To feel defriended cos I don't have biological kids?(30 Posts)
I think my best friend is making it clear to me we no longer have anything in common because in her words I'm not a mum. Our partners have significant age gaps so I have grown up SDC s( who I've known since they we 9) whereas she has little ones. My Sdcs still have their mum but have lived with us at various times and over the difficult teenage years so they very much see me as a parent. I love them dearly but I don't feel like their mum because they have one already and of course I don't really know what being a mum feels like.
My problem is though since my friend gave birth she is in a whole new world..she socialises with "the other mums" and as such never invites me. When we meet up its always without her kids and I'm sure she enjoys a break but it means I never see them so feel increasingly out of touch. We don't live close by so that doesn't help.the one time recently I did go to a gathering at her house she worried I wouldn't have anything to talk about with "the mums" ..I'm sad I might be losing my closest friend but frankly I'm also thinking if that's how she wants to think of us mum v non- mum I'm not sure we will be friends for much longer anyway..can you please give me your honest opinions? Did you did this, perhaps unthinkingly , when you became parents?
It's not because they're steps, it's because you'e at a different age and stage.
It's not you, it's her. She's in the new baby swamp and finding her feet there.
She needs to spend time with friends who are at the same life stage.
Sorry..should have explained her kids are all under ten but no toddlers anymore so she's not a new mum...see even I'm doing it now!!! Rating mums I mean!!surely a mum is a mum is a mum?!
If she thinks you won't have anything to say to these other mums because you do't have similar aged kids then their conversational range must be awesomely boring! Is that truly all they talk about - even now they out of the baby swamp? You might find it pretty dull!
It's not like you have no experience with kids. I don't invite friends with no kids to gatherings of friends with their kids n tow - but I would if it were without the kids IYSWIM.
I think maybe you've just grown apart...maybe it's not really anything to do with mum v not mum, especially given that she isn't a new mum - which is what I'd assumed reading your first post.
I have different friendship groups and have occasionally referred to the ones I've got to know hanging about school and nursery gates as "the mums", but since most of our children are now at secondary school I am friends with them still because I like them, enjoy their company and have plenty to chat with them about (including, but not exclusively, our kids).
Your friend was maybe just defining how she knew them.
It is a shame though when you feel out of touch with people you used to be close too. That has happened to me in the past, and it does hurt.
I do think it sounds more like different age/stage thing and perhaps she is thinking along the lines of you haven't parented children of the age of hers therefore won't be able to give advice.
But it does sound quite hurtful even put like that ^. I cannot imagine saying that to a friend.
However, it is possible to have different "groups" of friends. I do and I don't mix it up by introducing them as I just know they wouldn't all get along together. I also enjoy having different groups of friends - some of my oldest friends I rarely see with my children as I enjoy not being a "mum" when we go out.
I was going to say its a life stage thing but if her kids aren't that new any more it sounds like she is a bit self-centred. It's one thing when you have a newborn or a very young toddler to want to surround yourself with other people in the same boat but if her kids are older its a bit odd...are you sure you aren't just growing apart?
Sorry: I misinterpreted the "since giving birth" bit to mean it was recent.
But it does still sound like a growing apart because her time is taken up with those with DCs of the same age (and I'd be ready to bet that some are blended families).
Obviously it's hurtful to you as you lose a friend you valued, especially as it sounds as if she can be deeply tactless.
Maybe we are just growing apart..hope it's not something I've done and she's trying to avoid telling me so using this as a way?? Feel really sad about it.The other side of it is I could give her advice as her kids get older couldn't I? Having had all the teenage stuff? Sorry for sounding pathetic but I'm feeling a real sense of loss particularly if the only reason is our different family situation
You do say that you do not live close by so it's understandable she would try and make friends who do live closer and that they would be people who have similar aged children.
Maybe she just enjoys the friendship that the two of you have together, I am quite different when with my "mum" friends to when I am with my oldest group of friends. I wouldn't want to be around both groups at the same time.
I would just try and enjoy the friendship that you have and not worry so much, it is natural for relationships to change with distance/child demands, it doesn't mean she is cutting you off.
Do you ever make plans with your friend.
I think your experiences raising your sdcs will come into its own once hers are a little older - then she'll be coming to you for advice!
Is she meeting women she's known from baby
You do tend to spend more time with friends who have children a similar age as it makes things easier - you can plonk the kids together and they keep each other entertained. DS hates it when I meet up with adult friends and him because he doesn't get any attention and has no-one to play with and whilst that sounds like he's a spoilt brat, I don;t think its uncommon.
Having said that if you can't even get on when you are on your own together then you aren't really friends anymore, are you? If its you that finds it hard to stay friends by seeing her on her own then I would question whether you really want to stay friends with her.
I have a very good old friends who neither has nor wants children and we have stayed friends since DS arrived (now 7) despite the fact that what we used to do together (theatre and travel) is now impossible. She does come and see us and even joins us on holiday. When she comes to see us both though it really is more her seeing DS and we don't get a chance to talk unless she's staying the night when we talk after he goes to bed.
As for what advice you could give her, I can;t speak for her but I'm really much interested in getting advice (except on rare occasions) and that really isn;t what a friendship is based on. I sound off to my friend with no children and actually its better because I don;t get "advice" based on what happen to her children some time ago.
..Posted too soon. Women she's known since baby group, women with dcs at the same school etc. I wouldn't invite someone else along to such events, doesn't mean they're not important to me just not part of that 'crowd'.
I also tend to assume people without dcs same age as mine won't want to spend time with me and dcs (and I think mostly that's true, sadly) so would meet up in the evening instead.
I love having friends who pre-date my dcs, they know me in a different way. It may be you and your friend have drifted apart, but I really don't think it's because you are a stepmum.
I also wouldn;t dream of inviting my child-less friend to stuff with school friends or baby group friends. Just wouldn;t occur to me - not offence intended at all - I wouldn't even mention them to her... she wouldn;t even know about them to be able to be offended!
I think the point that was made about people having different friendship groups is very valid. I have a friend who I have been friends with since the age of 12. She has never wanted children. When we get together, we socialise in a totally different way than I do with my other friends. On the only occasion that all my friendship groups got together, at my Father's funeral, it was very apparent that they had nothing in common apart from knowing me. Yet I have gained so much from having them in my life. At times I have leaned on one group of friends more than another and I think at times you have to be with people who have experience of what you are going through. I once read something which is very true, I feel:
'Some friends are friends for a reason, some for a season and some are friends forever'
Some seasons can last for a very long time, but they come to an end.
She should try and ensure she still retains her old friendships. It's good to keep a balance. I value getting together with my old friends who don't have children. It's good to discuss other things than children. Whilst I live my kids, they will slowly become more independent and fly the nest.
Whilst this is a common pattern, and I understand where she is coming from, it's a short-sighted view. Don't take it personally, just make new friends on the basis of shared interests, rather than convenience (kids playing together etc)
Some good thoughts here - thanks. I do try and make plans to see her but it's not easy with not being close by and understandably difficult for her more than me, but that's why I've suggested bringing kids along, going to her etc..I also don't want a friendship just based on advice giving kewcumber.. What's I was getting at was if its important to her that we have something in common kids wise(as well as everything else) then we will have pretty soon! We are supposed to be meeting up in few weeks time and if she says something similar again I think I'll just point out how it sounds..maybe she doesn't realise?
When we meet up its always without her kids and I'm sure she enjoys a break but it means I never see them so feel increasingly out of touch
Look at it from the other angle - what self respecting pre/teen wants to go out with mum and her mate and be bored out of their box whilst mum and mate chinwag? Even if you went to her house, the children would look at you like another alien adult and disappear off upstairs/out on their bikes etc.
Honestly, I think you are overthinking things. She's still making time for you, away from the children. Time away from your children and rediscovering adult conversations and pastimes and becoming your own person again, with out the constant need to lug children round is rather an exciting period in your life.
I really appreciated meeting up with my non-mother friend in lots of ways. We could just talk about anything! She didn't have to arrange a babysitter! I liked hearing about the world of work and general stuff, and I just liked seeing her and having a laugh. It was nothing to do with having or not having a child.
I can understand why she also has a new world of friends and associates. Also why she might think you could be uncomfortable at an all "young mums" party, but I think what she said was hurtful and unnecessary.
If you bide your time, I bet in a few years she'll change her tune and be desperate to see you to get away from domesticity! But would you want a friend that insensitive? Meanwhile, if says anything like that again I would distance myself. She sounds a bit immature tbh.
I'd pull her up if she says something you find hurtful. Her being a mum does not mean you have to relinquish your right to have feelings and have those feelings hurt.
In fact I think you probably need to sit down with her and calmly, like you have on here, lay it out how you're feeling... possibly tone down the "I've done the teenage bit - you haven't" type (I know you don't mean it this way but she might take it as such) element but focus on the other stuff.
She doesn't sound nasty with it - just unthinking and caught up in the whole wave of mummy friends thing (which I've never really bought into because surely time on the post-natal ward proves that sharing a date of giving birth isn't an instant ticket to not wanting to throttle the woman in the bed next to you who's playing Angry Birds with the sound on at 4am)
You are all making me feel better thanks..probably have been over thinking it but when you have been friends a long time you dont want to let go too easily do you
I think it's time to let this friendship go. She doesn't seem to want to continue it. FWIW I think the mum thing is an excuse to distance herself from you. Most of my female friends have DCs whereas I am single and childless by choice and our friendships haven't been affected (although it does help that my friends are not the sort of women to define themselves as "mums" above everything else).
primadonna I understand completely and it's natural that you're hurt. My oldest friend of nearly 25 years seems to have ditched me too, presumably because I don't have children (she's stayed in touch with 2 couples who do). I was her bridesmaid, I adore her DC1 , more so as I can't have children of my own, was until Autumn a welcomed visitor to their house and vv. Since she became pregnant with DC2 she has not responded to any contact from me.
I valued her friendship a lot and although I understand people move on, I am surprised by how much this has hurt me. I think it's the suddenness more than anything.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.