10 Things Your Child-Free Friends Do That Drive You Crazy
1. They act judge-y. “Just saw a woman breastfeeding on the train, so gross!” she posts as her Facebook status. “Can’t she wait until she gets home?” You fume when you read this, of course, because you’re pretty sure that friend would rather see a sliver of breast skin than listen to a wailing baby for the duration of her train ride. Feel free to remind her of this in the comments section; you’re sure to get plenty of backup.
2. They flaunt their splurges. Sure, you’d sell your cell phone in a heartbeat to buy your baby another cute onesie. Still, it stings when you have to hear about all of the sweet new swag your baby-free friends can buy (because they’re not forking over money for organic baby food and over-the-top preschool fees). Remind yourself that the riches you receive from that little bundle trump new shoes any day of the week.
3. They compare their basset hound to your baby. A funny thing happens when you become a mom, even if you were the biggest animal lover on the planet: You realize that your cat/dog/hamster/tarantula really is just a pet. But your non-mom pals haven’t gotten the memo yet. Try not to get offended when they liken the affection they feel for Fido to the soul-bursting love you have for baby. To them, it really is the same — at least for now.
4. They ask lame questions.“Why is she still crying?” Oh, I don’t know. Because she’s a baby who can’t communicate with words, perhaps? This one’s a killer for sure, but again, know that your friend isn’t trying to bug — she just genuinely isn’t fluent in the ear-splitting language of a newborn yet. Your best response: “I wish I knew too!”
5. They whine about how busy/stressed/overextended they are. Your friend works, works out and tries her best to maintain a social life. But so do you…all with a baby to care for (another full-time job)! Reminding her of this, however, won’t do a thing to nurture your friendship. As overworked as you may be, seek out sympathy from other moms who can relate.
6. They accuse you of being a bad friend. You never go out anymore. It only takes two minutes to make a phone call. All you talk about is the baby. All true, perhaps, but still not very fun to hear. While you may think she’s being insensitive when she makes these comments, the reality is, your friend misses you and the time you used to spend together. Explaining your new life to her may fall on deaf ears. On the other hand, trying to carve out the occasional small sliver of time for her will ease her angst considerably.
7. They extend last-minute invitations. People who don’t have to schedule showers days in advance or recruit babysitters or pump gallons of breast milk just to go to a simple movie can’t possibly understand how infuriating it is to get a text inviting you to go out…in a half hour. Try explaining to your pal that the more lead time you get, the more likely you’ll be to show up. And remember that a last-minute invite — even one you can’t accept — is better than no invite at all.
8. They begrudge you your precious little free time. She’s irate that you snuck out and got a massage when she’s been hounding you to meet her for lunch for weeks. “You said you never have time for yourself!” she accuses, and you seethe. Bottom line: Until she’s in your shoes, she will never, ever know how much you needed that hour of blissful, pampering silence.
9. They offer parenting advice. Your pal probably means well, but when someone who’s never been there or done that offers some “helpful suggestions” on how you might manage your offspring (you’d just let her cry it out, huh? easier said than done, sister), you’re likely to want to lose it. Keep this response handy in those situations: “That’s a good point I hadn’t thought of, thanks!” And then quickly change the subject.
10. They can’t sympathize. You’re exhausted and broke, and you haven’t had your hair highlighted in 11 months. “But you wanted a baby,” she says simply. Of course you did! And while you realize that bad hair and crippling fatigue are part of the new-parent territory, a little sympathy would be nice. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to have to get that from your mommy friends.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.