When Motherhood Costs You Friends
Motherhood is hard, am I right? If your kids aren’t fighting, they’re destroying the living room with legos. When they are getting along, it’s because they’ve broken into something that they know they shouldn’t be into. It’s tough. What makes it even tougher is when your friends-without-kids don’t get it and Motherhood costs you friends.
I made a friend in high school that stood beside me throughout college, my wedding, and through finding out I was pregnant. Months later, when I realized I hadn’t heard from her I reached out. She lived states away, but we would stay in touch through texts and Facebook but I knew something wasn’t right. I asked her if I did something to make her mad at me, but there was nothing that could have prepared me for her response.
The Hard Truth
“You’re obsessed with your pregnancy,” she said. She accused me of being so consumed by my pregnancy, that it’s all I talked about the last time I saw her. After a painful falling out, I haven’t heard from her since.
What do you do when motherhood costs you friends?
Should we apologize for taking something so life-changing seriously? I explained that pregnancy does consume you, why wouldn’t it? Everything about my life was changing: after two years of marriage, it was no longer just going to be my husband and I. We had to trade our car in to get a bigger car that would accommodate an infant car seat. Our finances needed to be looked at to make sure we were in a good place financially to raise a child. And, let me state the obvious, everything about my body was changing. So, sorry that this is on my mind a lot?
The sad truth about it is that some friends will not be able to handle your pregnancy news. Whether it’s because they’re jealous because they don’t have a child yet, can’t have a child, or jealous they’re losing having you all to themselves – the responses will vary. Most of my friends were overjoyed!
But it only took the response of this one friend to get me thinking, I really didn’t know if this friend and her husband were actively trying to get pregnant. They had been married longer than my husband and I, so I did speculate, but she never came out and said anything. I could understand her response coming from a place of hurt, but that was never part of her explanation to me.
Unfortunately, motherhood will show you that friends change – and YOU will change – and sometime you and your friends won’t move in the same direction. It was a very sad experience for me, but I’ve come to find strength in responding to such negative remarks about something so special.
Motherhood Also Helps Make Friends
One of the best things about having kids is the common experiences you share with a community of moms you never knew existed. Some of your most difficult moments will seem so much lighter when you confide in other moms about them. Some of your grossest moments will seem hilarious when you share them in front of other moms that have even grosser stories to tell (that probably involve poop, am I right??). There have been so many times I’ve found myself at the park, frustrated at yelling my son’s name for the 13,345th time, when I look at the mom next to me and share a smile-shrug that says, “kids right?”
What I’ve learned in my brief time of being a being a mother is that what we ALL need most is a friend close by. It’s difficult to know exactly what every mom is going through, but most of the time being kind to them goes over pretty well.
Jessa Hillmann is a native of Hampton Roads. She and her husband have lived in Newport News for five years, where they also had their two children –ages two and three. Her husband works in Law Enforcement, which gives Jessa unique insight into the challenges of being a mother of two, a wife, and working part time. Jessa has a Bachelors of English with a concentration in Writing from Christopher Newport University. Besides being a mom, Jessa enjoys gardening, crafting, and organizing. You can follow her playful tweets about Motherhood on Twitter at @jessacorinne.