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AIBU to stop seeing childless friends?

(69 Posts)
mickeygoseek Fri 23-Sep-16 18:09:31

Not all childless friends, just this group!

I have a small group of friends from a previous job. They were a large part of my social life for several years and we were very close for a time. However, a lot changed when I had DD.

First of all, I ebf DD which left me unable to leave her. I couldn't go on nights out etc which I was fine with. My friends visited when DD was a few weeks old and I met up with them for lunches on a couple of occasions when DD was small. As she got a little older - probably around 5/6 months - they tolerated her less and less and were noticably annoyed if I had to split my attention between them and her while we were out.

My DD didn't feed to a schedule and she was a very reluctant weaner so I didn't leave her at all until she was nearly 1. At that time, I started to go out on my own again (yay!) and saw them occasionally for meals, shopping trips etc. I was very careful to not talk about DD a lot and I asked them about their lives - I was genuinely interested and loved hearing about what they'd been up to. I couldn't really go out drinking the way I used to as 1) I was still bf in the morning 2) I didn't want a hangover with a child to look after and 3) I just didn't want to. They would occasionally ask after DD but showed no enthusiasm for seeing her which was fine but then I'd get snide comments about how I'm always "too busy" yet I've seen X and Y. Yes, because X and Y like to socialise with DH and DD so we can all do something together. There were also "Oh we saw one of your mummy friends tagged you on facebook and you'd been out with them...." Yes, on a Wed morning when you're all at work!

Fast forward a year and I'm pregnant again and it has been a really bad pregnancy - worse than last time. I've cancelled plans with them - I've cancelled plans with lots of people! Again, there have been snide comments about me seeing mummy friends. I look after my DD M-F while DH works so it has often been easier to meet up with mummy friends since I have to entertain DD anyway. Evenings and weekends DH has taken over to let me rest and I haven't been up to seeing anyone when I haven't had to.

I understand that I'm the one who has changed what AIBU to distance myself (more than I already have)?

redexpat Fri 23-Sep-16 18:26:06

They don't seem to understand your availability vs theirs. I would downgrade them from friends to good aquaintances and focus your energies elsewhere tbh. It doesn't have to be a drama, if you can go to something and want to then go, enjoy it, and don't feel guilty about not being more available.

DiJiBiDi Fri 23-Sep-16 18:34:17

I don't think it's anything you should feel guilty about, honestly these people aren't interested in your life and the fact you are now a mother and have responsibilities!

Just be polite as always but try and keep away from them.
Watch when one them gets pregnant you'll be the first one they'll run to!
Down stress yourself over them if it comes to the worse just explain why your not hanging out with them because of how they make you feel simple as.

mickeygoseek Fri 23-Sep-16 19:10:23

Thank you both! I have been feeling quite down about it as I care about them but they really don't understand my life anymore. One seemed aghast at my plans to bf DD2 because "well I guess we won't be seeing you for another year then!".

FWIW, should one of them get pregnant, I'll be there for them. I know how lonely it is in the beginning even if they don't.

witharmswideopen Fri 23-Sep-16 19:29:55

I'd just keep in contact but not make any plans. They just don't understand that when you have DC priorities change. I have a childless friend that was always on for going out, late nights and hangovers don't do it for me anymore. I've either been pregnant or BF the last 3.5 years. I am EBF my second now. She is now pregnant and has said to me already that she had no idea everything that I was going through when I was pregnant. Made me smile as the baby isn't even here yet and that's the real life changer.

Anywho I digress. How are they friends when they clearly don't show any interest in. Massive part of your life? Obviously they don't want to talk or listen about your DC for a whole dinner or whatever but it would be like you never wanting to know anything about their work/partner/new hobbie that's taking up their time. hmm

HaveNoTimeToThinkOfName Fri 23-Sep-16 19:33:37

I feel for you, I had a friend in particular who was like this, we saw each other a lot when we were both single, I then got married and had children and she didn't, we stayed in contact but I felt it was very one sided. Time out is precious when you have children and I decided I didn't want to spend it continually listening to her and her 'single' lifestyle she led, usually without a single word being mentioned about my children. I felt like I couldn't talk about them, I even sat there heavily pregnant once and not a word was mentioned about how I was! Looking back I guess she was jealous. As much as I liked her our lives were worlds apart and although that can not be a problem for some, I felt it was very one-sided, it is hurtful when they don't stop to consider how your life might be now and show an interest in the most precious thing in the world to you isn't it!

Like redexpat says it doesn't have to be said or made into a drama but just go out when it suits you or you feel like it, if you don't or cant you shouldn't feel guilty, just explain why and leave it as that. If they continue with snide comments then, well, sorry but they're not that good mates are they? You will naturally make new friends in your journey through motherhood that have more in common with you. The girls I met when our eldest started in year R are my best friends now, I still stay in contact with older friends of course, but you meet people in all sorts of places when you are out and about with little ones.

Oh and congratulations on your pregnancy! Hope you feel better soon. Be kind to yourself and try not to stress over others. smile

BestZebbie Fri 23-Sep-16 19:34:24

Have you mentioned that mon-fri when you occasionally see a mummy friend, they see each other all the time (without you).

MargaretCavendish Fri 23-Sep-16 20:05:02

Of course YANBU to see less of them if you're not enjoying it. I do wonder, though, if what you interpret as snide comments are clumsy attempts to know that you're missed?

This is directed entirely at comments, not OP who hasn't done this at all: I do think it would be easier for some people to maintain their pre-children friends if they weren't so rude about the lives of the child free. People with children are not the only ones with responsibility or for whom time is precious.

PurpleDaisies Fri 23-Sep-16 20:13:40

This is directed entirely at comments, not OP who hasn't done this at all: I do think it would be easier for some people to maintain their pre-children friends if they weren't so rude about the lives of the child free. People with children are not the only ones with responsibility or for whom time is precious.

Agree entirely. It's depressing that so many people seem to think people without children waft through life totally carefree and getting pissed all the time.

MargaretCavendish Fri 23-Sep-16 20:57:48

I think it's because people confuse 'being childfree' and 'being young' in their heads. If you have a baby at 25 I guess it's easy to imagine that life would otherwise have carried on like that forever but for most people life changes as you get older whether or not you have kids.

Waltermittythesequel Fri 23-Sep-16 21:07:05

Time out is precious when you have children and I decided I didn't want to spend it continually listening to her and her 'single' lifestyle she led, usually without a single word being mentioned about my children. I felt like I couldn't talk about them, I even sat there heavily pregnant once and not a word was mentioned about how I was! Looking back I guess she was jealous.

Seriously? I doubt she was jealous if all you wanted to talk about was your kids.

There's nothing wrong with a 'single lifestyle' whatever that is.

OP you made choices which meant you really distanced yourself from your friends for a year. Life goes on and maybe you've just grown apart.

I think sometimes people think their kids are the most fascinating things ever. They're really not! Not to anyone else.

So their throwaway comments were probably showing an interest in their opinions IYSWIM.

I think it's natural that friendships drift apart at times like this.

When they start having dc you'll probably grow close again.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 23-Sep-16 21:11:41

When I was young, free and single I found friends who settled down and had kids really boring. Later, when I did the same I changed my mind. I don't think your friends are to blame, I don't think you are to blame. You're just at different stages at life and have different preferences because of it.

Let them drift away. You need friends who share your interests.

maddiemookins16mum Fri 23-Sep-16 21:20:56

Awww, a thread to possibly slag off those with no kids etc, it's been a while. It works both ways OP. I often found "mummy friends" totally obsessed with their babies (even though I had one too), to the point that literally they had nothing else to speak about. It's ok to distance yourself, but don't give them up as you might be grateful of them in the future!!!

callycat1 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:23:26

I'm surprised you want your friends to socialise with your DD and your husband, can you not see that might be a bit awkward?

KERALA1 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:23:55

It's abit much when you listen for ages when friends witter on about stuff important to them but dull to you (eg their work politics) but you are not afforded the same courtesy and cannot mention your kids. Which if you are a sahm with pre schoolers sort of is equivalent to a job.

JellyBelli Fri 23-Sep-16 21:24:54

Anyone who makes snide comments when you have commiitments isn't a friend.

Bountybarsyuk Fri 23-Sep-16 21:42:17

I have plenty of childfree friends, but they tend to be individual friendships that have been going a long time, so we are used to going through the different stages of life together. This group sound like they all want the same thing, and you just don't seem to fit with that. I wouldn't spend any more time fielding comments about not seeing you for a year or whatever. They don't actually sound like very good friends. If you can't be yourself, and they make snide comments, I might stay friends with one or two of them individually if we had a friendship beyond the group, but that's it.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Fri 23-Sep-16 21:43:41

Sounds like you have just reached different stages of your lives. No one way is better.

I had a friend/colleague who had children before anyone else did and she turned into the most tedious person in the world as far as we were concerned. She was constantly going on about this all consuming love she now felt and no one who didn't have children could possibly understand it. Always asking us when we were going to follow suit, and insisting that she could come to the evening things we had organised and bring along her breastfeeding baby. "No one notices or cares!" etc. We did do lunch things too - we're not totally awful friends! When I was having difficulty conceiving she insisted on knowing exactly what it was like, as she and her DH had taken five whole months - constantly telling me we needed to be having more sex etc. That friendship didn't last. It's no one's fault, but people do move apart.

HelenaDove Fri 23-Sep-16 21:50:40

Im childfree by choice teetotal and never actually been drunk. I have friends who have had kids.

its all about compromise.

mickeygoseek Fri 23-Sep-16 22:06:12

Thank you everyone for your comments, it has given me a lot to think about.

Margaret yes, maybe I've been a bit sensitive and they are just saying they miss me. I miss them too.

maddiemookins that was absolutely not how this thread was intended. I like having friends who don't talk about children all the time and I try not to talk about mine too much. One of the group is getting married soon - I want to hear about it! Every detail. Flowers, favours, make up, all of it. One has the most fascinating SATC-style love life. She lets me help her swipe on tinder. I missed Tinder by a long shot as I've been with DH for 11 years. The other travels extensively and I enjoy hearing about everything she has done. She is also my oracle for what TV shows, movies and books to try. Plus, yes, I enjoy the work gossip. The fact that they are childfree doesn't make them less interesting to me but it does seem to mean that they don't appreciate how restricted I am.

callycat it isn't so much that I want them to socialise with DH and DD but that they bring up that I've made time for mutual friends who do want to socialise with DH and DD. For example, a mutual friend and her husband and their slightly older DCs meet us occasionally for walks/pub lunches/park visits etc. on a Saturday
DH understandably wants to see DD and I on his days off and if I can combine that with seeing friends, great.

callycat1 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:12:50

I get that OP but there's a difference in you your husband and child and your friend, your friends husband and child, and you child and husband and your friend. I'd feel like a third wheel in the latter scenario.

Only1scoop Fri 23-Sep-16 22:13:44

Yabu for 'mummy friends'

PurpleDaisies Fri 23-Sep-16 22:16:30

I agree with cally-I much prefer meeting friends less often but on our own for a proper catch up. You can't talk about things properly with husbands around.

choli Fri 23-Sep-16 22:18:50

Don't burn your bridges. In a few years when your kids are less needy you will be glad you kept your friends, whether they have kids or not.

MariaCameFromNashville Fri 23-Sep-16 22:32:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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