Written By Renee Banzhaf: Contributor to Mom at Last
My last post was about making new mommy friends but some events recently led me to think about the friends that we already have, or should I say…had. You may have noticed a change in relationships among some of the women that you already knew after becoming a new mommy.
Enter Baby – Exit Friend
I was a late blooming mom because I did not want children when I was younger, deciding to focus more of my energy on my career. By pursuing graduate work in college, many of the women that I interacted with daily were either childless or already had older aged children. Child rearing and child care issues were not a topic of conversation.
At 37, I became pregnant. Julie, a good friend with two teenage sons, seemed to disappear after my daughter was born. As expected, all of my time and energy became focused on being a new mom. At some point I realized that I had not seen nor heard from Julie for quite some time. I tried contacting her a few times but most attempts were met with, “we’ll get together soon.” Of course, we never did. It was probably two years later that I found out she had finished her degree program and taken a job across the country.
I wondered what I did wrong, but never really had time to dwell on it. I also wondered why she did not want to share in this stressful, yet wonderful, time in my life. After all, she was once a new mom too.
The Table Turns
Recently, I found myself on the other side of this friend fence. Since my daughter is now 4, she is much more independent in her play, which gives me a bit of breathing room for activities. In addition, she is in a part time pre-k program, which gives me time to work.
I met Linda when my daughter was in the same program for 2-year olds with her son. Our kids played together, and we went out on many outings. She became pregnant with her second child last year, and I saw much of her during her pregnancy until about her last month. Since she has given birth, I haven’t seen her at all, and that was about six months ago.
Recently, I realized that I hadn’t been seeing any of her posts on Facebook, my lifeline to people that I can’t physically see or talk to often. She didn’t post much but when she did, I would get the feeds. I wondered if she had been posting, so I went in and realized that she had unfriended me.
How did all of this happen? How had six months passed without seeing her? On the one hand, I had a lot of my own family issues to deal with, and time slipped by. On the other hand, she mostly refused to come out of the house due to her own issues.
She told me once that she felt like a prisoner since she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) leave the house. I wanted to get over to see her but never seemed to get there. I was now that friend that disappeared. Does she wonder what she did wrong or does she blame me for being a horrible friend?
A Common Problem
Rarely are these types of experiences unique, so I posted a question on my mom group discussion board to find out who else has felt this loss. Four people immediately responded with, “Yes! This happened to me too.” One mom even had a story similar to my own.
I did. I am still heart broken over it. The thing is, my “best” friend had 2 kids of her own but they are in their late teens/ early 20’s and she was a single mom. I was there for her whenever she needed while she was raising her girls. I was surprised by what happened!! My head knows it is for the best but I still have trouble dealing with it. In fact I am getting a little emotional typing this. Our friendship slowly diminished to nothing a couple of months before we moved to Maryland. There was no closure for me and she will not let there be closure. I think that is the hardest part. I wonder what her head thinks I did wrong — Candice
I definitely lost friendships. I even lost them after getting married. I tried to let them know that I was the same person but, when that didn’t work I just look at it as, they were never worth it. I gained plenty of new friends in the “Mommy community.” –Shanetha
Yes I experienced this with a friend that didn’t have kids. We were pretty close before then she stopped coming around more and more. It’s hurtful but that’s when I realized who my true friends were. – Amber
It happens to many new moms. We are hurt and blame ourselves but then go on and find new friends with more common interests. In my case, I had one of those bad friends and became one of those bad friends. Whether these relationships are worth pursuing is up to each individual.
When has this happened to you? Where you left or have you done the leaving? Would you change the situation if possible?
Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Read More Articles on Later in Life Motherhood