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To ask if anybody is still good friends with pre baby friends who showed little interest in kids

(98 Posts)
Beadoren Sat 22-Apr-17 10:32:07

Just deleted what I wrote as I don't want to put myself.

In cases when you are the first/as yet only member of a friendship group to have kids (others don't have kids on their radar at all yet) there's a certain degree of alienation that happens.

I try to make as much effort to come to things as I can but obviously it's tricky to do nights out with hotels, spa days etc with a young family.

Their interest in my DC has also dwindled over the years and I find it a bit hurtful but st the end of the day they are the ones missing out.

I've suggested daytime things so that I can see them with the kids but they don't seem keen on the idea.

Obviously I do see it from their point of view, they have no obligation to be in my DC life and it just seems like we have lost a lot of common ground and there's resentments on both sides.

Is that it then? I know it's a fairly common theme for friends to lose interest but have people managed to maintain these friendships?

BellsaRinging Sat 22-Apr-17 10:40:54

I do, yes. I was a single mother and the earliest in my friendship group to have a child-even though I was 30. It was probably easier for me in that I was wohm so I saw friends in work/for lunch without the children even though a night out was very rare event! I had some wonderful friends who would come out with me and ds but I think you have to recognise that most child free people simply aren't that interested in hanging out with young children-after all you are their friend, not your children. I would make an effort to see them without the children, or invite them over to dinner/have drinks when the children are in bed. You will see that things will change again if they have children and are more on the same page as them.

Pigface1 Sat 22-Apr-17 10:48:13

Why do you find it 'hurtful' that their interest in your DC has dwindled? Do you manage to maintain a constant level of interest in their jobs, relationships and holidays?

farfarawayfromhome Sat 22-Apr-17 10:48:19

Yes! My best friend is not in the slightest bit interested in kids and at 51 is unlikely to pop any out any time soon.

We still see one another once a week and travel together a couple of times a year at least. We do occasionally all spend time together when my daughter is with me but this is not the norm.

Just because I am a mother does not mean my daughter is glued to my hip, I relish the chance to feel like my old self and to spend time with my friend. Equally why should I foist my daughter on my friend?

Pre child I was never a fan of other people's children either!

magicstar1 Sat 22-Apr-17 10:51:33

I'm the friend in this situation. I have no children but my three best friends have children ranging from 17 to 7. We still meet up, go for lunch / drinks / drop into each others houses etc. I like the kids, but am not that interested in them. My friends are my friends...not their children. I'm not rude about it, they talk about them as much as they like.
The bit of your post I find strange is where you say your friends are missing out by not spending time with the children...they're yours, and just not as interesting or important to others. Of course you think they're the best thing ever, but realise that's because you're the parent.

Patienceisvirtuous Sat 22-Apr-17 10:54:20

If you expect your friends to maintain a high level of interest in your DC and then other friends have same expectations as you once they have DC, that's an awful lot of expectations on any friends without DC - especially if any struggle to conceive.

What about just valuing friendships in their own right and being flexible re expectations.

Some friends will love spending time with your dc, others won't - doesn't mean they're lesser friends.

Cantseethewoods Sat 22-Apr-17 10:57:33

but st the end of the day they are the ones missing out.

I was with you till this bit and then I'm afraid I thought ' oh, she's one of those.'

Pinkandwhiteblossoms Sat 22-Apr-17 10:58:17

I think there are definitely two common scenarios here - one where 'Susan' has a baby aged 25, while her friends have theirs at 35. This can be really isolating and difficult.

There's also where 'Susan' never has children but Mary, Jane and Ellie all have theirs within eighteen months of each other and Susan is excluded.

Both times, it's really hard to be Susan flowers

Beadoren Sat 22-Apr-17 10:58:49

Without going into detail, circumstances have made it such that it is genuinely really difficult to spend much tim away from the DCs. It's a big group and I'm closer to some more than others so maintaining interest varies (as I wouldn't expect them all to be really involved). I don't just talk about the DC when I'm with them, do maintain interest in their jobs etc. Probably more so than they do with the DC.

I'm not annoyed about it, it just makes me sad that they were all over them for a few years, 'loved them' called themselves auntie x etc and now my kids feel a bit like a niusence to them. Again they absolutely have no obligation but it's just the shift and I genuinely feel like I have done all I can to involve myself and I still feel on the outs.

Junebugjr Sat 22-Apr-17 11:00:40

A lot of my close friends don't have children.
During the first couple of years of childrearing of course we weren't able to meet up as much.
Now my children are older, my friendships have once again become more of a focus. We regularly meetup at least a few times a month and have weekends away.
I don't think I had any expectation at all that any of my friends would have an interest in my children, let alone be missing out.
Apart from my own, I'm not that keen on spending time with loads of children so friends without them work well for me as we can do things that don't include them blush

user1489179512 Sat 22-Apr-17 11:04:03

You cannot expect child-free friends to want to be around your children in the same way that you are! Good grief. They obviously don't feel it's in any way a "loss" not to see you and them when, as everyone knows, children pretty much will try to demand attention all the time and you will probably respond all the time. It gets tedious. Trying to have an adult conversation with a mother - usually mother - who is distracted by the little darlings' demands and their butting in, is tiresome and ultimately not worth the hassle.

Junebugjr Sat 22-Apr-17 11:04:39

Sorry to hear that OP, maybe they were all over them when they were younger and 'cuter' and when they get older, maybe the expectation is that they get quieter <hollow laugh>
It can be hard socialising when you don't have the means to leave them for a few hours flowers

AlcoholAndIrony Sat 22-Apr-17 11:05:27

People move on and people change.

I'm the last person without children in my friendship group. I do like spending time with my friends but as time goes on, it reminds me that I'm not there yet. And spending time getting all snot covered and talking about bed time routines is hard to stay interested in.

There's no reason you're "not friends" but sometimes I think having other friends with children can help (not saying you don't OP).

It is unreasonable to expect friendship to stay at the same level throughout all the time you know each other.

missanony Sat 22-Apr-17 11:06:33

I wish I'd considered this before kids. I'm still not quite on the same page as they're now in the baby stages and I'm beyond that now but we're still good friends, just a bit less in common.

It'll level out eventually

Trills Sat 22-Apr-17 11:09:27

but st the end of the day they are the ones missing out.

"Missing out" is a phrase used when someone would like to have the thing that they do not have. Not when they are just not interested.

Bloosh Sat 22-Apr-17 11:09:43

My wonderful friend was very interested in my kids when they were small and has a more fleeting interest now (one is her godchild). I think it's partly that small ones are cute and partly because I really couldn't leave them much then whereas I can now. Also she's had a lot to deal with in recent years.

I'm very grateful she cares about them at all and that she's put up with my distraction.

Beadoren Sat 22-Apr-17 11:11:18

User, that's literally the crux of it I think, the whole it not being worth the effort.

As I said before circumstances make it very tricky and the fact that they would rather not see me than have to put up with my kids for an hour makes me feel crap. I know people move on, I know my kids are my kids and that they aren't everybody's thing, but I feel a bit like they are more adverse to having them present than they are seeing me.

Asmoto Sat 22-Apr-17 11:12:31

I was 'Susan' #2 in pink's post. This sort of situation highlights that often your friends are only friends because you're in similar circumstances or at the same stage of your life - if that changes, there can be little left for you to bond over. If you enjoy being part of a friendship group, could you look for new friends who also have children and accept that your old friends are in the background, at least for the present?

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 22-Apr-17 11:13:56

I have been on the other side of this - when I was younger, I walked away from pregnant friends because I wasn't interested and because I wasn't interested in every aspect of their pregnancy, wouldn't hold the baby and couldn't sound convincing about the baby's cuteness.

Up until about five years ago I would rather stick pins in my eyes than spend time with any young children - i didn't want my own and found others' tedious.

There are individuals I quite like now but in general random children aren't that interesting

BadKnee Sat 22-Apr-17 11:15:23

Yes of course I am. And my friends who had kids years before I did , (I had mine late), are still friends with me even though I showed little interest in their children.

Happily my friends are my friends for ME. I have been with them through many life stages and we have shared much. Kids are but one stage of that.

IDontLoveGlitterGlitterLovesMe Sat 22-Apr-17 11:16:17

Their interest in my DC has also dwindled over the years and I find it a bit hurtful but st the end of the day they are the ones missing out.

biscuit

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 22-Apr-17 11:17:57

What exactly are they 'missing out' on, OP? Of course you think that your children are amazing but you do know that other people won't be 'missing out'? Perhaps that is why they are distancing themselves from you

mammmamia Sat 22-Apr-17 11:19:40

Sorry OP I'm with others - they are not the ones missing out. At all. yABU to expect them to be that interested in your DC. Make an effort to see them in the evening / without the DC.

Pinkandwhiteblossoms Sat 22-Apr-17 11:19:43

Ah, don't be rotten. OP isn't going to say 'and I understand why because even I find my kids annoying little shits' is she? grin

aurynne Sat 22-Apr-17 11:20:54

OP, I can tell you my own experience with one of my best friends.

She used to be vibrant, intelligent, funny, exciting, a loving a caring friend.

She had a child.

Every time we met (which was once in a blue moon, because she was always busy, exhausted or simply forgot about our dates) she ended up talking about her baby. When the child was there, we could not hold a conversation. The child was always trying to play with me, pull her skirt or be the center of attention.

I really, really missed my interesting, bright friend. I knew she was still there, but having a young child really made her dull and exhausting to try to see.

Now that her child is older my old friend is back! But she is only fully back when she lives her child somewhere else :P

I like my friend's child, but the person met and befriended is her. Her child is a completely different person, which I know is the centre of her universe, but who is definitely far from the centre of mine. Other people's children are cute for a short time, but all in all they are just someone else's kids, and not particularly interesting unless their particular character or skills means I find something interesting in them, which can happen with any kid and indeed any person.

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