I wrote this post after reading a post on tips about what to do when your friend just had a baby. I cannot find the post anymore, it seems the author had deleted it (?). Though I can understand where she was coming from, there are many points in there which I do not agree. The post basically asking SOOOO much from the no-baby friend and almost zero or even really nothing from the mommy friend. It's like "If you are my friend, you have to care about my baby. If you are my friend, you will love my baby. If you are my friend, you will be understanding that I'm busy now. Now that I'm married, I know who my friends really are! " Reading that, I was like "O mi gosh! If I were like that, I wouldn't wonder why single friends or married-with-no-children friends suddenly disappear from my life once I have a baby!"
Today I'd like to share with you all my married-with-children friends what I used to feel as a single woman about my married-with-children girlfriends who act like the writer of the aforementioned blog post. Frankly, I wouldn't dare to say these out loud were not I'm now a married-with-a-baby myself, for it might spark some misunderstandings or misconception, like I'm anti family or anti baby. And I don't mean to insult the blog writer, though I didn't mention her in this post. Everybody has their own opinion, and this is mine. This is a disclaimer that I don't mean to insult anyone! ^__^
I spent a lot of years as a single career woman who lived alone. I had been living on my own since I was eighteen, so yes, I know how it is. And now I'm a wife as well as a mom, so I also know how it's like on the other side of the fence.
Here are what I used to feel as a single woman towards several of my mommy friends (especially when they were new mommies) who suddenly became mommyzillas after having a baby.
- I'm still your friend. I still like you a lot. I haven't changed. You have. I will still like you and love you, Friend.
- I care about you're being a wife and a mom. But my friend is YOU, not your baby, and not your husband. So please understand if I care to hear about what's going on in your life, but I'm not interested to hear hours of nonstop stories about your husband and your baby.
- Some people just don't like children, and I'm (was) one of them. Just because I don't (didn't) like children, it doesn't make me a monster.
- For that reason, I'm not interested to listen to your stories over and over again about your baby's bowel movement and milk intake.
- You think I'm leaving you because you're a Mommy? The reason I disappear is because you don't return my calls, you don't reply to my SMSs, and you keep saying 'no' to my invitation to hang out, if only for coffee. And I even offered to come over to YOUR house or the coffeshop in YOUR neighborhood - which will take me a ninety-minute drive from my place to yours - at YOUR time of convenience so you don't need to make any special arrangement for your baby. And I didn't hear back from you.
- Saying that, it's just downright rude and it hurt my feeling. And by the way, is that what you're going to teach your child? To neglect your friend just like that? To not reply to her messages like she just doesn't exist?
- Communication and friendship is a two-way street. So after several attempts, I give up. If you miss me, you know my number and where to find me.
- Just because I'm single and you're a mom, it doesn't mean I have more time and less busier than you. I just happen to have other priorities.
- If you're really my friend, you will make an effort to get in touch with me. I certainly did make an effort for you, many many times, and I tried to cater to your mommy schedule and situation. What effort have YOU done for our friendship?
- I know that with a baby and all, I would no longer be that high in your list of priorities. I understand. Really, I do. And I accept that. But instead of moving me to somewhere at the bottom of your priority list - which I'll completely understand because I would do the same thing if the situation is reversed - it seems like you just scratched me off your list completely.
- Then one day, out of the blue, suddenly you call and invite me to lunch/coffee/dinner/girl's night out/whatever like RIGHT NOW and you expect me to drop everything and comply to your schedule, because "You don't have a child, you must have a lot of free time and flexibility!" No my dear, it doesn't work that way. I'm your friend. I'm not your convenient alternative or your last resort.
- Don't ask me to stay late at work and do YOUR work or work on the holidays again for like the twentieth time with that lame, condescending, annoying, judgemental saying: "You're single. You have more time. We have children, so we need to be home for the holiday/dinner." OK, how much are you going to pay me then? I must be compensated because you asked me to sacrifice my time so YOU can have time with your family. AND you didn't even ask me nicely, or politely.
- You ask me to be understanding of your situation, which I did, do, a hundred times. What about you're being understanding to MY situation for once, for a change? Didn't you say that motherhood is the ultimate act of unselfishness? By treating your friends like that, don't you think it's just like doing acts of kindness ONLY to your family and doing completely selfish acts to your friends?
- And again, is that what you're going to teach your children on how to treat their friends? Only being friends when it's convenient?
And to my dear single Friends, I try to avoid doing all those things to you. If I ever did, I apologize. I really try not to be 'that' kind of married-with-children type of 'friend'. Even after my husband and Baby Michael, I do try to make time for my friends. Just because I have a baby. it doesn't mean I suddenly become unavailable. I can hang out. I can go to lunch. I can meet you for coffee. Even for dinner. All I'm asking is that you ask me in advance, because I need to make some arrangement for my baby. As a mother, I lose a lot of my time flexibility. But trust me, your once fun friend here, she is STILL here.
By the way, this is part of the email I wrote to the blog author after reading her post.
Actually I wrote her an email with what I think, and here is some of what I wrote her. The email basically summarized my thoughts about this matter. I have to say here that she sent me a very kind and nice reply, so this post is definitely not attacking her or her post! ^__^ And I'm still subscribed to her because I love reading her blog. Anyway, here's what I said:
I'm a wife and a mother after being a single career woman for 30-something years, and I have to say that most of what you wrote rings a bell with my own situation! Ow, and one thing more: don't forget that we are a mother AND also a wife. The big baby needs attention, too!
However, I don't ask my friends to care about my child. Not everyone loves children. Some people naturally don't really care about children, except for their own. I'm the youngest child and I never dealt with any children before I had my own baby, so I could understand if some of my friends, though they care about me dearly, they are not that interested about my husband or baby. Mind you, they DO care about my marriage and my being a mom, though, and they DO want the marriage and the mommyhood work well, even great. See the difference? ^__^
Also, I'd like to add that your single and the married-with-no-children also need some consideration from their married-with-children friends. Yes, they need YOUR consideration and understanding, too. As a single girl, I was in many situation where my married-with-children friends were being so inconsiderate and treated me like a convenient alternative and everything had to go their ways, because "Hey, I'm busy being a wife and mother, and you are not!" And I also experienced many times when my mommy coworkers treated me for granted when I was single, asking me to do their work because "You single girls have more time than us busy moms!" (I refused down pat after several times)
Come to think of it, we also know who our real friends are after THEY are married and have children.
And for all mothers out there who still make time for your friends, here's to you! *thumbs up*
And now I'm going out to have casual dinner with my girlfriends, and here is what I wear. ^__^
This Hermes-inspired purse was a birthday gift from my husband. He bought it on ebay, and I'm crazy about it! He was like: "I can't afford to buy you a real Hermes right now, so I hope this one will do for this year." Of course it does! I love it! Thank you, hubby! XoXoXo
Taking picture with Baby Michael before leaving. He didn't look happy that Mommy is leaving. ^__^ Don't worry, Son, Mommy will only be gone for two hours!