Oct 12, 2011

I’m pregnant and my friends are avoiding me.

A loyal reader sent me an email about this very real issue of losing your "friends" once you get pregnant.  The reader googled, “I’m pregnant and my friends are avoiding me,” (Which breaks my heart. I’m your friend!) She came across a blog where a girl was struggling with how to stay connected with her non-mom friends. The reader asked me what I thought and would I write about it.  This is a difficult one because I am very familiar with both sides and completely understand the frustration of both parties. This is one of those blogs where this is all completely my opinion, which we all know is not worth a hill of Jack’s magic beans.

Below are 3 scenarios I personally know to be why a friend may “avoid” you once you get pregnant.

Scenario 1- Party girl gets pregnant and friends keep going at it without you. (Me 18-24yrs)

Oh, I remember these days and times in my early twenties. I was single and positive I would NEVER marry or have children, I couldn’t see the purpose. When my girlfriends got pregnant my selfish ass decided we could not possibly have anything in common anymore, and therefore I was way too busy to be bothered by that friend and her baby chatter. Again, I was a silly early twenty something, selfish and focused on a career when I was not drowning in a pint.  I realized later that I WAS FOOLISH, and that my friend did nothing wrong. I had the problem not her.  I am also very lucky that the best of those friends forgave my dumb ass and love me again.

Scenario 2- Miserable and lonely and best friends get married and pregnant- (me 25-30yrs)

My very best friend dumped married a great guy and in my opinion that’s when she was too busy for me.  I kept telling her that she got bad directions up her husband’s ass and needed to find her way out!  I was alone and needed my best friend back, STAT! Then, to add insult to injury, she got pregnant. Just like when she told me she was getting married, when she told me she was pregnant I looked at her and asked, “are you out of your fucking mind?"  She was 26 and kids were really going to get into the way of MY time with her!  She was doing the natural thing that we all do, it was just way before me and I was super jealous!



Through it all I was being selfish and lonely and wanted all of the things she had, a house, great husband, beautiful baby... I had the problem not her, of course I made it seem like the other way around. Don't feel bad for making the right decision in your life.


Scenario 3- Innocent non-mom friend (Never me. But, I have one!)

A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with an old friend, she has her life in order, great job and a great husband.  Both she and her husband have no desire to have children now and the way they sound, possibly never.  Unfortunately for her, the entire first half of our lunch conversation was centered on my pregnancy, baby, how I was feeling and blah, blah, blah... About halfway through I realized, by her glazed over look, she had absolutely no interest in knowing I got “My Brest Friend,” a breast feeding pillow for baby to lie on.  To me it’s the funniest and most useful thing I have gotten for baby.

Anyways, this is where I looked at her and said, "I am SO sorry this has got to be so boring for you."  She agreed and at that point in lunch we agreed to not talk about baby anything again that day.  I learned two very important lessons at that lunch.

  1. It is SO hard to not talk about my pregnancy, baby, baby stuff and baby plans for more than 5 minutes.  My baby is all I think about.  He is, plain and simple, my life right now. For non-mom friends it is completely foreign speak and they have no way of relating.

  1. Not talking about baby was great too!  When I could stop focusing on my selfish ass for a minute and really care about my friend and her un-pregnant life, I escaped from my reality and lived through hers.  I don’t mean that I was happier living her life, but that I was happy living vicariously through my non-pregnant friend's life.  I still have to remember to take time for me, and not focus 100% on baby, especially even before he gets here! For the non-moms it’s best if I spend some time being a non-mom too.

Moral of all of my scenarios, I was a super selfish shit head!  The other moral is that marriage, pregnancy and motherhood are major life changes.  These life changes/stages can really put a gap between friends. It’s really about finding that common ground that made you friends in the first place.

Knowing all of my prior issues throughout my twenties with my girlfriends, I now try to be sensitive to why our friendship is hurting, in all situations. I am also finding myself at a crossroads in my life where I am trying to decide if these are true friends or acquaintances. Pregnancy is an absolutely beautiful blessing and anyone who does not see that, or at the very least come to their senses about it (love you J) you may just be better off without that friend. 

Remember, this phase too shall pass, and old friends will take this journey with you, and thanks to changing hobbies, mothers groups and moving neighbors there will be more friends down the road. Life is short, choose your friends and battles wisely.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! When my best friend got pregnant two years ago I started distancing myself from her because I couldn't handle the non-stop baby chatter. At that point in my life I wasn't no where near having kids and it was beyond grating listening to her!

    Now that I am pregnant I am trying to be conscious of my non-pregnant friends and not do the same thing to them. That being said, I believe there is a 4th scenario :)

    #4 The "Been there Done That 2nd time around" Pregnant Friend who ONLY talks about her kids, pregnancy, babies... blah... blah... This is the scenario that I am in at the moment. I am on my first pregnancy, and although exciting... I don't think it should be the ONLY topic of conversation in my friend group. I was a person with interests an hobbies and a personality before I got pregnant and I still have other things to talk about other than the obvious change in my life. As luck would have it 2 my my best friends are pregnant with their 2nd babies and it's like nothing but babies etc. exist in their world.... I keep thinking "Come on ladies!! You had hobbies and interests and personalities before children, what happened to them?? Let's talk about something else!" Sometimes I think this makes me a bad mommy-to-be since I feel the need to talk about OTHER things...

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  2. You are absolutely right! I have "mom" friends who completely overwhelm me with info and chatter. I avoid them or plan short visits. I have two best friends and a sister in-law just weeks behind me in prdgnancy, my girlfriends have the sane due date! Talk about a coop full of clucking hens! I almost fund relief in my non moms but I think we still talk about my pregnancy so much b/c it is like a big white elephant/belly in the room.

    My very best wishes to you and your Besties!

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  3. You also lose friends when your son dies 3 days before his due date (Christmas 2011.) Luckily I have a strong family and support groups that have helped getting through this much easier. I'm now 7 wks pregnant so I am in yet another group, subsequent pregnancy after a loss. I started reading your blog after a random search and spent all day laughing. I kinda want to be induced on Apr 1 so I can tell people that I had a baby and they not believe me. Not many people know about this pregnancy and I think it would be hilarious.

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    1. OMG! wow! you have such a brilliant outlook after what you have been through! My heart goes out to you. I am SO glad I was able to make you laugh.

      My name is April. I have an entire day to fool people! Miss Anonymous, I would love to share that with you!

      Please keep me updated. Your secret is safe with me! You can email me too at tiredofbeingpregnant @gmail.com .

      All the very best to you and bub!
      xx ~April

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