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To think that having a child doesn't absolve you from making an effort with friends?

(236 Posts)
Overthinker2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:00:38

Many of my friends are married with children.

I get that their priorities are different from mine now. I get that they are "busier" than childless me (although busy is a bit subjective I think). I am happy to spend time with their children and/or OH for what it's worth (if I was invited to!)

However AIBU to think they should still make a bit of an effort to keep in touch? One friend in particular has been coming back to me with dates since about February hmm.

Do I cut them some slack and just keep on being the one making the effort or just stop and lose some otherwise very nice friends.

HurryHurryHurry Tue 09-Aug-16 14:02:36

I think it's your individual friend, no general people with children.
I have children and still make time for friends with or without children.

I'd probably not bother with her tbh, let her come to you x

Imjustnotcoping Tue 09-Aug-16 14:03:24

Not general

BirdintheWings Tue 09-Aug-16 14:04:09

If you want to see them you cut them a lot of slack. Kids can be completely head-scrambling.

fatimamansions Tue 09-Aug-16 14:04:22

I had the opposite problem. My oldest friend is single and child free and dropped me after I had kids.
Makes no effort, never instigates meeting up.

RestlessTraveller Tue 09-Aug-16 14:04:39

I think sometimes you just have to cut your losses. People's priorities change over time, they're no more or less important than yours, they're just different.

I had a very dear friend who went totally off grid when she had children. After months of trying to organise to see her she said "for fucks sake you'll never understand what it's like having children" I gave up.

YouSay Tue 09-Aug-16 14:06:32

What age are their kids? The early years are pretty all consuming and going out or arranging something can be hard. My first did not sleep at all so I hated making definite plans as I couldn't say how I would feel in a weeks time. The only good sleep I got was 19.00 - 24.00 when dh would take over. Nights out or even making conversation was beyond me. Thankfully that stage had passed. If they are normally good friends then I woudn't dump them en masse but I would join meet up and extend my social circle.

Overthinker2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:10:05

Yeah, I've kind of done that and I do have new-er friends who are childless, and have more time for me.

I just like my old friends though and would like to spend more time with them.

Overthinker2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:11:44

Kids are very young still - 2. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations.

I just think if it was me, I would at least invite folk round for a coffee or a glass of wine?? Even if I couldn't be bothered going out.

TheWernethWife Tue 09-Aug-16 14:13:08

I used to work with a woman who said "she couldn't possibly go out at night as she had a small child" - then her affair with a married man came to light - ooops

Dutchcourage Tue 09-Aug-16 14:14:20

This is driving me insane with my best friend.

Since having her third child our whole group and especially me has bent over backwards to arrange things that make things easier for her - even going to the pictures to fit round her breastfeeding her 12 month old and then didn't even turn up hmm

If she wants to do something she will bloody make sure she is there though!

Peoples priorities change with circumstances be it relationship issues, money or kids.

I'd stay in loose contact and leave all arranging to them. Focus on people that can actually be arsed

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 09-Aug-16 14:14:54

I had a lifelong friend dump me because I couldn't go out, my DTs were 3 months, I had a disabled toddler and was on my bloody knees. She was always welcome in my home, but she was shitty I couldn't (and wouldn't to cut the bitch her a little slack) Go out for dinner.

I understand where you're coming from OP. I was you once, all my old friends had kids and suddenly I was alone. But the sleep deprivation... You say busy is objective. I agree. When children are older it's subjective. Not when they're babies. When they're babies, yes your friends are busier.

Can you do what my ex friend wouldn't do, and go to their homes for a cup of tea? I know I really enjoyed the adult company.

Lindy2 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:16:45

I'm probably abnormally unsociable but for me once I had children going out in the evening wasn't nearly as appealing as it used to be. I'd simply much rather rest in front of the tv or browse the web than get ready to go out for the night. I guess it is a combination of lack of energy at the end of the day and different priorities.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Tue 09-Aug-16 14:17:57

I'm with the OP on this one. There are lots of friends who I used to see all the time when they had no kids, not just singles, but several couples. I expect to see a lot less of them, but it does hurt that they pretty much now only socialise with other people with children because "it's easier" - they can do play dates in the afternoon etc. In most cases, they have jettisoned old friends and picked up new ones because it is more convenient. As I say, I expect to see very little of them now, but having children doesn't necessarily absolve you to never make an effort - how long does it take to send the occasional text message in this age of social media, even if you only meet up for a snatched coffee twice a year.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 09-Aug-16 14:18:18

Slow typing! blush Sorry, thread has moved on a lot since I started typing

Still, could you drop in for a cuppa?

eurochick Tue 09-Aug-16 14:18:39

I find a lot of friends seem to hibernate a bit when the kids and teeny and then reemerge a couple of years later.

From my own perspective I work full time, commute and have a toddler. I'm permanently knackered. And whereas I used to go for drinks with friends or to the gym most days after work pre- baby, now I go home to spend time with her and then collapse in a shattered heap when she goes to bed. I had no idea how much having a child would change my life.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 09-Aug-16 14:19:42

The people being described sound like awful 'friends!' shock

StillDrSethHazlittMD Tue 09-Aug-16 14:22:11

Special Yes, but it has to be after work, of course.

The OP has said they are more than willing to go round to the parents' place (as I always am) but I suspect, like me, it's as much that they just don't bother to even keep in touch at all and that every single effort comes from the OP that hurts, not meeting up per se, and of course you see them doing lots of things with other parents on the dreaded Fakebook. And it's not exclusive to those with babies or toddlers (which is, I think, far more understandable on the sleep front alone)

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 09-Aug-16 14:28:05

Still Then I'd definitely cut my losses in that scenario. They aren't friends, they're just people you (plural) spent time with.

REAL friends care and make an effort. I was truthfully too exhausted to have friend over, it was the one time a day I could get a sleep in. But she was my friend so I did what I could.

REAL friends do what they can whether it's like me giving up my nap at 3 months because it was the best I could do, or leaving DC with MIL and going out (briefly) when they were older. This ex friend was very sensitive to the fact I had separation anxiety (even though she knows I have severe MH issues even before my pregnancy)

Long story short, IMO there's a difference between friends and People You Spend Time With. If it's the latter, cut them loose.

Overthinker2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:28:08

I would definitely drop round and when I'm trying to arrange to meet up I do try and make clear that I'm happy to see her children too/ to do something child friendly. I would like to have a relationship with her child tbh. I don't have children and it is nice for me to have that contact with children.

However I'm not really invited round as such so I would need to invite myself which is why I've not done it.

I think it's actually getting worse as her child gets older which seems the wrong way round!

I think probably she is finding motherhood tough from things she said but it's hard for me to do much to help when I can't get her to meet up.

Bear2014 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:28:37

My priorities have really changed since having my 2.5 year old. I love seeing my friends and do make an effort but it is so different now. I breast fed her for nearly 2 years, and for 18 months of that I was the only one who could put her to bed. This meant that if I wanted to go to work drinks i would have to go from North to South London and back again. Being hung over is just not worth it any more when you get up every day at 6am.

I agree with PP who suggest going round to your friends' sometimes so they don't have to travel, and if it clashes with kids' naps or whatever it doesn't matter. Or get a takeaway when the kids are in bed. I love it when my child free friends offer to do that. Or go on a day out with them and their kids?

I love an evening in the pub or a meal out with friends, but a good few people I have lost touch with because I don't want to go to big club nights or whatnot any more and that's all they will agree to do. Some friendships are not forever.

Bear2014 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:29:48

OP - just invite yourself over, and take cake ;o) They probably don't think you want to come round as it's not exciting or groovy enough for you and you're in a vicious circle!

PersianCatLady Tue 09-Aug-16 14:30:12

I know that you feel that your friends should do more to keep in touch but what is to stop you from contacting them rather than waiting for them to contact you.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 09-Aug-16 14:30:46

Over You sound so lovely. Wish you were my friend! flowers

Do you think she has PND?

Overthinker2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:30:59

I would definitely drop round and when I'm trying to arrange to meet up I do try and make clear that I'm happy to see her children too/ to do something child friendly. I would like to have a relationship with her child tbh. I don't have children and it is nice for me to have that contact with children.

However I'm not really invited round as such so I would need to invite myself which is why I've not done it.

I think it's actually getting worse as her child gets older which seems the wrong way round!

I think probably she is finding motherhood tough from things she said but it's hard for me to do much to help when I can't get her to meet up.

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