On friends and being childfree

Sooo, my best friend (who lives in a different state than me – and I’ve known her for 24 years) is getting married in August. I’m happy for her. Really I am. Unfortunately, her fiance has kids from a previous marriage. Now, that’d normally be fine, but whenever the kids come to visit their father.. they take up a lot of my best friend’s time. Part of me thinks it’s great that she’s trying to get involved in the kids’ lives, but the other part? Well, the kids are young, noisy, and frankly I haven’t seen either my friend or her fiance try very hard to keep them in line when we’re talking over FaceTime. To the point where most recently the kids were being so disruptive that they (the kids) hung up the FaceTime conversation – twice. After the second time my friend just sent me a text ย “Sorry guess I’ll have to ttyl kinda busy with the kids”. I get that kids need attention… but I’m still not used to only having 5-10 minutes of talking to my best friend without the kids interrupting our conversation. I’m used to conversations lasting hours with her. But whenever the kids come over… that time is very limited.

I know that my friend’s fiance wants full custody of the kids, and well, I don’t really like the idea. Yeah, I’m sure they could provide them with a stable home. But with how things have been going? Every time the kids are visiting.. well, my conversations with my friend are pretty much destroyed.

I just didn’t think that this would happen. Not after 24 years of such a strong friendship. I feel like we’re drifting apart.. I’ve already got the plane tickets to go see her for the wedding in August. If the friendship becomes strained (especially after the wedding), well, those pictures will be really really awkward. I just don’t know, I feel like I’m giving and giving and getting nothing in return for my friendship. I know things change, I can deal with most change (hip replacements? Sure. Cancer? Yep been there) but this change? I don’t like it.

My friend isn’t doing anything wrong really, and that’s the problem. I just feel like, hey I’ve put a lot of effort into this relationship… only for it to get like this. I’m pretty sure my friend could tell from the look on my face that the kids were annoying me. They were crawling all over her, screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs. That’s one of the many reasons I don’t want kids. Cats are more my speed.

Anyway, I just felt like I needed to get this off my chest as I don’t think I could ever tell my friend how I feel about her fiance’s kids and her actions.

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12 thoughts on “On friends and being childfree

  1. I dislike children and I’m not ashamed to say to someone “I’d rather have cats.” It’s up to the parents though to raise their kids right, so it’s sort of unfair for me to hate on the innocent. I’m always pleased when I encounter a kid who is quiet and well-mannered. Otherwise I wish that there was a leash law for children. I’m not joking, either.

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    1. Oh gods I know right?! Definitely would rather have cats. Yeah, I put more blame on the parents. I agree, well behaved kids are nice to be around. Yeah, leashes would keep them under control. Ugh, I just hate this wedge is coming in between me and my friend.

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  2. It’s good to get things off of your chest.
    I know my closest friend and my sister got pregnant a little more than a year ago from now. She got her baby used to traveling on purpose, so she can take her little girl everywhere with her. I don’t get to interact too often with my sister anymore. For one, she doesn’t quite have a babysitter that babysits for free or around the clock either and she has a great connection with her daughter. So, I’ve learned with my sister to try just to hang out on child friendly places, like a park, a zoo, Walt Disney World, the mall, etc., which isn’t as bad, though I miss her being with me to events like clubbing and “adulting” at the casino just her and I, it’s off and on hard for her also to go out to the theaters to see a movie as well, having to find a babysitter and all. Now I work around the clock when she’s off, so all we get to do is text or message each other. It does suck a bit, the new change for her, and I know this changed kind of threw her upside-down with depression due to not working as often and I suddenly started working often and not part-time any longer, but somehow, when we meet up it’s like we were never parted and we include her little one, Luna into this as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Eeeh, see, it’d be different if my best friend made time for me. But we talk mostly over FaceTime now due to the fact we live in different states. Plus I don’t really like to be around kids. If I must be around them, I prefer them to be well behaved.

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  3. I have a 5 year old girl, and I know exactly what behavior you’re talking about. I’ve pretty much given up on having phone conversations during the day, unless I feel like being interrupted every 20 seconds. I wait until after she’s gone to bed.
    It’s kind of a “little kid thing.” The second they see us involved in something, that’s when they want the attention. Mine can be sitting and doing something quiet, like reading or drawing. But the second I get up to go to the bathroom or work on some classwork, that’s when she HAS to have something. :/
    Now that I’m a mom, my life is nothing like it used to be. Sometimes it’s in a good way, sometimes not so much. Being a parent isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’m one of those people that enjoys kids, though.

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    1. Yeah, I just wish my friend had said she wasn’t free.. instead of starting the FaceTime conversation and then pretty much not listening to me. The kids screaming and stuff? That was in addition.
      Yeah, I guess I just don’t like this change. I understand kids need attention, and I don’t mind the well behaved ones in small doses… but, she’s supposed to be my best friend and I feel like she’s just throwing the friendship away (in that I feel like I’m giving and giving and getting nothing in return).

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  4. I’ve never had a “best friend” per se, but I can relate to your situation. I am married, but childfree by choice. All my old friends and acquaintances are already or are planning to become parents. It really puts a stop to any potential growth of the friendship. It’s hard to relate to people when their life and problems become so foreign. However, I’d like to believe that in a real best friend situation, that the friendship is already strong enough to survive the conflicting life paths. I’m sure your friend wishes she could make more time for you and is doing the best she can. Perhaps when she gets more comfortable with being a parent and into a routine of sorts, she’ll be able to accommodate you better. Don’t give up on her! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Hey, sorry for the late reply, wordpress ate my last comment to you. XD

      Yay another childfree-er! ๐Ÿ˜€ I think you’re right. My friend and I did manage to have a talk without the kids barging in, so I think things are going to get better. I’ll just have to remember what you’ve said. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I find it weird that someone with disruptive, indisciplined kids would offer that as a gift of sorts to someone with no kids and say to them ‘Hey! Let’s get together and have these kids around ALL the time.’ I mean sure if you bothered to bring them up properly. Truly bizarre. Even weirder for me is that someone would accept it. Clearly I don’t know the ins and outs of the story but it feels like a car crash waiting to happen and a huge explosion where all the resentment comes pouring out.
    Sure kids need attention as one of your commenters said, but they also need good parenting and discipline. I was a kid once and so were my siblings and cousins galore. Not one of us behaved this way when grown ups were doing grown-uppy things.

    I think Shelly Lorraine is right. Your friend is going to need you at some point.

    TheUberbook.com has a โ€˜childlessโ€™ gallery I have recommended this post. Check out the LIFE STUFF galleries, request an add via the writers sign up page if youโ€™d like this post to be on there. You get my vote although I donโ€™t have a say on whether you are eventually added.
    The Ed.

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    1. Yeah, it does seem odd. My friend seems to like the kids though, so there is that. But my friend and I are definitely on better terms now that the kids have gone back to their mother. Or at least I feel like I can have an uninterrupted conversation with her in any case.

      I agree, people I know would likely never have acted up that much on the phone when we were younger. I’ll definitely try to be there for my friend, we have been friends for 24 years so it’s definitely worth it.

      I suppose I’d rather this post not be on another site. But thanks for recommending it. I may consider it another time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Lol, just realized why! ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus that is the important thing, you said your friend seems to like the kids. That’s a huuuge step in making sure all will be well in the future. I got the mistaken impression she was not thrilled.

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      2. It’s cool. I guess it’s different when you’re seeing it from an outsider’s point of view.

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