when you became a mom, how did your friendships with non-mom friends change? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 02-05-2007, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was one of the first of my friends to have kids. Most of my friends were really interested in the pregnancy, and supportive, up until the time my daughter was born then they just sort of disappeared. I never hear from any of them anymore. I've since made some new friends who also have babies, so that's made it easier, but it still makes me sad sometimes. I feel abandoned by them, just when I really needed their support the most.
How have your friendships changed with the addition of your babe(s)?
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#2 of 25 Old 02-05-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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Some of the stuff we do together has changed (travel, night life, etc.) and become more home-centric (dinner parties, brunches).

I've moved out of the city (45 minutes into the 'burbs) and this has impacted my time spent with friends at least as much as being a mom has. Getting together now is never spur of the moment -- it's always planned well in advance.

However, I don't feel that the quality of my friendships with my non-mom friends has changed a bit, even if the quantity has dropped a bit due to time constraints and distance.

I do make a point of scheduling occasional "adults only" time with my non-mom friends. I know, having had friends who became moms before I did, that it's simply NOT the same interacting with a woman that is focused on her child. You don't have her full attention -- ever. Plus you can't really drink a lot of wine and tell bawdy stories in front of your kid. So I try to keep up some of the "old style" get togethers... and they try to come over on Saturday afternoons so they can play with my daughter. I think it's been important to our friendships that I've made an effort not to entirely change the dyanamic between us.

It all works out!
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#3 of 25 Old 02-05-2007, 06:05 PM
 
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hm, I was the opposite- I was the last of my friends to have a baby. I had a hard time relating to them as moms and found myself just generally impatient about everything.

A bit Off Topic- I do have 2 co workers on my team that are childless by choice and they both annoy the crap out of me. I don't discuss 'family life' with them at all.
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#4 of 25 Old 02-05-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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This was really surprising to me. I had, who I considered to be, a good friend. We spoke daily, got together often and really had a great time. She was a wonderful support throughout my pregnancy, even threw an elaborate baby shower. (I asked her to make it simple, but her personality is to go oevrboard) She is divorced, with no children and we had lots in common.

Long story short...she never met the baby and has stopped communicating with me entirely. I was careful all along not to talk much about being pregnant, children etc...I always turned the conversations to her, her life, other things. Right after the birth, she stopped returning my calls and I got the hint.

It really hurt my feelings. I tried hard to think of anything I said or did to cause this reaction. Perhaps there were child/baby issues she had and never shared. I do miss her friendship, but I wonder if it was "fake" all along?

My DD is 9 months old...I've had a hard time finding new friends with families. ALL of our friends are single or childless by choice. We've been married 10 years before having the baby.

I guess this might be a common occurence??
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#5 of 25 Old 02-05-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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...she never met the baby and has stopped communicating with me entirely. I was careful all along not to talk much about being pregnant, children etc...I always turned the conversations to her, her life, other things. Right after the birth, she stopped returning my calls and I got the hint.
same thing happened to me with who I thought was a good friend. I have a few acquaintances who have dc that I talk to once in a while and one who I get together with weekly. We aren't close though. We just get together because our dc are the same age. I have also had a hard time making new mom friends. I'd like to meet people but I am kind of an introvert so I think that makes it a lot harder !
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#6 of 25 Old 02-06-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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I actually have completely different friends now. I worked while pregnant with dd and don't anymore. For awhile I went to see my friends from work, but got tired of it when they kept telling me to feed dd solids early, CIO etc. I had one other friend that has since moved away so we aren't close like before.

:::
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#7 of 25 Old 02-06-2007, 01:11 AM
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Well, now we meet at the mall playarea or the playground to hang out but that's about it for the changes. There is one friend that I don't talk to as much but that's mostly because she keeps suggesting I wean DD. I don't have as much to talk about with them but I try to keep up with tech things so I can as much as possible. We did move 2000 miles away too so that might have something to do with it. -One friend moved here too.
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#8 of 25 Old 02-06-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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My non-married friends without kids are a little more distant to me than before. However, we do try to catch up at least once a yr with a long phone call or something. I realize that both of us are busy, I am busy with the kids, they are busy with their careers and dating.

I found it difficult to make new friends after I had my first baby. First of all, we had just moved to a new area a yr before I had my first son. I never really connected with ppl at work, and left that job soon after finding out I was pregnant. Then I got a part time job where I worked by myself, so the only time I talked to co-workers was when we were exchanging report at the beginning or end of a shift. It was very lonesome, but then I didn't have ANYTHING in common with those ppl anyway, so I don't know if it would have mattered. I became a SAHM after my baby arrived, so never returned to work. I had my baby, and knew nobody else with a baby. A neighbor down the street (only ONE neighbor had bothered to welcome us to the neighborhood, so even after a yr we virtually still knew nobody) had a baby right before mine. I knew, b/c they posted a sign on their front lawn when the baby was born, and I kept trying to find an excuse to meet her. Well, we finally met in a bit of a forced awkward way on my part, but it turned out really well. She also did not know anyone, and she was also BFing (not common in our area), so it worked out really well, b/c both of us were lonely (she was also new to the area). We found that we had a lot in common and then she invited me to LLL mtgs and from there I have met other moms. I have really tried to meet other moms through storytime, but nobody really seemed interested in getting together, they were friendly, but that was about it. I found a few other women on a mom's online site (can't remember which one), but met several nice ladies through there, and I am still in contact with them and have kind of invited them into my group (the LLL crowd). The group of moms I know is pretty small, and we mostly get together for LLL and maybe a playdate here or there, but since many of us now have a toddler and baby, with naptimes and everything it's made getting together rather difficult.

So, I feel a little better now that I know a few ppl, but pretty much I am in kiddie land. I seem to only seek out those with kids the same age as my own. I think I am most distant from my friends who are married w/o kids. Strange, since you'd think I'd be more distant from my friends who are still single, w/o kids, but they seem to make an effort to check in with me on occasion and they realize my life is kind of disorganized, b/c of the kids. I think my single friends are intrigued that I have such a, "normal" life being a SAHM with kids... I think it's something that they hope to have in the future. My friends who are married w/o kids are very career oriented and either have decided not to have kids or are putting it off.
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#9 of 25 Old 02-06-2007, 03:35 AM
 
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It really hasn't changed...they still hang out, we still go to dinner (sometimes with dd in tow), my best friend loves kids and so she gets along great with Makaya. Only one frend is odd around her and im pretty sure its because she never wants kids, and she doesn't like them too much.
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#10 of 25 Old 02-06-2007, 03:45 AM
 
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My friendships with non-parents (which make up the majority of my friendships) have remained mostly unscathed

Luckily, they don't seem to mind that dd tags along to restaurants, or (low-key) parties. No, we don't go to bars or nightclubs anymore, and we don't leave dd with a sitter (mostly because we don't have one!) so non-child-friendly events are out for us. So I see less of the friends who like to go out as in, OUT. But I see more of certain friends who like being homebodies and hang out for dinner & a home movie.

I find I have to remind myself to be forgiving of friends who not only don't have kids, but don't know anything about kids, because they are simply on a completely different wavelength. For example, my best friend of 16 years barely acknowledged dd's two surgeries and hospitalizations. To her, it was just "oh, ok, the baby has to have this done." Very matter of fact- not realizing how difficult and emotional that time was for me, because she's SO far from even considering being a mom, and has never even liked children. Instead, I choose to be happy with the fact that she at least tries to interact with dd, buys her gifts now and then, or says she's cute.

I guess what I'm saying is I have VERY low expectations on what they should understand or be supportive about in relation to dd!

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#11 of 25 Old 02-06-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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With the exception of one friend who is a full time nanny, the friendships ended.
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#12 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 03:58 AM
 
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I was 20 when I had my first baby. Needless to say none of my friends had babies. They were pretty uninterested in my baby and my new life as a mom. It broke my heart, still does. I miss my girlies!

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!  I need a nap. 
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#13 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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Yup my non parent friends just don't seem to understand. And since non of my previous friends live in the same city it makes it 10 times harder. I have made new friends, but its still hard. Oh and even some of the friends that stopped being friends when we had a child now have children, but we still aren't friends!

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#14 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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I was the first of my friends to get married, and then the first of my friends to have a baby.

Some friendships changed, but the best ones stayed the same. I think they stayed the same because we were mutually determined to remain friends. Plus, I just took my baby with me everywhere, and continued to hang out and go places.

I've actually found it harder to maintain frienships with other mamas because we're both so busy, and have scheduling conflicts! With non-mama friends, it's easier to schedule time together.
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#15 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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I have one friend that I used to talk to on a weekly basis. Now I barely talk to her at all. We did go to our hs reunion together, but it wasn't really the same. My other friends all had children in their 20's and have children in hs or college so they do understand a little, but it's not the same as having friends that have children your kid's age. My SIL and I have gotten a lot closer and I have made friends w/mothers in ballet, t-ball, etc. so that helps.
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#16 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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My friends have been great. They've been really wonderful about showing interest in DS and my new role as a mom, and for my part I've made sure to maintain large pieces of the prekids relationship we had -- I spend one-on-one time with them rather than *always* having DS with me during our get-togethers, etc.

I think it's important for both sides to accommodate the other -- those without kids should understand that a mom's schedule and amount of free time will naturally change, and those with kids should understand that their friends want to maintain a one-on-one relationship rather than never ever getting the mama's undivided attention again. Both sides have a tendency to expect too much from the other, and unfortunately that's when friendships are at risk of being lost.

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#17 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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Most of my close friends that I've known a long time (since college) are men who are either single or with a woman who doesn't want kids. They showed varying amounts of interest in my pregnancy. All of them acknowledged my son's birth with some sort of gift, although some of them were gifts for me. (One friend staggered into my baby shower with a monitor--no, not a baby monitor, a 17" computer monitor--and said, "I thought you'd like a bigger one, and they say a happy mom means a happy baby!" ) Some have shown a real interest in the baby--always asking what's new with him, holding and playing with him--whereas others are a little awkward, but nobody seems resentful of him or anything. We've brought him to parties, out to dinner, to game conventions, all the things we used to do with our friends, and they've been very accepting of the adaptations we have to make.

One thing that does bug me is that my partner and I seem to be the ones who have to make about 75% of the social plans. This was true pre-parenthood, too. It's not that our friends are leaving us out of things, as far as we can tell; when we do get invited to a party, it always sounds like the rest of them haven't seen each other in months either! We used to have a weekly game night that got everyone together, and now that we're busier and don't have it every week, not only do we not see them as much, but they don't see each other as much.

On the bright side, becoming a mom has brought me closer to some women I knew in college who were friends, but not close friends, and to some friends from high school who hadn't been in touch much, because they all became moms shortly before I did and thus were excited for me and eager to give advice. They're all far away, but it's fun to talk with them by e-mail and get together when we can.

I became a Girl Scout leader before I was pregnant, and becoming a mom definitely deepened my friendships with my co-leaders for the same reasons as above. We relate better now, and they've been great sources of used stuff!

Now a few of my old friends (both sexes) are finally having kids, and it's fun for ME to be the Experienced Parent giving advice and free stuff!

Of course I've met some moms through mom-related groups, too, and that is fun, but I can't say any of them has become a close friend yet. I feel like we get together and are friendly in a group, but I don't connect with any of them one-on-one all that strongly. If they were the only friends I had, I'd be lonely, so I feel for you moms who've lost your pre-motherhood friends!

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#18 of 25 Old 02-07-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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All of my pre-baby friends disappeared. I could've written the OP's post. I lost some of (what I thought were) the best friends I'd ever had. I have met several wonderful women/mothers since, but I do feel like one life was shoved over as another took it's place. I've always felt like an outsider, but even more so now.

I'm sorry and relieved to hear you've had the same experience.
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#19 of 25 Old 02-08-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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I got pregnant at 18, so all of my friends are just now turning 21 and still in the party stage. I haven't hung out with any of my friends since I got pregnant, but I found some mom-friends who had kids young and totally understand me.

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#20 of 25 Old 02-13-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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I got married and had DS1 right after college, and my friends were all either working or continuing school...

I definitely feel like we've drifted apart...but it's bound to happen because I feel like we have absolutely nothing in common now! They don't really understand married life or life with babies so I have nothing to talk to them about.

sounds horrible...but it just happened to turn out this way...

moms hang out with moms...partiers hang out with partiers...etc
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#21 of 25 Old 02-13-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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I've noticed that many of you have said something like "I just don't have anything to talk to them about because they're not moms or married."

Would anyone care to elaborate on this? I just don't really understand. When I'm with friends- married or not, moms or not- we talk about their lives, my life, books we've read, places we've eaten, things we've seen on TV, what's going on with other friends (not gossipy, just newsy), etc...

Thanks for your insights!
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#22 of 25 Old 02-13-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jadegirl553 View Post
I've noticed that many of you have said something like "I just don't have anything to talk to them about because they're not moms or married."

Would anyone care to elaborate on this? I just don't really understand. When I'm with friends- married or not, moms or not- we talk about their lives, my life, books we've read, places we've eaten, things we've seen on TV, what's going on with other friends (not gossipy, just newsy), etc...

Thanks for your insights!
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#23 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jadegirl553 View Post
I've noticed that many of you have said something like "I just don't have anything to talk to them about because they're not moms or married."

Would anyone care to elaborate on this? I just don't really understand. When I'm with friends- married or not, moms or not- we talk about their lives, my life, books we've read, places we've eaten, things we've seen on TV, what's going on with other friends (not gossipy, just newsy), etc...

Thanks for your insights!
Okay here's an example. My best friend who I've known since I was 18, and me. She's a career professional with a master's degree (we met in college), loves to go see bands on the weekends, dates like crazy, etc. So although I talk to her about her career and I was so proud of her when she got her Master's, I really know nothing about it, so the convos are pretty one-sided.

Same with the dating thing -- it's been a while since I've dated, and I never dated past college, never really went to a party or bar to meet guys, ya know? I have a reference from "Sex and the City" but not much! She tends to date guys who "just aren't that into her" and string her along and break her heart, but I don't want to jump in too much because she refers to some of her married friends as "smug-marrieds" (from Bridget Jones) and I don't want to come off as smug. Yes I am married.

I always thought she loved kids, and she does LIKE them, but when she visited me (we live on other sides of the country now) she thought my parenting of my 3 kids was "weird" -- lax in some ways and too strict in others. She also thought I was a terrible housekeeper because I let the dog on our bed. (Whatever!) She has a teenaged cousin who lives here and when she came to visit, she went out to bars with him (in Mexico) every night and slept in during the day. It was not a great visit.

Also, she does not have a computer, is not interested in the 'net, and doesn't watch much TV or see many movies. We do talk about books we've both read, and politics and general news of the world.

So a lot of our convos are pretty one-sided. She talks about her latest guy she's dating. I talk about the kids. She talks about her job. I talk about my doula clients. Sometimes I don't feel like we actually ENGAGE with each other in convos.

I would consider her my best friend because she's known me for 10 years and has stuck by me through everything -- although I may be portraying her as kind of shallow, she is a kind loving person -- and knows my whole family, knows my history, and I don't have any sibs, so it's nice to have someone who knew me in my life before marriage and kids!

That was long, but I hope it helped!

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#24 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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That totally makes sense, YumaDoula. And I very much understand your point of having someone around who knows your history- it's comforting!

I guess, though, that I would categorize that as a situation with one particular, difficult friend. I've got people in my life like that, too. It seems that a lot of other mamas are saying that they can't be friends with most non-marrieds and non-moms, and only seek out friends that are moms/married.
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#25 of 25 Old 02-15-2007, 05:53 PM
 
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I guess, though, that I would categorize that as a situation with one particular, difficult friend. I've got people in my life like that, too. It seems that a lot of other mamas are saying that they can't be friends with most non-marrieds and non-moms, and only seek out friends that are moms/married.
There are people who are SO different that they don't make good friends, but I think sometimes there's a tendency to put all the blame for that on just ONE of the differences and therefore avoid people who are different in that one way but actually might have a lot of other things in common.

OTOH, I have known people who changed a LOT when they got married or became parents. In some cases, it was because the change (usually, sudden parenthood at an earlier age than planned) startled them and caused them to re-evaluate their lives and decide to "clean up" and live differently. In other cases, it was because they held a strict stereotype about how a wife/husband/mother/father acts, so when they took on that role themselves, they felt they had to fit that stereotype. A change like that can improve a person...or it can turn her into someone you barely recognize, who may be a "better" person on her own terms but isn't someone you want to have as a friend anymore. Also, sometimes people who change like that want to change all their friends who don't "fit" with the new persona.

I'm happily unmarried, and I have a lot of objections to the whole concept of marriage and basically think it's a pretty bad idea...BUT I respect people's right to decide what lifestyle is best for them, so when my friends decide to get married I don't snub them, try to talk them out of it (except for the one who got engaged at age 16), or even make comments like, "Better you than me!" I feel kind of sad and annoyed inside, but I make a conscious effort not to let their being married influence my perception of them as friends.

Similarly, just because I am a parent and enjoy being a parent doesn't mean it's something everyone should do. I get really excited when my friends have kids, and I do have a feeling of sort of "welcoming them to the parent club," but I don't feel like my childless friends are less worthy people. I've sought out moms when looking for NEW friends because this is a new dimension of my life and it's fun to have people to share it with...but I also continue with activities I did pre-motherhood that sometimes bring me new friends.

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