How do you cope with friends / family who only ever talk about their children?

(11 Posts)
Blankspace4 Thu 30-Aug-18 22:39:14 above I guess!

I have a growing number of friends who cannot even utter a sentence without it involving their children. I feel so irrelevant.

Any coping strategies, short of cutting them out of my life?

OP’s posts: |
bluemoonchances Thu 30-Aug-18 23:25:21

Grin and bear it unfortunately. They probably miss having nothing to talk about except their children! I know my friends with kids crave "me" time. Are they all young kids? My friends and family were worst when the kids were babies up until the kids started school. Once the kids are at school I found that my friends had a bit of time to find themselves again.

In the interim, I found my friends bloody boring going on about the kids constantly while also being jealous I couldn't join in.

gossipgirl28 Sat 01-Sep-18 13:07:39

I hear you!

It's so hard when your friends and colleagues go on about their children. I feel left out, annoyed and jealous all at the same time. I also hate that I feel this way and guilty for being a bad person. X

Blankspace4 Sat 01-Sep-18 16:53:33

@gossipgirl28 you’re not a bad person. They’re not doing anything wrong, but I wish some people would be a little more sensitive. I think it only adds to my feeling of lacking in my life - if that’s all they have to talk about - the whole “my children are my world” squad - and I don’t have that, the feeling I get is that my world is empty.

OP’s posts: |
PawneeToday Tue 04-Sep-18 09:23:32

It's so hard, I've been exactly where you are and it was horrendous. I would just leave conversations physically or if I really couldn't I would mentally go somewhere else and stay extremely quiet. Once or twice I just snappily said 'i haven't really got anything to add to this conversation' blush

I'm now the other side of the coin and I am utterly consumed by caring for small children (2x FET ICSI success). I do see it from their perspective now, I have very little else happening in my life tbh. I would have to think hard to find something else to talk about. I know that's embarrassing but for me it's true at this point in my life. My world is very small.

I guess it's hard to tell whether someone is childless by choice but doesn't mind hearing about kids, or not by choice and every mention of babies is torture. I would try to look for cues but only cause I'm ultra sensitive to it! If I knew they were struggling to conceive or infertile I would absolutely make a huge effort to talk about something else.

PawneeToday Tue 04-Sep-18 09:28:30

And sorry OP I didn't mean that to add to your feelings that something is lacking from your life.

In a spectacular case of 'the grass is always greener' I feel like it's gone the other way for me - my career, friendships, relationship, hobbies, all affected. Then I give myself a slap!

I truly wish you the best star

MrsDrambuie Tue 04-Sep-18 09:39:34

OP, how long have you been TTC for? Do any of these friends know that you’re struggling TTC?

I am just wondering if it would be beneficial to confide in a select few.


A280 Tue 04-Sep-18 10:06:10

@blankspace4 yes, there are some people who its impossible to have a conversation about thier kids! And when they say oh you so lucky you dont have kids and can wake up late/go out etc 😡 its so heart breaking at times! I find myself avoiding such situations a lot recently. I find spending time with other friends healthier or with friends / family whose children are much older. I haven’t confided in anyone the difficulty we are having conceiving - i think telling people makes the struggle more real!

TryingToStayRational Tue 04-Sep-18 15:39:50

It’s really hard. I found spending more time with people with no kids or older kids helpful, and also I threw myself more into sports and hobbies where I was with other people and doing an activity, which naturally gives you something in common and something to talk about. I think to some degree you just have to accept that when people have kids their focus does change, particularly for the early period. I’m now pregnant after IVF and am very conscious that this might become me soon! I really hope not. I have told several people close to me that they must tell me at once if they spot me going down the slippery slope! 😂

You’re not alone and you’re definitely not a bad person!

JeNeBaguetteRien Tue 04-Sep-18 20:02:29

It's not a very helpful response but I have been reducing contact a bit with certain people as it is better to protect myself and DH.

I have some friends with children who know nothing about my years of TTC and 2 unsuccessful IVFs so far, and they manage to talk about things other than their children, of course the children come up in conversation or I ask how they are.
But the ones who talk almost exclusively about their children, well I've been giving them a wide berth.

I'll make it clear I don't avoid all children or all friends with children, heck I even babysit for friends. But the ones who only or mainly talk about their children I feel like I no longer have anything in common with them and the conversation is quite one way, and I think it would be even if it were my choice not to have chidren.

@gossipgirl you are not a bad person.

Maybe have a few topics of conversation of your own up your sleeve so you can steer the conversation away after an acceptable amount of time. But if they really genuinely have nothing else to talk about that is hard (or worse if they mange to turn everything back to their kids!)

cannonball8726 Wed 05-Sep-18 14:59:36

I have reduced my social contact with people who have kids and speak about nothing but. I haven't told them that - but I'm often 'busy' and can't make events. It's not great and it's probably a little isolating but self-preservation has kept me sane.

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