Last night, I read this article, where a woman complains how her childless/childfree friends dumped her after she had kids. In the comments, some people complain how the same happened to them while others tell of the inverse; being dumped by friends who became parents. As I went through the comments, I found some parents complaining how they were dumped by their friends when they had their kids as early as 16 years old! Are you kidding me?
Personally, if one of my friends became pregnant as a teen, I wouldn’t exactly dump them, but I don’t see how it wouldn’t be the end of our friendship. If I could help in some way, I’d try, but I doubt we could be called “friends” anymore. You gave up your adolescence and you’re mad because your friends won’t do the same? Why should they? They’re not the ones who chose to become parents. And, of course, the teen parents consider themselves as having “matured” faster than their friends. Riiiiiggghhhht. Because having a child when you haven’t even graduated high school yet and can’t even take care of yourself without help is totally mature. Amirite?
Even the ones who had children a little later - in their early twenties - I can’t really feel sorry for. My 20th birthday is in 2014. From what I hear, the twenties, at least the early twenties, are when you take time to discover yourself without the raging hormones of your teen years or parental control. Likely, you’re in college and people don’t just drink and party in college or college wouldn’t have the reputation it does now (being absolutely essentially to having a quality life). Now, whether I agree with that or not is variable (it does give a bad implication), but my point is you’re just starting out and finding your way. If you choose to become a parent during that time, good for you, but I don’t think you can fault your friends who didn’t do the same for not being interested.
Speaking of such, of course, there’s the “drunk partier” stereotype found all throughout. Gee, maybe if you didn’t accuse your friends of being hard-partying drunkards because they don’t want to see or hear about your kid all the time, they wouldn’t have dumped you. I don’t doubt that maybe some of them did lose their friends after having kids, but it sounds like those friends may have been jerks to begin with. However, if someone accused me of doing nothing except party and drink (I don’t do either), I wouldn’t want to be around them either.
Something else I noted was that some of these parents complained about receiving less and less invitations, but in the same comment, complained about how their childless or childfree friends didn’t understand they no longer had any or a lot of free time. Which is it?! Do you have time and want to go out or not? If you tell your friends you don’t have much free time, I think it’s only natural they’d start inviting you out less than they used to. If you say you’re busy 90% of the time, you can’t expect them to predict the 10% chance you won’t be. Even if they are understanding (and I think inviting you out less might be a sign they are), seeing invitation after invitation rejected would make anyone eventually stop inviting that person out because it’s fruitless and a waste of time. Think of it this way: if you had a friend with a phobia of snakes, would you invite that friend to go on a group outing to the reptile habitat? No, because you know of their phobia and know they’d most likely say no. The concept is the same here. If you’re always saying your busy and turning down invitations, your friends are going to start getting the hint and stop the invites. You can’t complain about not being invited out as often and having friends who don’t understand your lack of time. That’s an oxymoron. Or hypocrisy. Whichever is correct.
In my opinion, it sounds like these parents were dumped, if they truly were, because nobody bent over backwards and out of shape for them. Regarding the ones who became parents in their teens (especially) and early twenties, they’re mad because their friends apparently decided they didn’t want to spend every outing around an infant or toddler. Which is totally understandable in my book because they didn’t make the choice that brought the existence of someone into being. Every place I frequent could be considered “child-friendly”, but I still wouldn’t want a child tagging along all the time.
Also, if you have a friend who you know good and well is not interested in children, you’re purposefully setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect them to be interested in your child. I understand that part of being friends is taking interest in each other’s lives. After all, that’s why you’re friends in the first place! However, if you know one (or more) of your friends aren’t interested in kids or dislikes them, why would you expect them to care about your child? Yes, your child is a huge new part of your life, and that’s how things should be when you have a child, but that’s your child, not your friend’s. While it might hurt to know your friend doesn’t give two cents about such a huge and wonderful part of your life, if you know they weren’t thrilled with kids from the get-go, you can’t expect that to change because you, their friend, had a child. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a little acknowledgement, but that’s as far as it should go. Getting upset because your friend doesn’t care when you knew beforehand he or she didn’t particularly care about in the first place is illogical.
By the way, yes, I am afraid of snakes. Not that I expect anyone to care. ;)