Not Friends Anymore (With New Parents)
I can’t count how many times in the past I’ve been really good friends with someone before they had children, and then no matter how much I liked them or how good of friends we were, all of a sudden when their kid was born we were no longer friends. It’s happened time and time again.
Quite frankly I don’t care if someone wants to have kids. I really don’t. I don’t comprehend why anyone would willingly subject themselves to raising a kid and all that goes along with it (not the least of which include incessant crying, shit-filled diapers, the ridiculously high price tag, among everything else), especially since that’s an investment that yields absolutely no return whatsoever, but I don’t judge them for it. It’s their life and they can live it however they wish, and who am I to tell them what they can and can’t do with their lives? I believe in personal freedom and liberty for all people, so far be it from me to get in the way of someone else’s life.
So here we go. A friend gets pregnant and then announces it to everyone they know. All her friends are all over her congratulating her and whatever, except for me. I don’t say anything whatsoever, other than an “oh, okay” and I left it at that. I didn’t make a fuss about it, and I definitely didn’t pull the same card breeders pull of “you’ll regret it someday.” She gets all bent out of shape that I didn’t say exactly what I was supposed to (“congratulations, you’ll be a wonderful mother”). It’s as though I was supposed to be reading from a script or something.
Fastforward nine months. The baby is born and she is showing off her baby pictures on Facebook and whatever. Of course I don’t want to to look at them (and she should know this), so why didn’t she select the “hide this from” option on her Facebook and hide them from me, that way I didn’t have to look at that? No, I don’t want to see pictures of your baby any more than I want to see pictures of your dog taking a dump. Yet again, she gets really angry with me for not being all “Awww, how cute” and congratulating her. Except this time I didn’t say anything at all. Not even “oh, okay” as I knew that upset her last time. I bit my tongue, even though I eventually had to hide her posts from my inbox because I got tired of having to look at another baby picture every other fucking day.
Of course, for the next month I heard nothing out of her, which is to be expected. She’s incredibly busy which I completely understand. A newborn baby is a lot of work, and I know that and have experienced something similar raising a newborn puppy. The next thing I hear out of her is making up excuses for why we can’t be friends anymore, and she never once mentioned the real reason why. She lied to her other friends about me, said I “turned on her.” She said I “played her.” Of course, neither of these accusations are true. I just didn’t feel the same excitement she did over her new kid, so therefore I wasn’t worthy of her time and had to go.
Well, my case is hardly unique. I hear similar stories from childfree people all the time. A friend has a kid and suddenly their friendship dissolves. It’s happened to me more than once, actually. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I also believe it speaks to a double standard. They think it’s perfectly OK to badger us about not having children, saying we’ll regret it or that we’ll change our minds or that they feel sorry for us. Yet, when we make the same sentiments and/or don’t share their excitement for bringing their little “bundle of joy” into their lives, we’re horrible people, and in my experience new mothers have the absolute WORST superiority complex of all. I hate to say it, but it’s the God’s honest truth.
Now, this is not to say it’s this way with all parents or all new mothers. I am friends with some childed people. I respect their decision and they respect mine. They understand that I probably don’t want to hear about their children or don’t want to look at pictures of their children. In that way, they keep that part of their life “secret” from me, if you will. I, in turn, don’t ever badger them about it, and we get along great. It just seems these people are in the minority, though.
Alas, this is just another example of how this world looks down on the childfree.
Do any of you other CFers have similar experiences? Share them in the comments!