a life. It's good
for the baby, and good for you. If it's this particular friend who's
bugging you, then don't make it due to the fact that you're parents now,
who can only spend time with your child or with people who only want to
spend time with your child. Of course your daughter is your utmost
priority and truest love. She should be. But don't cut yourselves and
her and your friendships off in the name of love and prioritizing. The
romance of this rather self-righteous sounding imposed isolation seems
to be a recent trend, and one that I do not quite understand.
I am the mother of two small children, and I've been on both sides of
this issue. I can remember when my friends first had children and
drifted off into what seemed to me at the time a kind of scripted
rhapsodic parenting, as if someone had told them that being a real,
committed parent meant not caring about nurturing any relationship but
the one with their newborn. I adore my children, and love spending time
with them. They are my central focus. But I've strived to attend to my
friends too. I like and love my friends. they're important to me.
Also, I think my children benefit enormously from the committed, loving
adults who are their parents'
friends. Maybe this friend is just generally annoying you, and the new
factor is just exacerbating that problem.
It's understandable that you're excited and consumed with your new
baby, just as she's excited and consumed with her wedding.
These things are equally important in a person's life - maybe she even
delighted in your wedding plans and now she feels like it's your turn to
share her enthusiasm for 'her' big event. You might not be able to go
out on the same activities as you did in the past, but if you care about
and respect your friend, you might try to meet her 'half way' before you
decide it's your 'new' way or not at all. A small, kind gesture that
tells her - despite the fact that your attention is now diverted to your
baby - she's important to you - even if you can't see her as often - may
be all she's looking for. The bottom line is that we all just want to be
I am sorry to say that you are portraying your friend as a selfish
person but you sound much more selfish than she is.
You say she might be a 'casualty' of your baby birth... wow!
It looks to me that friendship to you comes out of convenience only and
is not something you respect much. You also suggest this friend is
wanting to keep the same type of relationship you all used to have
(which doesn't include the baby) but then you suggest you don't care to
share in her marriage plans. She is about to do something that's very
important in a person's life and you don't care to participate... great
friend you are.
And, you say you like this other new friend better, among other things,
because she comes over and helps.... Interesting.
Friendship is a two way street and friends are not there just for your
convenience. Do her a favor and don't be her 'friend'
It is true that with life changes, people come and go in our lives.
What you really didn't mention in your post was how much you valued this
friend before you had this baby. While obviously you don't value the
friendship now, it's also apparent that you haven't sat down with her
and had a good talk.
While you and your wife are blissfully happy with your lives and your
baby, I'm sure she's feeling like she is losing a couple of good
friends. Afterall, you three did lots of things together before the
baby came along.
It would be good to invite her over oneday, and just talk about how
things have changed. I think you owe it to the past friendship to make
this one last gesture of communication. She may completely understand
where you are coming from and there will be no hard feelings. She might
gain new insight and decide take you up on those ''come over and just
hang out'' nights. She may just frankly not understand that you guys
just want to be homebodys.
But if you don't talk to her, there will be lots of hurt feelings. And,
from the sound of things, she has already tried to tell you that she is
hurt and missing your friendship.
Single people shouldn't have to lose their friends because of marriage
and a baby.
You are not alone in preferring your child over friends much of the
time. We have some great childless friends, and we love them and they
are still our dear friends, but we don't see them as much anymore
because getting together with them is difficult. They are very
understanding and I think/hope that the underlying assumption is that we
will stay friends and will be able to see each other more when our child
is older and more independent (and goes for sleepovers at friends, stays
up later, etc.). We also don't hire babysitters much, partly because we
want to spend time with our child, and partly because we don't have the
money. We are also trying to make some new friends who have kids the
same age so we can socialize together and do kid- friendly things
(visits to parks, playdates at each other's houses, take-out dinners
together, etc.). Friendships do change when you have kids, but I like
to think of it as gaining new friends and just changing the
relationships with friends who don't have kids.
Now, about this 'friend'. It's OK for her to feel sad that your
relationship has changed because of your child, but making you feel
guilty about it is not something a good secure friend would or should
do. (I know some of our childless friends feel bad about our changed
relationships, but they never give us guilt trips. They know our lives
have changed.) I think it may be time to 'break up' with her, because
she isn't being a good friend, you don't enjoy her guilt trips, and you
obviously can't be what she wants or expect in a friend. i don't know
how you would do this. The alternative is to sit down for a heart-to-
heart chat with her and spill you guts (gently) about how you feel.
Perhaps she will feel better knowing that it's not her but your baby
that has changed your priorities and maybe she'll stop guilt-tripping.
just a thought. I guess I want to say don't feel bad for not wanting to
be friends with this person anymore, and having kids does change your
life and your friendships.
I'm wondering if you ever liked this friend from the beginning and are
using your newborn to justify letting her go. The reason is that there
was so little in your post that indicated you had ever liked her. If
there was a real friendship, I think you would have already let her know
what works for your family: a short walk instead of a hike, a lunch
instead of a dinner, a movie rental in your home instead of going to the
theater. My advice is for you and your wife to be honest and decide if
you are this woman's friend. If you are, you will suggest to her
activities that work. If not, you will need to accept that you don't
like her and move on with your lives. The last thing you want to be
doing is blaming her for not fitting in with your new family when the
truth may be that you don't actually like her.
Sounds to me like this friendship has issues that go way beyond you just
having a baby. Things do change and if she can't be understanding about
it, then you may just have to ''break up'' with her. She seems extremely
self-centered. Before I had my kids, I had no idea what happens
emotionally as well as logistically when you have a baby and,
unfortunately, those without kids have to exist in a different world for
awhile. I was the last of my friends to have kids so I was the friend
who kept doing stuff while they 'went underground.' Funny thing is, they
came back as their kids got older. Unfortunately about the time they
''came back'' I went underground and am now the one not able to do stuff
cuz I have babies. Maybe this friend will realize how to treat friends
like friends and be understanding or maybe not. You might have grown out
of her selfish behavoir regardless of giving birth! She sounds kinda
happy to be home
I wanted to respond to this post, as I thought some of the responses
were a bit harsh. I'm going to assume that there is more history to
this story and take another spin on it. It's possible that this
friendship is of the more ''high maintenance''
variety, which I'm sure many of us have had. And, being a new parent is
an intense and often overwhelming experience, particularly if one
doesn't have support - family, friends in the area. Personally, I have
a handful of very close, loyal friends
- we've been there through it all, good and bad - the main
characteristics of these friendships - give and take, compassion,
understanding, honesty, communication. After having a big life change
like a new baby, I discovered that I didn't have a lot of energy for
toxic or needy or ''take but not give'' friends. (Of course, I realize
that I was getting something out of this relationship - being needed,
companionship). Also, as a new parent, I felt like we were in the black
hole for some time.
When our son turned about 5 mos, we had more energy and time to research
resources - learned about Tot Drop and babysitting co-ops, etc. Then, we
started to make more room for adult lives, activities, adult friends,
etc. Our society doesn't make family-friendly resources and support a
priority. (Read any of Judith Warner's stuff on being a parent in Paris
vs. U.S.?) So, cut the couple some slack. They'll find their way and
realize that their lives need to make more room for adults, etc. Right
now they're protecting their new family unit. And, it's very possible
that they don't have the energy that they used to to give to friendships
that are not of the give-and-take, non-high maintenance, non-toxic
variety. Of course, this is my interpretation; but, as I said - there's
probably more history to this, but I'm going to assume the positive and
that they're not as selfish as some decided.
As a new Mom, I naively thought my old friendships (15+ yrs)would
strengthen with our now shared motherhood experience.
Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be occurring. I am grieving
this change and looking to make some new mom friends – “real”,
supportive connections. As a SAHM, I feel isolated sometimes. Two
of my old friends are unstructured and lead more chaotic lives
than we like to. While I am flexible and sometimes too
accommodating, I am responsible and pretty organized. These two
girlfriends have become even more flakey since having children –
setting up time to see each other just leaves me frustrated and
disappointed. (Another note – we don't live in the same areas,
so there is a little effort in coordinating get-togethers) My
other close friend is prego w/ her first and a pretty intense
career woman and doesn’t really get my decision to stay home for
a period of time. I realize that it isn’t personal – but
sad/disappointing on some level. As Moms, we have different
values and approaches – which have become greater obstacles than
during our pre-family lives.
Also, I’ve done a decent job trying to meet other moms in SF. I
realize friendships take time to nurture. I am the “coordinator”
of my playgroup, tried to organize a mom neighborhood
get-together, but what I’ve discovered is that many moms are so
busy/over-scheduled these days. There hasn’t been a lot of
reciprocation, but on the positive side, I have made a few new
mom friends that I hope may deepen – right now they’re pretty
casual. Interestingly, these new friends are more likely to be
open and honest about their experiences as a new mom, unlike my
old buddies, which has been surprising to me, which I cannot
I’ve never struggled making friends –
particularly pre-baby; I seem to have made quite a few new
friends at the local playground with the Latina nannies which has
helped my Spanish. I’d welcome some honest, constructive input -
advice, resources (books, etc) or reality check (Am I over
thinking/feeling – being too sensitive?). Should I let my old
friendships run their natural course? Maybe I have an unrealistic
and idealistic view of what to expect? Maybe focus on
re-engaging with my pre-baby interests, volunteering & work?
I don't have any advice, just sympathy. Unlike you, I did not
have a lot of friends before kids either, and it has just
gotten harder since then. Although I have many ''casual''
friends, (talk while waiting to pick up kids, at cubscouts, PTA
meetings, etc), I can't seem to develop any deeper
friendships. I don't know if it is me, or everyone is just too
busy, or what. I feel that even though I am busy (work full-
time, two kids, activities, etc), I still have plenty of time
that I would like to spend with friends.
-Hoping for advice too
As a new mom myself, also going through changes in friendships with this life
transition, I feel that you are partly going through something natural and partly
being very judgmental of your other mom friends. On the one hand, motherhood is
so time-consuming that it becomes harder and harder to put the same kind of time
into our friendships like we used to, especially when both are moms and there is
just NO time. Sometimes, non-mom friends don't really get how much our lives
change. It is natural that friendships go through a painful shift.
Yet, some of what you said was a bit much. As you well know, juggling life and
is hard, hard work. So they aren't as organized as you. A bit chaotic. What do
care about their personal style? Maybe they are having a really tough time at it.
Maybe they actually feel best with a little bit of chaos in their lives. Frankly
sound very judgemental about their parenting (or any parenting that isn't like
parenting), and there's just no rational basis for it. Believe it or not, you
world's best mother. Your methods aren't the world's best methods. There are A
LOT of ways to raise a child well, with love and care. And its most important to
a good fit so that mommy and baby are both happy and lessed stressed out. If
are your friends, then cut them some slack. Maybe they think you are acting like
CEO of Motherhood, yet they aren't (presumably) wanting to end their friendship
with you because of it. To me, it sounds like all of this is coming from a place
insecurity on your part. You have a hard time handling other ways of parenting
because you are, at some level, unsure of yourself as a parent and need the self
other validation that your methods are so correct that a parent with any other
lifestyle is not even worth being friends with. Be a little easier with yourself.
Parenting is tough, but its much more an art than a science. I'm sure that you -
your friends - are doing a fine job.
Someone on the list posted a response to your plight which came
across to me as awfully cruel & spiteful. I did not feel that
your original post came across as judgmental about your friends'
organizational & parenting skills.
To me, your request for advice reflected a profound sense of
loneliness & frustration at having your attempts to reach out
seemingly rebuffed. You sound like a positive, extroverted person
who finds herself unable to connect with anyone right now.
Trust me, your feelings are valid, but I promise that this
wretched stage of isolation will pass. We love our kids to death,
yet early motherhood is awfully danged hard, exhausting, lonely &
isolating. Infants & toddlers have unpredictable feeding/sleep
schedules & moods which make it difficult for even the most
organized & socially-motivated parents to stay in touch with old
friends & connect with new ones.
All I can say is: hang in there, keep making social overtures
(folks do & WILL appreciate them even if they're too overwhelmed
to respond right now), find ways to nurture yourself in the
meantime, & seek out more casual social outlets so you don't feel
too dreadfully lonely while waiting for old friendships to
redevelop & new ones to develop. Your reaching out will
definitely pay off later -- both for you & the parents & children
lucky enough to befriend you.
As you & your friends gain experience as parents & the children
get a bit older, you'll gravitate towards each other again, plus,
you'll make new friends too through playgroups, classes,
preschool, school, etc. Once the kids are down to one nap a day,
are entirely or mostly weaned from nursing, start talking, & can
stay dry for 2-4 hour stretches, your social lives will pick up,
Formerly desolate mom
Thank you to ''Formerly Desolate Mom'' for her compassionate and
understanding response. It resonated with me. As new mothers, I
applaud her support, respect and kindness towards another mother.
I also found ''Toddler Mom's'' comments hurtful and unnecessarily
harsh. It's tough and isolating as a new parent. As women and
as mothers, a little more support and kindness - while we may not
always get it or agree with other moms out there - makes the
world a better place! Thank you for your example of compassion,
Formerly Desolate Mom - you are an angel
I am in a similar boat (and in SF) and feel so sad about my
waning old friendships. I have tried to see this as an
opportunity to make new kinds of bonds, but it is certainly hard
to get out there with an infant son. I try. What seems
difficult to me is that other new moms aren't necessarily open to
developing real friendships because they are so overwhelmed with
being new moms. In any case, my suggestion is to allow yourself
to mourn the loss of old friendships. I haven't severed ties
completely, but I do expect less of those old friends. It
definitely has me feeling like more of an island these days, but
the holidays help in my case because family obligations abound.
I hope they help you, too. I keep putting myself out there and
know that one of these moms (or dads) will be a great friend,
given time. You may email me if you like. And happy new year!
Since having a baby about a year ago, I feel like some of my
most important, closest friendships (mostly with people
also having babies) have changed in ways I don't exactly
understand, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Some
friendships have ended, and some have just become more
shallow. This has happened with women friends, and with
couple friends as well. It hurts--it feels kind of like being in
junior high. To make things worse, I'm being really hard on
myself about these changing friendships--as if I have done
something terribly wrong--rather than accepting this as
something that might easily happen to people who are tired,
busy, and immersed in caring for babies.
I love being a mom but I feel like I am becoming more
isolated from people my age, which concerns me, as I don't
feel like I have much of a support system at the moment.
Throughout my life, I've been a good friend to others and
had good friends in return, but I'm kind of an introvert and
don't make close friends easily.
So, because I feel like I'm the only one who's had this
happen, what I'm looking for is support. Has this happened
to anyone else after having kids? How did you deal with it?
Is it normal to have friendships change (in ways you don't
like) after motherhood? Pre-baby, I had visions of having my
child play with my friends' kids for years and years, but now,
I don't feel like I am really friends with some of my friends
anymore. Any kind words of wisdom would help, as I'm
having a hard time getting perspective on the situation.
Most of our friendships have not changed per se, and we didn't
have any friends having children around the same time than we
did, but this same thing happened to some of our non-parent
friends: their friends had a baby and disappeared from their
lives. I think there are two things at play here - people who
have babies have busy lives, and often put friendships in the
backburner and friends of people with babies may feel shy about
intruding in their lives at such a busy time.
What I did is take the initiative - at least at the beginning -
for our social life. I was the one calling my friends, inviting
them over for dinner or making dates to go out to child-friendly
restaurants. And we continued talking about things other than
babies - in addition to babies, as they are such a big part of
our lives. Now that some of our friends are having babies, we
make it a point to go visit them (call and say, what do you think
about us dropping by on Sunday?).
The point with a social life is that it won't happen unless you
make it happen.
I've also found my (our) friendships have suffered since we
all started to have kids. Some of the friendships were lost
because there has been several divorces between our friends,
and, as it usually happens, we lost touch with one of our
friends. Other friendships are still there, but parents are so
busy during the week and tend to spend so little time with their
little ones during the week that on the weekends they need time
to catch up with their household chores, spend time with their
kids, and rest... they have little energy to make the effort to
come visit friends, invite friends over, or make plans to go
This has been frustrating at times for me, but I try to be
understanding of the limitations my friends feel they have in
their lifes. Since I'm still interested in the friendships and
like my kids to play with other kids, I've decided that as long
as I have the energy, I'll take the initiative to get together
with our friends and don't try to expect much in return.
Another strategy that has helped has been to make friends with
neighbors, for some reason being closer by seems to make things
much easier, whether is setting up a play-date or a pot-luck...
The last thing that has also helped me is to try to get
together only with my girlfriends, when the kids are sleeping or
cared for by another adult. We get together everytime we can
work a schedule out, and it is a great opportunity to have fun,
enjoy uninterrupted conversations, and vent some of our common
I feel that frienships tend to become more difficult once one
has a kid because of the limited time, both to nurture the
friendships and to make new ones. My friends who have kids who
are older also went through a readjustment period when they had
kids and now have actually revived much of their old
friendships... so maybe we can just hope that it's only a period
of our lives??
Boy can I relate! After my child was born I found a lot of my
friendships changing. I think it was a combination of things --
some of my friends just assumed I'd become a Stepford Mom and
wouldn't want to do the same things that I used to (or that I
wouldn't be able to with the baby), B) we were so overwhelmed by
having a baby that it just got hard for us to be as social and it
seemed like a much bigger deal to invite people over to go out to
see them (in hindsight I think we could have done more) and C) I
also craved the company of women with babies because I felt a bit
lost in it all and it was comforting to share and exchange
experiences with them. So for a while, my friend circle changed
a bit (you worded it very well: some of my closest friendships
became temporarily more shallow). I think it took us all a while
to adjust -- I needed to come back to ''myself'' a bit and they
needed to realize that I was still ''me''. In the years since then
I've learned to really value the people who made the effort to
stick it out with me and the people that I had to work extra hard
to keep in my circle. A few did drift a bit and haven't
returned. I am sad for them but massively grateful for the
friendships that I maintained and the new ones that popped up
along the way. All I can say is that it is a big transitional
time and both you and your friends will probably sort it out, but
it will take a little extra effort on everyone's part. Some
folks seem to have a preconceived notion of what a ''parent'' or
''mother''is and have a hard time thinking of that person as their
friend -- they take *extra* work. Sometimes it was helpful for
me to point out that I had a baby, not a lobotomy. ;-)
just wanted to say i feel you!!! it is definitely harder after
having kids for all the reasons you stated. one thing i
noticed is that many of my friends have very different
parenting philosophies and it is very awkward when we are
hanging out together and a very normal thing happens like a
tantrum or crying... or even just how you feed or teach your
child some basic skills in life - you just feel compared to
if you don't share philosophies with your friends.
so all my fantasies about my kids playing with friends kids
have vanished because in many cases because we don't see eye to
eye on child rearing. i hear about the frustrations of one
parent or the other, so it just makes it awkward when we are
all together, a child is crying and you know all
the ''background'' conflict going on about how one person is
handling a situation...
i haven't found a good solution other than trying my best to
let my friends know it's ok that we do things differently and i
think we're all sort of getting over it. i figure i can meet
more like minded parents when my child is in preschool...we'll
I have been through this even before the baby got here. The
key for me was to stop blaming myself for being dropped by
former friends and try to move on. I know that when I checked
in about my behavior I was clear I had done nothing ''wrong'' -
different, yes, but ''wrong'' or ''bad'', no. I am trying to
connect with others and develop new friendships. Its working
but it takes both time & energy.
Oh, Sad Mom, i wish I could say something that would immediately
make you smile and feel happy again, but i don't know what that is. It
has been my experience, also, that friendships change after you have a
baby, and now with a little more sleep every night (my child is 4), i think
it's becasue we change in so many ways when we become parents that
we can't help but have our relationships change, too. At my son's 4-y-o
birthday party, I remember twlling my sister, who is childless by choice,
that two years ago i could remember what my life felt like before i was a
mom, but now I really can't . I mention that because you must still be
looking both ways--the way your life and friendships were before
children and how they are now. It takes time, and sometimes
considerable effort, but if you can let go of the way things were and
focus instead on the wonderful person you are becoming as a mom, i
think you'll be able to let the old friendships roll and change more easily.
And inn the mean time you might consider meeting parents of other kids
your child's age. No doubt there is a world of people with whom you can
form new friendships. Also, now that my child is a wee bit older and not
in mmy lap every minute (and i do not have to watch him like a hawk), I
am finding some reviving of the older firendships. They are different
than they were, but the old friends are there. That is gratifying. I bet the
same things will happen for you. Take heart.
I could have written your post! It didnt strike me before, but
it is kind of like junior high, isnt it?Unfortunately, I have
no suggestions-Im kind of muddling through it myself. One thing
that might help is taking a step back- pretty much what I did in
junior high- lowering my expectations, reducing my dependence
and meeting new people. Not trying too hard also makes me feel
less frustrated. In my case, it feels like the other person in
each relationship is satisfied with the status of the
relationship, so the change needs to be on my side.
Ide be very intersted also in hearing from anyone whos
experienced the same thing or has any advice/suggestions to
feeling confused and sad too
I think it is totally normal for friendships to change after having a baby --
even with other couples who have babies.
I have relatively few of my pre-baby friendships left; generally only those
in which we shared a very strong common interest that I have made a
particular point of keeping up. Strangely enough, the friendships that
have lasted best have been with two single women and a couple with
I had visions of making lots of new friends, with my moms' group
members, with other parents of children sharing the same daycare
provider etc. (I had heard that it's easy to make friends with other moms)
and this has not been the case either.
It comes down to this, I think: friendships require energy. Good, strong,
deep friendships require a lot of energy. When one has kids, they take
up most of our energy. We ration what's left, and have superficial
relationships with people we come into contact with while managing our
children's days, and/or a couple of good friendships with people with
whom we are close enough that it's worth the energy involved.
Sad, it seems, but I've not found any way around it.
Yes, friendships definitely change after having children. I
have grown away from some friends who don't have kids and don't
want to be around kids, become closer to single girlfriends who
adore being around our little one and become closer to new
friends with children in the same age group. But, just because
your friends aren't as close as they once were, I wouldn't take
it personally. Some of my friends with children work (FT or PT)
which means it is often hard to find quality ''girlfriend time''.
Some friends who are stay-at-home moms have more than one child
and are so busy with activities that I literally only ''catch
up'' via email. I know that it is tough losing friends,
especially when you have a little one who needs so much of your
time. More than ever, it is important to carve out time for
yourself and your friendships so that you feel regenerated for
your little baby. I would not ''write-off'' your friendships,
just realize that they may be in ''flux'' right now. In the
meantime, I would recommend going to classes with your baby
(ie. music classes, gym crawlers, mommy-and-me) and meet new
moms. I met one of my closest friends today at my birthing
class and mommy and me class. Make new friends (even if it is
not easy for you, it is ALWAYS easier with kids since you
automatically have something in common) and try to stay in
touch with your old friends, even if only peripherally. And,
one day, they may surprise you by becoming more available.
Hang in there and reach out!
I have definitely experienced differences in relationships with
a couple of my parent-friends, some for the better and some for
the worse. I have chalked alot of the change up to people being
tired and busy taking care of babies. This is especially true
for new parents with full-time jobs outside the home. I know I
can't manage playdates and I figure they probably can't either.
I find myself emersed in parenting (and enjoying it), but it
changes the way we deal with friends. So how to deal with it?
Well, I've tended to let it go. There's one friend I'm very
sorry I'm not able to be with more, but she's clearly just
overwhelmed by having a toddler and an infant and I figure we'll
reconnect in a couple years. You shouldn't blame yourself. I
think this is a common issue.
Oh, Sad Mom...your story is so sad!
But, here's to the light up ahead!
Don't worry. All of us women go through our changes.
Maybe your friends also had the same ideas about your kids
growing up together and well, after having kids your
hormones change, which in turn changes you. I wouldn't
I had my daughter 3 years ago in SF and when she was 6
mos old, we moved to Oakland.
I lost all of my friends who I thought were very close to me.
That was a lot of people! No one visited and it seemed like
no one cared. I was so depressed! But, after about a year or
so, things shifted. We were introduced to friends of friends
who have kids. Also, when our daughter started day care,
we met some other parents and exchanged ideas and
phone numbers. Made a few play dates. Things just
naturally took it's course. Now, we have a great network of
friends in the East Bay and haven't really given SF a second
thought! (Who needs then anyway!)
Once I established some connections with others, i didn't
feel the need to be with anyone else but, my own child and
husband. And the occasional dinner party was something
so wonderful to look forward to!
Might I suggest you pool together the few remaining friends
that seem interested and throw a small dinner party...or a
brunch, perhaps. It might just give you that edge to put your
feelers out and see who's still in the mix with you. And as
you metnioned, maybe everyone is just TOO BUSY!
I know I am! But, it's worth a shot, no?
Yes, many of my friendships changed, sometimes in
surprising ways, after I had a child. The saddest change of
all was the eventual loss of what had been my very closest
friendship for many years. I was ''godmother'' to my closest
friend's daughters. I was at the the birth of her younger
child, and was very, very close to the girl when she was very
young. When the little girl was five, I finally had my own
child. I had had visions of how having my own child was
going to bring us so much closer. Instead, it seemed to
begin the process of driving us apart. I was disappointed
that my (grown up) friend did not seem to be as interested in
or attached to my child as I was to hers. I think she, for her
part, was simply done with babies. As my life became
more and more focused around my son, hers became less
and less focused around small children. Admittedly, a
variety of other factors contributed to the eventual ''demise'',
at least for now, of that friendship.
The upside is that I have made many new friends since
the birth of my son. I also have tended to be shy and make
friends slowly, but having a child has really helped to ease
that process. Instantaneously, I feel that I have something
in common with other moms of similar aged children. I
have met moms at Mom's groups, through other friends,
through my temple, and through my son's school. Because
all of us are focused on similar issues around raising and
enjoying same-age children, we have much in common.
Interestingly, while I became more distant from some of
my old friends, I also became closer to others. I even
became closer to some of my single, childless friends
because they were people who really wanted young children
in their lives.
I sympathize with how painful it is to have friendships
shift, and hope that you will make new connenctions with
I had a hard time with friendships after having children also
(see my post from Sept 2002 under
How to find adult friends, post-kids?)
I found people's responses there comforting, so you might also.
It's now two years later, and things have improved. Years(!) of
attempts like those described in my post have yielded some
results, so we do have more friendships with other famililes. We
do sit and watch our children play together. It has also helped
that my children are older, and can really talk with me. They
are just better at filling my need for companionship. Part of
our problem was we had some friends out of the area, so we have
made it known that we LOVE houseguests. (Otherwise people assume
you don't want them to stay with you.) This also has provided
some really satisfying time with friends.
That said, it's never really the same. I just don't have the
time (with work, housework, dealing with the children) that I
used to have to spend with friends, especially on the day to day
level, and this diminishes the intensity and immediacy of
friendships, though I think I put a considerable amount of effort
into friendships. But some of my friends who have kids are
plainly too busy to be friends with me now. Also, my friends and
I used to discuss everything in our lives, and now I (and I think
from observation, they too) feel inhibited in discussing our
relationships to our spouses, and to a lesser extent our children
and our finances. Though this saddens me, I guess I have just
learned that it's just the way things are.
I hope that later in life, when I and others have more time, I
will again find the kinds of friendships that I had when I was
younger. In the mean time, I am more content with the gains I
Looked for friendly advice
Your email really touched a chord with me so I hope my comments
are helpful. Since having a baby--in fact, since being
pregnant--a number of my friendships have changed, too. At times
I, too, have felt very sad that friends who were once close no
longer seem to be. These friends repeatedly ask us out to events
we can't possibly go to with an infant and act puzzled when we
repeatedly explain we can't make it. Or they politely ask about
our son (and until recently, my labor) but then their eyes glaze
over as soon as we respond. I hope this doesn't sound arrogant,
but I'm convinced some of my friends' reactions to my pregnancy,
and now to our new family, come from them not knowing how to
think about their own fears, concerns, interest, or disinterest
in having children themselves. Or perhaps they genuinely don't
Of course they're entitled to whatever reaction they have to me,
my son, our family. But you know what? I've decided I don't
need to counsel these friends, or be understanding of their
indifference or discomfort--my initial reaction, as I'm the one
who's made the ''change'' in our relationship. Instead, I've
decided to just ''give up'' on some of those friendships for the
time being. Rather than being repeatedly frustrated or hurt by
my interactions with these people, it's been easier to tell
myself that my childless friends will figure it all out one day,
if they have kids, and that in the meantime we all have different
priorities emotionally and more practically, as well. Or that
even without kids of their own, they'll get it eventually. I
get angry at some of them for ignoring my son, not asking after
him, assuming he's a burden or an interference with ''real life'';
but I can't ask those people to change. Having made this
decision, I feel that a real burden has been lifted from my
One more thing--have you been able to meet other people wiith
children? Or have you perhaps found that you have a new
relationship with any friends, colleagues, or family who also
have kids? I know you said that you don't make friends quickly,
but perhaps even small, slow connections with others with
children will make you feel less isolated. I have been
wonderfully surprised by the new friendships we've started to
grow with others with young children, and with how having a child
of my own has allowed me to understand better those around me
with kids. I suspect that not so long ago I may have been one of
those hurtful or perhaps just clueless, childless friends--and
now I ''get it.''
Hang in there--I know this can sound trite, but things really
will get better as you grow a new circle of acquaintances and
I have the same problem, it seems like it's inevitable that
friendships change, particularly with my single friends. I've
started taking my 5 month old to Gymboree and that is a good way
to meet and talk to other moms. Also, I try to call my friends
when I have some time so they know that I'm still attempting to
stay in touch despite a busy schedule. There's also mom groups,
I haven't joined one yet but I hear they're a great source of
support. Good luck!
I'm getting into the fray late on this, but after reading the
other responses I had to pipe in with my own. I was worried
about my friendships and yes, they have changed, but my own
approach has been to see that I have to make more of an effort
than my childless friends (because they're uncertain of me) and
my friends with children, who are very harried. Every week, my
husband and I invite at least one, maybe two friends over for
dinner during the week. Yes, it's tiring to cook with an
infant, to clean the house before, etc. But I find that many of
my childless friends are uncertain of how much time I have and
what kinds of things I can easily do. And many of my friends
with children just can't get it together enough to make plans.
This is the only way I can see to preserve these friendships.
Also, I try to talk about having a child less than I'd like to
around friends without children (and probably MORE than they'd
like me to). One thing that's clear is that having a child
brings up all kind of issues for my childless friends (will
they meet someone in time to have children, do they want
children?) and my goal as a friend is to be sensitive to these
insecurities and fears. Myhusband and I also try to go out with
our child as much as possible--restaurants, outdoor concerts,
Bbqs, even karoake, to show our friends that they're still
important to us and life doesn't completely change with a baby.
Yes, it's a hassle but it's worth it. The main thing is to just
GET THROUGH the transition time with my friendships intact. So
far it's worked pretty well. More superficial? Perhaps. But I'm
just grateful that we're still all trying to make a go of it.
Whenever your life changes, weather it is due to getting
married or having a baby , getting divorce or loosing a
spouse..........Your friends change too. The whole scenery
changes. You drag on with friends for a while but sooner or
later you realise that you just dont connect with them any
more, they talk and think about different things than you are
thinking about. You can drag your baby to just so many late
night parties...or if you are the one who is single........will
feel unfit in couples parties. I tried this too............but
felt really unconnected and the more effort i put in to
dragging my self to freids who i did not connect with , the
more effort it became. There was no fun in it for me and i
would be really frustrated and upset after I came back.
I am better off with out friends that make me feel allien and
different and not connected.
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