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Feeling disappointed with some friends' responses

(43 Posts)
Chloris33 Sat 21-Jun-14 21:45:54

Have you felt disappointed by any responses from friends when you've told them you are pregnant? I'm trying to be understanding, because I know everyone has their personal situations going on, but I do feel a bit let down/sad in relation to a few friends. One hasn't responded at all yet -- I emailed her the news last week, and today I texted as I thought she might not have got the email. My closest friend went bright red when I told her, and had a very restrained response - I think I need to talk sensitively sometime to her about what feelings she might be having. But I can't say I wasn't really disappointed. It has been very noticeable that the friends who haven't responded, or showed much enthusiasm, are friends who don't have kids themselves, and whose relationships are a bit complicated. I've had lots of lovely responses too, but I wondered if anyone else finds the less enthusiastic responses a bit difficult? I don't expect everyone to be enthusiastic about babies, but I guess I just want friends to feel how important this is for me.

PetShopGirl Sat 21-Jun-14 22:10:29

'It has been very noticeable that the friends who haven't responded, or showed much enthusiasm, are friends who don't have kids themselves, and whose relationships are a bit complicated.'

I think this says it all. Perhaps they have good reason to have mixed feelings about your announcement? Give them some time, they may just need to process their own feelings.

Madrigals Sat 21-Jun-14 22:15:41

I think this is honestly very common and it happened to me too. I think some people are a bit freaked out that our lives will change due to dc and think they may lose the friendship. Also, some just don't know what to say.

thanks To you

Happilymarried155 Sat 21-Jun-14 22:16:28

Maybe they are having a hard time ttc themselves?

Congratulations smile x

Chloris33 Sat 21-Jun-14 22:20:06

Thanks guys. smile I know they're not ttc right now, more that they're in relationships with some complications and uncertainty, and I'm sure that's true that they do need time to process their own feelings about my news.

Xxjodielouxx Sat 21-Jun-14 22:43:32

I feel for you as I've had the same problem, I am only 10 weeks so have only told my best friend I will wait to tell everyone else until my first scan just incase.
Since I told her a few weeks ago we've gone from talking on the phone/texting/emailing every day and seeing each other numerous times a week to seeing her once in the last 3. I'm to really disappointed as she's the only person that knows (apart from hubby to be) so I thought she could share it all with me.

She isn't ttc and has only been with her boyfriend a couple of months.

Lots of hugs for you! And congratulations!!! Xxx

Taura Sat 21-Jun-14 23:32:33

I'm one of the last of my age-peers to conceive. Because we live at opposite ends of the country, I mostly found out when they were pregnant by phone or email, and in pretty much every instance I would go and have a little cry. I was either single, or in a relationship where we were not yet ready to be parents, although I was desperate to have a baby. So I imagine that single, childless friends might need time to compose their responses. I was always happy for my friends, just sorry for myself.

bonzo77 Sat 21-Jun-14 23:41:12

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

You have absolutely no idea what is happening in your friends' private lives. You might be able to imagine if you'd have first hand knowledge of miscarriage, infertility, termination or still birth. Their responses or, lack of, are about them. Not you. Try to understand.

skitter Sun 22-Jun-14 07:23:37

I think this happens to most people when they're sharing the news, especially with a first baby. Even if your friends aren't ttc, your news impacts their lives. You'll go from being a child-free friend who has a reasonable amount of freedom for socialising/chatting about life (and not babies) to being a mother, who has a new number one priority. It can be hard when you feel you might be sidelined by someone's baby news and it can be hard to be enthusiastic about what can be a big change in your relationship, especially when it wasn't your choice. I've been on both sides of this...happy for my friend but sad that our nights out and long chats were now a little curtailed (and thus needing to build up my other friendships so I wasn't sitting around waiting for my mum friend to be free), and pregnant and getting less than enthusiastic reactions from friends. If there are fertility or other pregnancy related things going on it makes it even harder to hear someone is pregnant and be happy for them. I'm sure they don't mean to upset
you. It's just that they fear your relationship is going to change because of your news.

Chloris33 Sun 22-Jun-14 09:29:56

Congratulations jodielou! Aww, it's really hard when it seems to make a friend turn away just when you want to share it all with them. Hopefully she'll get there in the end and ultimately will be really pleased for you. Lots of hugs to you too.

Chloris33 Sun 22-Jun-14 09:40:03

These particular friends have always been clear they haven't wanted children yet - it won't be a ttc/infertility/miscarriage issue. But agree that of course they have other things going on in their private lives: other kinds of relationship issues. And yes, there is also the question of how it will change our relationship once I'm a mum and in some ways less available, which can feel sad for friends.

MooncupGoddess Sun 22-Jun-14 09:55:04

Of course your childless friends should make an effort to be pleased for you.

But from their point of view it is potentially a big loss... no more nights out, long conversations about everything under the sun, or whatever else you do together. Also, a lot of (not all!) pregnant women/new mothers are obsessed about the whole thing to the exclusion of anything else, which is understandable but can be quite boring/alienating for childless people.

If you make a big effort to stay interested in their lives, and to talk about things other than babies, then hopefully they'll make an effort to be interested in your pregnancy too. I am childless but have lots of friends with children; keeping the friendships going takes a bit of adjustment and making allowances on both sides but is very much worth it.

kicksandgiggles Sun 22-Jun-14 10:13:38

How far along were you when you told them? Some people get a bit uncomfortable if told on the early side as they're not sure how to react. And the others are right, that you don't know what is going on in their personal lives, and what personal experience they may have had with miscarriage and etc.

But unfortunately, I think you can expect your relationship with some of them to change. You will simply be at very different places in your lives for a while, so you may find you naturally drift apart to a certain extent. It of course stands a better chance if you make a real effort to remain interested and engaged in their lives too, and you may be pleasantly surprised by some. Others may come back into the picture later when they have kids of their own.

We were a bit early in having children among our friends, but most were very supportive/interested and started their own families within the next two years. The ones who drifted away were mostly work colleagues, and unfortunately one good friend, but that was partly because I made the decision to stop initiating contact as I felt it was becoming a very one-sided relationship.

In any case, congratulations smile

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 22-Jun-14 10:29:52

I'm probably the opposite to you. I've been surprised at how enthusiastic people have been and I don't quite get it. Objectively, friends getting pregnant is not good news for their other friends, at best they're going to be tired and unavailable for the foreseeable future. I don't quite now then why people do get excited.

RAFWife12 Sun 22-Jun-14 10:35:14

You really don't always know exactly what is going on in other people's heads/lives. I was always very much "I don't want kids yet, want to focus on career" etc when we were actually TTC, I didn't want people to know how badly I wanted a baby in case it didn't happen - even with my very best friend. That could explain their lack of enthusiasm.
I was very hurt when my uncle didn't acknowledge my email announcing pregnancy. Still haven't heard from them and I'm 34 weeks now! He did tell my Grandparents he knew though, so he did get the message. It is upsetting when people don't react the way you want them to. But don't let it affect your relationships.
Things will change, it will take more effort to keep relationships with people who don't have children - but you can make it work.

squizita Sun 22-Jun-14 10:47:53

Do remember that some friends might have personal things they tell no one e.g. infertility or miscarriage or their partner doesn't want kids but they do. Some people don't tell anyone and then an announcement can be a bit of a shock.

Or, it can just plain be a bit of a shock! I remember a friend who announced completely out of the blue she was expecting, the last person we expected to say it (she had a lot going on, had moved back in with parents after a divorce etc')! It was like "Oh... wow!" because there was so much to process then more the normal congratulations.

People might not know what to say too. Some women hate gushy emotion, some love it. Some people don't know how to talk about pregnancy (let's face it "how are the piles today?" is never a good greeting) too.

I've had the other extreme though... the last to have kids, as soon as I announced that's all people talk/give advice about. Sometimes I just want to chat about the football, books, movies etc' NOT what offers are on at Mothercare!

squizita Sun 22-Jun-14 10:50:04

These particular friends have always been clear they haven't wanted children yet - it won't be a ttc/infertility/miscarriage issue.

hmm It's the easiest way to keep people off your back. Especially if you're not actually trying because you have an inkling or a fear it will be hard. Just don't take everything at face value.

ohthegoats Sun 22-Jun-14 10:53:07

I had this from two friends - one is single and desperate for children, the other is in a long term relationship, but with a man 10 years younger than her who is a jet-setting musician type - she wanted children a few years back, but we've not discussed it recently because I think the option isn't available to her. Both have a slim chance of actually having children, since they are 40+. It was always going to be a bit awkward telling them, and keeping the relationship going on any sort of 'normal' basis. The single one came round to the idea quite quickly, we've been out a lot and I think she can see that I'm not a different person (she's actually our first choice for guardian if we die). The other has cancelled our holiday plans, doesn't reply to emails and is generally off the radar. This is a shame, but I'm just assuming it's hard for her to get her head round.

In reality, this is MASSIVE news for you, and only for you/your immediate family. I've never been excited in the past about friends being pregnant, I wouldn't expect people to be excited about me either.

Jumblebee Sun 22-Jun-14 10:54:12

Yep, one of my supposed best friends told me I was too young, too poor and too irresponsible to have a baby and said I needed to get an abortion.

I have never forgiven her for saying this (although I know she went through a lot of baby-related stuff and I supported her with that)

We don't speak anymore and I have a beautiful 10mo DD who is my world smile

HopefulHamster Sun 22-Jun-14 11:20:26

Honestly even if they say they're not ttc, doesn't mean that's so. I would say I wasn't trying even when having a miscarriage depending on the friend. Or they might just be sad that you're at a point when you can have a baby and they can't even consider it yet. Don't worry too much, I'm sure they will come around and cheer you on as the pregnancy progresses. I used to find initial announcements quite hard to get into, but would happily chat bumps and babes as time went on.

Pennastucky Sun 22-Jun-14 11:27:09

People have funny reactions to pregnancy news. Some people just aren't very good at hiding their feelings, I guess.

When I announced my first pregnancy, I got some very odd reactions. Stepdad was visibly winded, like someone had punched him. His daughter was the prodigal one, happily marred with big house and obviously TTC (although I didnt know that). I was a scatty workaholic party girl and not even living with the father-to-be. I could see stepdad's mind working away, going 'but...but...you weren't supposed to have a baby first!'.

One friend said 'are you going to keep it?' with a look of horror. A few people asked me if it was an accident.

I dont know. I still think people should be gracious and smile and say congrats whatever their own feelings or issues. I have been on the other side - friends announcing pregnancies within weeks of me having a miscarriage - and I managed it.

Nishky Sun 22-Jun-14 11:35:23

Yes someone I know told everyone that her career was the most important thing - in reality she went through several failed rounds of IFV only to conceive naturally and then m/c

Not many people knew the truth.

So I think you should cut your friends some slack.

Many many congratulations - it is a very exciting time for you and your family- just enjoy it without wasting time worrying about other people's reactions.

ViviPru Sun 22-Jun-14 13:00:54

Like Taura I too am one of the last to conceive of my age peers. While we had no fertility issues, there was a long period where starting a family sadly wasn't an option for us no matter how much I wanted to, but no-one knew. Because of this it was always bittersweet to hear of pregnancy announcements.

But I was never ever anything but vociferously happy for the parents-to-be, showed a genuine interest and indulged their excitement. Because I am a socially and emotionally aware human being. Some people are just so far absorbed in their own sphere that they forget how to behave when someone they supposedly care about is going through something momentous to them.

A very close friend is having real fertility issues and is in great personal turmoil. She's hearing of a close friend or family's happy news on an almost weekly basis but she too doesn't allow her own personal circumstances to affect her reactions and relationships with others.

I think the least you should be able to expect is a heartfelt congratulations' even if the individual is having issues of their own.

squizita Sun 22-Jun-14 15:20:32

But I was never ever anything but vociferously happy for the parents-to-be, showed a genuine interest and indulged their excitement. Because I am a socially and emotionally aware human being. Some people are just so far absorbed in their own sphere that they forget how to behave when someone they supposedly care about is going through something momentous to them.

Some people suffer PTSD, depression and breakdown after recurrent miscarriage. People self harm and there have even been suicide attempts. Read the Miscarriage Association boards or some of the messages here on MN ... it's heartbreaking. These women can't just suck it up and paint on a smile, and suggesting they are mean because of it is rather short sighted. It isn't just a case of being a "socially and emotionally aware human being".
Those of us lucky enough to be able to carry a child after going through serious health issues relating to miscarriage/fertility find our focus with being "socially and emotionally aware" is not to go round expecting everyone to be happy - because we genuinely do not know who might be incredibly heartbroken or even have their mental health at stake.
There is more to being 'emotionally aware' than a healthy woman being a little put out because not everyone is gushing at her news.

I don't expect those who nature has dealt a cruel card to mask their feelings or fake a smile in case they 'butthurt' me, the privileged one in the situation. Expecting women with miscarriage/fertility issues to pretend, in case they spoil it for the pregnant ones who are far more important to society because let's face it society views women as the childbearers, so if you can't, you're viewed as a bitter outsider.

UML Sun 22-Jun-14 15:42:20

Friends should be able to share in your happiness - if they are close to you and are a good friend.

It is natural to simultaneously have feelings of sadness if they are experiencing issues of their own, but that should not take away from being happy for their pregnant friend - isn't that what a good friend should feel? Otherwise it is just jealousy?

It's a different story if a person cannot express themselves due to being overwhelmed but if you are close to someone, they should be able to say I'm happy for you but I'm having difficulty as I've been struggling with xyz etc.

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