22 Aug
My Friend Thinks My Baby is a Bore!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have a 6 month old daughter but one of my friends doesn’t have any kids.   Every time I start to talk about my daughter and the whole experience of being a mother, I can just tell that she couldn’t care less.   This hurts me, because she is one of my oldest friends and I would expect her to support me with this huge, huge part of my life.   Can this friendship be saved?

Signed,

I’m a Mother, not a Pariah

______________________________

Dear I’m a Mother,

I distinctly remember my friends who had kids before me.   They would talk at length about their cute little babies… the tiny toes, their chunky thighs and the adorable way they were starting to roll over. And as they droned on and on, I thought about three things:

1. I hope my roommate didn’t screw up the VCR again because I really want to watch “ER” tonight.

2. My dog rolls over and I’ve never bored anyone to death about it.

3. What is so impressive about rolling over anyway? I had two blind dates last night back to back. Now that takes some real coordination.

And what I said out loud was, “Your baby sounds great! Anyway, can you grab drinks tonight?”

It’s not that your friend doesn’t care about you or what’s going on in your life, it’s just that you two are in different places right now. She just can’t relate. Some day your friend will become a mom or an aunt and suddenly, she will understand the mesmerizing beauty of a baby’s face. Or you know, maybe she’ll always think of babies as buzz killing Cabbage Patch Dolls that cry too much. It’s hard to know.

But either way, it doesn’t have to end your friendship. I’m sure you have mom friends that you get together with to coo over your offspring and discuss your children’s pacifier addictions. But sometimes, you just need some cocktails and adult conversation (like to discuss why some women bleach their anuses. Really, why?!).   So call up your friend and enjoy a proper girls night out.   I bet you’ll have a blast.

Have fun,

Kelcey, TMH

22 Responses to “My Friend Thinks My Baby is a Bore!”

08.22.11#1

Comment by Betty Herbert.

She’s probably writing to some other advice column saying, ‘I used to be so close to her, but now all she can talk about is her baby. It’s like I’m invisible.’

It’s so hard when a close friend has a baby and you’re just not ready. For me, it’s been a huge loss – my whole social life has collapsed in the last five years as friends have children and I can’t follow them there.

The problem is that having a baby requires a certain degree of obsession – mothers have to engage with absolute focus. But from the outside, that can be a bit mystifying. As Kelcey says, try and see your friend as a resource, to keep tabs on the pre-baby world. Stick it out and you’ll probably enjoy her company more and more.

Moira Reply:

I hear you, Betty!

mellowdee Reply:

I can totally relate! In my husband’s n’ my immediate circle of friends, I’m the only gal who is not a mom, and it can be pretty brutal. I try engaging in conversation, except I feel like a loser starting every single comment with, “My niece… ” or “My friend’s kid…” It’s not that I don’t make an effort to relate, it’s just that I CAN’T!

One time, after several hours (years!) invested with the moms, I accepted the men’s invite to join them for a lil’ ping pong in the games room. I actually got a passive aggressive chill from the ladies for leaving, which made me feel bad. Of course, in retrospect, I know I had nothing to feel bad about. What did they expect? For me to stay and share all my helpful anecdotes on potty training and breast feeding? Sigh.

08.22.11#2

Comment by Lisa.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I appreciate how nice Kelsey was being in her response, but there is something crucial missing, and I say fhis as a mother: Your friend is NOT the bad friend in this relationship. You have forgotten that friendship isn’t one sided, unless one of you is dying. She’s bored to tears but she isn’t telling you to shut up, isn’t avoiding you she is actually letting you drone on and on. When is the last time you asked her about HER life? When is the last time you thought about what kind of friend YOU are being?

Yes, motherhood is life altering, but it does NOT give you a free pass to become wholly self-involved and to forget about others in your life. Ask yourself if you were like this when planning your wedding or other times. Your friend is at least trying to maintain your friendship, can you say the same?

Kelcey Reply:

Some very good points Lisa!

08.22.11#3

Comment by Jane.

My best friend described having her first baby like this:
“It’s like an alien from outer space parked his space ship on my front lawn and forced me to take care of him and he doesn’t speak human and I have no idea what he needs. Oh, and he’s an asshole.” Maybe she would understand your situation better if you explain things in a way she could understand or relate to; like, with aliens. Good luck!

Kelcey Reply:

I love that analogy!!

VG Reply:

That’s great! Made me LOL 🙂

08.22.11#4

Comment by Jane.

Or how about this. You could tell her that having a new baby is like having a new boyfriend. There is lots of excitement and firsts and late nights and overwhelming feelings of love, etc., etc., etc. I vote for using a lot of analogies and metaphors.

Tonya Reply:

I agree with Jane analogies and metaphors are very important and should be used at maximum capacity.

08.22.11#5

Comment by N and Em's mom.

I went out to eat with my delightful teenage daughters at our favorite Thai restaurant, and the table of 8 next to us was filled with 20-somethings and the baby. The mom monopolized the whole evening talking loudly about EVERY aspect of the baby’s life down to the color spectra of poopy diapers which took a little of the joy away from my curry chicken. My daughter asked me, “Mom, are all moms with babies that boring?”
My response? “Yes, honey. Moms who talk about nothing but babies are boring because babies are boring to anyone who doesn’t have one.” Some people are just not baby people. Your friend isn’t going to understand how awesome babies are until she has one of her own. Only mommies will chat about last night’s bowel movements like they’re the equivalent to ‘Bachelor Pad.’

Kelcey Reply:

That sounds tortuous. I’m so glad I’m past that “I think my kid’s poop is interesting” phase. Ugh.

08.22.11#6

Comment by Trixie.

Well, I was the supportive baby-less friend. I read EVERYTHING I could find online so I could keep up with my BFF through her pregnancy. The acronyms, the ‘mucus plug’ the gas, the nesting EVERYTHING. We talked about it a lot, I was so supportive of her going through it, a wee jealous but living vicariously and hoping when she was ready for #2 I was would be trying for #1. Since then, she’s fallen off the planet. The first year was fine, I kept up on baby stuff, chatted with her, texts everything. Even talked poops and puke and jolly jumpers.

She went back to work and faded out of existence I think the the last year I’ve gotten all of 3 communications that weren’t ‘likes’ on facebook. She even promised me she’d be better at communicating on MY BIRTHDAY…. nary a peep since.

I get that work+baby+hubby= little time. but I’m not asking for a lot, I live in another province. A text or short email when I was having emotional turmoil over I want a baby and he’s not ready… or I want to get married but he’s stalling would have been nice.

I check in now and then… but no replies. I don’t know what I did to push her away.

So yeah, it’s a two way street when it comes to communication.

Anonymom Reply:

Maybe your friend is depressed.

I have a friend like that. I had the baby first, but made sure to make time for her. Now that she has her own, plus she’s working, she’s fallen off the face of the earth. I, too, realize that baby + job + husband = not a lot of free time, but she passive-aggressively emailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I was angry with her, when she’s the one who has ignored most of my last emails and phone calls. I told her this, and she explained that between work and her family she has zero time for anything else, even her own parents and brothers. She admitted she has no social life anymore.

That just isn’t normal. Yes, working motherhood is HARD, but women do it and manage to keep up their friendships.

Good luck with your friend.

Trixie Reply:

The thing is, via facebook I see that she seems to have a fairly active social life. I mean, she previously didn’t have anyone in town that she really got along with aside from her mother. So I’m glad she’s not completely down and out socially so I don’t think it’s depression. I really miss her friendship. I felt a more than a little let down when she barely made time for me on my last visit home (I come at most twice a year).

I want to ask if I’ve done something. But when my regular emails go unanswered when I ask about the child and hubby and herself and her mom and work etc etc… I also share an update about me too in case there’s something she can’t tell me and is wondering how I am. I don’t want a novel…. I just want a reply!

All I can think of is she’s too overwhelmed to keep up our long distance friendship. I feel awkward commenting on her facebook stuff now because I feel like that loser kid who tags along that no one has the heart to tell ‘go home’.

*sigh* I thought being an adult would be EASIER!

08.22.11#7

Comment by Plano Mom.

Until I was 35, I was that friend without kids. When seeing friends with babies, I came prepared – lots of non-baby conversation. Then for every baby story, I told a celebrity gossip story, or asked her opinion on the latest political stupidity. If you find your friend changing the subject frequently, take the hint and like Lisa implies, be aware of the need for balance!

08.22.11#8

Comment by Wendi.

So I should stop telling my friends about the cute things my 19 year old cat does?

08.22.11#9

Comment by Marie.

I’m six years younger than my husband and his friends and we’re among the last to have babies. When we first married, I dreaded get-togethers because inevitably, the subject of child birth would come up and I was the only one who couldn’t share a story. I swore that I would never, ever do that to my friends when I had a baby. (I mean, who really wants to hear how you pushed for two hours but your little one’s head was so big that you ended up having a c-section, and you pooped on the table, and your husband smelled like onions when you were labor?) Never say never. I am so guilty of gushing on and on about my pregancy, birth, and every phase following that I had to start a blog so I wouldn’t drive my friends away (sadly, I think I do anyway). My advice to you is to get her talking about a topic she’s passionate about too – it will even things out. You may find you’re bored with what she discusses, but at least you’ll be able to relate to her feelings.

Best to you!
-MM

cuteandcuddlee Reply:

I am also 6 years younger than my husband and haven’t had a baby while 90% of our friends have but I don’t dwell on what we don’t have in common. When baby/kid stuff comes up I take the opportunity to get insight on being a momma. All these ladies are awesome mom’s with experience to share. Then, when the mom talk is over we move on to husbands or music or food or whatever! As long as the baby isn’t all you are talking about your friend should be patient and then move the convo on.

Marie Reply:

That’s a great attitude! 🙂

07.27.12#10

Comment by Tony.

“Nature gets far too much of her own way” – Fay Weldon

That’s just it – it’s programming. Nature/evolution has ensured that the next generation has the best chance of survival by enslaving the mother’s attention for the next two decades. But Nature is a tyrannous old hag and some women choose not to give in to her. The result is a growing band of career women who are at war with their own bodies. Good for them. Stuff nature. Rational women not hormonally and emotionally conned by the demanding offspring into giving away the best part of their lives, cannot relate to professional child bearers who wear that smug, self-satisfied Madonna look like they are the only woman to ever squeeze one out. To misquote Mr Darcy, “Every savage can breed”.

05.06.13#11

Comment by Sandra.

I am currently resentful of my friend, who’s had a baby for a year. Pre- baby she was so much fun! I have been there for her & spent thousands celebrating her choices (mariage, new home, baby)All conversations now revolve around her baby. She is not interested in the wonderful things happening in my life. She always claims to be too busy to have me over at a “decent adult hour”. Of course when it’s an occasion for me to buy her or her baby a gift…I do get an invite. For the first time I stood my ground & declined. I feel guilty but angry at the same time….

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