friends and children

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • For those of you with kids, or those with friends with children... how much did your relationships change after babies were born?
    Of all the things that worried me about becoming a mummy, losing friends wasn't one of them. I don't get invited out much anymore by my old friends... I know a lot of the time they're drinking and I can't really take a 6 month along (nor would I wish too) but it feels as though most circumstances, inviting me (and therefore sprog) is perhaps seen as an inconvenience... because of having to entertain her/feed her/change her etc. If people do not have children, do they not understand/have no interest in what it is like for you? I'm sure it's not personal to me (I hope not) and I'm making new friends who have babies. My hairdresser (I really have run out of people to talk to!) said her friends pretty much abandoned her when she had her first baby at 21 (I am 23).
    It would be nice to hear people's experiences from when they had children, or if a friend had a baby and how that changed things. Most of the people I've met at baby groups are older than me (30ish) so have friends/siblings/cousins with children whereas apart from people I know from the forum, I hadn't met a baby in over 10 years. I felt for a while I was the only person in the world with a baby. Which is obviously stupid. But sometimes when I have gone out with friends, and she starts crying/wants to be held, I feel like I am ruining everyone else's day because we have to stop/someone else has to push the pram while I carry her etc. and it just ends up stressful. :S Perhaps there is also an attitude of, why can't you leave her with your partner for a few hours... but I don't want to... so that makes it my fault for not being able to go out and socialise? I seem to manage to socialise ok with friends with babies.. :S (I'm not meaning to attack my friends here! I just don't know if this is normal or I have suddenly become unlikeable???)

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • When I had my daughter when I was 18, I lost most of my friends too. I tend to find that friends who don't have children don't understand why you won't or can't go out anymore, especially if they were like my friends and still wanted to be going to the pub etc and I didn't want to do that anymore. I did the same as you and met people at baby groups and at the playground. Why not try inviting your old friends round to your house one evening and spending some time with them there? Friendships change and evolve and new friendships are formed, its the way it goes. Any of your old friends who care will be happy to spend time with you even though you're a mum now. Don't take it personally, I'm sure before too long you will have a defined circle of friends xx

  • This is very common, you do tend to lose friends that are still on the singles scene especially, the ones out drinking/pulling etc etc Friends that are more settled tend to stick.


    And remember some friends wont have a clue how to interact with babies anyway, they can seem like little aliens.

  • thanks... it does to help to try and think of it as not personal. but i guess it always sucks when you lose friends for whatever reason!
    i have invited people over here repeatedly, but to no avail! i live half an hour from cardiff now... which is apparently too much effort

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • I'm a dad & was the only person I knew who had kids in my circle of friends, a lot of people just stayed away & never got in touch, I'll be honest my son is now 10 & when I am with him over weekends (I'm no longer with his mum) Some people still stay away now.


    When you have children, your life is changed forever, at first it did make me feel very isolated & in quiet times quite depressed, but in time change was a good one for me. My social groups have changed over the years & my mates now who embrace my son as a big part of me have become the best friends I've ever had. Now when friends are having people over for a drink or simular they Invite my son too & will play with him & engage him as part of the group, He loves it. there is times when my mates will sit & talk to him & play games with him. He is a part of me & anyone who will not accept me as a whole person is not really a friend I need in my life.


    I have learned a very valuable lesson in my life since becoming a dad & that is that If you make a decision that makes you happy then your real life long friends will be happy for you no matter what that decision is. And whats more be there for you when you need it.


    I know it's hard what is happening to you at the moment, but things do get better I promise.


    Hope what i say helps you
    Gav
    xx

    No longer an active member. Please remove account.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by fumps ().

  • yes, thank you :) I think what you say there is very true - your child is a part of you and so friends need to accept the child too. If they're not, they're rejecting *you* whether they realise it or not.
    But then perhaps it's not something weird to get upset when my baby is called ugly or annoying or spoilt. :(
    Maybe people didn't realise I'd always pick my baby over them! And that's not wrong of me to do that!

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • yes, thank you :) I think what you say there is very true - your child is a part of you and so friends need to accept the child too. If they're not, they're rejecting *you* whether they realise it or not.
    But then perhaps it's not something weird to get upset when my baby is called ugly or annoying or spoilt. :(
    Maybe people didn't realise I'd always pick my baby over them! And that's not wrong of me to do that!


    I hope my words help. I'm not the most wise person but I can you stuff from my experience.


    Yes you are right, friends don't take bits of you that suit them, they should accept you for the whole person that you are. like I said earlier, when certain things happened like drinks over at a mates house & you don't get invited it does hurt, the last straw for me was when I found out that a night out was planned for a lass who I considered one of my best friends' birthday & they didn't even ask me I realised that it was the end of a chapter of my life.
    But with time, things do get better, I found friends in funny places, people who at first I didn't see them as close friends but in time they became closer to the point where I realised I had friends who I could rely on and they are the keepers. A guy I knew as a mate of a mate kind of friendship is now one of my closest friends. I know it's difficult mate & I really hope my words give you some support, now I admit my circle of friends are smaller but the quality of these friends make it all so worthwhile. Now I have a circle of friends that would baby sit for me any time I would ask (Which is very rare) and I know anyone of them would be there for me If i need them which is a great thought.


    On the second point you made, anyone who is saying things like your baby is ugly is probably deep down ugly themselves, it's just not something you say to a parent & no person who call themselves a friend would ever do that. When you become a responsible parent you dedicate your life to a child who needs you for warmth, support, protection, friendship, joy & above all love. And that little person will give you gifts of unconditional love, joy & a life of fun.


    nature gives you the correct tools you need to supply what is needed to your child, it is a protection mechanism that has ensured the future of our species. I would die for my son right now if I had to & if I had to choose my son over anyone else I would not even have to think about it, he is the most important person in my life & will be for the rest of my existence.


    You will be ok love, being a parent is the best thing that has ever happened to me, it has changed me forever & I've never been happier but change will often be turbulent at first then things will get better for you I promise.....if it doesn't I will let you give me a Chinese burn until it really stings :thumbup:

  • yes, thank you :) I think what you say there is very true - your child is a part of you and so friends need to accept the child too. If they're not, they're rejecting *you* whether they realise it or not.
    But then perhaps it's not something weird to get upset when my baby is called ugly or annoying or spoilt. :(
    Maybe people didn't realise I'd always pick my baby over them! And that's not wrong of me to do that!


    People who are worth being called friends will understand that the most important thing in your life is your child.
    People who don't understand that are not really worth calling your friends as they do not understand and/or care about you.


    My son is now 20 - he's still more important to me than anyone else, and I know he always will be.


    It really does got easier once poeple get their heads around it.


    :-)

  • Like fumps says, when you have children your life changes forever and like Colin says they are the most important thing you will ever have. The love you have for your child is more important than people - not friends, but people. Your true friends are those who support you and understand this. Your true friends will be flexible and supportive. You are the most important person in your child's life and the relationship is unconditional. Your true friends will understand and respect this. And your true friends will take you as you are, both of you, together, without labels or any judgement.


    Chin up flower - your baby is lucky to have you as a Mum.


    xxx

  • Your focus changes so do your friends. One of my best mates from being 16 to 29 called round when my eldest was coming up to 3, she had a tight fitted black dress on, as we were going out........ I was dressed up in jeans and a clean shirt. Anyway my son jumped onto the settee and just grabbed her boobs with his chalk covered hands.. I think he was surprised to see boobs looking like that as I had just finished breast feeding child No2 and his aunts etc were all breastfeeding around that time....... he never did that before or after, and she never came round again. In fact our night out lasted about an hour as she wanted to go clubbing and I wanted a quiet drink and catch up, that was the end of us being best mates, and even now 17 years later we hardly speak :O I am sure if she had had kids that would have changed.

  • Eeeeek :eek: I just remembered we were supposed to meet up :eek: So sorry, I completely forgot about that!!


    In answer to your question, yes a lot of my relationships with my friends changed, and some completely disappeared. It was interesting because on both sides of that, it usually wasn't the people I'd expected. I had a really close best friend when Izzy was born who pretty much freaked out and dropped me, because she couldn't handle not being my priority anymore. That was really hard.


    I was the first of all my friends to have babies, except much older friends who'd had their children already. In the four and a half years since, quite a few of them have had their own babies, and some of the people I lost contact with have reappeared. I was lucky that I met some people through here who had babies at a similar time, and I got close to a couple of them, so I didn't really feel lonely as a mummy, and once Izzy was about 18months old, I found that I was meeting a lot of new acquaintences and a few friends at toddler groups and so on. Prior to that, because I was breastfeeding, babywearing etc. I wasn't really on the same wavelength as most parents I met, so we tended not to connect really. Actually, I'd go so far as to say I was a shunned at the first playgroup we attended :eek:


    I now have two quite close 'mummy friends' - one was my neighbour in the house we lived in until this summer. She adopted a little girl the same age as Izzy two years ago, and Izzy and I just went and knocked on their door and invited them over to play one day (it's amazing the things you're able to do for your children which you'd never have dreamed of doing before!!) and another is now a very dear friend who I met at playgroup about 18 months ago - she was really struggling with PND at the time, which I noticed, so I befriended her quite forcefully (!)


    At the two playgroups we currently go to, I'm the super friendly one who welcomes new people. Partly because I remember how difficult it can be when you feel isolated and everyone else seems to be part of a clique you can't break into, and partly because it's my responsibility to model how to make friends, so that Izzy can learn (though at this stage, to be honest, at the age of 4 she is already more sociable than I have ever been).


    Because Izzy's home ed, we also go to home ed groups and various sports and arts groups too, so she actually has more friends than most four-year-olds, and by extention I now know a ton of parents.

  • Another interesting thing I noticed is how many of my friends didn't respect my choice to be a full-time mum. I was astonished to find that people I'd known for ten years or more were suddenly looking down their noses at me, and some of them outright told me that they found me boring! Because obviously, hearing all about their day at work is edge-of-the-seat fascinating for *everyone* ;)


    It was eye-opening.

  • Yeh its a comedy moment when you notice that all your mates without kids all just talk about work & getting plastered like this is the most important thing in the world & you have seemed to step away from that life. It's also funny when you get the night off from being a parent & instead of going out or doing something wild you just stay in & sleep lol


    Your world is now dedicated to the development of a little person, priorities change & the two are so differant.

  • thx for the responses :) it is so helpful to remember it's not personal lol and it happens to lots of people. it was just a total shock, i hadn't expected it..
    I've been very fortunate, as now that we have moved house (from deep in the valleys) there are lots of baby groups in walking distance and so i've been able to make friends with other people nearby - generally they're in the 30s but it doesn't matter, everyone is lovely, pretty much. and i've met people with similar views on upbringing too which is lovely. so i know i am lucky - it must have been much harder as a father, fumps, because i don't imagine there are as many groups you can feel welcome at.
    I guess you drift away from friends at different points anyway... one of my friends asked me if i regretted having my baby... it was then i realised there was some sort of gulf... that question is meaningless now,unanswerable.. because she is here and i love her more than anything, she is not a hypothetical baby, so how can i regret her :S I know what the question meant but it doesn't make sense.


    ptm - that's ok i couldn't have done anyway in the end, my family kept changing their plans about when they were coming down! :/ i'll let you know next time we're over that way :)

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • t
    I guess you drift away from friends at different points anyway...


    I think you will find out that as you grow and change as an individual over the years, your circle of support and friends will change too. Nothing is static. Our lives always take interesting, and sometimes challenging, twists and turns. Some people you will keep as friends that you have know since you were a child and others you will not have known for so long, but nevertheless, individuals who you class as close friends who will give you that unconditional support. Life is a really interesting journey - having babies makes it technicolour!

  • - it must have been much harder as a father, fumps, because i don't imagine there are as many groups you can feel welcome at.


    Hi Elfqueenofrahan
    Yeh you hit the nail on the head there, As you may have noticed that I'm not with my sons mum now, but I met my superb other half & she is fantastic & understanding. when we first met I went out of my way to tell her I had a little boy & I am very hands on with him so she understood from the outset that my son I very much a part of me.


    And yes your right, it's harder for males to meet other parents (especially when you are a part time dad) the issues you have is that it's really hard because most parents meet in baby & toddlers groups if you have your child during the weekends you never see these groups. also when my son is invited to a birthday party, none of the other parents know who you are because your not one of the "after school group" who stand & chat waiting for their children so when it comes to social events with other parents, I'm the one no one talks to.
    But in balance, me & my boy are very close, Hayley my other half always says we are like a planet & the moon, everywhere I go my son stays with me. We are a little team & although I love it like this it do recognise that it would be better if my boy had some friends to play with when he comes over to my house. I've been trying to befriend other parents now but am really struggling to achieve this. And as fate would have it a i am experiencing a mini baby boom in my circle of friends some of them are expecting a baby or just had one.

  • this is really petty, but it's bothering me. it's stupid facebook. when my friends don't invite me out somewhere and then tag themselves out there. it feels like it is rubbing in the lack of invitation.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • this is really petty, but it's bothering me. it's stupid facebook. when my friends don't invite me out somewhere and then tag themselves out there. it feels like it is rubbing in the lack of invitation.


    It's not petty mate, I've been where you are.


    Facebook is a site that people try to show how great their lives are but also show their own insecurities by trying so hard. yes they are out drinking but you have the joy of your little ones smile, they are searching for a unnatural happiness in booze you get a natural joy from another human being. Mate I know that sounds weird but I know which one i'd pick every time.

  • yes :) and never once have i resented my baby or regretted her in anyway, she is so beautiful and wonderful and i am so lucky to have her. and when i feel crap, or lonely, or start thinking i must inherently be unlikeable, she makes everything seem better.
    thank you fumps

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting