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to feel miffed at friend with new baby

(177 Posts)
DonnaHayward Thu 13-Jun-13 00:18:57

I have namechanged (even though I'm not a prolific poster) because I know AIBU, and I'm ashamed to be feeling this way. I'm hoping MN can talk a bit of sense into me. Apologies for long post.

My BF and I have known each other since school, been close for 15 years, she's one of my favourite people in the world. We've supported each other through a lot of things. She had her first baby, a little boy, in Sept. I am afraid I've started to feel resentful about how our relationship has changed since her DS was born blush.

In the first few months, I was totally sympathetic to how much her life had changed, and tried to be both supportive and unobtrusive. Went to visit when invited, trying to make sure she knew I was always available with practical help without being demanding of her time etc., and completely happy to fit everything around her and her new DS. My problem is, I still feel like this is expected 9 months on, and I'm starting to get a bit fed up.

Her DS has routine which means she can't do anything after 6pm, including having people other than her and her DH in the house (as it is their family bonding time). I think this it lovely that they prioritise this, but must admit that it rules out almost all social activity, and is getting on my nerves now DS is 9 months old and not a tiny baby. My only opportunity to see them is weekend afternoons (I work FT), and with weekends being busy for both of us this means I've only seen her half a dozen times since DS arrived, always in or around their home.

I totally know, in this stage of her life, DS and DH come first, but I think what's upset me enough to post here is birthday plans. We are both 30 this year, and idly chatted lots in our 20s about having a big joint event. Obviously that couldn't happen in the way we'd fantasised when younger. She was unable to come to my birthday meal last month, as she can't be apart from DS in the evenings. Hers is in August, and plan is for a group of friends to get together in the park so 'we can all spend time with DS'.

Childish bit now - I want to say 'I'm not that fussed about time with DS, I want to hang out with you!'. I've been through a fair bit in the last 9 months (made redundant, splitting up with LTP), and I've really missed her - both as support and as someone to have fun with.

So... I know I'm being unreasonable, but as I don't have children, hoping you can show me some things from a parent's perspective, and help me to stop resenting a 9 month old baby blush

ladymariner Thu 13-Jun-13 00:23:06

Actually, I don't think YABU, she sounds very precious tbh. Yes I know our babies come first and ds always has and always will, but not at the exclusion of everyone else.

Kleptronic Thu 13-Jun-13 00:27:37

Eh? Your friend is the odd one here. She missed your 30th birthday meal because she couldn't be apart from her 8 month old for one evening? She can't have anyone round after 6pm at night? That is a odd. YANBU.

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Thu 13-Jun-13 00:28:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Thu 13-Jun-13 00:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirBoobAlot Thu 13-Jun-13 00:29:12

I don't think you're unreasonable to be upset. And I'm intrigued as to what exactly goes on in the evenings if they can't ever have people over. That, however, is not something that you are going to be able to change.

Unfortunately sometimes friendships just drift apart, be it because of children or otherwise. I also don't think it's childish to want to spend some time with your friend without her DS there; Jesus, I love my DS more than life itself, but have no shame in admitting that sometimes I just want to see my friends without having to pretend to be a dinosaur wink

Honestly this sounds like a lot of her behavior; she couldn't join you for a meal? Why? Even if she is breastfeeding, she could feed baby, put him to bed, make sure he's settled, and still join you for part of the meal, then be back in time for the next feed. Not having people over after 6pm because they're 'bonding' every night is simply odd.

Think you might have to accept that her life has changed a hell of a lot, and she is no longer the friend you want her to be. I know that sucks.

WestieMamma Thu 13-Jun-13 00:29:26

I don't think YABU either. My baby is 8 weeks old today and I can't wait till Friday when my husband is off work to look after baby so I can escape for the day with my friend.

YANBU, IMO. I've recently 'lost' the friendship of my best friend of ten years due to her meeting a new partner and having two children in quick succession, meaning that our plans, interests, and time off never gel together any more. It's not easy.

I think it depends on her - is she the kind of person who you can be a bit blunt with and say 'hey, your baby's great, but god i miss YOU, can you get a night off?' If not, it might be time to search out new friendships.

DoJo Thu 13-Jun-13 00:31:46

YANBU - unless she is not with her son's father then there should be no reason why she can't leave a 9 month old with him and go out, or even have people round in the evenings every so often. Have you told her explicitly that you want to spend some time with her on your own?

PrincessOfChina Thu 13-Jun-13 00:32:11

YANBU. I would feel very sad over that situation. I hate the way some women feel they have to give up their whole lives when they have children.

YANBU, although don't resent the baby, he's 9 months do and not making the decisions, resent your friend for being so ridiculous about it all.

I cannot stand people who act like having a baby is this sort of miracle event that must be all consuming, and that they are apparently the only people on the world ever to have had a baby, EVER. I've had 5 babies and they are really not that hard and aside from quite extreme special needs, they really do not mean that from 6pm you can have no contact with anyone else.

Sounds like you're friend is being unreasonable, I think it's pretty shocking that she missed her best friend's birthday for an eight month old baby. You will of course never be able to raise this with her as you don't have children and that is all she will say. I think you just need to accept that having a baby has made your friend an arsehole!

WilsonFrickett Thu 13-Jun-13 00:36:27

Well I think the term PFB was coined for this situation. And I dont blame you for feeling upset about it. But she will come out of this phase eventually and probably be mortified about her PFB behaviour.

The question really is - do you tell her how you feel, do you cut her off, or do you wait for her?

DonnaHayward Thu 13-Jun-13 01:05:54

Thanks so much all - it actually made me feel better typing all of this out, and even more so having responses that don't make me feel like a monster!

I know that if I raised any of these feelings with her she would be very upset - she really is a lovely person - and I feel that one of the reasons our friendship has lasted so long is that we're always supportive of each other. I really don't want her to feel I'm not supportive of her now. Conversations with mutual friends have hinted that we all feel a bit similarly, but we're not the type of group to bitch behind each other's back (another reason we've been close for so long).

I really know nothing about and am not that interested in babies, which is one of the reasons I wanted opinions on here. I expected her to be totally focused on the baby for a while, but thought that after 6 months or so she might be able to have a few hours away in the evening. She does EBF, and BF on demand - he feeds a lot in the evening, which is why she doesn't like to leave him. She has not been apart from him for longer than a shower since he was conceived, and I can imagine how hard the idea of leaving him for even a few hours must be (I was fretting and asking for photo-messages the first day I left my dog with the dog-sitter blush)

Her parenting decisions are entirely her choice, and I do admire her utter devotion to DS - but just looks like I might have to wait a bit longer for her to feel able to spend time away from him. (Must admit glad to hear I'm not awful to be a bit hurt by her not coming to my birthday sad).

Sounds like it might be okay to gently suggest a girly night as he approaches a year?

DonnaHayward Thu 13-Jun-13 01:07:16

She is the first in our close group of friends to have a baby, btw - one of the reasons I feel awful is thinking that she must be feeling excluded in different ways too.

BergholtStuttleyJohnson Thu 13-Jun-13 01:08:10

YANBU to feel that way but it may be that her baby us very clingy or difficult. My ds1 was si easy and quickly in a routine, I could leave him with dh and go out or have people over in tge evenings and he'd just sleep in his cot upstairs. It was great!
Then I had ds2 who fed hourly over night until he was 10 months old when he started going 2-3 hrs, he would only sleep next to me and nowhere else (believe me I tried) so I went to bed at 6.30 every night. He is now 15 months and I have just managed to get him to sleep in his cot but he's still waking too often for me to leave him and go out and he feeds for an hour before bed and doesn't settle until about 8.30. I have no time to myself ever and it's really hard. Her baby is still quite young and may be challenging like my ds2. If she's still behaving how she is when he's two then it may be a problem but for now try not to be resentful.

RikeBider Thu 13-Jun-13 01:10:42

Priorities change when you have a baby - for her spending time with her ds and partner is the priority now not socialising with friends.

Seeing someone 6 times in 9 months doesn't sound that bad to me either.

Neither of you is particularly being unreasonable, just different things are important to you now.

HullMum Thu 13-Jun-13 01:15:30

YABVU.

Her priorities have changed and she is doing what makes herself happy. She isn't being "precious" or anything. I she were with you and not enjoying herself because she is doing it only to make you happy, would you really want that?

You are welcme to say really I need more form a friend and look elsewhere but equally she is entitle to not want to give more;

HullMum Thu 13-Jun-13 01:17:14

Sounds like it might be okay to gently suggest a girly night as he approaches a year?

Nothing wrong with suggesting but equally nothign wrong with her turning you down

BergholtStuttleyJohnson Thu 13-Jun-13 01:18:31

Just read your latest post. You say that she hasn't left him longer than to have a shower and he feeds lots in the evening. It may be that she can't leave him longer without him screaming his head off. She may have loved to have gone to your birthday but couldn't leave him because she needs to breastfeed him. Not everything we do as parents is our choice, sometimes we just do what works.

HullMum Thu 13-Jun-13 01:19:59

People just don't realie that everyone don't care about their children as much as they do.

NO but not everyone cares about your birthday as much as you do either. If the friend isnt havin people over after 6 there is either a very good reason for it or she wants to cool things off with the friend.

vvviola Thu 13-Jun-13 01:35:35

Just to give you a different perspective:

DD2 is 22 months and I haven't been out after 6:30pm since she was born. She is breastfed (allergies meant my great plans of weaning by a year didn't work) and will not settle at night for anyone but me. Up until 2 months ago she was waking at least 5 times a night.

I haven't got many friends here (we emigrated a year ago) but I have had to turn down a few invitations out.

When DD2 was 6 months to about 15 months I would probably have said something about family time after 6pm, but it would have been code for "I'm so blood tired by then that I am incapable of speech", but I was too proud to admit just how hard I was finding it.

(I do leave her during the day, as I'm studying part time, but even that was hard until she hit a year)

It probably isn't personal, and I don't blame you for feeling a bit put out, but I'd suggest cutting her a bit of slack. Even my very closest friends didn't know how hard I was finding it. And DD2 certainly isn't a PFB (although I will admit to occasional flashes of precious-last-baby)

cranverry Thu 13-Jun-13 01:36:24

YANBU I didn't like being away from my babies in the evening before they were around 9 months as they were bf and tended to be more fussy in the evening. . But I would have made the effort for a froend's 30th. I would also have made plans to meet you for a few hours on my own during the day for a coffee, lunch ect and I'd have invited friends over in the evening. I'd be quite concerned about a friend who was acting similarly to your friend.

My baby screamed unless held, BF every 3-4 hours round clock until he was almost 18 months. I was off my head with sleep deprivation and stress. He would not settle for anyone else and I was so exhausted I used to hallucinate. He needed a strict routine or became even more distressed and BF even more and screamed even more. Daily life became a case if coping hour by hour round the clock.

He was later diagnosed with autism.

Sometimes you just can't do anything except cope with your baby and adult social life and non baby life things just get put on hold.

It will pass but she may not be able to do any more than she is doing right now - she may not be able to talk about it either.

Nobody knew I was barely coping and there wasn't time to explain. I was so exhausted and frightened that even if they'd asked I would have said I was fine. I didn't have the resources to cope with people as well as DS, even ones wanting to help.

I hope it's not like that for her but go easy on her: the all-consuming responsibility and helpless need a baby had for you can be pole-axing, even if the baby isn't high-need/special needs.

DonnaHayward Thu 13-Jun-13 01:55:16

I've really welcomed all responses on here - YANBU and YABU. Those of you explaining about how demanding your babies were at that age have reinforced my suspicion that I am blissfully ignorant (blithely thinking 'surely by 8 months you can feed, express, settle with dad and go out for the night'). I accept completely that may not be the case!

Am off to bed now with lots to think about - glad the majority feel I'm not unreasonable to be struggling with the adjustment in our friendship, but being reminded that I have to think about all the factors of which I have little understanding. Especially will keep reminding myself of TigOldBitties comment - I have been feeling very guilty about occasional feelings of resentment towards the baby, as I do believe that mine and BF's friendship will continue past this stage and I want to be able to bond with him too. Of course you are right that he isn't making any decisions.

Good first AIBU experience - thank you all smile

DonnaHayward Thu 13-Jun-13 01:58:44

And ... some of the experiences you describe sound so difficult - I'm in awe of what you've been able to cope with, TrucksandDinosaurs, vvviola and others. You are amazing.

Mummysaysno Thu 13-Jun-13 02:17:16

Read this while feeding 2 week old DC4... could have cried! Yes, perhaps your friend is being a bit precious, but for her she is only trying her best, and trying to be a good Mum... I think I was the same first time around.

I just wanted to say that you sound like a wonderful friend...please do carry on with your understanding and patience...as everyone could benefit from unconditional friendships. You are so understanding of her situation...hopefully with time your friend will come out of her bubble a bit, or have number two, and then be even more home-tied, but either way, you are a real bonus to her life, and a real example of what true friendship means!!

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 02:29:21

what you have described might sound a bit 'precious' but also she could be
very tired or have a slightly abusive partner like mine was who basically told me that with babies, my social life was over.

spatchcock Thu 13-Jun-13 02:56:31

YANBU. But it sounds very isolating for her, I wonder if there's anything else going on. I would find that kind of lifestyle claustrophobic, but that's just me looking in from the outside, of course.

Love your name, OP!

Morloth Thu 13-Jun-13 03:01:01

I guess you just don't really know what is going on with her/the baby though.

If he isn't much of a sleeper then she might be shattered. Imagine 9 months without a full night's sleep.

Friendships change over time, I have friends who I was really close to years ago, fell out of touch with and who are now becoming good friends again as our lives bounce back towards each other.

Stay in touch and invite her to stuff, one day the fog will lift.

rundontwalk Thu 13-Jun-13 04:01:01

Spatchcock beat me too it in their post above! Exactly what I was going to say. & You do sound like a lovely friend by the way-it's nice to see smile

fuckwittery Thu 13-Jun-13 04:31:40

I couldnt leave my two in the evening for more than a couple of hours, lots of milk, wouldnt take bottles, screaming if no boob. This was til 16m and 18m. I missed loads of social events but was absolutely at pains to explain to childless friends why and suggested day time things instead. And repeately said how gutted i was to miss the event. Your friend is putting an odd spin on it if she really cant go out in the evening but she may be trying to put a brave face on as others have said. Must say, my relationship with my bf only recovered when she had her first child and lost some friendships altogether.

MyShoofly Thu 13-Jun-13 04:36:15

Well I don't socialize much because I work FT and that means every minute I'm not at work is full on family time. I don't think that's precious and I wouldn't apologize for it. generally I make lots of time for friends....if they accept that DH and the kids will be coming long too. that is just us now. That is how I like it. our priorities have completely changed.

I am on my second mat leave currently but DH is not...that means we still only have weekends for really good family time IYKWIM? Besides, being the parent left behind with the kids while the other goes out, can feel tiresome....even though you know everyone needs alone time - they may still as a couple be grappling with that. DH and I do 3 years in.

not everyone handles the huge life-change of having kids the same.

MyShoofly Thu 13-Jun-13 04:41:28

I should add though that She was unreasonable if she really didn't make a massive effort to make it to your birthday celebration though. I can see why that upset you.

RubyOnRails Thu 13-Jun-13 04:42:16

Even with the best baby in the world, a toddler who gets on famously with his dad, a husband who gives me all the freedom and support and friends who understand, I've only just started getting any semblance of a social life restarted...it's exhausting having a baby if its your first. I have to say by nine months I was back to craving a social life...but certainly the first few months fly by in a fog of sleep deprivation

RubyOnRails Thu 13-Jun-13 04:44:05

Also, things change quite drastically...a week ago my three month old was sleeping through....I'm now being woken twice a night...given the chance of a good keep and seeing my mates, I know what I'll be doi g this weekend..

aldiwhore Thu 13-Jun-13 07:29:56

I was going to say YABU because relationships change, and I haven't seen my best friend for about 6 months (she has no children, mine are 5 and 9). Babysitters are a huge cost and a huge problem, she's not interested in seeing me with my children and my DH mostly works away over weekends, so I feel stuck... probably the reverse to you!

YANBU though, because it grates on me that my friend can't be more accomodating, or just a little flexible in her social demands (she will only meet in one venue, one that I cannot justify the cost of).

My sister has just had a baby, I never know when to ring, whenever I do I get told off for disturbing the baby, so actually I DO understand.

So I don't think it's so much the circumstances, but rather your friend's lack of flexibility and effort to see you.

YANBU.

cory Thu 13-Jun-13 07:35:57

In the case of a clingy/difficult baby, I would probably have suggested bringing him to the night out- but that would depend on how precious the rest of you were about your girly time wink

Pilgit Thu 13-Jun-13 07:46:18

I have to admit I'm a bit weirded out by the 'so we can all spend time with DS.' Just because you think the sun shines out of their arse doesn't mean the rest of the world does! I have never expected my friends to want to spend time with my children - it has been lovely that they have and want to, but they are my friends not my DD's and it is fine to want to spend time with friends without the children. It may be that she is just exhausted and doesn't want to admit it.

pinkr Thu 13-Jun-13 07:47:14

With my friend I go round in the evening sometimes and take part in the bedtime routine...we bath, read a book and then I go downstairs and set up tea whilst she settles the baby on bed....could you not suggest that? Maybe she's not wanting you to see her bf-ing our something? Its quite odd! Yanbu!

Dilidali Thu 13-Jun-13 07:55:21

You sound like a really good friend, OP, it's lovely to see.
As the others said, it can be a bit tough in the beginning, patience is the key.
Perhaps a quick lunch would be ok, meet in town and grab something to eat together, with the baby? Or a coffee?
I had one of those babies for which routine was paramount and she would scream her head off if not in bed/fed in a calm environment etc at exact hours, I couldn't think straight if she screamed. And I did not set out to be a regimented mother, trust me, I used to be pretty easy. Now I go out more, attend parties and girlie days, it is somewhat easier, but sometimes I still have to cancel, not because my friends aren 't important, but I'm really needed at home.

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Jun-13 08:00:16

There's no way in hell I could have gone out for the evening when my DS was 8 months. He was bfed, I couldn't express, and he wouldn't have settled for DH all evening with no bfing.

I also wouldn't have wanted friends around because it would have been a waste of time trying to entertain them while running up and down the stairs tending to the baby all evening. We couldn't even watch a film without a good few interruptions. No chance of watching anything on TV without a pause button. It was awful.

But if she has a baby who sleeps 7 till 7 perfectly and she can express and leave a bottle for emergencies and just doesn't want to socialise, that's different.

Forgetfulmog Thu 13-Jun-13 08:08:13

Well I think YABU. My dd is 9 mo & ebf - still feeds every 1-2 hours & won't take a bottle. Her sleep is a bit shit so we've instilled a bedtime routine that starts around 6 & as she can be a nightmare to settle (& still bf) I can't take a night off. I'd love to, but can't.

You have no idea what type of baby your friend has, maybe your friend would love to take some time apart but can't simply because of the reasons I've outlined above.

SolomanDaisy Thu 13-Jun-13 08:09:02

I didn't have an evening apart from DS until he was about a year. He fed more in the evenings and I fed him to.sleep. I took him to other people's houses and had people round here, but he was a late sleeper which made it easier. Anyone who.couldn't understand that this was how things are for me for what is really a very short period of time isn't worth bothering about.

Lots of people find having a new baby overwhelming, it's only on mumsnet that you get this competitive 'it's easy and I was out drinking a bottle of tequila when he was 5 days old'.

Osmiornica Thu 13-Jun-13 08:10:13

I probably wouldn't have been able to go out at that point either as I was also breastfeeding and the baby wasn't sleeping through the night (nowhere near).

However, I did invite people round in the evenings - this was my lifeline. I couldn't express anything worthwhile so that wasn't an option and isn't for lots of women.

So I'm not sure if yabu or not.

lljkk Thu 13-Jun-13 08:15:49

Snurk at mandatory daily "family bonding time". What a load of hooey.

It's an 8-9 month old baby, I should hope not exclusively breastfed any more.

I guess you'll have to accept new boundaries to the friendship, OP. I don't blame you at all for feeling hurt.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 13-Jun-13 08:21:18

I would say either her baby is an utter nightmare in the evenings and/or her partner is not supportive. You say she hasn't been apart from the baby for longer than to have a shower? Does this include with the baby's dad? That seems bizarre if so, and I was very protective over DS in the early days and didn't really want to go out.

PicaK Thu 13-Jun-13 08:24:26

You sound like a great friend. Everything else has been said but just wanted to reiterate that bit.

vvviola Thu 13-Jun-13 08:27:47

Iljkk - did you read the posts from those of us who had babies of that age that couldn't be left? DD2 was still pretty much exclusively bf at that age - in that she refuses bottles, was allergic to most formula and had pretty much stopped eating after 2 months of pain from undiagnosed allergy issues.

I barely got a moment away from her, she certainly wouldn't have settled for anyone else. I would have quite liked to go out in the evening if I'd had any local friends to go out with, I was a new emigrant

But do you know, for the most part, the sympathy for sleep deprivation stops at about 4 months (when they "should" be sleeping through) and by 8 months people seem to think you should have everything under control. And when, it's your second... So I didn't tell people how unbelievably hard I was finding it. Even my best friend got "it's great! She's not the best sleeper, but what can you do?".

I didn't tell people I was so tired I couldn't sit down during the day when DD was awake and playing on her mat, as I was afraid I'd fall asleep. I didn't tell people that I wouldn't come out for coffee some days because I was so tired I couldn't trust myself not to crash the car. confused

You (as in the general you, not you personally) can have no idea what is going on in someone's life all the time, and sometimes what might sound like a dreadful excuse is a combination of pride and just trying to hold it together because if you admit how hard you are finding it, you might just totally fall apart. confused

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 08:30:48

YANBU.

Yes, things change when babies come along. I don't think anyone really expects things to carry on as before and make allowances. The problem is that sometimes some mums can go over the top spending every waking minute with their child to the almost total exclusion of very close friends and then a couple of years down the road find they have lost their friends and don't understand why. Friends understand to a certain point but there is a line where they can feel completely pushed aside and it does feel a bit hard done by when the mum suddenly decides years later that they can pick up where they left off.

Yes, priorities change, but friendships are like plants - they do need a bit of feeding and attention to stop them dying.

We're not talking about A friend, we're talking about BEST friends for 15 years. If this baby is particularly difficult to leave (which is possible), I would have thought the friend could have told this to the OP, who is her best friend. I would feel a bit hurt if my best friend couldn't have even turned out for an hour to my 30th birthday do.

pigletmania Thu 13-Jun-13 08:36:54

Yanbu at all. Her baby is 9 months not a tiny baby, for one blooming evening in a while she can have you round, or her dh can look after te baby and you go for a meal or whatever. She is being very precious and alienating her good friends with her behaviour. Life does not stop because you have a baby!

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 08:36:57

vvviola - I think your explanation is hugely useful but also highlights what I think is a major issue, in that too many mums DON'T say that, actually, it isn't all a bed of roses. That bringing up a baby can be exceptionally draining, can suck the life out of you, however you wish to phrase it. If more women who have difficult first 12 months actually spoke up and gave a true picture of things, I think society generally might be better.

pigletmania Thu 13-Jun-13 08:38:48

She could have made an effort to come to your birthday dinner, I am sure her dh could look after the baby for one evening, my totally inept dh would do

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 13-Jun-13 08:43:58

I could be your friend OP except I gave a dd not ds and she's 5 months. I'm sure my friends are saying the sane as you but as another poster put it sometimes your just trying to get by hour by hour it's hard work. I find evening especially hard and have told friends I can't meet up or go gym after 6 else I'd never get a chance to bath baby, have tea clean up Etc reading this I realise that everyone must be thinking the same about me. Oh well

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Jun-13 08:44:22

All these people with babies they could have left for an evening at 8 months really don't know how lucky they are.

They should be saying 'yes, I was lucky I had an easy baby I could leave at that age' not sneering at women who have it tougher for being precious or shit friends or whatever.

mistlethrush Thu 13-Jun-13 08:47:10

Interesting - a couple who are our friends had a child 18 months before us, the woman got completely obsessed with the baby - not even the father was allowed to bath her, put her to bed, feed her, get her dressed etc - I have a feeling that it was PND that got tied up with the existing OCD and never got diagnosed (as the woman denied that there was a problem) - 10 years down the line, having cut all of the previous friendships and family out, things are not going well.

I hope its not going the same way with your friend.

pigletmania Thu 13-Jun-13 08:50:47

No dd was not easy, very difficult baby, she has a dx of asd and dev delay so no picnic. Yes I see my self doing what op friend is doing I also really see where op is coming from, especially as she had no children herself so hasent been in that boat

Hullygully Thu 13-Jun-13 08:50:49

People go mad when they have a baby.

Some get sane again quicker than others.

It will pass.

You'll get your frined back.

And if and when you have a baby you'll go Oh, I get it now...

RikeBider Thu 13-Jun-13 08:56:59

Maybe she has a difficult baby she can't leave.

Maybe she would just prefer to spend the evening with her baby than go out.

Either is fine imo.

BarbarianMum Thu 13-Jun-13 09:03:08

I don't think UABU to be hurt but I have to say I hated going out for the evening and leaving my kids when they were babies, and they were babies for a lot longer than 9 mo. Also, I was knackered so going out wasn't a big deal then, either.

That wasn't the sort of mother I thought I was going to be, or wanted to be, even. But that is how it was.

vvviola Thu 13-Jun-13 09:04:51

JBF - maybe so. But I did really get the feeling from "society" that they didn't want to know (like I said the expectation in my case that a second time mother with an 8 month old should have everything under control).

I'm not saying that had I been at home near my friends I would have been the same as the OP's friend, but I can see how it happens. I think it can be particularly hard to offload when the friend doesn't have children herself (not my best friend, but other friends certainly gave me the "well you chose to have children" vibe when I mentioned problems when DD1 was a baby. In fact one still has yet to meet DD1... who is nearly 6!)

Sorry, I'm rambling a bit - trying to settle DD2 to bed (which these days involves standing in her room ignoring her, so some progress at least wink)

OP - if you're still there, you do sound like a lovely friend. Do just give her some time & please keep asking. One day either the fog will finally lift, or she'll relax a little (whatever the cause was) and she'll be so glad her friends are still there for her.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 09:10:01

vvviola - what I mean is that if more people spoke out and said exactly what an effort bringing up baby is, then perhaps more people in general would understand. Too many women just present it as wonderful, the best thing that ever happened (which of course it is) but gloss over the unrelenting hard slog it is for so many of them. If you believe the adverts, the majority of articles in the papers, hardly anyone has a hard time, which we know is bullshit. And if more truth was spoken, people would understand more.

Maybe "society" didn't want to know and while, yes, there is going to be an element of "your choice, don't moan" genuine decent friends want to KNOW if things are hard, and if they can help, or at least they will understand why things have changed and that while you may not be able to see them much or at all for the next two years because priorities have changed, you still value their friendship. Two way street and all that.

Forgetfulmog Thu 13-Jun-13 09:11:59

Jessica - I completely agree. I think one of the reasons that parents of a baby are so overwhelmed is because they only hear the stories about how babies sleep through by 6 months, can sel settle blah, blah, bla

Piglet - my DH is not inept, he is a bloody good husband & father, but there is no way I could leave him with dd for a few hours; she will only accept milk from the boob, does not self settle & will usually only sleep on me. There is no way I would be so selfish as to go out for an evening & leave DH with a screaming, angry baby.

OP, maybe your friend has a baby like mine, maybe she has pnd, maybe she hasn't lost the baby weight & doesn't want to be out with a group of sleek, groomed women. Who knows?

MiaowTheCat Thu 13-Jun-13 09:12:40

You're not being unreasonable and it's pretty nasty to suggest you are.

You're entitled to feel hurt and shoved aside a little bit - you'd be unreasonable if you were using those feelings as fuel for some kind of strop guilt fest... but FEELING that stuff isn't unreasonable because your feelings matter just as much as your friend's.

However you're a bit stuck really - if you start pushing things you're likely to be painted as the unreasonable, not understanding, can't possibly get it childless one and put the friendship at risk... you really can't win this at the moment (I don't think you ever can if you're the childless one in this sort of situation - and definitely not on here).

It's a grin and bear it jobbie. And as for all those "oh if you have a baby you'll suddenly miraculously understand" - nope, that's not guaranteed. I've got one particularly "difficult" one and I still can't comprehend making the entire house a no-go area for ringfenced family bonding time every single bloody day - talk about socially isolating yourself and expecting the world to pander to your whims. You'd have thought by 9 months the bonkersness of that particular one would have struck her a bit... it's the sort of thing that sounds an inspired idea when you're pregnant or have a new baby, and that you're cringing at by about 5 months down the line!

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 13-Jun-13 09:13:36

I think a bestfriends 30th dinner IS important enough to warrant leaving her DS for, even for only aan hour for a drink. Surely her DP is capable of looking after his own child?

Sounds like she is stuck in a mindset. OP, why dont you offer to babysitter for and hour or 2 while she son she can have a little time to herself or her and DP can go for a drink? It might get back out into the world again.

luckymamaoffour Thu 13-Jun-13 09:14:56

My youngest (of 4) has just turned three and still only wants me. I have never left her alone except for with her dad in the day for an hour - and never at in the evening because she would be distraught and likes to be co- sleep. I think you sound like a lovely friend and if you want to remain close and supportive find ways to see her with her son, because it sounds like they come as a pair!

VulvaVoom Thu 13-Jun-13 09:15:09

I have an 8 month old and have been out a few times since she was born. Obviously was hard the first time and then my DM had her overnight and she was poorly which massively put me off but have done it again since and she was fine, so all good.

Some new Mums (I believe) use having a child as an excuse not to go out because they just don't want to anymore - and perhaps were not that interested before getting pregnant. So now they can say 'Sorry, I can't I need to put DC to bed, feed them', etc.

Now the above may be true, but I think if you really want to go out and have that sort of life again, you will ensure you can e.g. put a routine in place that means you're able to.

Some people just find themselves feeling like a different person when they become a parent (I guess we all do to some extent) but it must be hard when your BF acts likes this.

I have a childless BF who I don't see that often because she lives about 3 hours away but when I saw her recently (without DD) I showed her a few pics, talked about her a bit (if lead by her) but was conscious about moving the conversation onto other stuff as there's really nothing worse than a Mummy bore! grin

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 09:21:01

lucky - just turned three and you've never left her alone for more than an hour?? Wow. Surely that can't be good for any of you? How is she bonding with her father? What will happen when she has to start going to school next year? There must come a time when, distraught or not, she has to learn that mummy can't be with her every waking minute of the day and the longer that goes on the harder it will be.

Sorry, that sounds as if I have big judgemental pants on and I don't mean it to. I just can't imagine what sounds like almost total isolation for three years.

ShabbyButNotChic Thu 13-Jun-13 09:22:05

Yanbu. Out of my core group of 6 'best' friends 3 have kids, 2 being under 1year. We still make an effort to see each other regularly, have a night out about once a month and have nights in at each others houses, sometimes with kids sometimes without. The mums of the group found it imortant to still have grown up times, and not just be someones mum constantly, partners all actively encouraged this, partly as they got to play on xbox all night without complaints, and partly because you dont stop being a person just because you have a child!
I understand that nobody will be out clubbing the week the y give birth, and it takes people time to adjust, get a routine, some sanity back etc, but it does people no good to isolate themselves.

Kiriwawa Thu 13-Jun-13 09:23:04

Most babies can be left by 9 months and even earlier (given that mothers go back to work much sooner in other countries). I don't think it's especially helpful to the OP (and is quite minimising) to cite underlying health reasons for the her friend's behaviour - surely if the baby was especially fussy/clingy, the friend would have said that rather than she needed 'family bonding time'?

I think it sounds like your friend is being really PFB and I totally understand why you're hurt. What are you going to do about it is the question. I very much doubt she'll take you up on the offer of babysitting given she won't even invite you over in the evenings.

What's really sad about people like your friend is that they end up alienating everyone and then when they come out of their baby bubble, they might find all their friends have drifted away.

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Jun-13 09:24:17

Ah the mothers of difficult babies who they can't leave in the evenings simply haven't put a routine in place that would allow them to do this hmm

That's like suggesting ginger biscuits to a woman with morning sickness.

The first year of my DS's life is like a black hole, a blot on the landscape of my memory. I wasn't depressed or anything, I was exhausted. In an effort to see friends so I wasn't completely isolated I did things like drive to London and back having only had three hours broken sleep the night before. And before that. For months. And that carried on until he was well over a year old.

luckymamaoffour Thu 13-Jun-13 09:26:35

Why is it that so many here view babies and toddlers who don't want their mum to leave them as 'difficult'? it's just natural and if society saw it as a good and positive thing, rather than encouraging mothers to separate from their babies at the earliest opportunity, then everyone wld be happier I think.

SuiGeneris Thu 13-Jun-13 09:31:32

Noblegiraffe is absolutely right. Some, perhaps most, people may be happy to leave their 8-month-old to go out with adults friends, others cannot (or do not want to). Babies are very different and some older babies still cluster feed in the evening (both of mine did) and do not take bottles, so OP's friend might well love to go out but feel she is unable to because it would be unfair to DS who would cry, be hungry, upset, etc.

OP: from the point of view of a mother with a high-need baby your post sounds a bit self-centered and short-sighted, but very understandably so because you have not had a baby (and even if you had, you might have had the placid sort that are happy to be left). It is not your fault and if I were your friend I would not expect you to understand, but would hope that you would try and put 14 years of good friendship ahead of a difficult 9 months. Also, in the greater scheme of things birthday parties are completely arbitrary celebrations and as grown ups you could agree to have a big party in a year or two, rather than now.

SirBoobAlot Thu 13-Jun-13 09:31:32

Even if the baby can't be left, there is nothing preventing the friend saying "I'm sorry, I can't come out, but why don't you come over for drink / dinner / lunch / a quick coffee?" one evening or at the weekend. Yes friendships need input, from both sides. The OP has been very understanding and patient so far, but there's nothing coming the other way. And yes, sleep deprivation is horrible. But you make an effort for your friends, especially for things like their birthdays.

WoTmania Thu 13-Jun-13 09:32:17

On the whole YANBU - I can understand not going out in the evening, even at 9 months, as I didn't go out without my babies until 1yr+ but we used to (still do actually) have friends round int he evenings so we could see people. Many of our friends dropped off as soon as we stopped going out much but the ones who stuck around are brilliant and also adore our childen and will play/entertain for hours.

Pumpkinette Thu 13-Jun-13 09:33:31

After reading all the responses I have something else to add. Alcohol. Nights out generally include alcohol and hangovers whilst caring for a baby are a fucking nightmare bad mix. If your friend is breast feeding then she would also have to consider how long it takes for the alcohol to leave her system before the milk was ok for baby.

My good friend split with her LTP when my DD was about 8 months old so I had a few nights out with her to show support etc, but my god it nearly killed me. There's no way regular late nights and alcohol are practical when you are up early to look after a baby. Even though DH was there and got up in the morning I could still hear the crying, noisy toys etc.

In the end I had to admit that I couldn't cope with nights out anymore and we opted for going to the cinema or for a meal instead. Now DD is 3 we are back to nights out but still nowhere near as often as pre baby days.

RoooneyMara Thu 13-Jun-13 09:33:50

You can suggest what you like but please do allow her to respond as she feels fit - her priorities may have changed.

I had a friend I'd been close to for about 10 years when I had ds1...she didn't like the fact that our phone calls had to be cut short...she wanted me to be her bridesmaid and I was single so I couldn't travel 200 miles when he was 8 weeks old, with him or without him...she fell out with me over it, I admit I cocked up too.

We got back together after a year or two, when she was pregnant. She understood then. And everything was fine after that.

It isn;t just thatshe has a baby - her whole outlook will have altered, you have been displaced a bit, I never felt able to go out at night when mine were that small simply because I was knackered and got no sleep as it was. I wanted to be in bed by 9.

Please don't attack her for being 'precious', she is allowed to try and get it right, in whatever way that is. I'm sure she'll be less of a perfectionist after a while.

vvviola Thu 13-Jun-13 09:34:20

Ah yes Jessica, I see what you mean. Yes, maybe we should speak out more and talk about how hard it can be (and now that I'm coming out the other side, I'm starting to a bit - I'm back doing a postgrad and I particularly like sharing 'horror stories' with the younger members of my class - they think I'm some sort of superhuman wink)

That said, when you are faced with some of the attitudes I've read on this thread, well, you begin to question yourself and wonder if you are just a bad parent/friend/person.

I'm lucky in that I found great daycare who have been brilliant with DD and DH, who is far from inept (!), takes her at weekends to let me get a couple of hours if I need child-free time, but at night time, I'm pretty much the only option for her still. Although we do have a grand plan, she may be able to go to sleep by herself before she turns 18!wink

pigletmania Thu 13-Jun-13 09:35:45

Forget did I say your dh was inept, no I am talking about my dh hmm. Yes op friend does have her reasons for not maintaining the friendship, however another poster gave a good analogy, friendships are like plants they need watering and tending from time to time, if op is doing all the maintaining and the friend is no something will eventually give. Op does not have children so does not have much experience of how time consuming tey are, and cannot be expected to. Op has been very reasonable teir is only so much you can do

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 09:36:03

Sui - what would the point be of celebrating your 30th birthday a year or two later??? Sorry, but that sounds completely arbitrary to me!

What some people are missing in this is COMMUNICATION. Yes, there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay at home with baby if that's what you want and what the baby needs. Or because you're just too damn tired. But if you value your friends and would like them to still be your friends when you decide or you are able to socialise later down the road, TELL THEM what's going on.

SuiGeneris Thu 13-Jun-13 09:38:18

Btw, the ringfenced family bonding time sounds unusual, it may be worth seeing whether you could visit for a quiet chat as long as you do not interfere with the baby's routine (personally am not a big stickler for routine but many people are).

FWIIW I would not offer to babysit. Well-meaning but childless friends without baby experience offer this thinking they are being helpful and generous, but it would be a very difficult offer to accept (and to refuse tactfully).

MrsDeVere Thu 13-Jun-13 09:38:21

My DD was a flipping dream baby but I was still like the OP's friend.
I would do everything around her naps and feeds and take out a suitcase of stuff every time we went out.

Sometimes I made plans to go out and then just couldn't leave her.
She was my first baby. My entire life had totally changed. It took all my time, energy and headspace.

So I hang on to that memory when I start thinking someone is being precious.

Because a lot of us are and I think it understandable. It may be annoying and a bit daft but it isn't abnormal and people do get over it.

By the time I had DC5 I was up and back to normal routine within a day of the birth. But that was with nearly two decades of practice and experience behind me.

I don't think anyone is being unreasonable really. Its just one of those things. I would hope that the OP's friends starts to relax a bit over the next few months but if she isn't anxious generally and there are no worrying issues involved I think its fine to be like that for a while.

rootypig Thu 13-Jun-13 09:38:56

YANBU. Get on with your life, and when she resurfaces in a few years wondering why she's never invited to parties, you can explain it to her then.

Sorry to be so harsh OP, but I have often been the person in a friendship longingly looking at the phone (for want of better image), and the best thing you can do is nurture other relationships. The nice thing about that is that this will then hurt less, fairly immediately. Shift your focus. She'll notice, and then you can say very nicely what you've said to us here.

Cuddlydragon Thu 13-Jun-13 09:39:17

I'm sorry and I don't think YABU but I think you may have been re prioritised. It doesn't really matter what her thoughts are, it's how you wish to be treated. My DS is a little older but, I work full time, and any time when I'm not working I want to spend every moment with him. That's my choice, he is my favourite thing in the world. If hes asleep i crack on with chores so our time togther is fun time. The trade off for that is that I have chosen to not prioritise friendships, and to refuse invites. The consequence for that is that I've disappointed people, I've been a poor friend and I've lost friendships. The truth of the matter is that has been my choice, the trade off, if you like. I wouldn't change a thing though. Friends who choose to move on or completely sever the friendship are perfectly free to do so, and whilst I'm sad, it's a loss that I'm prepared to see happen.

I think you should accept you deserve to be treated better and widen your friendship circle. Your friend is likely to be sad but it's her choice, and she is probably fully prepared to live with it. You sound like a lovely person.

lottieandmia Thu 13-Jun-13 09:39:28

YANBU to be upset that your friend is no longer there in the way she once was but there isn't much you can do about it except wait and hope that she returns to her normal self!

'People go mad when they have a baby.' - this is so, so true! I also agree that most return to 'normal' at some point. It's not always the people you expect who are so besotted with their PFB that everything else goes out of the window.

Forgetfulmog Thu 13-Jun-13 09:43:05

Piglet, I know you were talking about your DH, I was just trying to point out that a husband's aptitude is neither here nor there in the case of a baby who will only be settled by the mother.

I do appreciate that if the OP's friend did have a baby like mine or some of the posters on this thread, that she maybe would have spoken about it to her. Then again I'm pretty sure I've touched lightly on the subject with my BF, but she doesn't know the full extent of it at all, mainly because I don't want to be the mummy bore & because (despite the fact that she is a very generous, understanding person) she just wouldn't "get" it. You can't if you haven't experienced it.

ItsallFeegle Thu 13-Jun-13 09:43:06

I don't think YABU or childish at all.

I think it's common and unfortunately, I find myself in a similar position, but from the 'other' side IYSWIM.

One of my most enjoyable friendships seems to have changed dramatically since I gave birth to DS 6 months ago, in fact it changed when I was pg.

I was very ill throughout my pg, so much so that I was bed bound a lot of the time.

I had a very traumatic birth and subsequently found myself depressed and I believe suffering from PTS. This has affected my life to the point that I'm only now starting to feel comfortable leaving home.

My very, very good friend has been a great support and I am seeing her 'much' more frequently now but she is uninterested in DS.

She doesn't have any DC, so I appreciate she isn't that interested (or so it seems) but my difficulty isn't that she isn't welcome to visit, it's that I genuinely feel that I have nothing to offer a conversation as our lives are just poles apart.

A lot of the social invitations that I receive are to events that I just practically can't attend, not that I don't wish to.

It's sad and I think you need to cut yourself some slack. You obviously care about your friend and your friendship.

bvmsmummy Thu 13-Jun-13 09:46:25

You've had lots of responses but felt moved to add to this because I had a situation with my wonderful, caring, kind, funny, brilliant best friend who also has no kids. At around three months she got really angry with me for cancelling a coffee (which DS would have joined us for) and I just lost the rag at her. I was, at that point, spending ALL DAY with a screaming, crying, collicy baby who would only sleep / calm down if I walked and walked and walked with him in a sling. I literally couldn't get dressed / go to the toilet. He woke MINIMUM every 90 mins all night, every night despite all our efforts with routines etc. I was ill with allergies and colds, I was totally worn out with breast feeding. I felt like a failure and at the same time felt like I had to show the world that I was strong and having a baby was the best thing in the ever and I was a natural earth mother.

By nine months our situation was marginally better but still I was so very exhausted that any socializing was really not a priority. Luckily once I explained all this to her (at the three months argument) she at first got angry but then went away and thought about it and apologised for, yes, being unreasonable. We both made more of an effort to understand each other after that(I realised she was feeling lonely and left out) and things have been much better.

My LO is now 13 months, sleeping better, napping at home, stopped bfing... and last night me and my bestie went out and sank a bottle of white and gossiped over chips.

Hope that helps. xxx

jollyhappy Thu 13-Jun-13 09:47:49

I'd hang in there as a friend.

With my second I have not been out at night past 6pm. And my first could go anywhere with me but I had to feed every few hours and he often project vomited everywhere on everyone.

I have one busy friend who is way past her mothering days - but one day she took a very long lunch hour to come and see me and my baby in the afternoon - it meant a lot to me that she made the effort.

MiaowTheCat Thu 13-Jun-13 09:53:17

Ah the mothers of difficult babies who they can't leave in the evenings simply haven't put a routine in place that would allow them to do this

No, but they CAN do other stuff like tell their friend that, "Look I'm not going to be able to get to your 30th, but I'd really like to see you - can we make a date to pop around that week for a DVD and a pizza night" or similar... not "I cannot see you that week since we have family bonding time scheduled and no one else is admissable to the house during this time"... it's a close friend's birthday, one of those milestone ones - you just DO try to do SOMETHING to acknowledge it, however trapped in a bubble of baby, or difficult baby or whatever you are.

THAT'S the bit that's got ridiculous.

OP - you've been more than reasonable, you've accepted she comes as a package with her baby and done all of the running for months - if she's not even prepared to do something like have you over for a coffee (not as an imposition but if she can't get out and about) for your birthday, then I'd be pulling away from the friendship a bit too be honest. There's keeping the door open for communication and support - but this sounds as one-sided as hell, with little hope of improvement in the near future and it sounds like she's doing the bare minimum to keep you dangling and pick-up-able at a later date when it suits her.

I don't think it's fair for anyone to treat anyone else like that.

SuiGeneris Thu 13-Jun-13 09:55:56

Jessica: what I am trying to say is that being 30,32 or 33 is all the same, it is just that people are conditioned to make a fuss for multiples of 10. If celebrating 30 is inconvenient, celebrate being 31...

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Jun-13 10:01:03

A DVD and pizza night would have been a just as daft suggestion as leaving my baby at 8 months. People who come around for pizza expect to actually see you, not your back as you disappear upstairs again for the billionth time that evening.

pinkdelight Thu 13-Jun-13 10:07:13

Good point about the booze pumpkin. I was also thinking back to that foggy first year with DS1 and it wasn't so much him that kept me in, but becoming a mum was such a huge thing that I didn't really get back to being 'me' until he was at least two-years-old. My idea of fun changed and even though I could've gone out with an old friend for the night, I wouldn't have enjoyed it - just as you, very honestly, say that you're not interested in babies, that's what I wanted to talk about with other people who had babies and when you're both however kindly feigning interest it feels draining - on top of the tiredness and distractedness (missing DS).

So while I don't think YABU to want to see her, I also think the 'her' you want to see has gone AWOL for the time being and you have to let that slide. It might take a while, but when she's feeling up to it again, then she'll come out to play. But it will never be the same. Everything changes.

I've already said yanbu, I just came back to read the rest of the thread and am finding the comment about having easy babies so ridiculous.

My babies have not been easy, DS1 certainly fell into the 'only mummy will do camp', but thanks to my mums encouragement he learnt that nanny and dad will also do, so I could go out. DS3 was a nightmare for sleeping, needing to be held, constant feeding and just screaming blue murder for no apparent reason, his behaviour also then upset DS1, DS2, DN1 and DN2 (so yes I had his awfulness and 4 other children to care for) and meant that they went into a sort of sleep regression and started to mimic him. It was utter hell.

However, I was absolutely driven and determined to have a social life and to go out. I really valued my friendships just as much as my family relationships. Its one of the reasons I never EBF for past 6 months because I realised how much it would come to define my life. I wanted to go out or have people round and enjoy myself and so I made it happen. I think your friend just doesn't want it enough, to have never left him for longer than a shower is totally bizarre in my opinion.

I think by all means still be friends but don't prioritise her over others or things you enjoy because she isn't affording you the same courtesy (particularly on your 30th which I think is truly awful for a friend that long), put your energy into other friendships.

Scruffey Thu 13-Jun-13 10:10:39

She's gone a bit overboard. My first was a supremely clingy baby who screamed when he was not on me. One time, I left him with my mum for an evening out (10 months old) and she phoned me to come back after 2 hours as he was inconsolable. As soon as I walked in the door, he was chirpy again! So if her baby is a super clinger, she may have a bit of difficulty leaving him. However this doesn't excuse her bizarre stuff like no guests after 6pm or making a joint adult party as a park do centred around ds. Anywa given the amount of family bonding time that her dh has taken part in I am sure the baby would happily stay with him without her for the evening.

pinkdelight Thu 13-Jun-13 10:11:22

"A DVD and pizza night would have been a just as daft suggestion as leaving my baby at 8 months. People who come around for pizza expect to actually see you, not your back as you disappear upstairs again for the billionth time that evening."

Well said, giraffe! My Dbro used to really do my head in, coming over for an evening and expecting me to listen to him going on while I had baby traumas to deal with. Even some of my nice non-mum friends who I could tell felt that they were being really understanding, would just keep talking when I had to dash out of the room. I know the expert laidback mums on here would say this is all PFB stuff, and I agree - it was v different with DS2, but back then, it felt so so stressful. If I could avoid unncessary socialising, I totally would.

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Jun-13 10:13:26

Forgetful I know what you mean about not talking to friends about how awful it is. There's only so many times you can say 'exhausted' when asked how you are without worrying you are sounding like a boring whinger. And I don't think people really believe you when you say that you've only had a handful of hours unbroken sleep in the last however many months, because surely you'd be dead if that were the case.

And then there's the not wanting to burst into tears if you do talk about it, so you gloss over it and go onto brighter things.

And also, you want to avoid suggestions like 'have you tried just leaving him to cry?' Or 'have you tried a bedtime routine?'.

So you don't talk about it, then people apparently think you are a shit friend when you don't host dinner parties.

pigletmania Thu 13-Jun-13 10:14:41

I guess for my own sanity, and I had pnd, a few times I left dd with so I could have a couple of hours with friends. Dd was a little daddies girl and mostly stopped howling for him

ceebie Thu 13-Jun-13 10:17:48

Lots of good advice here already. Sadly, I know of some people who continue to expect everyone else to fit in around them even as the children get older. HOWEVER, if your friend has any sense at all, there will come a day when she thoroughly relishes getting out of the house with you for some child-free hours. I have a 15 month and 3.5 year old, and much though I love them, it is a wonderful feeling to regain a sense of one's own independent self again! I am hopeful that there will come a time when that happens for your friendship - 9 months is still early days really. I was EBF and found it so much easier to go out once I'd weaned him.

MrsMook Thu 13-Jun-13 10:18:27

YANBU for feeling this way.

In the last 3 yrs of being pregnant, having two babies, some of my friendships have changed- some (and generally more local) have been able to adapt, some feel like the pause button has been presssed, particularly with school friends who haven't had children yet. No particular reason, but we've had less things like BBQs to be able to invite them to. (Awful weather also a factor!) We've had less invitations and I assume they assume that I/we won't be interested.

She may be covering up and scraping by with a very difficult baby. She may have just ended up cutting herself off in a baby-bubble which is a bit unreasonable.

I still maintained a slimmed down social life when DS1 was a baby. He was EBFed and a bottle refuser, but I could go out in the evening for a couple of hours between feeds. I remember a mummy night out when our DCs were about 6-8mths, and it was obvious who was FF and BFed. The FFers were having a few drinks, the BFers were clock watching, on soft drinks and were gone by 10pm- we still enjoyed a brief escape. My DCs do often accompany me/us- we have babysitting issues beyond BFing days, but we do maintain social contact with our friends.

Some people do just disappear into a bubble for no particular reason. My ILs did this. They'd longed for children for a long time, and when they finally got lucky, they immersed themselves into the world of babies/ children. Their choice. There wasn't any reason for them to reject our offers of baby sitting (we did hear about phases where they had issues either directly or through family, so I doubt it was that). I've just always felt aware that that's not for me as I want to have maintained life byond my family unit for the days when they grow in independence. DH is also a parent and he can/should have time with our DCs. I would also go loopy to not do things independently- at 5mths I joined a circuits class, because it was a time slot where I could get out for an hour between feeds, and was my one chance in the week.

Maybe you could gently enquire as to the source of her isolation? If she has a difficult baby, she may appreciate some understanding, or she may have fallen into a habit without noticing.

Phineyj Thu 13-Jun-13 10:24:07

YANBU, I had this treatment from DSis for years and it was very upsetting. Now her kids are older we are doing better, but our relationship has never really recovered. In the meantime I have had a DC myself and still do not get it although I do understand some DC are very difficult. Prioritise other friends and hopefully she will be better in a year or so. If not you will have other friends!

Cosmosim Thu 13-Jun-13 10:26:33

All these people posting life does not stop when you have a baby clearly have no flipping idea what it's like to have a challenging baby who won't settle unless it involves your boob, wakes up the minute a warm body with milk smell isn't nearby, and wants to co sleep and feed through the night. Life absolutely fucking DOES stop. And you get giddy at the prospect of extra sleep because really, prolonged sleep deprivation is a recognised form of torture for a reason.

MrsMook Thu 13-Jun-13 10:28:57

YANBU for feeling this way.

In the last 3 yrs of being pregnant, having two babies, some of my friendships have changed- some (and generally more local) have been able to adapt, some feel like the pause button has been presssed, particularly with school friends who haven't had children yet. No particular reason, but we've had less things like BBQs to be able to invite them to. (Awful weather also a factor!) We've had less invitations and I assume they assume that I/we won't be interested.

She may be covering up and scraping by with a very difficult baby. She may have just ended up cutting herself off in a baby-bubble which is a bit unreasonable.

I still maintained a slimmed down social life when DS1 was a baby. He was EBFed and a bottle refuser, but I could go out in the evening for a couple of hours between feeds. I remember a mummy night out when our DCs were about 6-8mths, and it was obvious who was FF and BFed. The FFers were having a few drinks, the BFers were clock watching, on soft drinks and were gone by 10pm- we still enjoyed a brief escape. My DCs do often accompany me/us- we have babysitting issues beyond BFing days, but we do maintain social contact with our friends.

Some people do just disappear into a bubble for no particular reason. My ILs did this. They'd longed for children for a long time, and when they finally got lucky, they immersed themselves into the world of babies/ children. Their choice. There wasn't any reason for them to reject our offers of baby sitting (we did hear about phases where they had issues either directly or through family, so I doubt it was that). I've just always felt aware that that's not for me as I want to have maintained life byond my family unit for the days when they grow in independence. DH is also a parent and he can/should have time with our DCs. I would also go loopy to not do things independently- at 5mths I joined a circuits class, because it was a time slot where I could get out for an hour between feeds, and was my one chance in the week.

Maybe you could gently enquire as to the source of her isolation? If she has a difficult baby, she may appreciate some understanding, or she may have fallen into a habit without noticing.

Ragwort Thu 13-Jun-13 10:29:09

A very common theme on mumsnet (and I've been here for over 12 years grin) is how difficult some mothers find it to make friends, I wonder if this could be one of the reasons - ie: some <not all> mothers closet themselves up for a few years and then when they emerge and want to make friends ............. it is not so easy, some friends will have drifted away.

I am not sure what the OP can do about this particular friend, I had one or two friends like this, after 15 years one of them is back in my life after going through a very PFB phase grin.

For those of you who say 'I cannot leave my baby' - sorry if this sounds harsh but don't you ever think about what would happen if you had to go to hospital or dropped dead? I was very conscious that I would not allow my DS to become totally dependent on me.

WoTmania Thu 13-Jun-13 10:33:34

'For those of you who say 'I cannot leave my baby' - sorry if this sounds harsh but don't you ever think about what would happen if you had to go to hospital or dropped dead? I was very conscious that I would not allow my DS to become totally dependent on me'.

We would have dealt with that if it came up - I don't suppose a couple of nights out woudl ahve prepared any of my babies for me to be gone overnight/completely in any case. It's a bt like the people who tell you that you should introduce a bottle ASAP 'just in case'.

My lot always slept on me or DH downstairs so never had the 'disappearing back' problem.

I think you sound like a lovely friend. You've been caring and considerate the whole way through and its only natural that you are struggling to understand how shes feeling.

But things probably would be much easier for you both if there was better communication! My BF had a baby 3 months ago and we dont see each other all that often but we do keep in touch several times a week and have a go at grabbing a coffee the odd time. I understand that she has an all encompassing child and she understands that the odd txt to ask how my ill father is makes me feel like she still cares.

Family time is great but I'd be slightly concerned that it has to be SO regimented.

wannaBe Thu 13-Jun-13 10:55:53

While I do totally sympathise with the people whose babies are clingy/demanding and who feel they cannot leave them for a second, surely the only way a baby will ever be able to be left is if you do at some point force the issue? As hard as that is. One of the reasons why so many children e.g. have sleep issues is because parents do what at the time makes for an easy life, and before you know it you have a three year old who will only sleep while being driven down the m25 in the car because that’s what you did at the time to make it happen.

I’m being flippent there obviously but reality is that other than in cases of severe sn or profound medical needs it is rarely a question of “can’t,” but more a question of not wanting to force the issue yet because dealingwith it isn’t the easy solution – saying you “can’t” leave the baby is the easy answer. And that’s fine – parents have to deal with their babies in the way they see fit, but equally other parents will form opinions on that, and those opinions aren’t necessarily wrong just because their babies weren’t as demanding/difficult or they had other strategies to deal with it.

Having a baby is life-changing, but if you make the choice to allow that baby to take over your life to the exclusion of everything else, then the risk you run is that when that baby grows up a bit you’ve isolated yourself from those you pushed away during those first few years. And you can’t blame people for being put out about that, if babies were that difficult even a year on women would never manage to go back to work For instance. Or perhaps we should be pushing for women to stay at home in order to cater for the needs of babies because they simply cannot be left with anyone else – ever? No didn’t think so.

I would worry about the emotional state of someone who had never left a nine month old baby for longer than to have a shower tbh.

wannaBe Thu 13-Jun-13 10:59:00

oh and if that's what breastfeeding does then is it any wonder so many women choose not to do it. <<<runs for cover>>>

vvviola Thu 13-Jun-13 10:59:13

Ragwort - DH and I actually had the "what if you had to go to hospital" argument conversation on one of the many failed attempt to get DD to drink expressed milk from a bottle. We just had to figure we'd deal with it at the time. And as a previous poster said, I'm not sure a couple of nights out would have helped in that situation anyway.

OP - do you think you could resign yourself to a more daytime based friendship for a while? Or even a text/email one. Like I said, I emigrated so I'm very far away from all my friends (with the exception of a few v lovely ones I met through MN ~wave~) so I'm in a slightly different situation, but I do appreciate people checking in every now and then, it means a lot when you are in a fog.

Oh, and yes to the alcohol issue too. Hangovers and babies are not a good mix... and I lost my tolerance for alcohol after I had DD1, which made for an interesting hen party (for which, incidentally, I left DD1 at 8 months overnight with then DP, having left her the night before with my DM so DP & I could celebrate my birthday... it's only DD2 that keeps me close to home. Little troublemaker wink)

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Jun-13 11:01:36

Wannabe, my DS who couldn't have been left at 8 months now sleeps perfectly aged 3, in fact he's a much better sleeper than my niece who would have been happily left at 8 months or earlier.

8 months and breastfed is not the right time to 'force the issue'.

I'm wondering how many on this thread who think it's easy, or who would just leave their partners to it were ff by that point.

FaddyPeony Thu 13-Jun-13 11:02:06

A DVD and pizza night would have been a just as daft suggestion as leaving my baby at 8 months. People who come around for pizza expect to actually see you, not your back as you disappear upstairs again for the billionth time that evening.

Haha. Yes, noblegiraffe, I hear you. There is something so dispiriting about having to do that in front of other people, even if it's just grandparents. I'd never have invited people over for dinner when dd was under a year.

OP you've gotten lots of food for thought on this thread, so I can only repeat along those same lines:

-It's very possible (even probable) that she has a baby who is very hard to settle and she is tired and rundown and trying to put a brave face on things.

-It can be a lonely place when you're the first of your group to have children. You're aware that your friends don't understand what extreme sleep deprivation feels like. You're aware that they think you have 'betrayed' the sisterhood somehow by being so focussed on the baby.

You sound like a lovely friend. Hang in there. Even though you're doing all of the work on the friendship right now, and that doesn't feel fair, you will both need each other again quite soon. She shouldn't be fobbing you off, though. How about a long walk with takeaway coffees? DS will sleep in the buggy, you two can chat and catch up, and maybe she'll open up a bit more about how frickin hard it all is.

vvviola Thu 13-Jun-13 11:07:17

I'm going to now out of this discussion soon, because DD is actually asleep & I'm going to spend time with DH grin but I just wanted to comment on WannaBe's post ... sometimes you take "the easy way" because you are doing everything else the hard way. If you have a high needs/clingy child, or one with undiagnosed allergies like mine was, it's pretty guaranteed it's not only at night. So you pick your battles in the day time, and choose to take the easy way at night. It's not all easy or all hard.

And as for the breastfeeding comment. DD1 was breastfed, I left her overnight no problem from 8 months, went out relatively frequently from when she was young, even went to a school reunion when she was 6 weeks old. DD2, not so much, but then anything other than breastmilk or specialised formula which is vile had the potential to make her very sick indeed. I'm not sure what breastfeeding "did" to me.

FaddyPeony Thu 13-Jun-13 11:10:01

wannabe well of course you'd worry about the mother's emotional state. She must be wrecked tired and fed up. Not necessarily heading straight for the looney bin though.

Sometimes babies just grow out of neediness, though. Why should you have to force it when in many cases it'll just work itself out? I left dd with Dh for the first time when she was 6months and went for dinner with friends. I was gone about 2.5 hours. She did scream, she did miss me, she wasn't interested in a bottle. So it wasn't a great success then (even though I had a blast), but just a few months later she was sleeping really well. Why? 1. Because I was blessed with a good eater, so she was full at night and 2. she was always knackered out from crawling and cruising. If I didn't have a good eater (and it's a lottery) and if she wasn't yet moving, she might still have needed boob all night. We were lucky that she grew out of extreme neediness early on. For other babies it just takes a little bit longer.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Thu 13-Jun-13 11:17:03

OP, I think you sound like a really lovely friend, who is being truly understanding and trying your best to adapt.
HOWEVER if my best friend had missed a big important event in my life (like your 30th) at the end of a period where I had been made redundant and broken up with my LTP I would be upset, no two ways about it.
Hang in there, you sound great.

OnTheNingNangNong Thu 13-Jun-13 11:22:02

I used my son's lack of sleep as another excuse to cover up how low I was. I was terrified thay something would happen if I left him- it may not be the same for your friend, but maybe it is. I hid my true feelings for a long time and feeling like i should be able to go out made me feel a lot worse.

I don't think YABU though.

Ragwort Thu 13-Jun-13 11:30:52

I think wannabe makes some very good points, and says it a lot more eloquently than I did grin.

I have a friend who is still woken every single night by her DC (age 8 & 10) and even her DH admits she has just not been firm enough. I know we are all different but I do find it hard to comprehend when a mother won't even leave their child with his/her own father until 6 months or whatever hmm ............... OK, do things your own way but I do think in some cases there is a clear element of controlling / martyrish behaviour.

Oblongata Thu 13-Jun-13 11:47:37

A friend and I had babies 2 months apart. We'd been close friends up to that point. I had my baby first so I recognised they needed time to adjust, but after months and months I realised she was spending all her mental energy on the baby, hardly seeing anyone, and tbh it really hurt, I felt pretty rejected.

Then after a year, events came to light that showed the extent of her partner's emotional abuse. He was lying to her right, left and centre (about friends, work, workload, their whole lives, really) and she truly felt she couldn't leave her baby with him as he'd groomed her to accept that he wouldn't be capable and that everyone was against him so best not have them involved. Coupled with her natural Pollyanna-ish personality and a perverse enjoyment of martyrdom, there was no room for her to assess anything normally so she genuinely didn't care any longer about anything except those two people.

It was very sad and I worry about her a lot (she lives abroad now, 'fresh start' driven by him).

Sorry that doesn't much help the OP but I did immediately wonder if your friend's partner is kosher.

WoTmania Thu 13-Jun-13 11:51:13

'but I do find it hard to comprehend when a mother won't even leave their child with his/her own father until 6 months or whatever' - in my case I suffer from oversupply and would have either spent my whole time in the loos hand expressing. Not my idea of a fun night out. I often used to take them with me in a sling.

And IME you don't have to force the issue sleep-wise. The DC worst at sleeping in this house is the one we tried to 'be firm' with. We took the 'easy way' from the start with the younger ones because the experimental one DS1 wouldn't sleep without Big Person Contact whatever we tried.
They all sleep fine, in their own beds now.

cosydressinggown Thu 13-Jun-13 11:56:17

I have been on both sides of this, and can see it from both of your points of view. Now I am a mother, who has had a demanding baby, I feel very embarrassed about how little I understood before. I think probably one day you will have a baby and you will suddenly understand why she wants to spend her birthday with her friends and the person she loves most in the whole world - her child. Her entire world has been turned upside down, and anything else seems less important. Similarly, when she comes out of the baby fog, she will probably regret not being there for you and not going to your birthday.

In truth, you're just in very, very different places right now, but as long as you keep the contact, it'll come back.

wickeddevil Thu 13-Jun-13 12:01:21

I would suggest that the single biggest factor in whether your friend feels able to go out or not is whether or not her little one sleeps through the night.
In my experience there were distinct before and after phases; before was a fog of exhaustion and survival in which we did what we needed to to get by, after was when I got my mojo back and was able think for myself again.
My point is that I could not imagine any kind of social life in the sleep deprived phase (and with DS1 it was past a year). After a few whole nights sleep, and it really didn't take long, I was able to get some perspective.
Hang on in there a while longer. I am sure your friend will emerge from her bubble, and be only too glad of your company. Good luck.

Regardless of your friends' parenting choices, I think you're just entering a new phase in the friendship.

I've known my closest friends for 25-30 years now and our relationships have all waxed and waned over the years as we have moved to different places, had children, been married, divorced. Our 30's were the biggest period of change and it seemed at times we would lose touch all together. However, in our 40s I believe we value each other even more than we ever did.

Think of the long game. Your friend is being a bit pfb but she'll get over it. Your friends are the family you choose for yourself. Don't give up. But I'd say give her a bit of time to get used to parenthood and relax with it. I literally felt like a car crashed into my life after ds1. Now we've had no3 it's a piece of cake!

DontmindifIdo Thu 13-Jun-13 13:36:21

I would also like to counter the " you just need a good routine" view - with DS, we did have a great routine, and once we established it, he would then sleep. We did manage to go out in the evenings, but I needed to feed until 7pm, then again at 10pm - that was enough if DH and I had a babysitter to go somewhere local for a quick dinner or a couple of drinks, but not really if say, one of my friends was going to do a big evening somewhere that was more than a 15 minute drive from my house.

Now, you always get people who say "oh, you could just flex their routine a bit, it doesn't hurt them" don't realise that with a baby like DS, flexing the routine even by the tiniest bit meant he would not sleep that night. Pushing routine out by 30 minutes would mean 4 hours of less sleep - at least. It would have a knock on effect on the next 3 nights and normally it would be best part of a week before we'd be back on track. We very, very quickly learned - you do not fuck with the routine - to do so would mean DH would be trying to work on no sleep for at least half the following week. I would be crying a lot again, and family life would be shit.

I'm sure some people thought we were being rude turning down invitations, but I'm of the view that the first 6-12 months with your first DC is all about survival. If you have a totally chilled baby who can fit round your life, great, if you don't, then you do what it takes to survive.

wickeddevil Thu 13-Jun-13 14:15:08

Dont mind. Totally agree with your last point re survival.
We have dear friends who we used to invite over when our DCs were small. They had no children at the time, and were happy to fit in, understanding that if was easier for us to meet at our house, and have a meal or takeaway.
Trouble is their stamina was so much greater. They would be wanting to do shots in the small hours, when DH and I would be praying for them to go home, knowing we would be up in just a few hours.
The penny dropped when they had DCs themselves.

oscarwilde Thu 13-Jun-13 14:48:59

YANBU for feeling this way but I think you can see from the posts that it may not be as simple an issue as your friend being totally pfb. Or it might just be that.

I'd accept that in this instance her 30th birthday celebrations are going to be totally different to your expectations. For one, she will probably want to start earlyish in the morning. A nine month old will need some puree fed into him and will then be put down for a nap in his pram or tent (I kid you not) for a snooze. She may want to have a picnic lunch at 12 so meeting around 11, so she can chill with you guys while he sleeps, or not if she is unlucky.
Be prepared between you and your friends to offer to walk alternate laps of the park with the pram if he won't settle - it is her birthday after all.

Expect that she will want to be home by 5 pm to give him his dinner and put him to bed. She's unlikely to be sticking around or inviting you all back to hers so don't be offended if that happens.

Lastly, try not to openly talk about going to the pub to continue the day there - it will only make her feel isolated and a bit shit even if she chooses to be pfb about his bedtime.

Purlesque Thu 13-Jun-13 15:03:35

Hi
Could I just add that we never have people over in the evening, my ds (21 months) gets very anxious when people come round and takes a while for him to settle, he's always been like it, so now just to have a calm evening environment we don't invite people.
Not that people have never visited but we try to avoid if possible.
I had to let my FIL in the back door once during dinner because if DS had seen him he would have screamed and then not eaten.
Sounds odd but it's just how it's worked out.
I also have to go to bed with DS as he's up all night.

Perhaps she has a high need baby too!

Purlesque Thu 13-Jun-13 15:05:02

What I'm saying is don't take it personally.

MorganMummy Thu 13-Jun-13 15:09:49

There are easy babies, and there are difficult babies. I certainly never chose to abandon my friends and do nothing for over a year, but I wasn't going to force my difficult baby to learn to drink from a bottle or not have trouble settling by doing CC, sorry, it just happened that I couldn't leave him. And unless my friends have a similarly difficult baby, they probably won't ever understand it really, but I don't care! When I did try to be social or normal in that year I was awful company anyway and miserable, sleep-deprived or manic.

thebody Thu 13-Jun-13 15:10:29

She sounds very precious but like previous posters said you may not know the whole story. Does her dh not cope without her? Maybe she doesn't trust him! Mad yes but quite commen if you read threads here.

Your lives are different now. You go out with your girl friends and enjoy. Stuff the park idea as that sounds awful. Book your own party.

I blush to remember how Pfb I was and how his routine was paramount to the point of life ruling. It's what parents do to survive or cope.

I am completely normal now!! Your friend may emerge soon and be normal again.

waterrat Thu 13-Jun-13 15:49:08

Donna - I havent read through the whole thread - but wanted to add my own experience. At 8 months it was still very difficult for me to leave my breastfed baby in the evening. I could never have imagined it beforehand, but he didn't take a bottle - and that meant that psychologically it was very difficult to walk away and relax with him at home. He was a terrible sleeper and would go to bed at 7 but wake frequently before midnight, screaming his head off to be breastfed. Now - personally I couldn't cope and did some sleep training and stopped breastfeeding - but even then, it was probably 10 months before I could do much without him in the evening.

Also - if she is ebf and feeding on demand I can promise you she is probably a broken woman by now! it was the most incredibly draining thing I have ever done. I could not go out, I didn't want to go out - I was barely sleeping, feeding two, three times a night - until about 9 months - I was sobbing myself to sleep!

She is trying to have a party where you can meet him because she can't really be apart from him - breastfeeding for the first year if you are very committed to it, can really mean you can't make big plans without baby.

She could be lonely, tired and sad but not in a position to tell you all that - I think 'bonding time' in the evening is just an easy way for her to explain her inability to get out.

A year is such a short time in a babies life - and in your friendship - within a few years she may be back to normal - if your friendship matters can you cope with that?

Why not tell her in an email that you would love some time treating her - could you take her out to dinner really near her house so she could pop back and BF? Or bring her a take away to her home?

do not underestimate the evil, evil impact of sleep deprivation on a persons life and character....

waterrat Thu 13-Jun-13 15:53:35

oh - just to add - I so, so agree about how dispiriting it is to have friends over when you have a baby who wont settle in the evening, I know it sounds silly but it is mortifying to constantly leave the room to rock/ shhh /feed your baby yet again .....I hated having people round over bedtime /evening until he was sleeping really well. and that was at about a year....

I would tense up at the thought that they would be looking at my mad bedtime routine, DS would pick up on my tension, would cry more , I would often be in tears in his room while my friends sat in the living room...aaaargh....horrible memories.

give her a break.......but I do think suggesting a drink near her house is a good plan, but only if you dont mind if she says no

PollyIndia Thu 13-Jun-13 16:09:39

I am a single mum with an 8 month old breastfed baby and YANBU as far as I am concerned. It's not very easy for me to go out in the evenings as can't afford a babysitter and my parents live 150 miles away, but I do (sometimes) and for important things I will arrange something - I have friends I can ask with enough notice, or mum can come and stay. And I have people over for dinner quite a lot and have for a good few months now. But I suppose I have made an effort to put him to bed at 7 since he was 6 weeks old precisely because I wanted to ensure I could have my evenings, to be able to cook myself dinner and to be able to have a bit of a life again eventually. Even though he was waking every 2/3 hours until he was 6 months old. I did express and give him a bottle from quite early on as I had to go back to work when he was 2 months old, so I suppose that also makes a difference.
I don't really recognise the broken woman description I am thankful to say... maybe it is easier being on your own as it turns out! I don't mind the broken sleep too much either, though I am looking forward to getting an 8 hour stretch again at some point!
I agree with pp who said you are just in different places for the moment. You go out and have a wild time for your birthday and put up with the park baby cooing thing for hers. Then maybe suggest a different thing you can do together, just the 2 of you. With some notice I am sure she will be able to arrange something, even it's a bit later.
You will end up close again - may just take a bit of time.

Tippee Thu 13-Jun-13 16:11:43

I breastfeed my DD and she just cluster feed every evening. Plus being a parent can be quite tiring. I remember wanting to be in my pjs and relaxing in front of the TV with my DH.

This meant I couldn't go out as it became a bit unpredictable knowing when she will wake up for a feed so I decided to just focus on my girl until I started weaning her, then I would go out. She wouldn't take the bottle sad

I don't think I would have stopped people coming over after 6pm. But I did hate uninvited guests because some evenings I would be exhausted as my baby didn't sleep well so it meant that I needed the odd early night. I had my friends over for tea but just confirmed on the day in the morning just to make sure I wasn't sleep deprived!

I'm just thinking maybe your friend is aleays tired in the evenings, does she have a difficult baby? or simply having trouble leaving her baby? I don't think it will be too long till she makes some changes. I couldn't do without seeing my friends I would find that difficult.

Nicolaeus Thu 13-Jun-13 16:14:19

I understand your frustrations but I also feel for your friend.

I didn't go out in the evening until DS was 8 or 9 months (and it was a disaster the first time... and a few times after that!)

9 months is a typically very clingy age.

At 9 months, my life was :

Get up, BF DS, go to work, come home, BF DS, try to get him to bed, fail, cry, eventually get him to sleep (cot or co-sleeping after many many attempts), get up to him 6 - 8 times a night, BF him back to sleep, ...

My evenings solely consisted of trying to get DS to sleep (I'm am not exagerating unfortunately - I was lucky if I got to eat without him on my lap)

Exhausted does not cover how I felt when DS was 9 months old. I cried a lot

I had no social life without DS (eg. playdates at the weekend) until DS was 15 months, except for a couple of meals out with DH whilst my parents babysat (we were out max 1.5 - 2 hours).

I don't have many friends anyway, but I prioritised DH whenever I had a spare moment when I wasn't at work or with a clingy baby.

Until 13 months DS would not go to sleep unless BF. Believe me, I tried.

I would never invite someone over in the evening because I would not have any spare energy to talk to them. I'd also feel very judged (particularly by a childfree friend) by the fact that DS was, to be fair, a nightmare to get down to sleep.

We now know it was reflux, but until 12 months, he would regularly wake up within 20 - 30 minutes of being put to bed, then at least once more before 10pm, then another 4 - 6 times in the night...not something I wanted someone else to see. I didn't want well-meaning "advice" either!

I also would not have invited friends

Tippee Thu 13-Jun-13 16:16:55

Oh I also have to agree with waterrat, one occasion it was really hard to settle DD when my friend was round. It can get difficult to the point that you might as well end the evening! Luckily that only happened once for me .....maybe her baby is difficulty to handle in the evening - just a thought.

curryeater Thu 13-Jun-13 16:25:03

You sound very nice and very understanding.
Here is what I think is happening: your friend is having a much harder time than she is letting on. "family time" is not a choice, it is something that is imposed on her by exhaustion or crazy cluster feeding or both. I don't think she is choosing to sit in a dimly lit room gazing at her calmly sleeping baby while holding hands with her dh and wearing a long white floaty dress.

You say that you and she have both been very supportive of each other. In the light of this you might want to make some overtures that hint that she can, if she wants, open up to you more than she has done so far, and you can guess it is not all dappled sunshine and gurgling smiles. I think that it sounds as if she is so used to being nice, in a friendship, that she is not cued up to say "yes, I could see more of you, but it would have to be at my house, it would have to be while the baby feeds, and I can't cook for you, and I won't be able to dress up, and I might not have anything fun or interesting to say, and at a certain point well before midnight I will not physically be able to stay awake any more and you will have to call a cab because honestly I have no spare energy to make up a bed for you either". Are you prepared to put up with that? Do you want to be her friends on those terms? If so, let her know, and she will love you for ever. It doesn't sound like something she is prepared to be demanding enough to ask.

Ashoething Thu 13-Jun-13 16:42:12

YANBU op-nearly all my friends with kids have become like this.Its so boring to hear the oh no I couldn't possible leave them them with their fatherhmm-and I am talking about friends who youngest kids are 3!

I love my dcs to bits but I always value time for myself,not as a mother and it pisses me off that I try to be a supportive friend and I get very little back.

dubstarr73 Thu 13-Jun-13 16:50:38

But not all babies are difficult some babies are easy.It shouldnt be painted on here as doom and gloom.To me she is using the baby as an exscuse to get out of the friendship.

It will get to the point where she will want to go out but wont have any friends left to go out with.I love my time out wiht out teh kids you need to recharge your batteries.And to be fair the babies 8 months not a newborn she should be able to go out for a while.

Yanbu - My best friend is exactly like that. Only, her family bonding time extends to the weekends too. Which means that the only times I can see her is if her husband has gone without her to see mates/family or work has a rare weekend shift ( this is the only times she ever picks up the phone to invite me around - or asks to see her in town if she is fed up with being at home)

In order for me to see her, I need to take time off from work, and go to her home, 1 1/2 hours drive away (or meet her in central London 1 1/2 hour away by bus tube/train). She works 4 days per week now.
It is not even possible to meet her for a quick drink after work, she must go straight home.

I think I have seen her twice in the last year. (Aside from some major event like first holy communion (my ds1s) and a Christening (her dcs)

My friends baby is now 18 months old. She is expecting her second soon, I expect I will see even less of her then.

Your friend is lightweight compared to mine! Although I am not sure I can call her best friend any more. sad

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 13-Jun-13 16:58:24

When DD was 8 months, she started sleeping through most nights, by the official definition of 5 hours of unbroken sleep. Yep, from 7pm until midnight around 5 nights a week she would sleep soundly before waking every 45 minutes for the rest of the night. So my only chance for sleep was those 5 hours. Pizza and a video at my house was roughly the equivalent of an all-night party on a work night.

DS at that age was different. He slept fine between midnight and 4am, but woke up every 45 minutes before and after that point. For around a year I couldn't watch a TV programme longer than half an hour the whole way through. Again, going out was a pretty miserable experience.

I was very lucky as my childfree best friend understood that I wasn't freezing her out, but that it was genuinely very hard to find time together that allowed for her work and my childcare commitments. I made it clear to her that even though we only met up occasionally, she was pretty much the only person I managed to see at all, and I found time for her when I could. We met up less frequently, and both made other friends who we could see with less hassle, but we are still very close. My youngest is 3 and I am starting to get back out into the world, and if I go out anywhere she is the first person I invite out with me.

I think that if you want the friendship to carry on, you have to be honest about how you are feeling, and do some communicating, and so does your friend. Even with a high need baby, there are things you can do - taking the baby for a nap/walk together, meeting for Sunday lunch at a pub with a play area, picnic in the park, bring and share lunch at her house, meeting up at the library etc. She might not be able to do all of those things, depending on her kid, but she could probably manage something that fits in with the baby. At least half her attention will probably be on the baby, but she will be like that for everyone.

You sound like a good, caring friend, and I hope your friendship gets back.on track soon.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Thu 13-Jun-13 17:06:33

OP - just checking - your other friends have been supporting YOU through your hard time, right?

LastTangoInDevonshire Thu 13-Jun-13 17:08:37

OP - I am going through exactly the same thing with my BF and her not-even-born-yet grandchild. I have been ceremoniously dumped I think and I am hurt and upset! I know how you feel.

florascotia Thu 13-Jun-13 17:26:14

OP, I think you are being a lovely friend, and, as others have said, I am totally in awe of mothers with exceptionally demanding babies.

I think curryeater makes a very good point. What follows is written with hindsight, that wipes out the worst memories and makes most things look better. But here goes:

Several of my best friends had babies while I was still being a (rather self-absorbed and careless/carefree) student. I saw more of them than you are seeing of your friend, but, I think, it was almost always in company with their DCs (walks to park or even just to corner shop, chats while bathing baby etc etc). They were very generous to invite me to join them; I felt privileged to be allowed to share in this new phase of their lives. We spoke - with many interruptions - of what mattered to us at the time; they told me about their DCs and DHs, I probably wittered on about my latest boyfriends or the university. But it was clear to all of us that, for a while, their DCs simply HAD to come first. If they wanted to see me for just a quick cup of tea while the baby was asleep, that was explained without any awkwardness and no-one minded. I think nearly all of us are still good friends, many, many years later.

Wthout knowing your friend, I hesitate to make any suggestions, but would she perhaps like to see a couple of group photos of your 30th birthday party with a little note from you and all her old chums, or be sent a slice or two of your birthday cake, just to show that you and your friends are thinking of her, and want to keep in touch?? Again I hesitate, but is there anything that you can offer to do to help her - either now or later? (When friends' DCs were older, I sometimes babysat, or built lego or bricks or read stories etc etc). My friends had the lovely DCs, but the childless me had spare time and energy and freedom. Is there any way - without interfering or being intrusive - that you can tactfully offer to put your free time, energy etc at your friend's disposal, if ever she needs them?

sameoldIggi Thu 13-Jun-13 17:53:01

I don't think it is "controlling or martyrish" to not leave your baby, even with its father, if you have tried it and it led to hysterical, unremitting crying from your baby until you (and your boobs) came back home.
At one year, I will leave him overnight now and then, they do not stay the same forever.

foreverondiet Thu 13-Jun-13 17:55:54

Yanbu - very odd - actually I went out on my own within each baby at around 6 weeks - much easier as DH was in - so good to have occasional evening off. And that was with full breastfeeding - just fed before I went out - fine for a couple of hours.Time to find new friends. By 7 months I was back at work and left them overnight with DH occasionally) but that would be harder if bf-ing)..... Odd to not have night out at 9 months. Unless no partner and no other babysitter - but then odd not to have friends round??

BettyandDon Thu 13-Jun-13 18:00:14

I have 2 kids under 3.

I have lost nearly all interest in the sort of nights out I used to enjoy before children;

1- Most days I get a 2 min shower at most if at all, ie, it is hard to fit in time for basic hygiene!

2- I am all lumps and bumps and don't have nice clothes that fit anymore

3- I have very little disposable cash

4- I can not risk a hangover with looking after the kids

5- I am permanently knackered as usually up 2-3 x per night

6- I am exhausted by permanently by entertaining or watching the kids. It's a 12-13hrs day starting at 5 some days when I don't get a break to have a hot cup of tea alone until DH comes home

I used to find it very hard to relax when the DC are left with anyone, but less so now.

It is utterly relentless raising kids and I didn't breastfeed or have particularly difficult babies.

It is maybe possible that your friend does not confide all of her new life with you as the expectation is that being a new mum is like floating happily on a cloud.

9 months is a hard age her baby is probably cruising and pulling up and at this stage you need eyes on the back of your head.

Things just change. I think if your friend goes back to work you may get some of her back but otherwise I would wait till her baby is about 2, unless of course she has another.

3 years in I honestly don't have any childless or single friends. It's just been my reality I'm afraid. Way different.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 13-Jun-13 18:01:00

YABU. Haven't read the whole thread but you clearly have no idea what being a parent can be like for some people. Get a life that doesn't just revolve around this friend! I think it's great that she prioritises her son and doesn't want to compromise how she feeds him to fulfil your need to go out. Her life has moved on and yours hasn't. I think you're jealous and unfulfilled.

girliefriend Thu 13-Jun-13 18:15:29

YANBU, I don't relate to any of the issues your bf has confused

Mind you I was back out on the town when dd was 11 weeks so maybe I am not the best person to comment!! And I was bf but left some expressed milk with my mum. I was given some advice when pregnant that the baby has to fit into your life not the other way round!!

Not sure what you can do though, probably just go with it and feel sad that your friendship will probably never be the same. Sorry.

Ashoething Thu 13-Jun-13 18:44:53

wibblypig-and I think that loads of posters on here sound like they are martyr mummies. Rude?-yes just like you were...

SueDoku Thu 13-Jun-13 18:45:47

Wibbly that last remark was really horrid and uncalled for - the OP has admitted that she had no idea what being a parent is like, and demonstrated really sympathetic feelings towards her friend. She came on here to ask for advice - not to be slagged off. She seems really kind and will probably be able to pick this friendship up again in a few years - it just has to go on the back burner for a while.

SuiGeneris Thu 13-Jun-13 18:54:55

Nicolaeus: how did you work out it was reflux? DS2 is exactly the same and I have not slept longer than 3 hours at a time in 14 months...

Llareggub Thu 13-Jun-13 18:57:40

You might not know much about what it is really going on. I excluded the world and probably people thought I was being precious. The reality was my exH was (is) an alcoholic and I was too afraid to leave him alone with the baby. I didn't want to tell anyone his problems either, I was still naively of the opinion that he would recover. So I battled on, projecting this mirage of a perfect life to the world. Stupid really, I know. Luckily is now my exDH and I tell people what it was really like.

Dozer Thu 13-Jun-13 19:03:04

Could leave DD1 at that age (although was always knackered) but not DD2 due to ebf and her being a poor sleeper in the evenings, and hated people coming round for reasons others have described, didn't want them to judge how we handled things.

Before I had DC I thought, a bit like the OP, that it'd be tough for six months or so, after which I'd get on top of things and begin to get "my life" (as it had been) back. Didn't quite work out like that!

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

averywoomummy Thu 13-Jun-13 19:47:20

I think that neither of you are being unreasonable really. It's just that your lives have started to take different paths.

Understandably you are single and childless and you want a friend you can go out with, have long chats with and who will make you a priority. She is a new mother who is probably exhausted, wants to spend time with her baby and just can't really give you the friendship that you need any more.

TBH it sounds as though you are not particularly interested in her baby anyway and she probably wants to talk about her baby so maybe she feels awkward around you as she can probably sense you are bored by it. I know that the thought of having guests round past 6pm, having to look decent, tidy the house, try to entertain them , stay up talking would have been too much for me with either of my children.

I also think that when you have children your priorities change and things that would have been really important pre-DC such as birthdays etc just don't seem as important any more.

You don't need to loose the friendship but you need to accept that it has changed and as another poster said it's probably not going to be the same again. After all the baby will grow into a toddler who will be constantly interrupting your conversations so you won't get a chance to chat properly, and then they will be a schoolchild and your friend will spend weekends ferrying them to parties or sports clubs so you will always inevitably be pushed out. She may have another DC too!

Maybe it would be best to concentrate on other friendships that can provide you with what you need. Remain in contact and friendly with this friend but accept that things are different now.

formica5 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:14:28

Initially I thought 'oh she should be able to go out even if she has to express' but then I remembered that I didn't want to go out for about two years and for the first year and a half breast fed on demand. I also had lots going on during the day and felt no urge to paint the town.

formica5 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:15:21

I think you should go round to hers for some quiet nights. Takeaway and a glass of wine. Maybe text and mention that you miss her company?

formica5 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:17:23

Also some babies are very high maintenance in the evenings.

I agree with the poster who said friendships need to be fed and watered like plants.

We all get that babies are hugely fulfilling and time consuming and delightful and hard work, but this time too will pass, and it seems such a shame when so many women lose their friends of 20+ years standing because they are so far into the baby bubble, for both parties.

A friend of mine is struggling to conceive, and may be unlikely to, and I do feel her pain when we all get together as a big group and the only talk is of babies, with a rushed 'how are you' to her and then they don't bother to listen to the answer. Even on the rare occasion the babies aren't there as a distraction.

OP you sound lovely, don't give up on your friend but maybe do lean back a little, for your own happiness. In time your friend will miss you and you'll be able to be friends again, but for now it won't be the same so be kind to both of you. smile

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 21:20:08

wibbly - that was one of the nastiest things I've ever read on here.

avery - the OP is not asking to be made a priority. She has grasped that things have changed and that baby is now priority. She has every right, as her best friend, to want to see her now and again. She hasn't said she insists on seeing her friend without her baby. I think it very sad that some mums think it perfectly OK to pretty much sideline and ignore very close friends who have been there for them through thick and thin for years and years. I'd be very upset if someone did that to me and ignored my 30th birthday.

Yes, priorities change, but it is a pity that some mums seem to think that it is perfectly acceptable to show no consideration for friends and think everything should now be a one-way street (ie, theirs).

Also - to be a friend you dont necessarily even have to get together all the time, but texts and calls can be swift and a good way to show you're thinking of each other. To go from being very close pre baby to completely sidelined post birth would be hard on anyone I think.

luckymamaoffour Thu 13-Jun-13 22:15:05

I don't feel like a martyr because I give my child what she wants - to be with her mummy. She has a wonderful bond with her father but she doesn't like me to leave her at three. I don't have a problem with that at all and neither does he. My five year old was the same at that age, and she gradually became happier to be left with Daddy and now is perfectly happy being with him without me there. I just don't see what is wrong with giving your child what they want at such a young age. They are only little for such a short time, and surely when we become mothers our lives are supposed to change. I think it is better to embrace it.

As for OP I think if her friend is an attachment parent and she wants to remain close friends then, as I said before, she has got to accept that they come as a pair.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 13-Jun-13 23:05:54

lucky - absolutely agree!

Just thought I would come back and respond to the comments that have been posted since my last post. I didn't mean to come across as nasty or rude in any way - rather, what I wrote was my honest reaction based on what the OP herself said (and even she said she thought she was BU in her original post!) and my own experiences going back to when I was a first time mum.

Ashoe - I'd say direct, not necessarily rude. I do think the OP sounds as though she has relied very heavily on this friend in the past and needs other people whilst her friend can't give as much of herself to the friendship as the OP needs right now.

SueDoku - if my comment offends you, apologies, but that is how the OP came across to me.

Tig - unfulfilled as the OP has the time and energy to critique her friend's lifestyle and choices in such detail on here, rather than speak to her in person about them. I didn't mention anything about her needing children to feel fulfilled, neither did I relate this to a child 'hanging off her tit' as you so delightfully put it. No need to launch such a personal attack - though something I said clearly hit a nerve... Are you OP before the name change, by any chance?!

Jessica - our views clearly differ somewhat. Nothing wrong with that - and we've obviously read very different threads over the years if mine is one of the 'nastiest' comments you've ever seen...

The point is, what any of us say on here is irrelevant really. The OP's friend has every right to parent her child as she chooses and the OP can cut her some slack if their friendship is different from before (or not) - the choice is hers and how she behaves will probably determine whether the friendship survives into the future.

Personally, I think it's somewhat unfair to vilify someone for (what sounds like) trying to do their best by their child (not saying that EBF is best, but again, from the OP, sounds like this is what the OP's friend has chosen to do). Some people on this thread will think this is an excellent way of going about things, others would describe her as a martyr - and each of these opinions is equally as valid as the next. The OP needs to decide for herself if she feels the friendship is worth pursuing given these changed circumstances. I imagine she will also feel very different about things if/when she goes on to have children of her own.

cerealqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 23:30:23

OP, YANBU and you sound like a good friend. I wish my former friends had behaved one tenth the way you have and I'd have felt a lot more supported!

Cut her some slack though, as you never know what is going on behind closed doors that she can't share, but she may well do in the future.

Nicolaeus Fri 14-Jun-13 09:20:31

SuiGeneris

DS was still being sick 10 times a day at 9 months. We'd tried some meds but nothing worked so the Dr referred us for tests (x-rays, scans). A specialist (gastro-paed) said it was reflux and prescribed us Inexium (which can't be taken before 12 months, but DS was nearly 12 months by the time the tests /diagnosis etc. had finished!)

The difference to DS' sleep was unbelievable. Within a couple of weeks of taking the meds he'd gone from waking 6-8 times a night to 2-3, and crucially was sleeping up to 4 or 5 hours at a time.

He stayed on the meds until 20 months.

(sorry for hijack OP)

OP You do sound a lovely friend. I think that only your friend will know why she isn't socialising - is it linked to her DH? Her baby? Her exhaustion? Or just that her priorities have changed and she no longer wants to go out (I agree with a PP that I no longer fit into my nice going out clothes <sob> so avoid situations that make me feel crap about my changed body)

At the end of the day, are you prepared to wait for your friend to find her feet again? Or do you feel that you need her to be there for you now and it's a friendship breaker?

I don't have a huge group of close friends. But I do have some long-term friends that I have sporadic contact with. We email/phone occasionally and meet up once or twice a year (don't live in the same town/country). But they are still my good friends who I know I could call if I needed help. And when we meet up it doesn't feel like a year has gone by - we pick up the friendship where we left off IYSWIM?

ilovecolinfirth Fri 14-Jun-13 09:30:03

I don't think it's unreasonable for her to want to spend her birthday in the park with her son, but I do think its unreasonable of her to have not made any effort for your birthday or in evenings. An occasional evening of a couple of friends over is harmless and actually healthy for her and the baby.

Having children changes your life in a big way, but the rest of the world still exists outside her secure family unit. To be honest, her perfect family life will not last forever, and at some point she will need support from other people.

She sounds really lucky that you've been this patient for so long. Big hugs to you. X

classifiedinformation Fri 14-Jun-13 11:57:11

YANB to be a bit miffed. I tend to bite my friends arms off when they invite me out. I love my kids to pieces, but by God I do need time away from them sometimes to be myself and not just "Mum"!

But, I also understand that everyone is different, so you're either going to have to make allowances for her or possibly wind the friendship down.

lydiajones Fri 14-Jun-13 12:14:32

YANBU - I felt so lonely when I had my first baby and would have loved to have a friend like you around so I think she is making a big mistake. I just moved when I had my first so only met other people with babies, I would have loved a friend to pop around in the evenings or go out with for drinks/dinner etc.

Mia4 Fri 14-Jun-13 16:07:30

YANBU, It's a matter of perspective OP and from your words above I definitely don't think you are unreasonable to feel this way, nor do i think you'd be unreasonable to distance yourself from your friend. Not that that means she is being unreasonable, as people above have been saying she may just really be having a hard time of it.

However you to have had a hard time of it and need your friends, and friendship does need to be two-sided even if one friend is finding it hard to commit much, currently she either can't or won't be there for you and you need to invest time in those who can and will-those who you'll return the favor for. I think it's the best option because if your friend is genuinely needing space then you are giving it to her and when she can come back she can do so on her terms, equally if she's being a user (thinking you do all the running) or is distancing herself from you, you're less likely to be hurt and you'll just drift apart,.

We can all give you our perspectives and appearances but your friend could be overwhelmed, stressed, pnd, depressed, self-absorbed, distancing herself from you or using. No one knows, we've all had varied experiences and any one, or combination of could be yours.

The key is communication if your don't want to distance, but you seem unkeen to do that and upset her which could mean that maybe deep down-based on how you know your friendship and each of you to be- that you know that your friendship is drifting apart and will continue to or it could just be that she's as unwilling to communicate to you as you are to her and so you're missing some vital information from her perspective and her from yours- therefore you are drifting.

None of us knows how your friendship is OP, if your friend still tries and est as she can by ringing and texting then perhaps she is as others here have describe

But if she is, or worse always has, expecting you to chase her and do all the running and doesn't bother with calling or texting you then she's more likely to be distancing herself.

Good luck OP.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Jun-13 19:13:17

Hello
Do let us know if you'd like us to move this to relationships won't you?

Mia4 Fri 14-Jun-13 19:21:08

Just out of interest if it gets moved does that mean my google bookmark doesn't work anymore?

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 15-Jun-13 12:01:48

We're going to move this to relationships at the request of the OP.

Mia4 - not entirely sure about the bookmark q! Maybe you could let us know once we've moved it? Sorry we can't be more helpful!

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 15-Jun-13 12:07:02

She sounds like a weirdo! I have two small children and jump at the opportunity for nights out!

yellowutka Sat 15-Jun-13 13:03:47

Some interesting responses on here. OP, YANBU, and you sound like a great friend, it's not your fault if you are taken in by all the myths entrenched in our culture surrounding babies and what is normal. First, if she's breastfeeding, it makes sense that she can't go on a night out at nine months, given that babies feed more at night. Those waffling about routine can't expect everybody to conform to 'the norm' and force their baby into an unnatural feeding pattern. It is not 'preciousness' to be wary of leaving your baby distressed. Second, if the partner can't have the baby for an hour, AND friends can't come to the house, some posters might think about looking to the partner for why that is rather than blaming the mother. Just a thought. Anyway, How far away is the night out? When I am back home visiting friends, I have managed quite well with a baby who wakes up sometimes every couple of hours for a feed, because I am a short taxi ride from home and keep my mobile on: I often make it back out again afterwards. If your friend enjoyed seeing you before she had the baby, it is HIGHLY, HIGHLY unlikely that she doesn't want to see you or doesn't care about your birthday

yellowutka Sat 15-Jun-13 13:16:20

Sorry, meant to add, don't take this to mean that she doesn't want, or need, time with friends, just isn't able to get it. Can you go round in the day? Get to know the baby? (whisper it, but you are the best friend) babysit????

MrsFrisbyMouse Sat 15-Jun-13 13:21:07

OP your relationship with your friend will never be what it was. Different stages of our life's mean relationships evolve and change.

No where do you mention the role you think you play in this child's life. In fact you just sound resentful of the fact this child has taken away your playmate. If she really is your best friend, then this child is now a part of your life as well. You need to think about how you build a relationship with him. She will aways put his needs first now, but she still needs you. Think long term on this.... Soon you be able to have a spa weekend away, or a sneaky glass of wine in pizza express on a Friday tea time!

tazmo Sat 15-Jun-13 22:38:15

YANBU unfortunately LOTS of things change with friends whether they have them or not. I have (or had depending on how you look at it) but having kids was at the root of all of it. I have 3 kids. Lucky - first one ivf after fertility probs like lots of my friends as we left It late. Then lucky with 2 naturally conceived children. One friend had baby at same time - said she felt threatened cos I was coping and she wasn't (not true BTW- I had delayed PND and suffered when ds1 was 5 months to 1 year. She then went on to have several MC so she wasn't happy when any of her friends had babs. Dear friend 2 had a son after 4 goes of ivf. At 3 years, the son she did conceive has autism and so is finding it hate to seeme with 3 healthy children! Am so,gutted for her but she started cancelling on me. I miss her cos I could have done with knowing how she was coping cos I certainly wasn't after dd3 born 11 months ago. Other friend had 2 ivfs but didn't try again. She is on the whole pleased for us but I know from our other close friends she finds it hard seeing me with children. My other friend has not had a long term partner and she is the only one of my close friends to be normal with me. Tho I know she really wanted to marry and have kids but she is now 42 like all of us so time is running out!

Your friend sounds like she is taking the birth mother to the extreme but she may be suffering (unbeknownst to pals) from PND. Having a family changes everything but unfortunately, your bf comes as a package now. One I'm sure shed like to share but don't assume anything. Having kids puts strains on marriages too but stick around because your time will come and u will need someone to understand!

gertrudestein Sun 16-Jun-13 00:05:38

This happened with a friend of mine 5 years ag. Her first dd was (and still is) a difficult child, but I think it's also because my friend was the first in our group to have children that we all assumed that was the way it had to be, and tried to accommodate her as much as possible.

It's only now that we have all started to have kids that we realise 1. You don't have to stop socialising when you have children (although some people's kids have much higher needs than others, and some parents also have a harder time) and 2. Our friend is in fact socialising - just not with us. She made lots of new mum friends who for various reasons she prefers to spend time with.

Looking back, after 5 yrs, I wish we had let her know more at the time that we were upset when she didn't come to birthdays etc. We tried to arrange things we thought she would be able to come to - venues near her house, day time events ...- but it didn't make any difference. I wish I had told her outright that I missed her and asked her what it would take to see her regularly, instead of avoiding the subject because I didn't want to put any pressure on her. As it is, we have now drifted apart so far that we don't have much in common anymore. We have got into a pattern where she only talks about her problems and has no idea what's going on in my life or the rest of our group of friends. None of us have had an easy time over the last 5 yrs, but somehow we let this one friend become distant and isolated because we didn't want to offend her.

If I was in your position OP I would be honest with her. Don't feel bad about making her feel bad, or questioning the commitment she has to make to her ds and dp. Friendships are relationships too, and they need nurturing and honesty as much as any others

amazingmumof6 Sun 16-Jun-13 03:06:10

Talk to her about how you feel.

She's understandably preoccupied and just because baby is 9 months old it doesn't mean she is free to do as she wants - baby's separation anxiety or teething could mean she actually might be having sleepless nights or a lot of trouble settling baby.

But your feelings are important too, and I bet she has no idea how you really feel.
So again, talk to her. Tell her that you miss her. I'm sure you two can come up with a good solution.

(And whatever you do, do not say you are jealous of baby. Not even as a joke!)

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