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I guess I just wanted to figure out how common this really is. Since we have had DS (first child & first grandkid on the IL side), we have lost some friends and had problems with others. Very few of our friends have kids and many can not understand why we wanted them or why we let DS "rule our life", which is a gross over-exaggeration. We are still very active though and take DS to potlucks and parties in addition to having get togethers at our own house. I just feel bad that sometimes we are now excluded because of DS. We haven't found a babysitter yet and neither of us feel like we are read to push that as DS is a horrible sleeper and we co-sleep. I have also gotten negative comments about not pursuing my career and that I should be putting DS in daycare.<br><br>
We have also had weird issues with our IL's, particularly them not respecting us as parents with our own family. Its odd because my side of the family has been great! Anyway, FIL and DH have been at odds since DS's birth and most of the IL side of the family either has not met DS or hasn't seen him since he was a month old ( he is now 9.5 mo). We have continually extended invitations to visit- they all live on the other side of the country. We can't figure out what happened!<br><br>
I know we need to find more parent-friends, but it has been hard and we also hate to let go of our old friends. It just makes me feel lonely! DS has been the best thing we have ever done and we are just not feeling the support. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Anyone know how to deal with this or have any similar stories to share?
 

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I moved to a new state right before I got pregnant, so I had to make all new friends anyway. Lucky for me, I found a great AP playgroup, am in school for education (so all my classmates are very kid friendly and I was actually able to bring my son with me to classes when he was first born), and my "best" friends (both of whom live in different states) understand and support (for the most part) my parenting style.<br><br>
Both my husband and I are kind of loners, and don't have a ton of friends anyway. The very few friends we have do understand that we put our son first, and we don't get too much slack for it. But like I said, I'm pretty lucky in that regard. I'm sorry you're having such difficulty with your friends, but I assure you, there are friends out there who won't be so exclusive! Try to find new groups and you'll feel much more comfortable <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I'm sorry you're feeling so lonely now though.
 

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Well I have had a bit of a different experience, many of my friends had children at the same time, BUT the differing parenting styles are a big problem with us. I'm more a free-range style mama, where my friend is a highly scheduled to the minute of every day. Trying to do things with her are all about her schedule. Her son naps for X amount of time everyday at the same exact minute of the day, it's kinda annoying.<br><br>
Friendships often change after the birth of your child, some of the changes are good, some not so good. For us I thought the friends I mentioned would become closer, but in reality, the whole parenting thing just drives me crazy. She's even said my DD would do much better if I had a schedule for her-whatever. She's my kid, I think her son would do better if life was a little more flexible for him, but i'm sure she'd disagree.<br><br>
I'd try to find a mom/baby group to check out, there are other people to make friends with-who fit with how your life is.
 

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I had relationships that changed as well, especially since I'm an over-40 mom and my husband is ever older than that. Most of my friends either have older kids or no kids, so we are kind of in our own universe.<br><br>
I know what you mean about finding a sitter. I have felt no rush to do so. Our DS is turning the big ONE this week and I have to nurse him to sleep, which doesn't last very long. He is a light sleeper. We also co-sleep. He is also going through a stranger anxiety phase right now too. So, a sitter situation just wouldn't work for us now.<br><br>
I did find a mom/baby group in my area and look forward to meeting new moms with all the playdates they have on the calendar. Relationships do change since they are dynamic. Just go with the flow and look forward to all the new people you will meet in your life on this new adventure you are on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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We are in a similar sort of situation in that we are one of the first to have a child amongst our closest friends, and the very first to have a child on both sides of the family. However, although we are lucky in that our friends and family are mostly supportive of the way we've decided to parent our infant, it is still a lonely situation to be the only ones to have an infant. Life is just so different for us now and nobody can really understand that. We keep badgering everyone to have a child but no one's made any announcements yet, (we know they're coming soon though because we've infected everyone with "baby fever").<br><br>
So maybe finding more parent-friends would be good for you guys to help fight some of the loneliness and gain support for how you've decided to parent your son. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to completely abandon your old friends; you may just have to wait for them to catch up.<br><br>
We haven't actually tried to find more parent-friends simply because we're too darned tired to; we'd rather sleep if we have any spare time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Right after I got pregnant, we found a church and were "plugged" into a great small group - 4 other couples that also have young children, including a couple that was due with their 2nd a two weeks before DS (they ended up being born nearly 6 weeks apart!). This has been awesome! Also I've been better at making my "work" friends outside of work friends. This is a struggle for me, because I have never really liked working at friendships (calling, set up times to meet, etc, I'd rather it just sort of happen).<br><br>
Slowly, it gets better. Also at the gym I've met some mom friends. Have you tried any mommy-and-me sort of classes, like swimming or Kindermusik?<br><br>
our friendships have changed somewhat, my BFF - in another state - doesn't really "get" my parenting choices, just as i don't hers. but that is ok. I haven't actually lost any friends, but I am gaining a lot more - having DS has helped form and cement some excellent friendships!<br><br>
as for family, my IL's are fabulous and they love DS. (he has been a very easygoing baby) and while none of them parented the way we do - no BF'ing, co-sleeping, etc - they seem supportive of our choices. I think maybe it is one of those things where the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. He is so obviously a healthy, happy baby, they cannot fault me on my choices! though I'd do the same if he were more high needs.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lkmiscnet</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15368477"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Relationships do change since they are dynamic. Just go with the flow and look forward to all the new people you will meet in your life on this new adventure you are on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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DH and I have moved to different cities, and had several phases of our lives, and friends come and go (although it seems that they're all back on Facebook! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">). Some friends you'll keep and come back to, and some you'll move on from. Some you'll see less often. It's just the way life goes.
 

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DH and I have a close circle of friends who all consider themselves very radical people who live a fairly "fringe" lifestyle -- they all live in one big community house, eat out of dumpsters, scrap metal to make a living, etc. I used to live in the house too, and love it. When we discovered we were (unintentionally) pregnant, we were really thrilled, as we had planned to marry and have children anyway. But our friends were all sort of, "oh, we're really sorry." It was so disappointing for us, and I really lost a lot of trust in them over the whole thing.<br><br>
None of them will say it, but I think most of them suspect that we're only married and parenting because our "oppressive" religion guilted us into it. For many of them, marriage is an oppressive, antifeminist institution that only naive people participate in. And I think they believe that the only appropriate response to an unintended pregnancy is an abortion. It's really, <i>really</i> hard for both of us. The other day, we were at a gathering and made an offhand comment about "the next baby," and one of them said with a look of horror, "you mean you're going to do this <i>again??</i> On <i>purpose?!</i>" I mean, what do you do with that???<br><br>
We've just decided not to let it bother us, and we've just stopped expecting any support from them about being married parents (and therefore selling out our radical values to be a part of the dominant paradigm). They do <i>love</i> having DD around, though I have to watch them kind of closely to make sure they don't feed her rotten dumpster food. We've tried to build and maintain closer friendships with other friends who understand us and our choices better, though they don't always understand our politics. I guess you're never going to have everything 100% in common with your friends...
 

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Definitely. Our social life that included kidless and "child-free" couples is out the window. Pregnancy was hard because my good friends didn't get it at all. They are completely, though not intentionally, unsupportive. Having a baby to care for has done the job of distancing myself from people who can't relate, because my life is all about being a mother right now. I think that if/when they have babies, they'll be coming to me for support, and that's okay with me. It would be nice to rekindle some friendships.<br><br>
One thing that I've found is that it is a lot easier to make friends when you have a baby. Other people with babies just gravitate towards you, and you towards them. You have this long-term unfolding experience in common. And if you're an AP parent, going to LLL or API or anywhere you run into breastfeeding mothers with babies in slings can make it easier to find like-minded people. I was really surprised that even though I live in a conservative, mainstream-tending part of the country, my little neighborhood group was full of attachment-minded parents who shared many of my concerns and challenges.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Comtessa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15369805"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We've just decided not to let it bother us, and we've just stopped expecting any support from them about being married parents (and therefore selling out our radical values to be a part of the dominant paradigm). They do <i>love</i> having DD around, though I have to watch them kind of closely to make sure they don't feed her rotten dumpster food. We've tried to build and maintain closer friendships with other friends who understand us and our choices better, though they don't always understand our politics. I guess you're never going to have everything 100% in common with your friends...</div>
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We've gone through something similar. It's hard realizing that a lot of the people who are politically with us seem to think that radical activists shouldn't have kids. (Where are we going to get the next generation from?) Have you read the zine <i>Joybringer</i>? It focuses a lot on this issue, and on being a rad parent. As she points out, the movement needs to be multigenerational to create lasting change. It's weird to me to be in a time when, on a day-to-day level, I feel I can relate better to a socially conservative attachment parent than to a childless (and maybe child-disliking) hard-core activist. I think it's actually a good education for me. Out on the fringes, it is possible to lose sight of the dignified humanity of the Other.
 

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yes, yes, yes yes. same here-- first child and first grandchild (and great grandchild (on my sides).<br><br>
So far-- I have one aunt that has stopped speaking to me completely, my parents think I'm overprotective, and have been pushing for us to leave the baby with them. We disagree about SHAM-ing (I want to, they don't want me to). My grandparents feel like they don't get to see the baby much, and I'm so very sick of having everyone, EVERYONE, (parents, grandparents, in laws, aunts, uncles, coworkers, husband, and even my baby!) telling me what to do.<br><br>
/end rant.<br><br>
I've come to terms that it's not them changing, it's me. I'm finally growing up.
 

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Yes, I identify with so many of you!! This is how I'm feeling, I just can't seem to articulate it as well:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Our social life that included kidless and "child-free" couples is out the window. <b>Pregnancy was hard because my good friends didn't get it at all. They are completely, though not intentionally, <span style="text-decoration:underline;">unsupportive</span>.</b> Having a baby to care for has done the job of distancing myself from people who can't relate, because my life is all about being a mother right now. I think that if/when they have babies, they'll be coming to me for support, and that's okay with me. It would be nice to rekindle some friendships.</td>
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At times, usually when I'm stressed, I feel incredibly lonely. I love being a wife and mother but sometimes I'd like to have an hour or two without having a 'role'. Some of my old friends (who all happen to be single) have stopped calling. Trolling bars isn't fun with a married lady, let alone a married MOTHER! I don't have the energy or time to chase after them and frankly I'm bored with bar hopping, so we've drifted. I WOH in a small group and don't have co-workers that I can translate into friends. I'm shy around new people and see building new friendships as hard work. I just can't take that on right now so I hang out with DH and family. Thank God for them!
 

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To the OP: good for you for trying to keep connected with your childless friends and not be the exclusive one. Before I had a child I noticed that many of my friends who did have a baby suddenly only hung out with other people with kids, like they suddenly had nothing in common with people who weren't in their exact same demographic. I found that annoying and disappointing. I was into being around them and their kids, but they weren't interested in me anymore.<br>
That said, the first year of being a new parent is a super intense time with a steep learning curve. I hope you'll be able to find at least one couple going through the same things to relate to. It was important for me.
 

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I'm going to answer this a bit from a different perspective. I'm currently 32 years old and pregnant with my first. I've therefore had a lot of friends who started families before I did.<br><br>
My experience of it all is that those who were pregnant and having children were so focused on these things that they "lost" themselves and were only focused on the baby. There were things we did together - go to dinner, have drinks, other particular activities - that they now opted out of and said they had to stay home. This was usually not accompanied by an invitation to join them at home. I would make attempts to make my invitations more family/baby-friendly - meals at my house, going to locations where the baby would be welcome - and still be turned down. I understand that the new mamas were probably tired and their babies had certain routines, but still, after being turned down a few times because the invitations didn't work for them, I just plain gave up. Then down the road, I would hear from these same mamas that they were feeling isolated. It's frustrating for those of us around to be turned down, and then later "blamed" for isolating.<br><br>
I don't really know how to solve this. I'm due in another month and I'm sure I will need some accomodations from others in order to keep my friends and still be with my baby. One basic rule I will have is to explain WHY an invitation doesn't work for me and to try to offer an alternative. I also know that I can invite friends over, even if my house is messy and I've had no time to cook anything, if that's what works to keep people around and in my life. I suspect that my husband and I, who currently go to social stuff together, will need to "split" our social engagements somewhat so that one of us stays home with the baby while the other goes out. It does take some work and commitment to make any long-term relationship work well, and that does include friendships.<br><br>
I've also started already seeking out other parents. I've joined a local mom's group on meetup.com, I know when the monthly LLL groups are, and I'm generally trying to get myself set up with like-minded parents locally. I find it very unfortunate that there are not any local dad's groups that I can find, because DH is going to be a WAH parent and primary caregiver.<br><br>
I would think it very normal for relationships to change post-baby. After all, until now my life has focused on work, my husband, and friends. This baby will change my focus enough that it will inevitably impact all three of those areas of my life. That's as it should be. I think in addition to a work/life balance that many of us try to achieve, there's a home life/social life balance. Every parent can balance these things as they like and as they see fit, but when anyone is emphasizing home life (as is very normal with a baby), it's likely social life will go down.
 

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Friendships can definetly change after having a baby. Our situation changed because we moved after ds 1 was born. But we ended up moving to an area along with a new found "couple" friends. We often got together with them, generally dinner at one of our homes was easiest. They often didn't get why we didn't get a sitter, stay out later, or plan around ds's naps (for weekend hikes etc). But Most of my good friends and friends from college don't have kids (and or live far away) and dh's friends who have kids live far away.<br><br>
Many of our new acquaintences don't have kids the same age as ours. We've tried to build some friendships, but it seems a lot of them weren't as interested because our ds was younger than their kids. Now we've moved to an area where we have more in common with the community we're in and I think we'll have more luck finding friends. My best friend is here though too and I see her a lot even though she doesn't have kids. I think I'll end up spending more one on one time with her once I'm willing to leave ds 2 (5 months).
 

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Jackie, I see your point. I believe with my friends this wasn't the case though. Our interests are just different now and trying to mesh the two lifestyles is near impossible. My friends are in their mid-twenties and are still doing the dating scene. I've found my special someone, so going to a bar and flirting isn't interesting to me anymore. Yet, this is how my friend's spend their weekend nights.<br><br>
I also live 30 minutes away from everyone so dropping by the house or running errands together (which we used to do) isn't an option. And now with a baby, I'm less spontaneous. So when I got the phone call to "meet us in 30 minutes", I couldn't do it b/c DS was sleeping or I didn't have anyone to watch him. I stopped getting invites b/c I always said no. And my invitations to come hang out at my house with my husband and baby just weren't appealing.<br><br>
I chose to get married and have a baby. I understand that my friends didn't choose to change their lives so I don't fault them for not wanting to spend their free time doing family things. It is still difficult though and I wish that my friends would realize that I can't just drop everything to go play.<br><br>
I know they probably feel that I'm wrapped up in my life now but I'm the one whose calls and emails get ignored. My "good" friend goes to baseball games 10 minutes away from my house and not once suggested that I meet her there. When she mentioned that she was going, I invited her to come see my house and have lunch (I moved 2 mths prior and she'd never seen it). She declined but promised to come over later. It took another 2 months before I saw her.<br><br>
Anyway, sorry for the rant, I guess I needed to get that off my chest.
 
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