where did all my friends go? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-27-2012, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is anyone else experiencing isolation?  I am in my third trimester and have felt pretty lonely the whole time.  I feel this is probbaly for a few reasons - one - my friends dont want to be around me bc all I do is complain about being pregnant - 2 - my friends who can't get pregnant for various reasons are jealous - 3 - im not drinking alcohol so they think I won't want to be invited along (this one sounds ridiculous, especially bc most of my friends are in their 30s, but I feel that its totally true - and this is especially upsetting because I will not be drinking again even after the baby is born, which is hard enough, but I feel its the right choice for me)

 

I just feel so alone.  I have been really sick for a long time, so I've been hiding out at home, but it hurts my feelings that no one calls to check on me.  Am I just being paranoid?  What is it going to be like when I have the baby?  I have no idea how to make new friends, but I feel that I need to bc I don't feel like the friends I had care about me anymore.

 

 


Expecting my baby girl Charlee on 7-21-12!  Love and Light to all the mamas out there!

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#2 of 7 Old 04-27-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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hug.gif Nobody tells you about this part but I think it happens to most people if not everyone. It gets worse once the baby arrives. I am lucky to have a few friends that I sort of still keep in touch with online, but it's not the same. The closeness is gone and nobody ever checks on me, shares their news with me or invites me to anything not kid-related. For awhile I was getting invited to these regular group dinner parties and my DH and I went occasionally with our first baby in tow (it was a nice baby-friendly group of friends) but it was such an effort to make it happen and with 2 kids, forget about it! And now we've moved to a new place on top of it.

I have friends now but it's only other moms and all of our activities revolve around play dates for the kids and birthday parties. I long for a childless friend to talk to--their lives are so carefree in comparison. Talking about feeding, sleeping and babies' milestones all day long can be mind-numbing, but it's the obvious thing to talk about with people you don't know really well. And with babies, it's hard to get to the point of knowing a new friend really well, because you don't have the time and space for that anymore.

As for my old friends, yeah they ditched me. greensad.gif 3 years in and it still hurts sometimes. I wonder why they don't care about me anymore...but of course it's not that. They probably assume you're too busy for *them.* The cruel part of the whole thing is that until you go through pregnancy and new motherhood, you never have an inkling of how hard it is, how physically draining and mentally isolating. Your friends really have NO idea how much you need them right now. They just figure you're busy with "baby stuff" and you're the one cutting them off. But they don't miss you the same way you miss them, because their lives are the same as ever. When you're doing something new and hard you *need* a friend, but they're not there anymore.

All I can say, from someone who is not very far into this journey, is 1) put yourself out there more. YOU invite THEM to do things, you check on THEM but 2) expect all of your childless friends to drop slowly (or quickly) out of your life regardless of what you do.

Don't get me wrong. I have those BFFs who I can only assume I'll re-connect with later in life. There are some nice moms I hang with now. It's not horrible. But having young children is the loneliest thing you can imagine. What you are doing now is not compatible with what childless people do because it is so worlds-apart that they honestly can't have any inkling until (if ever) they are going through it themselves.

I believe it's because our culture is not child-friendly. Children aren't seen as equal-counting people especially by non-parents. You can't usually show up at a bar or a play or whatever fun things people do with babies in tow--it's just not done. So new mothers are kind of cast away (not intentionally but all the same) to only hang out with other new mothers only in child-friendly places and settings. Add to that the exhaustion of new motherhood, and you just don't have the energy to do much more.

Wow, I am not meaning to be depressing! You will be okay. But it is very sad sometimes.

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#3 of 7 Old 04-27-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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Don't just leave it up to them to call you. You call them and ask to do something. Say you are fine with going out. Have a "mocktail" or invite them over for dinner and girl talk. Then be aware of what you talk about! smile.gif If it's a bunch of women who don't have kids of course they can't commiserate with your pregnancy symptoms.

When the baby is born look for mom groups. Go on meetup.com and look for first time mom groups, playgroups, stroller walking, etc. you will probably want other moms to talk to about what is going on with you and your baby. Having other mom friends who know what you are going through can be a lifesaver.

I'm sorry you are bummed out right now. Try reaching out to your friends and just be honest that you've felt isolated and need some girl time. joy.gif
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#4 of 7 Old 04-27-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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I am sorry you are feeling so lonely and congrats on your pregnancy.  It might help to talk to these certain friends about other things if at all possible and do make an effort to stay in touch.  I really don't talk about my pregnancy around certain groups friends unless they bring it up directly.  And even then I don't go on and on and keep it short even though being pregnant is a wonderful thing in my life right.  It is actually it is the main thing going on right now.  But with certain people it is better to keep it very low key and let them lead the conversation even when asked out of respect for them - especially ones dealing with IF.  There are many other subjects to talk about in life.   

IF struggles are not plain jealously, IF is a deeply painful and deeply personal struggle.  It sucks so please don't be too hard on them for their valid feelings, it isn't jealously at all but rather deep hurt. 

 

Can you join a local LLL?  That would probably help a lot.  


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#5 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 05:00 AM
 
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I'm sorry you're feeling so lonely. It can be really hard to mesh with nonpregnant/childless women when you are pregnant and once you have your baby. The friends that are really "good" friends will stick around though. The ones that fade into the background because they can't share this with you (regardless of their own situations) maybe are better off in the background. Once you have a baby and you are caring for it 24/7 you may find it easier to have friends with children. They just "get it" - like planning around napping schedules and the fact that you won't want to hang out past, like, 9 pm!  I didn't really start having mommy friends until recently and my son is 22 months. But I didn't go looking for them either. If you join mommy groups you are sure to feel less lonely. At first it can be strange because you are sort of friends because you have children but honestly sometimes that's better than sitting around with childless women who are complaining about a whole host of issues that are no longer on your radar (lots of things fall off your radar when you have a baby!). Having a baby changes things...even who you consider your friends. But it's not always a bad change....on the contrary, it may actually clarify who you should be spending your time with.


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#6 of 7 Old 05-27-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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I was struck by your assessment of why this is happening to you (although I'm not quite sure I agree with #2) and think you have answered your own question.  Friendship is a two way street and part of having good friends is being a good friend.  Some friends come and go throughout our lives as we grow and change (and our interests change), but there are also those friends whom we keep forever.   

 

I personally would find it very difficult to enjoy time with a friend who continually complained about her job...or her husband...or her finances....or [insert complaint here].  It doesn't feel good, and while I want to be supportive, as I'm sure you would, there's a limit as to how much complaining one can hear without it negatively effecting you.  A friendship is about both people, and if someone is continually complaining about something, your time together becomes about that person disproporationately. 

 

As for #2, are you so sure it is jealousy?  Having suffered infertility for years before finally becoming pregnant, I remember two particular visits to my sister.  The first she complained non-stop about the pregnancy.  The second, after my beautiful nephew was born, she complained non-stop about how hard it was to take care of him, that she was always tired, and on and on.  I was thrilled for her and had not a jealous bone in my body...I was truly thrilled...but at the same time I found it hard to understand her thoughtlessness, knowing the struggles I was enduring just to become a mother. I liken it to complaining that your steak wasn't cooked well and there are lumps in your mashed potatoes...to a person who is starving with no meal in sight.  I eventually had to establish some distance between us...not because I was jealous...but because her self-centeredness was a real turn off.  Call me crazy, but I like loving, giving, thoughtful people and my attention  naturally gravitated elsewhere.

 

As for #3 alcohol, I wouldn't think that would have much affect on invitations...I don't drink and didn't experience a drop in invitations because of it.  I did experience a drop in invitations for more strenous activities in which I was unable to participate.  And as you've made clear, you haven't felt well and have complained about being pregnant.  It would be logical to assume that if someone doesn't feel well, they won't want to go out.  If I had a friend who wasn't well, I probably wouldn't invite them out to girls' night and might not even mention it to them as I wouldn't want them to feel bad that we were all going out and they were stuck at home, unwell.

 

I would think the best thing to do is YOU invite THEM out.  You comfort them.  You find out what's going on in their lives.  You support them.  So they're not going through what you are...but they all have their own stories and issues they're a dealing with which are just as important.  Be there for them and they will always remember how you made them feel....supported and loved...even if you do find yourself doing different activities going forward.

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#7 of 7 Old 05-30-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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I can so understand what you are going through! 20 years ago, when my best friend was having a baby, she became almost intollerable - constant pregnancy complaints, wanted to do nothing but shop for baby stuff (and I am NOT a shopper, lol!). I stuck by her, but it was hard. 13 years ago, when I was having my first, I had a whole new level of compassion for her. Especially when I spent 5 months doing little more than throwing up - how fun must I have been to be around, lol!

 

It's time to make new mommy friends. The friends you have will either come around, or they won't - the ones that truly love you will be there if you need them!

 

Good luck & much love to you!
 


Jen - Partner to Joe, Craig, & Jordan grouphug.gif, mama to DS1 (7/13/99), DS2 (10/27/01), and DS3 (6/13/06), and DS4 born 12/13/12! Attachment Parent, co-sleeper, baby-wearer, Sudbury School founder & educator, PhD Candidate doing birth research, cloth diaper lover, GF (again), etc!novaxnocirc.gif

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