Before she even said it, I knew. She had ordered water with dinner. Girls night out without wine? She had to be pregnant. Sure enough, the confession came out. She was still in the first trimester, so I had to keep it quiet.
I've been pregnant. I have a child. I knew what I was supposed to say. I smiled. I hugged her. I gushed and said all the things you're supposed to say when one of your very best friends confides in you that she's expecting a child.
But inside, I just wasn't feeling it. If I dared to be completely honest with any of my half a dozen pregnant friends (seriously, what is in the damn water?), they'd probably be hurt and not want to talk to me again.
Because the truth is ... I hate when my friends get pregnant.
I'm a mother. I have a kid. I know that what I'm saying makes absolutely no sense. But whoever said emotions make any sense?
I also know that what I'm saying is horribly selfish, but I think we're all kind of selfish sometimes. What's most important is keeping that selfishness bottled up inside and acting a lot nicer than we feel.
But who hasn't felt a little bit crappy when their friend announces they're pregnant?
The fact of the matter is, when a friend gets pregnant, you can pretty much guarantee that your lives are about to diverge like those two paths in the Robert Frost poem. She's about to dive back into sleepless nights and sh**ty diapers, and even though she is a brilliant, funny, fun woman to be around most of the time, you won't get to enjoy any of that awesome side of her because she just won't have TIME for you what with all those sh**ty diapers to change and sleepless moments.
Your friendship is about to change, and as happy as you might be for her, I think it's OK to grieve that change. The fact is, you won't be as close as you were. You won't call her any hour of the day because you'll fear waking the baby, and she won't want to go out for a monthly girls night because she's breastfeeding and she wants to be near the baby.
Things will change.
I hate change.
I also hate myself more than a little bit for feeling this way because as a mother myself, I get it! I absolutely, 100 percent understand what new motherhood is like, and why a new mom doesn't have time for her friends. I was there once.
But now that my child is older, I have gotten back some of my own life. I CAN have a girl's night. I CAN spend an hour on the phone while my kid plays video games or Lego's. I CAN be a good friend and a good mother both.
A new mom just can't.
And honestly, I'd probably be OK with all of this if we were just talking about a year or two. But when you have a child, it isn't just that new motherhood stage that divides you from your current friends. It's everything about life with a child from here on out.
What you do with your child dictates your own social life in many ways. If your child is in story hour at the library, you're making friends with the moms at story hour. If your child is in preschool, you're making friends with the moms at preschool. And so on. These are the women you have the most in common with at this point in time, after all. Friendship with them is easy. You don't have to bring out your brilliant, funny, fun sides with those moms to find something to talk about it.
The older my child gets, and the farther I get from pregnancy, the more I understand where the child-free folks are coming from when they can't muster a whole lot of happiness over a friend's pregnancy.
She's happy for her friend, but she knows what's coming: she will now have to compete for a piece of the pie not just against the baby (who will and SHOULD come first) but against all those other moms out there. She -- we -- have to share our friend.
I went to kindergarten. I know HOW to share, but let's face it, sharing kind of sucks. You never get as much as you really want.
Do you ever feel disappointed when a friend announce she's pregnant? Why?
I personally find this incredibly sad and to be honest, petty. I have two children and can no longer have more. when a dear friend announces their pregnancy I feel nothing but joy for them because I know that they're about to experience something amazing.
I wont deny a pang of jealousy but that quickly fades when I think about the sweet baby to come that I will get to love and spoil.
While I agree that it changes things, it also enriches things. If these are good friends, then taking the time to watch the little one while mom naps, goes to a doctor's appointment or spends 5 minutes by herself becomes part of the friendship. Heck, I have even cleaned a dear friend's bathroom.
I makes me mad when they say they don't want kids, they hate children and then they accidentally get pregnant. And here I am, want kids, love them and can't get pregnant. That's what makes me mad. Oh yeah, also a little sad that now that my BFF has a baby I'm forgotten about. I understand, I get it but I also have feelings too and it's kind of hard to be out in the cold.
by Anonymous 1December 23, 2013 at 8:54 AM
Nope just glad it isnt me
by Anonymous 2December 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM
This surpasses selfish and borders on narcissistic.
Heaven forbid that you should feel joy at your "friend's" happiness. Nope, can't see anything except how this is going to affect ME . . . For a year or so she won't be able to spend as much time with ME . . . And when we are together, she'll want to talk about the baby, not ME and what I want to talk about. Shame on her for wanting to grow and move forward in life . . . Doesn't she know how horribly this will affect ME.
I can't help but think, "With friends like this (the author), who needs enemies".
I think you are being incredibly selfish with this attitude. No, I was happy for my friends when they got pregnant! Who are you to want nothing to change in their lives so YOU can have everything you want? Think about what it means to be a friend because you clearly don't know.
No but I've only had one close friend get pregnant after I had my dd and I was very happy for her. She has struggled with PCOS and other issues and doctors told her she'd have a very hard time getting pregnant so when she told me she was I was nothing but happy for her. Not jealous or anything either since my dd was 3 months when she found out and I wasn't ready for another one!