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How do I get my friends back?(26 Posts)
I would really value some opinions on whether I am just chock full of hormones! I am 28 weeks pregnant with my first. Despite being more than old enough! I am the only one amongst my close/local friends who is pregnant and none have children already. I was so very aware of not becoming a pregnancy bore that I have rarely mentioned it all the way through and have actively avoided doing any whingeing when nauseous/tired etc. However my DH was away on business all this week and I have got more and more anxious about things, I supoose as he wasnt around to chat to. Mainly silly stuff like what cot to buy but also some sleepless nights about all the changes the babe will bring and how we'll manage. It has culminated in my feeling really tearful and low and so today whilst out shopping with 2 friends I decided to mention I was a bit low about stuff. I was really shocked when one replied 'oh here we go, wondered how long before you turn into a baby bore'. I felt so upset I could only shut up and change the subject. I had traipsed around non maternity clothes shops all day looking at clothes I would never fit and that was the support I got! TBH they have seemed more distant since I told them I was pg but I put some of it down to assuming I wouldnt want to go out as cant drink or maybe more tired. They have all vowed support in terms of babysitting etc and not one has suggested they are anything other than pleased for me. I know it must be weird for them as they are uninterested in having a baby at the moment and I know I am more sensitive and needy but I miss having my friends to talk to about everything, and for me at present that includes my baby to be. Any advice, is it me?
Oh, hun, you poor thing. What a crappy thing for your friend to say.
When I had just had DS (now nearly 8 months), I went for a walk to the shops pushing him in the pram. He was about five weeks old and I knew nobody else with a baby. On the way back, I rang DH and he was busy at work (fair enough!) and couldn't talk. By the time I got to the end of my road, I was nearly in tears - I just wanted to be back at work with my friends. Then I felt guilty for minding being a mummy - it wasn't that I didn't like DS, obviously, just that I wanted some adult company!
Then when I turned into my road, I met another lady who had a baby the same age as my DS. We had a chat and I went home happier and determined to find more people with babies the same age.
So that's just what I did - I went to a baby group organised by my HV and met about ten other mums and babies (all of whom I'm still in touch with) and I joined the NCT and went to another group with another seven or eight mums and babies. I also made a point of going to the clinic once a fortnight, which means I met lots of other mums - I now know lots of people I bump into in the high street!
I am now back at work (very) part time and I try to keep DS out of the conversation unless people ask as I know whilst he's my favourite topic, not everyone wants to hear about him! Plus it's nice to chat about things other than babies. Friends from outside work have also largely all begun the baby thing, so that's getting easier too.
Can you say anything to the friend who called you a baby bore? I might mention to her that you've been trying really hard not to just talk about pregnancy all the time, but that you'd appreciate the occasional bit of sympathy - one day, they're likely to be pregnant and I'm sure you'd never be that unpleasant - might be worth saying?
Big hugs and do make sure you join some baby groups (and if the first one you go to is full of peculiar women, try another one - just because you all have babies at the same time, doesn't mean you have anything else in common!). xxx
Hi tipex, poor you, what an unsympathetic and unkind thing for your friend to say. Good lord, surely one comment doesn't make one into a baby bore? Anyway, I think you're damn well allowed to be a 'baby bore' - actually, I wouldn't even use that expression but I certainly think you're allowed to talk loud and long about your baby when you're pregnant and your friends don't sound very supportive. I hate to say this but you may well find that once you have a baby you do end up having less in common with childless friends. Not all of them and not always but IME it does happen. Your priorities will be different to theirs so no, it's not you, it's normal. Suddenly though, there's this HUGE (literally in some cases, har har) group of other people with whom you will have plenty in common: other parents/parents to be. So that's all of us on mumsnet then! Have you been to ante natal classes? Joined the NCT? Sounds to me as if you could do with some pregnant friends - they may well end up being great friends when your baby's born too. Why don't you go to an ante natal class and see what you think? EVERYONE there will be pre occupied with the same thing as you!
Hi Tipex, totally agree with what's already been said. You should definately think about joining a women's group now and a carer and toddler group after your little one is born.
I apologise for this in advance - but I'd be so p**ed of at the so-called friend, what an insensitive cow!!!
I do think that it is difficult for some people to accept that your priorities are changing, sometimes it's jealousy, other times it's insecurity. The fact is that you are having a baby, it's scary and exiting, you shouldn't have to hide your thoughts, the baby is already part of your life and if they value your friendship - they have to accept that. Enjoy your pregnancy, share it with whoever you feel the need to share it with - real friends care and will be interested...sod those whodon't and aren't.
Part of your feelings are due to hormones and the fact that yes you are about to become a parent! Such a life changing event certainly does sort out the good friends from the good time friends!
I would agree with others that you should seek out other soon to be mums or take part in the antenatal threads on here. If it is any comfort, many of us mumnetters have been there!
Thanks all. I have started NCT AN classes and will definately make the effort to follow up on friendships throught that. Will find out about NCT coffee mornings etc. You know how sometimes though old friends are who you want to be with so you can have the security of being with someone who knows you? I suppose I have to face facts that for now we are at different places and if those old friends arent actually being very supportive then perhaps its not best for me.
Blooming hormones are hard work tho arent they!
Some friendships will last through your pregnancy and new baby and some won't I'm afraid (although they'll probably come back once they have children)
You will make loads of new friends
You will not believe how much better your life will be, how much of an afinity you will feel for these new people in your life who are going through the same life stage .. it will be like you've been friends for ever
Yes that was a crappy thing for your 'friend' to say, but how could she possibly understand the hormonal / life change you are going through
I don't think there's any excuse for what your friend said, Tipex. OK, she doesn't understand the changes you're going through, but friendship means accepting things from your friends (within reason) even when you don't understand them. The very fact that you've avoided talking about your pregnancy with your friends is a huge indication that you don't expect support from them, so I think you do need to find support elsewhere, from some new friends. As Twiglett says, they'll come back when they're pregnant too - hopefully to a friend a damn sight more supportive than they managed to be when she needed them.
Really sad to read about your friend being so insensitive Tipex. I know I'd have felt hurt in your position too. It's absolutely natural to want to talk about your baby and I think your mate was way out of line, especially as you have clearly been very careful not to fall into the babybore trap. Things may settle down- I still have some very good friends from prechildren days and they are very tolerant of my occasional ramblings about the kids. They've got used to the fact that my kids are incredibly important to me- your friends will too or will be dropped in favour of all the new folks you meet.
if your friends think the subject of your baby - the first baby in your group of friends - is "boring", then they are not your friends.
Sorry, I don't want to make you feel worse, honey, but that is the most spiteful thing to say! It's natural for friendships to shift when a baby comes along, and I think we;ve all lost a few friends along the way. But equally, really good friends will understand and not mind the adjustments. My best friend is childless and her life is totally different to mine (she lives in London and is a high-powered solicitor, I live in Kent and am SAHM with 2 under 3), but we chat every week and she makes a point of traveeling down to see me at the weekend every so often. I'm sure she doesn't find baby sick and sleeless nights that interesting per se, but she takes an interest because she cares about me.
You will make lots of new friends, and the bond of having children the same age who get along well together is a great leveller. As for your old friends, maybe you could have a quiet word with them individually about how vulnerable you feel and how you don't want to "grow apart" just because you're having a baby?
Oh, Tipex, I do feel for you. That was a very nasty thing to say.
But is it possible your friend is jealous? She may say she doesn't want children yet, but that doesn't mean she doesn't really.
Do you have any really old friends who you have lost touch with (especially, but not necessarily ones who have children). When I was preg with dd I went on a big old-friend-hunt and it was very rewarding. In one or two cases, i found that I suddenly had loads in common with them again and it was really nice. An NCT group or something might be good too, but I can't vouch for them as they don't have them in Spain!
Hi Tipex, I can really understand what you are saying. As others have said the sad truth is that you will inevitably lose some friends as your priorities change. I found a gradual distancing with one particular friend whose friendship I really valued. She said to me during the Summer that if everyone was going to talk about children at a mutual friends wedding she would be bored out of her head and never even asked how my 2 were and she hasn't seen thaem for a year. I now have to accept the friendship is over for now but maybe one day we can pick up again. All I would say is that you will meet other people but it is hurtful that something so important to you is so unimportant to people you consider friends.
Join the NCT, get involved in antenatal classes. Find other likeminded pregnant women. One day your friends may have kids themselves and you will feel closer. I think a certain amount of friend-shedding is almost inevitable unless all your friends are procreating at the same time. It's such a huge life-shift they won't understand and are afraid of losing you, which they will, to a certain degree. I have to say that calling someone a 'baby bore' is just plain rude and unpleasant. I bet you listen to them drone on about travelling, boyfriends, drinking, their dull work crises and don't get nasty about it, do you?
I met up with a very fun-loving and fantastic mate 3 months after DS was born .. in Cafe Rouge .. she'd never seen him .. she said 'oo isn't he lovely' then the next hour was taken over by her life, her book deal, how many countries were taking her book blah blah blah blah
I realised then as I listened and smiled at her that our entire friendship had been based on my interest in her life and loves, and that when something quite momentous happened to me she wasn't around to share in the joy
oh well .. yah boo sucks to her .. she's the one who in the end is missing out .. on both my friendship and my wonderful, fascinating children
we will both one day be 70 (hopefully) and when we look back on our lives I wonder which of us will be able to think that was worth it
I think a lot of people have those moments of realisation, Twiglett, and in a way, best you see the reality sooner than later.
Since I became a mother, I've lost touch with quite a few people in the same way, but equally, I've been pleasantly surprised by a few friends who, although we weren't bosom buddies before, have continued to take a genuine interest in my often mundane family life (while they are still single and working in interesting jobs).
As with all major life events, I think when you become a parent in one of those times you discover who your real friends are. And it's not always the ones you might have thought!
Just wanted to add that I was the first in my friends to have a baby, and although none of them have been horrid as such, some of my older friends just aren't interested. HOWEVER, there are times now, (my dd is 2 years old) that I fancy a night out when the conversation is not about children, and we can talk about their dodgy love lives, wedding plans, shopping, alcohol etc and it is like a mini holiday from baby world! So I hope you make lots of lovely new friends (I have two now that I am so close to, and had never met 2 years ago!) to keep you company most of the time, and that you can keep in contact with the others, for entertainment value!
it could well be the jealousy thing - if you're all at that age then its not unnatural for one friend to be jealous of another's burgeoning bump. Or it may be that she's heard so much about mums being dribble-drenched nappy heads that she's worried she's going to lose her friend and you won't be interested in HER.
I have to hold my hand up to not being as supportive of my best mate as I should when she fell pg. At the time I was having all manner of tests done to find out why I wasn't and it felt like my nose was being rubbed in it. luckily she's a very understanding woman.
So yes she's out of order, but maybe she feels as bad as you do? could you chat about your worry that you''ll lose friends and how determined you are not to let it happen rather than approach head on?
I know it's hard to see it now - but you can bet that a few years post birth you'll be able to say that some of your best friends are those with children the same age as yours. You're doing the right thing with the classes, and following those up (and if your HV is any good s/he should be able to point you at groups, or at least introduce you to some other local mums with babies of a similar age, after the birth).
So sorry your friends aren't being as supportive as you deserve. They should be excited for you, and at the very least try to be understanding. Odd behaviour from them.
What area do you live it btw, just thinking about Mumsnet meetups and stuff.
Not sure what you can do about getting your mates back, can only hope that they fulfil their promises if support when bubs arrives and that others decide to start families and that you make new friends who have kids.
i know when a girl in a crowd I was hanging round with got pregnant her and her husband felt quite lonley sometimes and were overjoyed when we all started having children.
I am also in the position of being the only one in our circle of friends with a baby (toddler now). Felt that our friends really didn't have a clue - i.e. they would phone at 7.30pm on a saturday with no advance warning saying "so are you out tonight then?" Which was good in some respects as they clearly were keen to see us, but didn't make any allowances for the fact that dd was 3 weeks old and we didn't have a babysitter. Now my friend is expecting her frist in a few months and I am excited beyond belief. And I have a good circle of mum friends via the post natal group organised by hv.
Just wanted to agree with most of the other comments - if your 'friend' comes away with such remarks again I would make a sarky comment about well 'one mention hardly makes a bore does it' and also point out that you went all round non maternity clothes shops.
It can be difficult making the adjustment pre and post baby but you will make nice new pals and the only real pals will be supportive afterwards.
In my experience I find that some people become so selfish if there is a mum to be around. I too didn't want to talk about it constantly but found myself having to listen to other peoples trivial problems. I think that is the crux, you realise that you are going through massive life changing experiences here and it puts the 'oh I need a new pair of boots, what shall I wear, what if he doesn't fancy me' comments into perspective.
Rest assured that if such pals ever become pregnant you won't hear the end of it.
Interestingly the worst culprit in my time was my DH's best pal. He was always trying to show that he was supportive and kind but basically only wanted to talk about his personal problems and being a good listener I got landed with them all. Worst time was when DD was about 4 weeks old, I was recovering from a C/S, DH had to go abroad to work for a week and the pal was calling to say how tired he was and that I'd no idea how hard he was working - I was shocked into speechlessness.
Another time was when I'd finally collected the one and only baby load of stuff from my SIL and it happened to be sitting in our hall as we'd just returned. He shows up at the door looking for a place to hang out for the evening and talk yet again about his problems. I made the single utterance of "wow what a lot of stuff" and he snapped "well I hope you're not going to show it all to me".
He's still not changed much. Goes on about how busy he is on phone to DH but never bothered to even ask how DH's recent 3 week intensive work trip to an interesting foreign country was - not a peep!!!
Sorry for going on - it has been rankling with me also and I can't sleep
Oh thank you all so much for the messages, it has helped enormously to know that similar things have happened to you all. I also made the brave (for me!) step of arranging to meet up with one of the women from AN class to go and investigate an out of town maternity shop at the weekend so will really try and make continued efforts to create new friends. I also took the advice of saying something to said 'not such a good mate after all' about how her comment was hurtful, and despite the fact that it went down like a lead balloon I felt a whole load better!!! Its good to hear that these old friendships are likely to improve ones we get to similar stages again.
Pagan, your post sparked a comnversation between DH and I. (sorry to hear about your DH's miserable pal, he sounds priceless). DH admitted he felt he really had no one to chat to about his becomming a Dad anxieties and joys so I guess I'm not alone. I imaginge a lads night out is an even worse place to try and discuss life changing emotions!!
Anyhow, big thanks again for all the sound advice. I really feel alot better about stuff and shall damm well enjoy my pregnancy even if some others cant!
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