Post # 1
This week I have been thinking a lot about how and if my relationships with my friends who don’t have babies may change post baby.
What has everyone’s experiences been?
We have been attending birthing classes and I have really bonded with a few of the women there, it’s nice to feel understood and discuss pregnancy stuff!
The last few times I have seen my friends who don’t currently have babies/children I have been careful not to overly talk about pregnancy/babies and they have also hardly asked, and they don’t seem very interested/to have any understanding of what changes the pregnancy has brought, e.g. I can’t stand for a long time in a club, sit on tall stools, run in the snow, drink, take medications, and this all seems completely surprising to them. It has made me wonder about how to keep a close relationship with them post-baby.
Post # 3
@Mrsluckywife: I’m a little worried too. We’re the first in the group he hang out with regularly to have kids. We have another couple we’re friends with (DH’s BF) that just had a baby, so we have them. Not sure what will happen! I guess it depends on the friends and how they’ll want to interact with you.
Post # 4
If they are really friends and not acquaintences, nothing happens. Life goes on and you share (or not) just as much as you ever did. They become as involved as they want to be or they decide they only want to interact at certain times on a different level. Your life doesn’t end when you become a parent.
It is important to keep everything as normal as you possibly can, but just know that as you get into a routine after awhile, your relationships will take on a new meaning. Have your girl time when you can, and be sure to always ask them what’s new and exciting in their lives too. Guaranteed they won’t be interested in dirty diapers and sleeping habits or teething….and don’t share about it unless they ask. 😛
BTW…my 3 best friends have never had children, and we have never had anything change among us, except we now all live thousands of miles apart for the past 20 years. We talk and visit and participate in each other’s lives as always.
Post # 5
@Mrsluckywife: congrats on baby 🙂
I think its a pretty broad connection to say “my friends don’t understand pregnancy, will they be part of my life”… while I can understand its a concern that your lives are different, isn’t that kind of alienating? It really shows theres a divide between mothers and non-mothers and I don’t think its very healthy in general (not saying you specific – just an observation of things in the world right now). You are women, and women have the ability to bond. It doesn’t have to be about shared experience – it might even be nice for you when you’re into the baby thing to see friends who do want to talk about something other than diapers. Likely some of your friends will have kids at some point. And even if they don’t, maybe they love being around kids and will want to spend time with you. I think if these people are actual friends it should be a no-brainer to maintain relationships.
This is coming from the perspective that I have no kids yet, I have tons of friends with kids and will likely be the first of my childhood group of friends to get married and have kids. I should hope they don’t ditch me because of that. So maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about but I have no problem on my end maintaining friendships if there are babies involved.
Post # 6
As some one who does not want children and does not really enjoy being around children if there is one piece of advice I can give you it is to give us a heads up. Let us know if you are inviting us somewhere and you will be bringing your kids, if we invite you some where let us know if you will be bringing your kids. If the babysitter cancels on you last minute please call us and let us know before showing up to our lunch date with little Bobby. I am obviously not able to speak for all of us but try to refrain from only talking about your children. I love to hear the ridiculous things kids say but if we can’t have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around your kids or parenting you’ll probably lose me pretty quickly. And I in turn will try to refrain from telling about how awesome my life life is without kids ha ha ha ha I”M JUST KIDDING!!!
Post # 7
@ItWasntMe: I like this answer.
I don’t have kids & I have experienced (through family and acquaintences not my real friends) that a LOT of people actually get a snobby attitude with they have kids. For example, if I was to vent about how stressed I am or how hard work is going right now or school to someone who had a baby, it gets dismissed. “You think that’s hard, wait until you have a 2 year old and are 7 months along with another!” etc etc. Some women just get this attitude that they are actually better than others because they have kids. As long as things aren’t ALL about your kids or your pregnancy, you should be able to keep the same relationship with your friends you’ve always had…unless you used to be a huge party girl & now obviously can’t. I would ask my friend how the pregnancy is going & expect an answer & genuinely care & want to know. But after a bit, I’d definitely want to talk about something else.
Post # 8
“Think you can, think you can’t, either way you’re right.”
I forget who said that, but it’s applicable here because I would caution you to avoid letting this become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you expect your relationships to change dramatically, well, maybe they do because you’ve started treating your friends differently.
After you’ve had the kid and settled in a bit, try to schedule some non-kid times with your friends. And hopefully they’ll reciprocate with aome kid-friendly activities. It’s a two-way street. And, I expect you’ll make some new parent friends too along the way.
Post # 9
@Mrsluckywife: I think it is definitely possible to maintain your friendships with people who don’t have children. Understanding on both parts has to be key here. Your friends need to understand that your life and priorities will change and you need to understand that their lives haven’t.
I’ve had several friends have children and it can be difficult at times. When we get together, all we talk about is their children. They never ask what’s new with me or what I have been up to. Everything tends to be focused around them. They also make assumptions that I do not want to hang out with their kids, which is not true. I want to spend time with their kids and get to know them but I am never given the chance. Instead, my friends talk about how nice it will be when we all have children as if we can’t really be friends again until we are all on the same level. I find it frustrating.
I guess what I’m saying is to be mindful and not make assumptions that they will not want to be as close when you have your child. And please remember that friendship goes two ways and it is important to care about their lives, too!
Post # 10
FI’s best friend and his wife are the first people in our group to have a kid. Our relationship with them hasn’t really changed–they’ll go out with out her, and we are more than happy to come over and play with her, talk about her, talk about birth/pregnancy, etc. It’s stuff that we want to know anyway! It’s not all we talk about, though–we discuss work, mine and FI’s wedding, their dogs, house stuff (since we’re looking to buy a house sometime soonish), etc.
Also, what do you mean that you can’t run in the snow while pregnant?
Post # 12
Our relationships haven’t changed with any of our friends. They are like family. Our dd calls are closest friends aunt & uncle. Our friends without kids come to dd bday parties just like the ones with kids. They are mindful to give us as much notice as possible when inviting us out so we can get a sitter. And we never talk about kids when we go out. If you’re really friends having a baby won’t change your friendship.
Post # 13
@Mrsluckywife: All my friends have kids or are about to have kids. I don’t have any, but i am TTC. I still see them, we still have things in commom and we still have girls nights and i even invite them to come to my house with their kids, i have toys and games for their kids, so they dont feel like just because i dont have a child, they are not welcome into my house or that my house isnt child friendly. I did this even before i knew i wanted kids. I think it all depends how understanding your friends are. Everyone is very different.
Post # 14
I don’t have a baby and My truest of friends (most of them) have them. Our relationships have changed in that there is a lot they can’t do anymore with you after baby and there is a lot they WON’T do after baby. Sadly I have also found that a lot of my friends with babies have used their kids as excuses to get out of things and it leaves the rest of us a little bitter.
A lot of us don’t invite them out anymore and find it hard to cope with only being able to hang out with them when it’s on their watch, when they are good and ready and when it’s where they want to go doing what they want to do. A LOT of my friends with babies have that issue and it’s really frutrating. I make plans everyone can do and always make it a poit to be baby friendly but they never go regardless. I tell them “bring your kids!” And they find a way out so it does change things big time especially when the kids are invited and you still don’t go.
If you have money to buy a coach purse the day after someone invites you somewhere and you decline because you don’t have the money I’m going to be a little dissapointed about it and even more so if you decide even after that to go to dinner out somewhere when you just said you don’t have money and even MORE so if you then proceed to say “Well I have KIDS you know, it’s not cheap” …. That really makes me mad when you HAVE to throw that in there after you just went out to do OTHER things without the kids being an excuse.
The friendship is still there but our friends with babies have seem to isolate themselves to where no one even bothers inviting them out anymore and people don’t want to go where The friends with babies invite us because it’s a little too one sided to be fair.
That is just my personal experience and what I see and hear from our circle of friends. it really just depends on how available you want to be to your friends after a baby and if your friends can cope with the fact that they need to give you time and space to be with your new family and that’s usually the case with my friends until it gets so apparent that the new parents will no longer go out of their way at all to act as a friend anymore so people just grow tired of it I think.
I have been the way I’ve been for forever so I’d like to think nothing willchange once I have a baby (I hardly go out much as is so it won’t be much different after a baby for me) so I don’t think much will change as far as going out and friend time but if you were someone who was always around your friends and went out a lot pre-baby I think those friends are the ones who take it the hardest.
Post # 15
As a person who is childless by choice, a step-mother by marriage and a self confessed child with credit cards and a sports car…I can say that my friends/family members with kids fall into one of two categories:
1. The “We Have Kids…So?” folks…these people have kids, they aren’t defined by it, they aren’t burdened with it, they certainly enjoy it, but parenthood is not the be all, end all event by which their lives are measured. They bring the kid, go out with us, we have a good time, laugh..or we’ll hang out at their place, play with the tiny people, drink some beers and grill some weenies, like people do…they have no problems dumping the kid at our place for some pancakes and fingerpainting, they don’t call every ten minutes, it’s nice.
2. The “We Have Kids – You May Worship Us From Afar” folks…these are people who for whatever reason truly believe that they have discovered a divine calling in reproduction…and while I get the signifigance of love that being a parent holds…let’s not kid ourselves, the cave men figured it out too..so take it down a notch. Also, I’m supposed to be aware of any allgergen, danger, threat, exposed wire and person smoking within a five mile radius of my house when they come over…when we do go out, they just sit around telling us how our lives don’t mean anything because we elected to not have kids and generally look down on our acheivments because they are certain theirs are more fullfilled and inspiring, because they have kids. And unless the world was flooded with piss and I lived in a tree, I would be the LAST person they’d call to watch their kids, after all, I don’t know Baby-Sign.
So yeah, it’s a delicate balance for any couple…Mr. 99 and I are always careful to be tuned in and interested in all of our friends lives, whatever they may hold…so we tend to gravitate toward the people who think the same way, wheather they have kids or not, is irrelevant to us.
Post # 16
Yeah I am reading a lot of these posts and I’m glad I’m not the only one dealing with what I deal with from my friends with kids. It’s as if most of them make it a POINT to be 1,000% consumed with the kids and nothing else. I don’t want to hear about baby stuff all the time. I don’t want to see 500 pics of your kids when we go out for brunch. I don’t want to be invited to your kid’s 1st, 2nd or 3rd birthday when I don’t have kids myself, I mean how much fun is that for a grown person with no kids? I’ve been to plenty anyway and never liked it! I’ll send a gift, I don’t want to go though.
I hate LOSING friends to kids because they can’t balance friendship and family. I am very understanding and patient and know you need to be there for your kids but if you make no effort to go out or come over or do anything we used to do as friends how do you expect us to REMAIN great friends? A person can only handle so many “no’s” or “I have kids” or bailing because of babysitter issues before we get fed up. An effort is all it takes. as long as I see SOME effort being made to be my friend it’s going to be okay but if you seriously think it’s okay to only be a friend when it’s your birthday or it’s Christmas…. I don’t think we can be friends anymore.