Friends... They say they'll be there for you... but...they're not.

  • Everyone has told me that yes, they will come by and visit, they will be here for me, but they're not.  I've learned that my friends are conditional friends.  I have been home 3 months and if visiting with me doesn't include alcohol (not that I don't drink) they won't visit.  I am a first time mom and also the first in my small group of friends to have a baby.  I think they are having a hard time adjusting to this 'time to grow up' moment.  No one really warns you that this happens with friends, or some family for that matter.  It has turned out that my parents have been incredibly supportive for me and my husband.  They live an hour away and somehow we manage to see them once a week.  Unlike my 'friends' who live 5 minutes a part, I have only seen them a couple of times since I've been home from the hospital.

    I should say that not ALL of my friends haven't been supportive.  Due to a couple living very far away, we do make frequent phone calls and emails to each other.  And another even made a couple of meals for me so I could freeze and eat when I was ready.

    Anyways, is this something that has happened to anyone else?  How did you cope with it?  Did you confront them or ignore the situation?  My friends are not ones to confront each other, just to talk about everyone behind their backs.  Me.. I'm more of a confrontational person, so I have a hard time mentioning this to any of them.  I try to let it slide and move on in my life.  I do have a baby I need to focus on now and if my friends are too consumed with going only to the bars then I guess these conditional friends will be kept at an arms length.  But what hurts me most is, I really thought they were closer with me that this, since most of them were in my wedding party a few years ago.  It just disappoints me that they have turned out like this.

  • I understand how frustrating it is and how lonely it can be and all that we can do is hope that as our babies grow older we will make friends and acquaintances with people who have babies. My husband and I moved to Austin a year and a half ago and it has been hard in terms of friendship and bonds. I finished grad school and left a tight group of friends and with marriage and babies ties with single friends are lost and people go their different ways. If confronting them gives you closure then speak with your friends and tell them how hurt and difficult this new change has been for you. A quick question are your friends married with kids? If so then perhaps it is their busy lives and if single this new role for you might be hard on them. A very close friend of mine has cut off all ties with my and my husband since my daughter was born and she was there for the delivery. Perpahs it is our lifestyle and inability to do things with her has cut off ties. Perhaps your friends feel the same and you might be in the same boat.

    Hope this helps

  • I understand how you feel...

    I gave birth to twin girls the first week of November.  Before the delivery, there were a lot of promises from friends that they will come by to help out several times a week. I know, I shouldn't have expected too much, since It's not their obligation anyway. But I did, since I don't have any relatives in the US, they are all back in the Philippines....

    Another thing, I would rather do it all myself than expecting any help from anyone, especially my husband's mom.

    My mother inlaw offered help...So when we got back home from the hospital, I was expecting her to help out with household chores.... but all she wanted to do is just feed the babies, and she was more than a burden instead of a, my husband decided to tell her the next day that we don't need anymore help. You know, my husband is stressed out with his work the whole day and her mom would be asking him to cook something else other than the food that's already prepared, wants her son to hand her everything, tries to help feed the babies, but don't try to let them finish and burp the babies. So frustrating.

    So, I take care of the kids all by myself, and our kids are growing up healthy and happy....At least, I don't owe anyone anything....It's better to do it all by yourself sometimes.



  • It's hard to be the first in your circle of friends to have a child. It changes the dynamic in ways that you don't really expect, like you're experiencing now. And it's something that they will not understand until they're in your shoes.

    My advice would be to not take it personally. You know how people tend to let friendships fall out of focus when they get into a new relationship? I kind of think this is a similar situation. You're on a different path now than they are and your priorities have shifted, while theirs have stayed the same. It's not so much that they weren't close friends before, as much as a big part of your relationship with them has changed and they may not know how to deal with it because they don't know what you're going through.

    This happened with my friends when I had my first child, but there were other personal issues going on as well. I look back at it now as a symbol of a new chapter in my life. I have lots of new friends now, the majority of whom are moms and whom I have a lot more in common with than those old friends I had. I think we all reach points of departure in our lives where the paths we're on takes us away from what we've known. You may be on this path now, and where it leads is anyone's guess. But, this might be a good opportunity to connect with new people, as well.



  • nasreen25, a couple of my friends are married but no children yet.  They are waiting for another 2-3 years. 

    I did email one of my friends who had made plans with me a few times and she just never showed up, never called... she said she didn't even know she made plans with me one of the times.  Makes me wonder how good of a friend she really is.

  • ushanee, i can understand your scenerio.  But what happened to me was the complete opposite.  It was my Mom who wanted to do the house chores, when all I really needed was for someone to watch my son for a few hours so I could take a nap.  She constantly told me to bring him with me so he can nap and stretch out in his own bed.  It's the little baby noises that wouldn't allow me to sleep peacefully and get a good rest.  I was living off of 3 hours of sleep a night so I was so frustrated and her visit turned out to be horrible.  I appreciated her help but it just wasn't what I had needed at that time.

    writemommy, I hear what you are saying and I believe this is exactly what's going on right now.  These girls just don't understand and I really don't expect them to, but I guess I had thought they would have given me a call every now and then rather than wait for me to say I want to hang out.  They've also gone and told me, "good for you that you are out tonight" as if I wasn't 'allowed' or something. 
    They had a Christmas party when my son was 3 weeks old and they actually thought I would get a babysitter for him so my husband and I could go.  I told them that I was only staying for a couple of hours and then taking off before the liquor started kicking into their blood streams.  Sure enough, when we were there my friends said hello to us for about 15 minutes and then they steered clear as if we had a disease.  As we were leaving one of my friends said she felt awkward drinking around my son.  It wasn't that kind of party, people where there hanging out and socializing but it was definitely awkward that they ignored us.
    I do intend on finding people who have smaller children.  We know a few couples but they live an hour away.  We do have some neighbors that I'd like to get to know but it's so hard right now with the weather being so cold (I'm in NH) I'm sure it'll be easier once the warmer weather is here and hopefully run into people playing outside.

  • I was also the first among my friends. Honestly, I just had to find new friends. I found that friends came back when they had children. It seems like babies are novel to them at first, but then they want you to do everything you did before and you just can't. So they just naturally quit coming around as much. I would suggest getting out and meeting other mothers.

  • I found most of my friends slipping away because we all graduated about the same time. Not long after our wonderful daughter came along and took my wife and I away from most of the world while we adjusted to being first time parents. Most of the few friends we still had in town stayed close (and even some of those who didnt stayed close too), but we did lose a couple of good ones...

    I can understand it though because they are simply living in a different speed of life. We are living in a child-centric world and they arent. I do miss them from time to time but I have my family and that is by far better. And I've even made new friends, ones who aren't affected by my child-centric world Wink.

  • it's true, no matter how you look at it and thats the worst part to have no one warn you that they'll all just dissappear.  I was the first to do everything out of my friends kids, marraige, moving out on my own, and no one understood, until they needed help or advice on what to do, or how I did it.  Even still though because I've got the kids and no one else does, all my supposed best friends I talk to every once in a blue moon maybe once a month.  it's hard especially when they keep up the facade that they'll be there even though you both know they won't.  I'm not confrontational either but I turn it into a joke of sorts.  It gets the issue into the air and sometimes turns into a serious conversation and sometimes doesn't.  I actually rekindled and became friends with alot of people I had gone to school with all because we have kids and thats what we talk about.  it's hard for most of us to get baby sitters, or coincide people to watch them so we can all go out.  I became a self relying machine and that works for me.  You just need to find your balance of what works and go with it.  It's hard to make new friends when you are so used to your old friends and those dynamics, or just because you want to hold on to the friendships since they've been there for so long.  Good luck I know how you feel, I think we all do/did at some point.  One of the many side-effects of parenthood.

  • Some of my friends already have kids, some don't.  But I have found that TRUE friends are there no matter what.  My best friend does not have any kids, but she wants to.  This has been a great opportunity for her to babysit and show her husband that she can care for a baby.

    I have also tried to reconnect with friends from my past.  Using Facebook and MySpace, I have been able to find old friends from high school who have recently had children.  I have already met up with one of them for a playdate, and we text regularly.

    I have also used message boards such as this one (on other sites) to connect with other new moms in my area.  Although I have not met with any of them in person yet, I still have regular conversations with them.

    When you have a baby, you find it hard to talk about anything else.  Your friends may be jealous or honestly just not care.  We make friends and lose friends all throughout our lives.  This is a time in your life where you can decide what direction to take.

  • I have had the same problem, but with my family! My grandparents are wonderful-very supportive, but the rest of my family-NO WAY. The(my aunt and cousins) were so excited about me having a baby and said they couldn't wait to baby sit her when she was born and now my little girl is 2 moths old and i haven't seen my cousin but twice(she was dropping off pictures that were taken of the birth) and my aunt came over once to make soup-I did appreciate that though. It just seems like before she was born everyone was going to be so involved, now everything has changed and I see them all less often than before.