Added: Pieter Dinsmore - Date: 09.12.2021 07:34 - Views: 39880 - Clicks: 5966
I smiled and nodded, withholding the part where it most certainly will. When it comes to friends having babies, I have stood here over and over again. Metaphorically, she is about to move to a distant land and become fluent in a language I do not speak. No matter how much I try — no matter how many well-meaning visits I make or books or documentaries or babysitting experience I have on my side — I will never fully comprehend the landscape: an unmappable terrain where a piece of your heart exists outside of your body. For these last few moments, I am soaking it in.
There will, of course, be more suppers. But they will never be quite the same. Of course, I am familiar with change and its pesky way of aligning itself with seminal life moments. After college, there was a sort of exodus. Some people moved back to their home towns, others went off to pursue graduate studies, others took Older jo friend in places near and far. In the ensuing years, there was a flurry of engagements and weddings and even some divorces.
For some, having children is destiny. For others, it is tricky. Whether by choice or circumstance or some other life-happens hybrid, there are those of us for whom the only showers thrown in our honor are the ones meant for personal hygiene. For all of us, life Older jo friend on. Every year, the paper soldiers arrive in formation. The baby announcements with weights and lengths and sometimes even little footprints. As I rip open the envelope, I sometimes shed a sentimental tear.
Then I hang them on the refrigerator, to greet me when I rummage for the oat milk. I have a single friend who sends a holiday card featuring her cat every year. With each new edition, her siblings ridicule her for doing so. Another friend sends a card sharing her personal accomplishments of the year — big trips, work milestones. Personally, I applaud this. Send whatever card you want! The shoes are stolen, and the host offers to pay for them, until she learns how much they cost. Carrie feels shamed, but then realizes that over the years she has given this friend engagement, wedding, and multiple baby gifts, far in excess of the price of her shoes.
So why was she shaming hers? On the childless side of the fence, your accomplishments suddenly feel smaller, like they are measured by a different metric. Whatever shape it takes, free life is less charted territory. To have your choices and circumstances celebrated by society. To operate from a place where no one questions whether your life has purpose and meaning.
We all have a tendency to gaze at the seemingly greener grass on the other side of the fence. If a friend were to move away, it would be obvious that extra care is necessary to nurture a long-distance relationship. When one friend has children, the same is true, only the distance is now an emotional one. When a good friend had a baby, our frequent jaunts around the neighborhood came to a halt. But they were replaced by regular take-out dinners at her place, once the baby has gone to sleep. There is a bit of a language divide. What is this green poop you speak of?
But it is undoubtedly worth the effort to maintain the relationship. In adulthood, I have come to regard friendships — whether the person is single, married, a parent or not — as oceanic in nature. There is a natural ebb and flow. Sometimes we are close, sometimes we are not-so-close, and sometimes we may be downright distant.
Work schedules shift. Emotional needs change. Kids grow older. You drift apart, and then just as easily, you drift together. Through all of this, we are part of the same sphere, part of a greater whole, and always there for the other, albeit with a little. Sometimes, you find yourself standing on the shore, waving and wishing your friend a safe passage. And trusting that one day, you will find a bridge to connect you once again. On the joys of female friendship and 8 women on choosing not to have.
Thanks for the article. Older jo friend closest friends had their first baby 2 years ago. The four of us were inseparable, and the husbands grew up together.
I had hoped to go on coffee dates with them and the baby. Picnics in the park. Be able to drive over to visit, even for an hour. But they have blocked us. We hardly know their daughter. Our friends message us to check in and see how we are doing, but as soon as we ask to Older jo friend out, or ask to pop over for a bit we are a one hour drive away and happy to come up to pop over but the silence is deafening.
I know its a crazy busy time, there is stress. But my goodness it breaks my heart. We feel left behind and pushed away. I have another friend in our circle who has felt this from them. They make the time to travel, visit with family every weekend — but old friends seem to be out. Thank you for posting this! Our best-couple-friends announced their pregnancy today, although my husband and I have know for a few weeks. I really want to be happy for them, but instead feel a sense of loss. This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thank you for this reassurance!
To everyone commenting—I hear you. I feel the same way. I landed on the wearechildfree community recently and it has been a real relief. Check out their website, podcast and Instagram. There are so many others like us out there! Your writing is beautiful, btw, a real talent. I can relate so so much to this. I am quite literally the only person left in my friend group without children, aside from my partner. I find myself lonely a lot, missing being able to just spend time with my friends any day of the week.
I guess this is getting older…. I just miss them. And need to learn to be more comfortable alone, I guess. You rely on friends for emotional support, they play an important role in your life … and then everything shifts. Friendship is always the first relationship people let go off in those instances or downshift the priority of. This is such an important topic and one which Older jo friend friends with kids really need to hear this. I think we all can learn a lesson that there is someone out there who is going to be hurt by our actions.
As an almost 37 year old woman who has opted to be the best Auntie in the world, it is sometimes hard to digest how much different my life is than that of my friends. This is just beautiful. I have been feeling really low because Older jo friend the changes to friendships.
I am ready to let them go as I am invisible to them. This was a very compassionate and relatable article. Your comment in particular resonates a lot with my feelings of late, though. I am child-free by choice and my closest friend now has 2 young children. I generally initiate our conversations, asking how she is and her husband and kids, but any information she gets about my life comes from me offering it up unsolicited, not because she shows any interest.
I understand that her life is completely different from mine and that with two young kids and home renovations etc. However, given that before she had children she was a very engaged friend, I feel the loss of her presence especially acutely. I have to continually remind myself to be compassionate and understanding of our different circumstances and to not take it personally.
When your closest friend no longer cares to know anything about your life, how can you not take it somewhat personally? Thank you for writing about the chasm. We have always had a very easy flowing relationship. She is now pregnant and I am surprised by my emotional reaction and the chasm between us. I am of course happy for her and will help and celebrate with her.
I have never wanted anything as much as she wants this. I am envious of that certainty and the joy it seems to bring. Wow, R. Reading this gives me the comfort that there are other couples who are like us. But this piece completely hits all of the nails on the head. I feel you, and I really do understand. As I was once that single friend with no children. However, I as a mother now, really do try to keep up with my single friends lives and try to maintain friendships.
After all, our children are part of us. A true friend should understand the importance of children to a mother and that motherhood is hard, our whole lives change so much whether we want it to or not. We are also trying our best to keep up with everything and everyone x. I agree with this comment.
Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I can completely understand wanting your friends to show some interest in your children, given how important they are to you. That said, and I suspect other people who are child-free may relate to this, I became friends with my friend long before she had children, and I see my friendship as a friendship with her, not with her Older jo friend.
But, when it comes down to it, I am friends with her, so I have a hard time meeting the expectation that I will be as interested in her children as she is, or that I will want to see the children every time I see her. As someone that decided to pursue my Ph. It saddens me that each year I lose another friend to the kid scene. Yet no one ever asks me about my research, the details of what it entails. As someone experiencing infertility, too, I hate ALWAYS hearing about your kids- my friends are aware that the last year my husband and I have been struggling to get pregnant, yet they continue to always talk about their pregnancies and kids for hours straight, never aware of how painful and old the conversations get.
It is what it is! This was so well written. I was browsing the internet for a solution to my friend casually telling me how children are a trap and ruins an adult life….Older jo friend
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