Thursday, July 12, 2007


A close friend of mine had a baby a couple of months ago, and up until now things have been a little difficult between the two of us. I won't detail the way her life and priorities have changed (because I am sure that you who have children can fill in the gap), but the dynamic of the friendship has had a major shift, and in a way I am feeling isolated as well as experiencing an odd sense of betrayal.

Why? I have no idea, but the feeling is there. It might have something to do with the fact that we were close friends before, and now I'm ranking very low on her list of things, coupled with the fact that when we talk, she seems not to want to listen to what I am saying. Thinking about it, this last tendency probably has more to do with how exhausted she is than anything else.

It makes me very sad to think that we could lose our friendship, as well as a sense of jealousy that she could prefer to hang out with other new mothers that she has only just met, rather than me. But in a way I can understand it. They can share what she is going through, obsess about their children together the same way that my medical school friends and I obsess about our studies together, and know that the other person has a very good idea about how they feel and what they are going through.

She has started a different phase of her life, leaving career behind to stay at home with her new baby, while I work and begin a new career. We're really moving at completely different paces.

Anyway, today I decided that it won't be my fault if the friendship dies away. I've decided to try to get into more regular contact with her, by phone or e-mail if she is too busy with family and baby stuff to get together for coffee. (Honestly, this couple is harder to book time with than a working medical student!) I can only cross my fingers and hope that she's willing to get on board, and be patient.


MedStudentGod (MSG) said...

Definitely a hard thing to realize, but it does happen. You're taking the smart route by trying to maintain contact and be there. She's dealing with a lot - a new baby is a huge thing and there's bound to be some exhaustion at this point. I hope things get better.

tazzie said...

As one of those mothers, I'd like to apologize for the fact that we do sort of get our heads up our butts for a little while. Things will calm down, and once they do she'll come around more often. One thing you might want to try, once the little one is more mobile is to have a "date" at the park. That way her little one is getting time to enjoy the outside life, and Mommy gets to be near family and friends. Or offer to make her dinner one night. (with or with out the hubby around)

New mothers just get exhausted, and we get emotionally drained quite easily too. We also do feel guilty for not having the energy to hang out with old friends like we used to. Stay strong, and keep the line of communication open. Hopefully, she'll come around!!


Milk and Two Sugars said...

Oh yes, Tazzie's right, dinners are great! My housemates' friend had a baby 8 months ago, and dinners with mum and bub (nb: not dad!) have been held here at leaset once a month ever since.

Good on you for putting effort into your friendship. And good luck!

Old MD Girl said...

You could offer to help her with stuff around the house or with errands..... that's something the other mothers probably won't/can't do. She might really appreciate it.

AlisonH said...

The friendship may be different for now from how it was, but if you care about each other, that caring is for life. Think how you'll feel about each other if you randomly run into each other in New York City at a crosswalk 20 years from now. You don't even have to question whether you'd be thrilled, right?

...From one who's had the kids, sent them off to college, and has randomly run into old friends in a strange city myself. The older you get, the more often you go, wow, small world. And the more you treasure each friendship you've had along the way.

Liz said...

Where you at girl?