• Keeping Friends

My Intolerant Friend Who Hates Children

Published: October 31, 2021 | Last Updated: October 31, 2021 By | 53 Replies Continue Reading

When you have a friend who hates children and is intolerant of your life decisions, it can be tough to sustain a friendship.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I’m going through a friendship breakup with my friend who is intolerant of kids,

I’m concerned I’m being too unforgiving. My best friend of 15 years really hurt me when my daughter was born. Throughout my pregnancy, my friend told me she would hate to be pregnant and it would ruin her life. She’s very clear that she doesn’t like children and talks badly about her other close friends and often their children.

When my baby was born, I asked if I could call my friend the next day (she’s not a phone person and often likes to schedule a phone call…. kind of annoying but there you go). I didn’t want to pin her down for hours and make her feel uncomfortable with all the gory details, but I just wanted to talk.

My friend said that it wasn’t a good time as she was busy. I stepped back from calling until a couple of days later. I texted her to ask what had happened and what was keeping her busy. Her reply was that she was tidying the house for the TV repairman to come. She asked if she could then call me later that week. I declined and said I was spending time with my family. I felt so upset and of little importance to her I didn’t want to schedule talking according to her timetable.

A few months later my friend came to my hometown and said she was bringing her friend with her (which she never usually does) and wondered if we could meet up so could finally meet my daughter.

She was late coming in on the train (no problem, that happens) but lost her temper with me the second she walked off the platform, getting angry that she couldn’t get through to me and my phone was going directly into voicemail. I was baffled! Couldn’t she see I was holding a crying baby at the platform? I had been waiting an hour in the train station with a 3-month-old crying baby, not to mention I had texted her ahead of time to explain that my phone battery was dying – but I would still be at the station when her train pulled in. Anyway, my friend barely acknowledged my baby and didn’t say much to me after that. Any conversation I tried to start was only replied to with one-word answers.

We met one other time after that when I didn’t have my daughter with me. She seemed happy and more upbeat but I sat there wishing I was at home with my baby. I just don’t have it in me to keep up this friendship. She doesn’t tell me what’s going on in her life anymore. I only text her once every couple of weeks now, as opposed to every day because I don’t have time for hurtful people in my life or people who aren’t interested in my family (Am I being selfish? I’ve changed but can I ask her to change too?)

It’s my decision to step back but have I done the right thing? I never explained how hurt I was. I hate confrontation. I’d rather let it fizzle out but feel so sad that this is how our friendship came to an end. All I’d have to do is not text back, which feels so heartless to me. Your help would be so much appreciated.

Signed, Donna

ANSWER

Hi Donna,

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!

It is common for friendships to change and drift apart after major life events like graduation, moves, marriages—and giving birth—even long-standing friendships like this one. Changes like these can create distance between friends as lives veer in different directions, especially if a friendship is already tenuous or frayed.

In your case, however, your friendship was pretty much doomed from the start because your friend is so intolerant and judgmental of others. Your friend who hates children has the right to remain childfree, which you seem to respect, but she hasn’t respected your decision to have a child.

No matter what the reason for someone being hospitalized, a good friend would want to make contact and support you. It would have been nice if your friend could have empathized with your feelings and understood your joy in giving birth even though she doesn’t want children of her own. She also should have been able to at least feign some interest in seeing your new baby.

It sounds like this friendship has already fizzled out except for awkward text messages between you. I don’t see any reason to put another nail in the coffin by explaining the hurt and disappointment you feel. It’s very unlikely your friend who hates children will come around and change or understand your point of view. Although I understand how badly you feel, I would suggest you move forward and find other friends who are more accepting of differences. Being a new mom often opens up new opportunities to make friends with other moms.

Best, Irene

Revised; originally published 2014.

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS, Legacy friendships

Comments (53)

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  1. Nancy Osborn says:

    Some friendships last a life time, some last a long time, but not forever, and some last for a season. I have drifted in and out of different friend groups, but never have formally broken up with a friend, and have left the door open to re-connect. I didn’t have my first and only child until my mid thirties. Some friendships naturally drifted away with my friends who had their kids much earlier, but never because I hated their children, or children in general. Other friendships drifted apart when I moved out of state. Other so called friends abruptly dropped me when I was having medical issues. Also, friendships that were formed with other mothers who had children the same age as my son drifted away now that are children are adults with their own lives now. I cherish the friends who still remain steadfast through all of our life changes –marriage, children, divorce, moving, illness, etc. I have fond memories of the friends who are no longer in my life. I have happily re-connected with friends after long periods of no contact. This is a very old thread, I am guessing your child is now about 7 years old, and perhaps has a sibling. I hope you have formed new friendships. Perhaps when your children reach an “acceptable” age, to no longer be “hated” by your friend you will drift back into each other’s life, perhaps not.

  2. Penny says:

    Just realised that this is an old thread…… It popped up in my email inbox today, so thought it was current. Hope I’m not going to get told off by those of you who get very angry when someone responds to an old thread!! I know it is an unspeakable outrage for some people, though God knows why….. Surely there are better things to focus one’s energy on 😉 .

  3. Penny says:

    I am childfree by choice, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not totally thrilled for friends when they give birth! The way I see it, anything that brings joy to my friends brings joy to me too 🙂 . I happen to think children are brilliant and don’t hate them, like the friend of the OP……but even if I DID hate children, I’d still be pleased for friends who had children. Like I said, if something amazing has happened to a friend, you should be pleased for them. The fact that the OP’s friend wouldn’t even make time to talk to her on the phone the day after the birth shows that she is either VERY childish and lacking in empathy, or very worried about losing a friendship.
    It can be hard when friends with kids constantly ram it down your throat and imagine that they are some kind of goddess purely because they’re a mother. But it doesn’t sound as though the OP was doing this – she actually seems very sensitive to the fact her friend doesn’t like kids. I think her friend needs to grow up.

    I’m slightly dismayed that there are people posting here, saying that childfree-by-choice people are all selfish – this is so incredibly insulting. I’m childfree because I couldn’t be 100% sure I’d be able to provide a stable and decent life for a child. I didn’t want to risk creating a human being that might not have the best start in life possible. Also, let’s face it, people have kids because THEY WANT TO, which is totally cool with me……but a bit rich to then say that those of us without kids are “selfish”!!

    • Susan says:

      I agree with Penny. I am a married, childfree by choice woman. But I’ve remained friends with my friends who have kids. I like children but I’ve never wanted to be a mom myself.

    • Nat says:

      It is not the same to be childfree and like children or to be childfree and dislike children. For those like me who are childfree and dislike children, to know that a friend has given birth is like to learn that they have joined a sect. Maybe it is thrilling for them but it still repulses you.

      To pretend to have interest in the newborn would be deeply false. I don’t think hypocrisy should be the basis of a relationship. To acknowledge that both of you are very different in that particular matter and that you don’t share that aspect at all is the only way to be able to keep a healthy relationship.

      We don’t have to like (or dislike) everything our friends like (or dislike), and to respect that from both sides is fundamental. If our friend forces us to like their or even meet their children they are not respecting that we are different. We cannot force our friends to join us in any hobby that we don’t share. Imagine that a baseball fan would force their friends to play baseball too…

  4. Childfree By Choice says:

    I’m in a similar situation right now, only the other way around. A friend of mine (not a close one, though) just had a baby and I congratulated her on Facebook and wished them well, but I don’t want to meet her baby. Why, you must be asking. Well, I’m one of those people who hate babies. It was her choice to have one and I’m happy for her but I know that we’re no longer on the same page. Maybe OP’s friend wants to cut down the friendship just like me and that’s why she’s ghosting.
    Ps: I don’t think I’m “intolerant” for hating children, neither is OP’s friend or anyone else who doesn’t like kids. Parents who can’t see how their kids cause discomfort for others are the intolerant and inconsiderate ones. We have a different, if unpopular, opinion. As long as we don’t hurt your children (and why would we, we’re not some monsters like many people like to think) you should just accept it and get over it.

    • Claire says:

      I agree with Childfree, stepping away was the proper thing to do.
      See, I do like children very much even though I don’t have any and don’t plan to.
      I’ve been a part in helping a partner raise his children and I’ve enjoyed it and them very much, I’ve also worked and volunteered with kids and it has all opened my eyes to some of the snobbery surrounding parenthood.
      Having a child is not an adequate excuse for imposing your values and your ideas on others,regardless of how enlightened you feel. If you have friends that don’t like children and you know they don’t, then you have no place whining that they are not interested in spending time with you and baby. You are an adult, accept the reality of the situation.
      Using your kids as a victim card is deplorable and it’s disrespectful to those friends and to your kids.
      This is a situation in which putting a friendship on hold would be the good choice. There is nothing wrong with going separate ways and reuniting in 15 years or so, many people that aren’t fond of babies would be perfectly comfortable over coffee with you and the fine young person you have been raising. If you really are good friends then respecting your distance yet leaving the door open for the future is in everyone’s best interest. Besides, it’ll all happen faster than you think.

  5. Dionne says:

    When your life changes drastically, whether having a baby, finding a significant other, moving to a different city, etc., it does have an impact on your friendships. Here, you’ve gained a baby but they’ve lost a sidekick, to a large extent. You are no longer available to hang out as much and have a lot less in common with them now. The friend may feel bored, jealous, rejected, or a combination of those, even if she is happy for you as well. The friend may be reacting from those emotions and while it’s not nice, maybe it’s also not the “usual” her.

    I don’t know what there is to do about it, except try to keep in touch now and then if the friendship warrants it. You may get closer again when life changes again. The baby gets older and no longer takes so much focus, the friend has a baby of her own, or whatever. Things keep changing and we have more in common with certain people at certain times, accordingly.

  6. Nhk says:

    I’m very happy in a wonderful marriage with a man who also is happy without kids. When I’m around people who talk about their kids all the time i just glaze over. I still love the person have but they have to face it,I’m not magically going to like kids just because they had one. Op you love you kid more than anything. That’s a good thing, but expecting your friend to change her mind about kids, even yours, isn’t really fair. Maybe you just have nothing in common anymore. That doesn’t make you or her a bad person. You just arent going to be friends anymore. There are a lot of things to sacrifice when you have kids. You just didnt expect it to be friends, but that’s life. Be a good mommy and let your friend go.

  7. Cara says:

    It could be best to take it one step at a time.

    There’s nothing wrong with having kids and wanting to be around kids.

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay far away from kids at all times.

    There’s two issues. Her feelings about your child, and the way each of you feel about the friendship in general.

    For the first – I’d let it go. If she doesn’t like children, she’s not going to like your child. If you had a friend that hated dogs, she wouldn’t want to spend time around your new puppy. She wouldn’t want to hear you talk about your puppy. Expecting her to would just be setting you both up for failure.

    The important thing is working out whether you can still be friends or not in general.

    So take it one day at a time. What did you used to talk about? What did you used to do together?

    You probably won’t be able to physically catch up with each other as often as you used to. You have a baby to consider, after all.

    So email her instead. Call her on the phone. Skype her. Post something funny on her facebook wall (nothing baby related).

    Don’t force it, but if you have a free moment and you want to quickly catch up with her – then do it in a way that’s easy for you with your current obligations.

    Then, every once in a while, schedule some face time with her. “Hey, what are you up to on the 21st? Want to go hang out at that cafe we like?” Organize some childcare for the baby (relative/babysitter etc) and head out and have a good time.

    Note: Never bring your baby when spending time with her. She wants to see you, not your child. It will only put her on the defensive, and make her angry that you can’t respect her wishes.

    If it’s just that she doesn’t like children and is acting defensively out of fear that she’s going to lose her friendship with you now that you have a baby – then the above tips should help.

    If she’s just a jerk in general, then you may need to pull back from the friendship/stop being around her at all.

    Keep an eye on how she makes you feel. If your (childfree) time spent with her is lots of fun, then keep on spending time with her. If spending time with her isn’t fun, then start pulling back. There are other people in the world, other friends to be made. You’ll be fine whatever happens.

    Good luck!

  8. Dawn says:

    I don’t think you’re being selfish, every feeling we have is valid. It seems this friendship had an expiration date…errr…due date. Some people just don’t like children (gasp, I’ve said it!) She may be just as upset and sad to lose your friendship, as well as happy you got your child (since that’s what you wanted.) For somebody that’s does not like children, their close friends having one can be very traumatic, sometimes they try to find or keep a common ground, sometimes they know the relationship is doomed and just allow it to end. I also don’t think she is being selfish. Sorry, but it’s not selfish or immature to not like children. Having or being around children is a lifestyle some just can’t fathom or tolerate. Life changes so much when you have a baby, you talk about different things, have many time restrictions and everything revolves around baby (as it should when you decide to have one), but your friends… They did not make that decision and their life does not revolve around the same things as yours anymore. It seems your friend wants to make an effort, but can’t commit to your child friendly lifestyle. I would talk to her, tell her how you feel, but be prepared that you may not like what you hear. Nobody wants to say “I don’t like children” it’s a phrase that makes you feel like suddenly an angry mob of moms with torches and pitchforks are after you. I’m sorry your friendship is leaving you feeling hurt, but your new family should heal those wounds. Much luck to you.

  9. Lolly says:

    Where you blowing up her phone relentlessly showing every single thing your little darling does? Is that ALL you could talk about and how so in love you were? That crap is even annoying to people like me who do have kids. It’s ridiculous to try and have a conversation when the other person is ignoring you and baby talking to a 3 month old who doesn’t understand a damn thing they are saying. I’d be willing to be the friend doesn’t want anything to do with your little precious because you have wore her out on that kid. Shoving it down her throat constantly. She isn’t jealous she is annoyed. Chill out and act like an adult and have an adult conversation while an adult is actually speaking to you. The little darling will be fine for 5 minutes if you aren’t googoing and gagagging every second. And FYI no one wants to head about every bowel movent or how the little miracle is chewing your nipple off. Tell your husband that mess.

    • Sarah says:

      I wish all new moms could read your reply, I could not have said it better myself! 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Yeah, clearly you’re the one with some jealousy issues. how dare a woman take even five minutes to miss her infant because her “friend” is being rude for no good reason. Such defensiveness and bitterness! With that kind of selfishness and childishness can only come from a highly pampered, ignorant young woman without kids who can’t imagine what caring for someone other than herself must be like.
      Unless… Say, you aren’t the friend of OP are you? You’ve certainly got the rudeness and “I hate kids, kids suck and ur laem!” attitude down… Though it sounds like even the friend has a bit more manners. Someone needs to tell your daddy to teach you some life lessons and basic courtesy and less me-time.

      • Sarah says:

        Now you’re just being a bitch, and an ignorant one. Being a mom doesn’t make someone a saint and just because someone doesn’t have kids doesn’t mean they are selfish. What’s selfish to me is 99% of the time when you ask someone why they want or had kids their statement starts with “I want” or “I wanted”….
        And to address your jealousy statement no, we’re not jealous. To the childfree there is nothing appealing about having kids. We are simply tired of all the
        Self righteous, entitled momzilas out there who think everyone should bow down to their offspring like they’re something special. If that mother can’t spend time with anyone without pouting about how she’d rather be home with her spawn, I suggest she stay home and let her friends meet people who WILL actually be good friends to them.

      • Chava says:

        How mean.

      • Chava says:

        By the way, I don’t get the jealousy comment. I hate ketchup – I can’t eat it without gagging. Am I really just jealous of people with ketchup on their burgers, then?

        Speaking of life lessons and basic courtesy, I also like how you characterize all childfree people as pampered princesses. (It’s perfectly well-mannered and courteous to paint an entire group of people with the same brush, correct?) I’m a happily married woman who volunteers at an animal shelter and makes less than minimum wage. A “big night out” for us is going to the diner near our apartment, getting a beer, and coming home to watch Matlock on the couch with our cats. I was mostly raised by my great-grandparents due to my abusive mother. My daddy, who apparently should have taught me a lesson or something, had clinical depression (which I inherited) and committed suicide when I was 16. I guess I really don’t know how to care for anyone but myself, then. No, seeing the body of the person I loved most lying in the morgue with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head didn’t teach me a damn thing about life. Being hit, screamed at, and locked in a bathroom by my mother never taught me anything, either, I guess. I’m ignorant and self-centered. Yes, I’m totally Paris Hilton. Let’s hear some more of your wisdom! I’d love to be judged for my life choices some more!

        • Sarah says:

          I’m sorry you had to go through that Chava 🙁 I can’t even imagine how awful and traumatizing that would be. I DO however understand you being incredibly angry at sanctimonious posters who know nothing about your life.

    • Nancy Osborn says:

      Lolly – Your reply starts out ASKING if the OP was “blowing up her phone” etc. and then at some point you switched to ASSUMING that she did all the annoying crap you describe. Why ask the question if you are so sure that you know the answer? Also called “I’m going to tell you a question”. I see nothing in the OP’s letter to indicate that she blew up the phone and and mono-topically talked non-stop about baby and shoving it down her throat. Your reply was very rude and presumptious.

  10. Julie says:

    If it’s any comfort, when I was growing up, my mother had friends who, even tho they had children as well, clearly thought I wasn’t worth their time (not really) and very little attention. Had nothing in common with their kids, I was younger, and te time spent with them was clearly Adult Time. There’s nothing wrong with that, but honestly, I wasn’t ever sure these people liked their OWN kids. I guess they did, but Inever got the feeling they liked me. (my older brother an sister never seemed to be around when these people were around) My oint is, it doesn’t have to be chdless single friends who dot pay attention to yout kids. Some people will only like their own offspring.

    • Shaz says:

      I agree with you. In days gone by children were “seen and not heard”. People had much larger families and didn’t have much choice in the matter and I guess valued adult time. Nowadays it has almost gone too far the other way.

      I do think this friend is being selfish though. NOT because she doesn’t want kids, but because she can’t put her feelings aside for a moment to check how her friend is getting on with a new baby! I don’t have kids by choice , but I visit a good friend who is now a stay at home mum to two kids. I was aware that she might be feeling isolated or overwhelmed. So we have a bit less in common and the conversation is constantly interrupted, but…you do it for your friends! I’d drop this person.

  11. Lindy says:

    I disagree with the view that the friend was intolerant or mean. Look, some people are childless by choice and aren’t interested in fawning over your offspring. New parents often become unbearable, talking selfishly only about their child and expecting everyone to make adjustments for them. I’ve made it clear to my friends that I dont enjoy children, and that I’m not interested in spending time with their kids. Most of my friends are also child free but the ones who have children need to understand and respect not everyone is going to adore their screaming brats. It sounds like this new mom wanted her friend to rearrange everything, including a busy schedule for her daughter and become interested in kids when she clearly has never been. How entitled and presumptuous is that?

    • Jo says:

      Except…. That woman ASKED to see the baby. She was also being deliberately rude and flat out immature to bash children the whole time OP was pregnant. People, stop defending rude people.

      • Sarah says:

        We’re not. We’re sick of having to listen to parents until our eyes glaze over. Being childfree in a pronatal society is NOT easy. Especially with new mothers who are most of the time unbearable. To me it sounds like the friend has just gotten sick of hearing about the kid 24/7 not to mention the mothers complete and total loss of her own identity.
        The fact that the childfree woman brought a friend with her says a lot. I’d do that too if every time I hung out with someone all they did was ignore me and talk/play with their kid.
        In her post she even states that she hung out with the woman once before without her daughter and the friend “seemed upbeat” but the OP was just wishing she was gone with her baby.
        So your friend finally gets one on one time with you and you sit there and pout the entire time because youd rather be with your kid??? I’m pretty sure your friend could tell! And AGAIN, probably why she brought a friend with her this time.

  12. Maegan says:

    Not sure if I’m allowed to post the link here, but there’s a blog about this, which you might want to look at. Read the comments.

    http://jasongood.net/365/2011/06/day-166-to-all-my-friends-without-children/

  13. tanja says:

    Again I was just reminded of another incident. When I had my first son. My old college friend who moved far away, came to visit. She stayed with her mom that was still in the same city at the time. So, she came, did not bring anything for my son and we went out to dinner, but she completely ignored him. She was texting messaging during dinner and on the phone with other friends. My husband and I were just looking at her. My husband did not like her at all.

    Anyway, the next day, her mom called me and asked if she was at my house. I said no, I only saw her the day before. In any case, she did not come home that night. It turned out that she went over to a guys house afterwards and told her mom that she had stayed with me. We were 30 at the time. Her mom was mad and said if she called to let her know. Well, my friend did call me after she had talked to her mom and told me what happened. She had to say something to her mom and thought I would cover for her, never thought her mom would actually call me so she did not tell me about it.

    Now, she is 37 and she lives with her mom and sister etc in Halifax. She is not married, she is an auntie. But, I don’t know if she will ever settle down. It may not be in her nature. We do not talk anymore, our lives are very different.

    • Christopher says:

      *did not bring anything for my son*

      WTF do you mean did not bring anything for your son? Does everyone have to pay tribute to YOUR speshul sneauxphlayk for the privilege of your company? THIS is why people get tired of new parents…because everyone is expected to bow or curtsey, fawn over, worship, make everything kid friendly or child centric, and apparently, always come bearing gifts according to THIS chick! Great way to illustrate the point!

      • Ellencherry says:

        Are you joking?! Isnt it usual to bring a present to a close friend to congratulate on something like graduation parties, birthdays and the birth of a baby? Come on, people bring wined and cakes when invited for dinner!!! It not need to be expensive but it seems very rude indeed the behaviour of this ‘friend’.

  14. lottie says:

    Hi Donna,
    How lovely to have a baby you must be very happy.Has your friend ever been in love or had someone love her??? Sounds unlikely.It sounds like jealousy. HOW can anybody ignore a NEW baby,it doesnt sound possible.You must be hurt by her unforgivable reaction. Move on with your happy bundle you dont need text messaging with her and certainly no confrontation I would think your energy will be needed for baby.
    Unfortunately I never had children with being married to one the first time!!!!!LOL. Now I have a good husband but it is too late for children. Happy days to you and your baby. Lottie

    • Sarah says:

      Just because she was not interested in a new baby doesn’t mean she’s jealous or has never been loved or in love. That’s a pretty ignorant statement. I myself am 30 and purposefully childfree. I don’t hate kids, but I don’t ever feel the need to fawn over them. I’m considerate to friends with children but there is no way I can sit and listen to hours of talk about their eating/pooping habits etc. Not everyone wants or likes kids, and not everyone thinks they’re a wonderful blessing. Maybe no one has told you that.

    • Chava says:

      Not everyone likes babies or children. I don’t want to be around any of my friends’ children, and it’s certainly not jealousy – I just don’t like children, simple as that. Why would I be jealous over something I find completely undesirable? I’m uncomfortable and awkward around them, and I don’t know how to behave around them. Yes, I’m polite to friends with kids, but I’m certainly not going to be talking to and fawning over a child. There’s a reason I’m childfree by choice.

  15. Jason says:

    What a horrible woman sounds jealous and insecure I never understand or will understand how grown adults can get so jealous over children,Move on with your life your priority is your children if she wants to be stubborn with you then let her

    • Chava says:

      You do realize that not everyone likes children, right? Why would she be jealous over something she finds unappealing?

  16. Susan says:

    Donna, I am sorry your best friend of 15 years acted the way she did. A true friend will not act in that manner IMO. Please do not ever feel guilty or bad. The fact is, you brought a beautiful child into the world, and you will have responsibility for the next 18 years.

    I love and adore children but unfortunately never had any. I’m 51 now. Out of my whole circle of close friends, I was the only person to not be able to connect with and share the joys of motherhood. I struggled with it for years, and naturally we did drift apart and lost touch. Now, their kids are grown and we have re-connected and are close again.

    As I said, you have only one shot to do a good job raising a child, and it IS your priority. You don’t want to look back and regret not spending enough time with your child.

  17. Maddie says:

    That woman sounds horrible and not very friend-like. Let it fade without any guilt.

  18. tanja says:

    Congratulations on your baby! I think you are doing the right thing. You have realized something very important about friendship. It has to be reciprocated. However, I would not necessarily tell her. I would just limit conversation with her. It is never good to close doors permanently because people do change. I found after having children myself, that it is harder to be friends with people who do not have children. People that do not have children really don’t always understand and that is a fact, I am not trying to be cruel. People use to say that to me before I had kids and my feelings were hurt. Now, I see it is true.

    Let me share a little story of mine. I had a friend since kindergarten. She had one child right after high school. I really loved her kid. I was a great friend, always free babysitting, playing with her son and of course going out with her. When I came over, I would always have a little gift for him. In any case, I always wanted children. I was 29 when I had my first, but I would have had them at 25 if I had that opportunity. Anyway, this friend never wanted kids. She ended up splitting from the father who is 12 yrs older and a lawyer. My friend is a waitress and still is. Well, when her son was 12, he went to live with his dad. I still love her son. He is a very smart and intelligent boy at 14. Anyhow, when I married and had children, I did not get the same courtesy that I gave to her. She will hardly take the time to see me. The one time this year that she did come to see me and meet my daughter for the first time at age 2, she barely played with my son and daughter and barely talked to them. Can’t say I wasn’t hurt. I was very hurt. I thought about how much time and energy I put into her family years ago when her son was very small. But, I hardly get the time of day from her.

    Anyway, we don’t talk as much any more. But, I did not want to keep the lines of communication open. So, I haven’t told her how I feel. If I want to call (very rarely) I like knowing that no bridges have been burned and that I still can. Every so often, she may call me as well. Usually, it is when something awful happens in her life, but I am still appreciative when she does call as well. People change with their circumstances at that particular time in their life. So you do what you can as a friend at that time period in your life.

    I have learned that no one friend can be your everything. You need the one friend to have drinks with that is just yours, b luckut no deep conversations. Then, you could have the friend that you only have deep conversations with and that is it. The one friend that you only go on playdates with for the kids and to get the kids together. And those friends never meet. In my case, i have created these separate worlds for myself and they never meet. One friend I only see movies with. My sister is for deep conversations and then she can be insensitive at times and the party friend can surprise me and give me the best quote in times of need and she has no idea that her words helped solve a problem at the time. Then , there are the friends that I only talk parenting with.

    good luck. I hope it helped a bit. I just speak from experience.

    • tanja says:

      Sorry, I meant, I did want to still keep the lines of communication open.

    • Melinda says:

      I agree with you, Tanja…sometimes people who don’t have children don’t understand how friendships can change because of it.
      My husband and I have no children, but I really want at least one child.

      Anyway, his long-time friend is married with two young daughters and it bothers my husband that this guy doesn’t call him much anymore.
      So I’ve tried to explain that it’s not because his friend doesn’t like him anymore…it’s just that sometimes things change, for different reasons.

      His friend has children, we don’t. My husband says that his job is more demanding and stressful than his friend’s (the friend is a wealthy man) but the fact is that his friend still has to come home after work and take care of his kids.
      My husband has many responsibilities, but he doesn’t have to worry about that.
      I guess that in some ways he is still in the “child-free” mentality while his friend deals with fatherhood and what being a dad entails. Being a father is also a job and although my husband is a wonderful person, he is also a bit selfish at times so he can’t relate to anyone putting their children first. This is partly why we don’t have kids, because he feels that they would be a burden financially and otherwise. Whereas his friend seems to view fatherhood differently and takes an active role in raising his daughters, plus the friend lives many miles away so we don’t see him often.

      You’re right…it is all about priorities and how friendships change due to circumstances/situations. A person who has no children and doesn’t want them might not understand this and feel that their friends with kids are blowing them off when in reality, it might just be that their lives are now on different paths.
      Not necessarily better or worse, but different.

  19. Amy F says:

    I’m sure you feel very hurt that you’re not able to share your joyful experiences sure your friend. Not every friendship is comparable with every stage of your life and long term friendships often go through peaks and valleys over a lifetime.
    If you can look at your different approaches to children merely as different priorities rather then the hurt you feel that she shows no interest in the biggest part of your life, you can probably still have a more friendship. Imagine that she’s frustrated that you don’t recognize she’s not a kid person. I’m not equating the two frustrations, just the importance of respecting that her different a point of view is valid for her just as you want her to respect yours.
    You’ll find that over the next 18 years you’ll be drawn to the moms of your daughter’s friends and schoolmates. You’ll see them at soccer games and ballet lessons, volunteering in the classroom and dropping kids off for play dates. Most importantly, you’ll share common experiences and you’ll be able to relate to each other’s joys and struggles. If there’s not a playgroup in your neighborhood, start one. Sign up for Mommy and Me exercise or music classes. Keep moving forward and see how things play out moving forward.

  20. cyndi says:

    I have a son who is Autistic and who takes a lot of my energy and time, he is 18 but he will always be my first priority. I am divorced and I share custody and now guardianship with his father. I have had friendships come and go with the diagnosis. On my end I was angry and upset when I saw their children reaching milestones my son was not reaching, after my divorce my friendships primarily crashed and burned, I was now divorced with an Autistic son and they were happily married with the so called perfect babies and lives I was not able to relate to. In all that I was able to connect with other mothers who were facing the same difficulties I was being faced with, now I have a circle of friends I can relate to and who have been there from day one, these are the ones who understand my struggles and our great accomplishments. My son is now 18, has earned his diploma and is an accomplished artist at only 18, he has won numerous awards and has make us all very proud, I am the lucky one. Those friends with the so called perfect babies have to deal with early forced grand-parenthood, HS dropouts, drugs. I look at my son and think how lucky I really am.

  21. samantha says:

    HI, I am so sorry to hear what happened. I notice that in this day and age that little priority is put on relationships anymore, even ones that are long lived. I had tried to be friends with a woman who had no kids because she doesn’t like kids, my child is 13 now so I really didn’t think it would be an issue but the few times that she was around him she treated him badly and thought that it was ok. I put up with her for a year and felt bad as a mom that I didn’t just cut it off the first time she was in bad behavior toward my child, who happened to adore her by the way-which made it even more distressing for me. I finally told her I was done and told her why. I have no friends right now in real life(social media doesn’t count) and I believe it is better to be alone than to put up with people like that in your life. This woman won’t change and time won’t make things better. People who dislike children I have found are rather selfish and egotistical to begin with and don’t make good friend material anyway-we are BOTH better off.
    have fun with your baby right now, soon school will take her away and you will have plenty of time to make new friends, right now she should be your sole priority anyway.
    God Bless You.
    Samantha

    • Chava says:

      I agree that the woman was wrong if she was actually mean to your child, but don’t you think it’s also mean to describe all childfree people as “selfish and egotistical” and bad friends? Seems a bit hypocritical…

      • Liz says:

        Yes, it IS true. Every “child free by choice person” , couple, I have ever met has been either completely selfish or a social pariah. I stick to facts and facts don’t lie. Stay away from these people! You will be so much happier!!

        • Sarah says:

          I remember my first beer lol
          Hateful wench.

        • Childfree and well adjusted says:

          Ohhhhhh the childfree by choice are the selfish ones huh? Ask any patent WHY they have children. You’re going to hear answers like, “I wanted to feel the unconditional love of parenthood” and “I wanted to carry on my genetic legacy/family name” or “I want to have someone to take care of me when I’m older.” They all have ONE very important thing in common…they all start off “I WANT” Want. WANT. WANTWANTWANT. Isn’t the definition of “selfish” when one “wants” things for oneself above and beyond the platitudes or forethought of the well being of anyone else. And just to bust a few bubbles, I have rebuttals for all of these ‘reasons’.
          “I wanted to feel the unconditional love of parenthood”: Tell that to Lyle and Erik Menendezs parents.
          “I wanted to carry on my genetic legacy/family name”: Yes, because people don’t EVER become estranged from their families and denounce their name.
          “I want to have someone to take care of me when I’m older.”: it’s going to be a sad day for you when you end up in the room next to mine in the nursing home. Or did you think that nursing homes were only populated by the childfree? I assure you, MOST residents have kids that dont come around and make asses of themselves trying to get more than everyone else when they die.Your cognitive dissonance is showing BADLY

  22. mouse says:

    From the other side, as one who has no children, I have often felt totally abandoned when friends’ kids are born. Babies take up a lot of time and space and feeling. The parents interests narrow down to include their baby, period. Its all they can talk about, hear about, schedule around. And from the moment of baby on, they can now cancel or be late without notice forever more. To the single and childless one, well, I was always the one who had to understand, make concessions, wait, wait, wait, have my phone calls interuppted numerous times, etc. Even when I was welcoming of the baby, interested and happy to make room for baby in our relationship, I was unceremoniously passed over in favor of the other moms met in music class or mommy and me. It does put a strain on a friendship. If you can wait 25 years, your friends will come back. I am not being sarcastic.
    It is a hard thing to maintain those friendships throughout the first 20 years. I have often felt jealous that they are doubly blessed. Its hard to be so alone and to also feel so thoroughly left behind by friends who are filled with their kids. It can be easy to see the children as coming between the friendship. Its important as the single one to take an interest and develop relationship with that baby from the start. Otherwise the single one gets lost. The new parents lives will now be filled with the parents of the other kids and can so easily just never find time or interest to listen to the single one’s reports anymore. Its hard for both.

    • Ruth says:

      I’m not taking anything away from being single and childless, but my scenario is married and childless. I have many friends who are single and childless so I’m keenly aware of what you have shared.

      I’ve had multiple miscarriages. Childless in a society that exalts mommyhood is not a walk for the faint of heart. There are reminders at every turn of what you do not have. The message on occasion can be ‘there must be something wrong with you’. Mother’s Day and baby showers especially take nerves of steel to survive.

      I echo mouses sentiments. After all these years I don’t mind taking a back seat to the beloved child; a child should be a top priority for any parents. Parents will find that all dynamics in all relationships change. It doesn’t have to be the sunset of a friendship but it takes sensitivity and compassion from both friends to make it work.

      In terms of your situation OP, your friend sounds self-absorbed. She may not always be this way, but right now she is. And in your shoes, I would give myself distance from her, as in no contact for around 6 months to a year. If after that time her words and actions still bothered me, then I would write her a letter and share my heart openly with her, ending with I would like to salvage this relationship and remain friends with you (if that is the case). If the goal is reconciliation rather than a vent, maybe she will be willing to sacrifice? I don’t know of course but at least you got to tell your side of the situation. Have someone proofread your letter; I have found this invaluable when writing letters where I had to confront someone. And the first meeting with her probably needs to be without the little one.

      Also people change. What if she has a baby in say 10,15 or 20 years? I would want to be there for her and support her.

      As another poster said, I’m sure you are but allow me to re-affirm this: pour your attention and energy into your bundle of joy. Children are a gift; ask anyone struggling with infertility. They grow amazingly fast so cherish every moment.

      I know this is off topic but since I’ve already opened the door to this subject….there are many books on women facing childlessness a la infertility but there’s only one I’ve ever seen that tackles this volatile subject with wit and humor, and she does an outstanding job of presenting the myriad of challenges only a childless woman would encounter. It’s a quick read with many giggles for anyone who’s interested. I’m taking my eggs and going home by Lisa Manterfield.

  23. Sandra says:

    To borrow from the old cliche: With friends like that, who needs enemies? As Irene says, it doesn’t sound like your “friend” respects your lifestyle — nor does she respect you, given the things you’ve shared here. Maybe she’s dealing with a lot of issues in her own life, but wow, friendship should be a lot more rewarding, fun, and supportive than what you’re getting out of this one!

    Ditto what Irene said about meeting other women who have kids. As your child grows, you’ll meet them everywhere, and some of them will become close friends who’ll share the experience of parenting with you. Not that everyone has to be at the same stage or place in life, but it’s nice when friends support you with things that are truly important.

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