• Keeping Friends

Reader Wisdom: Making peace with a friend who hates children

Published: March 16, 2015 | By | 9 Replies Continue Reading

On a recent post on The Friendship Blog, entitled My Intolerant Friend Who Hates Children, a woman laments stepping back from a friendship because her childfree friend began treating her differently after she gave birth.

Commenting on the post, another reader, Dawn, shared her thoughts below:

I don’t think you’re being selfish. Every feeling we have is valid. It seems like 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.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Julia says:

    When a friend of mine had children I was very excited for her. I do admit there were times when she could be a baby bore but I tolerated it because she was my friend. However after a few years I felt my friend had been lost to motherhood forever. I have now got my own child (second one on the way).

    Just to add I am glad I dont have the pressure of trying to explain why I cant go out Etc. Its wonderful. I feel sorry for women who have that unecessary added burden of selfish friends single and those with children who refuse to meet each other half way

  2. ajnaT says:

    I don’t have many friends and most women my age are awaiting grandchildren. I don’t like kids at all. They represent everything that my mother resented me for and I made the best choice by guarding my fertility with my life. Now menopausal, I have no regrets. I live and do as I wish. I have little in common with most other women. I refuse to date men with children. in fact, I gave dating the flick about 10 years ago. Please, before anybody assumes that I am bitter, I am the opposite. I was a loner to begin with and I need my space. I am content.

  3. LaTrice says:

    Friendship is voluntary, and it’s NOT something that can be forced. Things will change-especially events that are life changing, so it’s best to be prepared. It’s understandable that some women on this planet aren’t cut out to be a mother, and having a child is a lifetime commitment.

    I have to agree with what Dawn had to say about having to commit to a child lifestyle. It sucks that a best friend can’t really be there for you, but it’s important to be supportive. When my best had her baby four years ago, some things NEVER changed between us. If she needs some “girl time,” I’ll come to her rescue. I LOVE my best friend to the moon and back. But, it’s important to meet each other half way.

  4. Maddie says:

    Her friend was a nut. And not because she didn’t like children. She is well rid of that friend.

  5. Ruth says:

    I remember reading this post, and thinking Dawn, the author, was wise and mature in her explanation. I still feel that way. Every feeling a person has is valid. We don’t have to understand it for it to be valid and real to that individual.

    While it’s a tragedy in my humble opinion for a friendship to be lost when a friend has a baby, I welcome anything that shows me the true nature of a person….. so I would sit back and say to myself “you know this totally stings and I just hate the way this is playing out in my life….. BUT I’m so glad I see your heart now rather than later.”

    The last thing I need is yet another faker in my life. I’m old enough now (cough, 50ish, cough) that my friends are down to the transparent, honest and faithful ones…but yowza… my *family* I can’t do much about and sadly the fakers left in my life fall in that category.

    Always a thoughtful and heart touching subject; Irene, thank you for reposting Dawn’s wisdom for us.

  6. butterfly says:

    Her friend is entitled to not like children. I wasn’t a children person until I had my own. The friend is not being selfish. Having said that, if she wants to end the friendship now that you have children, she’s not a true friend and it’s not worth fighting for the friendship. Let her go. Good riddance.

  7. Mrs. Chen says:

    So true, Dawn. No woman wants to admit to “not liking children” for fear of persecution. The original poster called her child-free friend “intolerant” and characterized her friend’s feelings as “hates children” is exhibit #1 of our culture’s hostility towards people, especially women, who dare to veer from our collective expectation of women to love motherhood.

    Further, many new moms suffer from expanded self-importance and expect their friends to put them and their new baby’s needs above the friends’ own. And THAT, is selfish indeed.

    I say all this, while being a motherhood lover myself who has two tweens of her own to love and kiss everyday.

    • deanna says:


      That was exactly my experience! After repeated attempts to talk to my friend about how that felt, and dealing with her annoyance and my own frustration, I just gave up. It was clear to me that she was saying that I should make all sorts of accommodations “for the children” but it didn’t work the other way around.

      A friendship should be beneficial to both parties, and there is nothing “nutty” or wrong with wanting to have enough in common with a friend — and have the friend care about your own choices as well — to make the relationship viable. Especially when this occupation will take up the majority of their time for 18 years or more.

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