A Study in Contrast: Non-Mom and Mom Friendship


contrastWhere’s the freelance documentary crew when you need one? This weekend offered up some good material, a mini study in contrast: “Non-Mom and Mom.”

The protagonists are two great friends who have known each other 20 years. They had plans way back when to be pregnancy pals and comrades in motherhood. One friend had four pregnancies and three children, the other had three “alpha” pregnancies but no children. (I’m guessing you know which one was me).

Role tape …

The scene opens with non-mom placing a call from her car after dropping her guy at the airport’s white curb — you know the one for loading and unloading only?  It’s been more than six months since non-mom and mom last saw each other (mostly due to non-mom’s “unavailability” — screaming toddlers not being high on a non-mom’s “must-see” list ).

Mom is home and happily invites non-mom over. The rendezvous arranged, non-mom sings along to tunes on the car radio. She’s riding a high from endorphins delivered that morning during a robust workout at the gym. Still humming, she approaches an unusually still house.

Shhh…mom tells her when she opens the door, the kids are just down for a nap.  Mom apologizes for not yet making it into the shower and picks up children’s socks, toys and sippy cups as they make their way into a kitchen that looks like it’s been hit by a tornado.

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Non-mom catches a glimpse of herself in a mirror. With freshly washed hair and a complexion accented by a dewy coral blush and a complementing crisp, coral colored top, non-mom appears to glow. Mom, meanwhile, brushes some oatmeal off of her top and invites non-mom to sit down on a patio chair after removing kid’s toys from the seat.

What comes next is a delightful uninterrupted visit where the old friends talk about everything and nothing. They laugh and reminisce. They ride the same wavelength seemingly finishing each others’ sentences as they did routinely a few years ago. There are no role barriers separating them, just two pals sharing an afternoon in the sun.

In time a door slides open and a little one happily yells out: “mommy!” A second toddler starts crying because she’s hungry. Mom needs to pack the family gear for a trip and there’s a pile of laundry that needs to be done. A dog starts barking. Amid the confusion and demands for mom’s attention, non-mom sees that it’s time to go.

Back at her tidy home, non-mom settles in for a quiet evening. She fixes a spinach salad topped with salmon, pours a glass of wine and looks forward to the day when the differences marking the lives of moms and non-moms don’t intrude with such force.

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End tape.

While I get just a sliver of attention from my mom friends when their kids are about, I have a lovely assortment of online and real-life non-mom pals who give (and receive) undivided attention, and that’s particularly nice because friendships among women are essential for reducing stress, as I was reminded recently by a non-mom friend who sent me an older article based on a UCLA study.

The piece points out that when a woman encounters stress, a hormone (oxytocin) is released and “buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to gather with other women instead.”  When engaging in “tending or befriending behavior, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect.”

I’m curious, my dear Internets, how much time you spend with mom vs. non-mom friends. Do you see a marked difference in the visits? Let’s discuss (and reduce some stress as a bonus!)



46 Responses

  1. annacyclopedia

    April 6, 2009 9:46 pm

    Very interesting post, PJ. I’ve struggled with this for years – literally every single woman I call a friend is a mother, and it’s been this way for quite some time. There have actually been times where I’ve just dropped out of friendships for a while cause I couldn’t hack being the one who constantly rearranged my life to continue the friendship. I understand that motherhood takes over your life in a way that few other things can, and I get it. But there were times when it hurt to be the one doing all the work to maintain a relationship while my friend was able to give me 30 seconds of her divided attention at a time. When that happens, it’s hard to feel the benefits of friendship, and I know I reached the point a number of times where I NEEDED a friend more than I was simply able to BE a friend.

    It is definitely something I think about as I am headed in the direction of the oatmeal-stained, un-showered and pyjama-clad group myself. Although if I am truthful, if you dropped in unannounced on a Sunday morning, I might well be in that state already.

  2. Jeanne

    April 6, 2009 9:58 pm

    Pamela Jeanne,

    I have some wonderful, amazing friends. Some are moms, some are non-moms. I don’t see any of them as often as I would like.

    Whether it’s scheduling issues (that’s almost all of it for either category of women) or other matters, there are obstacles that seem to get in the way of visiting anywhere near as often as we’d like.

    It’s sad to me because I know everyone would benefit from more time to connect.

    In today’s world, it’s tough. The many online relationships I have developed really are a lifesaver for me.

    No matter how sick I am or how sick my online friends are, we make efforts to stay connected.

    The online aspect of the relationship means we can communicate whenever it fits into our schedules (easier than trying to schedule “face time” with off-line friends, to be sure).

    I do wish there were more time for in-person connecting, though. I miss my friends and I know they miss me.

    In my life, it’s not so much a camp of non-moms vs. moms.

    In my life ALL of us are really busy, regardless of whether or not we’re moms.

    Today’s world can be such a whirlwind.

    I’m happy for you that you got some time with your friend… Not enough people get enough such “friend time” nowadays and that’s a shame!


  3. waterbishop

    April 6, 2009 10:16 pm

    I don’t even hang out with moms. They basically jump camps after birth. Then again I don’t really have many close female friends. I see a big difference in moms-of-one versus moms-of-many. At least enough of a difference that I am not sure I would ever want to be a mom-of-many.

    Once the friendship maintenance ratio hits a certain point, I stop trying.I am willing to put in 75% while she does 25%, but I won’t put up with zero.

  4. Christina

    April 6, 2009 10:51 pm

    Pamela Jeanne — I’m glad you can still keep a friendship up with this woman! I’m afraid I have to chime in with waterbishop. When my best friend of over a decade finally got pregnant (we were infertility pals together, I wound up a non-mom) — I was at her beck and call, driving 40 minutes to bring lunch and video over while she had bedrest (I had to sit on the floor) — it became very one-sided. Mothers are incredibly self-absorbed, during the pregnancy stage, and after — well, I’m afraid I was treated just like another maid or nanny. It was an unbalanced friendship — very unsatisfying, and it ended.

    I’ve adjusted expectations about Mom friends — they don’t get my life, which is very different by almost anyone’s standards — and I’ve run out of patience with theirs. This isn’t to say I don’t have “surface” Mom friends — people I chat to at the Y, etc. But I’ve given up any expectation that they’ll even ask me a question about myself, after they’re through with their monologue about their kids.
    But I’m glad you can report these signs of progress!

  5. Rach

    April 6, 2009 11:03 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t have any “non mum” friends. All my friends are Mum’s and it’s something I need to rectify. TTC for 10 years and getting zip nada zilch from it has taken it’s toll and being with Mum’s all the time is sometimes too heartbreaking….

  6. Me

    April 6, 2009 11:10 pm

    I don’t really hang out with moms much at all. These days it’s a little salt in the wounds for my taste. However. I have been pretty brushed off the last few years by some of my mom friends. Back when we were first TTC and I wasn’t so baby-averse, I even once hinted to a newly minted mom-friend that I’d love to tag along on her “play date” just to “see everyone” since I had been working so much and was out of touch, but was strongly discouraged from coming. Despite my protests that I wanted to see the little ones and didn’t mind the baby talk. Another of my OLD friends, my pregnant/coworker, yeah, the last year or so we’ve hung out a LOT together, since she’s gotten pregnant I’ve seen her outside of work like twice. And every time I ask her about doing something she’s always doing something with either “J” who has a 9 month old or “R” who is currently pg and has a 2 year old. I’m just not “in the club” any more. 🙁

  7. Lost in Space

    April 6, 2009 11:14 pm

    I can’t say I have much of a desire to interact with my “old” mom friends. I have found that our ability to connect becomes less and less as they complain about parenthood and talk about craving alone time. I can smile and be supportive, but often find it is all at my own expense. At some point it just becomes not worth it.

    I do very much enjoy some of my non-mom friends with entire evenings spent in conversations with no mention of kids or the like.

    Maybe some day I can keep friendships with both, but not today…….

  8. the misfit

    April 7, 2009 12:41 am

    That’s fascinating about the oxytocin. I didn’t know that, but it explains why I have a faintly anxious feeling of loneliness when I have no close girlfriends in my life. Guy friends are fun, entertaining, energizing – but not really nurturing, right?

    I will say that my mom friends seem to think that a chance to spend time with ME is more precious than my chance to spend time with THEM. I’m not exactly a hot social commodity by any measure, but they’re chained to their homes, and I’m a free agent. So they seem to think it’s special if I stop by, and that’s rather sweet.

    Non-mom friends though – those are the friends who will actually answer the phone or return calls; who have time for me; who don’t want to talk about kids ALL THE TIME. Those friends are gold.

  9. Io

    April 7, 2009 1:28 am

    Most of my friends are non-moms, which is nice. We can be flexible and go out and be spontaneous. My writing group has three core members and one is a mom – I know she feels left out that Becky and I get together all the time to walk our dogs and grab dinner. (Though that also has a lot to do with the fact that we are both urban dwellers.)
    It’s nice to have flexibility, whereas with my mom friends it is all about their schedule.

  10. Shaz

    April 7, 2009 4:57 am

    I thank God everyday for my non-Mom friends, I wouldn’t survive without them. Perhaps its because of my non-Mom status,but I find the noise and mess that go along with my Mom friends kind of hard to take sometimes!

  11. Michell

    April 7, 2009 5:17 am

    This reminds me a lot of my friendship with my best friend. We don’t get together often as she lives a ways away but she’s a mom and it always feels so different. Strangely I don’t really have many people that I spend time with outside of work. I’ve read so many books about groups of women with long standing friendships (with and without kids) and often find myself wanting a group of women I spend time with if only once a month where we just get together and visit or whatever.

  12. Rachel Inbar

    April 7, 2009 7:18 am

    First of all, the way you’ve written it (beautifully) – it’s not quite clear why any woman might choose to become a mother…

    Second, I’m obviously a minority among the commenters, being a mom (6 kids-15, 12, 12, 4, 3, 1). With my little ones, I don’t get to spend time with *any* friends IRL. I do, however, believe in kid-free time – so when Yirmi (just turned 1) goes to day care next year, I hope to spend time with friends (and no kids). And yes, I can actually talk about things other than runny noses and PTA meetings.

  13. panamahat

    April 7, 2009 8:12 am

    Hmm. Great topic, and one close to my heart. i struggle with the lack of attention available to our conversation if I’m sharing my Mum-friends’ time with their children. So I try to see them solo, if possible. Mainly, though, I hang out with non-Mum friends, or older ladies whose children have well and truly grown up and left the coop.

    I still kind of hope to find out what it is like when the shoe is on the other foot, but while I am in this child free camp I don’t know that I’ll ever find it less than distracting and frustrating sharing friends with their children.

  14. Dyanna

    April 7, 2009 12:32 pm

    Hi Pamela Jeanne,

    This is my first post on your website. I had been reading your blog for several weeks now and it has helped me more than I can express. My husband and i are new to infertility and we have few choices to choose from. None of which will give us a child that will be both part him and me. We have been thinking about choosing the path with no children and that’s how I found you online. Thanks for all you do and write. Since we are still pretty young (26) many of my friends are still non-moms. But I am not looking forward to losing many of them to children. All of my family has children and it is a constant struggle to have a halfway decent conversation with any of them. I am glad I have found some other non-mom’s online!

    • Pamela Jeanne

      April 7, 2009 7:58 pm

      Hello,  Dyanna, and welcome. You’ll always find an understanding ear from me and many others who enrich this site by sharing their thoughts and experiences. We each know in our way how difficult it is to confront and come to terms with infertility. You’re among friends here…

  15. loribeth

    April 7, 2009 4:03 pm

    Female friendships are something I sometimes feel I don’t have enough of in my life. Partly because, as Jeanne said, in my world, it seems everyone is busy. Urban-suburban sprawl & commuting means that our friends & relatives are spread out over a huge area — you may have to drive anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes (one way) to get together (not to mention coordinating schedules, etc. etc.) — not always do-able, especially on weeknights. I don’t drive, either, which makes it more difficult to arrange meetups. I am centrally located for work, though — I have a lot of lunch dates when people come downtown for meetings, etc.!

    Most of my friends are moms. I have a number of friends that I met through our pregnancy loss support group. Some had infertility issues, some didn’t. I’m the only one who didn’t wind up with at least one child. Some are better than others about being careful to talk about things other than the kids (which I appreciate) — but when all of us get together, which happens a few times a year, it’s absolutely unavoidable.

    I do have a few friends who are childless/free for whatever reason. Some are stepmothers (one was a step-GREAT-grandmother when she was only about 45!!!). I had lunch last week with one of them, & the subject of kids never came up. I didn’t even think about it that way until later, but it was very, very nice. I felt totally myself with her in a way that I often don’t with other women.

  16. Deathstar

    April 7, 2009 5:46 pm

    Interesting. A lot of my actor friends (typically younger) don’t have children yet. The older actor friends do have children and they hang out with other actor friends with children. Most of my non-actor friends have children. And now my best friend is having a baby. She has been the one I drink wine with, cry with, chant with, and now I expect that will change as she gets bigger and bigger. All my mum friends talk incessantly about their kids, their achievements, their problems, and I have NEVER had an uninterrupted phone conversation with a mum. The one old friend I used to have who didn’t have children died a few months ago. I don’t even have an old gay guy to hang out with. The one childless by choice couple I know, the wife won’t do anything without her husband! We are now the people who babysit dogs. Sigh. Yes, it does get very lonely without gal pals.

  17. beagle

    April 7, 2009 8:05 pm

    I still feel more at ease with my non mom friends even though I am a mom now. There is a silent (and not so silent) competition amongst moms that I have not quite found my way to manage with.

    There is also time. I have over time (ie IF time, become closer to childless women and couples and or due to my age, friends tend to have teenagers IRL and so ALL of my mom “friends” who have babies/toddlers are budding friendships which may or may not grow closer over time. (I am hopeful for about three of them.)

    So, as a mom, I feel most at ease with my son alone, or my husband and son, gathering with a bunch of moms leaves me feeling a little or a lot uptight most days.

    As a woman, as an individual, I prefer time with non moms because there is more conversation that interests me there. (Art, travel, books, etc.) I don’t want to chat about poop while I am taking my break away from it! LOL So I don’t go to MNO events. I find *many* moms I am meeting spend their time away from their kids talking about their kids’ (poop).

  18. Kami

    April 7, 2009 10:12 pm

    I am very lucky. I have a close group of friends with 3 other women in it, 2 of those are non-moms and one has one child who gets to go to grandma’s house once a week for the night. When we were ttc for 6 years, I didn’t have friends popping up pg or talking about kids all the time.

    Among the other women I consider friends, I bet half are non moms. Even in my own family of 4 sisters, only two of us are moms.

    So for me, I have always had a group that I could hang out with and avoid the mommy talk. I can also talk to some of my mom friends if I need advice or want to share kid stories.

    My fear now is that the original group of friends (that includes 3 other couples and one single male with all of one child who is 8 with a very involved grandmother) will leave us behind as they backpack and take weekend trips together because they are adult only trips and I don’t know that we will have someone to leave LB with. I guess time will tell.

  19. Irish Girl

    April 8, 2009 2:24 pm

    I often think about how many non-moms I’ve known (and in a lot of ways, felt drawn to, even pre-IF) throughout my life and feel really lucky to have so many great role models and knowing souls. It is awesome, too, to have so many women online with whom I feel connected. It surely does decrease stress!

    I still have some mom friends. We usually hang out without the kids — although sometimes it’s fun to play with them while we visit (I do love kids, after all, and it’s nice to *play and return* if you know what I mean!)

    There is NO QUESTION that my non-mom friends and I have a greater connection, more time to do what we want, when we want, with some energy left to do it! I know I have perhaps intentionally nurtured these relationships more throughout my struggles. Defense mechanism? Or subconscious helping me survive? Interesting!

  20. Ellen K

    April 8, 2009 5:31 pm

    Like Beagle, as someone who is parenting after infertility, I’d much rather hang out with my friends who are not mothers. First, there are far more of them — most of my closest friends are single or childless, some are also infertile — and second, they are the ones who have consistently supported me and continue to be present in my life right now. Also, there are no competing kid schedules, which makes things easier. And I do not want to talk about, or even look at, other people’s kids, or hear them talk about their next TTC attempt, etc. I want to hear about former co-workers, TV shows they like, their dogs, etc.

    I was angry to see many people on a twin parenting board lashing out against their childless friends (“they just don’t understand” was the common complaint), and I posted that my experience has been completely different. I was able to get a few others agreeing that it wasn’t fair to lash out.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      April 8, 2009 5:45 pm

      Just fascinated by the “lashing out” by mother’s against their childless friends…um, hello, I’m guessing they weren’t eager to hang around other people’s kids when they didn’t have them, might have felt a bit put off by being ignored, perhaps? In fact, one father I know told me that if he didn’t have kids the last place he’d want to be is spending a Saturday morning around other people’s kids. I respect his honesty. He loves coming to our house for the peace it offers…

  21. Andie

    April 9, 2009 1:57 am

    I feel very fortunate to have some wonderful girl friendships. Two of my close friends from high school were so good to me through our time of IF. Now that I am in the mom-camp, and my two friends are not (one married, no children by choice – the other not married) we are still close though we don’t get together often. (we live about 3.5 hours away driving time). HOwever, we aim to get together 3-4 times a year for an overnight or weekend visit – and that is fantastic. We can drink wine, talk all night, watch movies, go out, whatever. We all have such different lives and it is wonderful to be able to talk to each other.

    It also makes me realize how difficult it is for those who are single and would like to find their soulmate. I think there is a strong parallel to those who are without children and would like to have them.

    We all suffer loneliness/sadness/disappointment in some way, I think – whether through being single, or CF, when you want to be married or have kids … or whether you have kids but are finding it isolating, mentally deadening or emotionally difficult. We all need good friends, but then we need to *be* good friends too.

    Thanks for posting this!


  22. Clio

    April 9, 2009 7:41 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, as I strongly consider my options and being childfree becomes more and more appealing. It is a very difficult path to take after IF, and much of what you write has been helping me understand my feelings. So, thank you. 🙂
    I have mostly non-mom friends, or my friends are older and have adult children, whom I’ve also befriended. I clearly remember going for coffee with a mom friend and sharing only 20% (if that) of her attention while her toddler roamed around, drew with crayolas on the table, or played with a cell phone. I’d stop talking every time the girl would demand her mom’s attention, but my friend kept encouraging me to keep talking, because she ‘could totally multitask’. But it just felt really weird. So now, when I see her, it’s for lunch, close to her work, no kids involved.
    I also revisited some childhood memories the other day and realized that I rarely played with baby dolls. I loved playing I was cooking, though. But mostly, when I thought about growing up, my fantasies were always about being successful and nowhere in them I ever saw myself with children. Ever. so… that really gave me something to think about.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      April 9, 2009 9:38 pm

      Hello Clio,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts — and I’m glad you found this little part of the blogosphere. It’s a very disconcerting shift from trying-to- conceive-with-superhuman-effort to considering and getting comfortable with the idea that we might be able to live a life without being parents after all. So many reminders of the path not taken all around us and with it a mixture of guilt, residual longing, etc. competing with hopefulness, a desire for some peace and a not altogether clear future. The fog takes some time to navigate but it does eventually clear…it helps to know you’re not alone in trying to make sense of it all so please visit often.

  23. Daisy

    April 10, 2009 1:07 am

    I stopped associating with moms a long time ago, before my days of infertility. Why? Because the most popular parenting style in this decade (most notably with people my age) is to let your kids do whatever the F they want. They have no rules, no boundaries, and no limits to what they will expose their children to. I’ve not only seen toddlers and preschoolers at the 11pm showing of R-rated movies, I’ve also seen them at keg parties setting up the beer pong table. I kid you not.

    Then we have those parents who simply have no boundaries. When I was a kid there was kid time and grownup time. We weren’t allowed to bother the grownups while they had coffee after dinner and we went to bed at 8:30. Now I get invited to a house with kids and they are bouncing off the walls at 10pm and throwing temper tantrums at 11pm because they’re “tired” but can’t be put to bed because they won’t fall asleep unless mom is in the bed with them.

    So spending time with people who have kids is not fun for me… not even a little bit. When I want to go out to dinner and drinks on a Friday night I don’t want to have to listen to a baby cry because “we can’t find a sitter.” Or, better yet, “we feel bad leaving them at home.”

    When I find friends who keep their children in their place and don’t treat me rudely I will hang out with them. Believe it or not, DH and I once had a dinner date set up with another couple. They never showed. We called them but no answer. Two days later their excuse was, “the baby was crying and when we finally got her to sleep we didn’t want to disturb her by talking on the phone.” Seriously. They may have been lying, but knowing them, they were most likely telling the truth.

    We stick to the childless and single.

  24. Kathy

    April 10, 2009 4:22 am

    I hope I’m not invading anyones safe space by saying this, but it seems like some of the comments show a bit of anger toward the mom-friends.

    On behalf of all “mom-friends,” we do appologize for having to cut conversations short, for not planning a grand evenings where we actually get to look presentable, supporting you in your endeavors, or putting 100% into a relationship with you. Its not thay we dont want to do those things. And when we are confronted on these topics, we don’t mean to hurt you by playing the “its hard being a mom!” card. We will play this card many times because we remember what it was like to be a non-mom. Although we are grateful for what we have (especially for those of us who did not reach motherhood easily) we miss it. Our non-mom friendships are important to us, even if we are not able to devote the amount of time to them as they deserve.

    • Irene

      April 17, 2009 6:41 pm

      Kathy, thank you thank you thank you for saying this!!

      Many of my friends are not yet parents. I squirmed and cringed my way through this post, wondering – is this how my friends see me? Do they take it personally that I no longer have as much time and energy for socializing?

      • Pamela Jeanne

        April 17, 2009 7:27 pm

        This is complicated, Irene. What I’m trying to say here is that I miss the carefree time we once had as non-moms together … and, for me in particular, it’s often painful to see my friend’s eldest knowing she succeeded where I did not with pregnancy. She conceived her daughter naturally at a time I was in the early days of fragile pregnancy that didn’t last …

  25. LaLa

    April 10, 2009 4:45 am

    I have no friends that are moms that I actually speak to with any regularity.

    I can’t even maintain a relationship with my sister, mostly due to her having a child – an “oops” pregnancy that catapulted her into the smug “I’m better than you” camp.

    I was the one that was babysitting from age 11, worked in daycare centers and always loved children, while she was the one who hated babies, was bored with children and never wanted to have any at all.

    The irony is not lost on me.

    Women do seem to change after having children, and don’t seem to have time to form friendships with other women that don’t have children. Since their biggest concern and topic of conversation revolves around being a mother and their childrens’ lives, NOT talking about their favorite – and really their defining subject – well, there just isn’t room in their lives for that.

  26. Bea

    April 10, 2009 12:46 pm

    Visiting. Yes. Let me think back…

    Actually I’d say equal at the moment. Probably should pull my finger out and get more social, to be honest… blame it on assignments?


  27. Shinejil

    April 10, 2009 3:42 pm

    Oooo… Can I have bite of your salad?

    Sorry, one track mind.

    I know many moms in our hippy town who can totally run with the non-moms, and yet are excellent, amazing caregivers. I don’t think having children means they have to overrun your life. I plan to be as non-mom of a mom as I can swing. I suspect there is some choice involved.

    And I’m sure I’ll piss some gals off by saying this but lots of women make it hard to be a mom. It’s hard to be a mom in many parts of the world. It is not that hard to be a mom if you’re a middle-class American; we just make it hard by giving in to the ungodly demands we be perfect, buy everything, and do it all.

  28. Beth

    April 10, 2009 4:18 pm

    I’ve read all the responses and there is truth to every perspective on this topic.

    Having spent the last six years feeling sorry for myself and being anti-social, this topic forced me to think about all the relationships that I have neglected or given up because of my own feelings of sadness and shame. I’ve always had a lot of friends from all walks of life, of all shapes, sizes and persuasions and infertility left me feeling like a total leper among everyone. I felt like my gay friends, single friends, family and other couples were always waiting for us to make “the big announcement” and when that never happened there was just little old me and the elephant in the room. Social gatherings that I pushed myself to participate in always left me depressed and angry. Something always managed to set me off. I usually had the right to be outraged when I think about some of the insensitive remarks I’ve been subjected to. So I spent a lot of time isolating myself from those situations. I wasted a lot of precious time! And I probably hurt some well intentioned people who would have gladly lent an ear. But I chose to internalize my pain.

    Fortunately, perhaps because it’s Spring, I finally feel like I want to connect again. A friend warned me that I shouldn’t let infertility ruin my whole life. I was shocked when she said it but she was right. Get busy living or get busy dying.

    I did not discriminate among moms vs. non-moms. I just about hated everybody!!

    • Pamela Jeanne

      April 10, 2009 6:34 pm

      You must be my long lost twin, Beth. Your experience mirrors mine too closely to be otherwise!

      • Beth

        April 13, 2009 6:06 pm

        Obviously Pamela, I am the evil-bitch twin.

        I am actually quite laid back but your blog brings out the venomous hatred lurking in my soul.

        THANK YOU!!!

  29. Jen

    April 12, 2009 1:33 am

    I was pleasantly surprised to find many non-moms when I started volunteering. After suffering IF and social anxiety, I found it good for the soul to get involved in something.

    I have many friends who are moms. As the children grow and become more independent, moms will have more time for friends. I make it a point to ask about the kids because I know as a parent, most of their world revolves around their children.

    I did lose a few relationships when some friends became parents. Mostly it was due to my personal disagreement over their parenting style. (I never commented about the subject ever.)

    But all this experience is after being an IFer for a good ten years. So please take it with a grain of salt.

    If you aren’t in an good emotional place to have a friendship with a mom, I feel it is perfectly okay to take a break. You can always reconnect a few years down the road.

    Self-preservation is vital. I think coming2terms is a great place to communicate with others in the same boat.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      April 12, 2009 6:56 pm

      Thanks, Jen. Good to hear you are in the volunteer community. I want to increase my involvement, too.

      I completely agree that self-preservation is essential in the early days when the wounds are fresh. In time, I, too, learned to connect again taking little steps until I was able to over my own “social anxiety.” Nicely put.

  30. lynn

    April 13, 2009 5:08 pm

    My closest friends and sisters have kids and I’m not willing to lose them to “the motherhood.” So, I make an effort, whether going to their neighborhood, or having an early dinner or late lunch, or ceasing to have real telephone conversations. It gets better as the kids get older. And these women, who I love, call me occasionally and beg to come over to my place …”can we just sit on the couch and drink some wine and enjoy the peace and quiet.” I am always happy to accommodate.

  31. MJ

    April 13, 2009 7:42 pm

    I just found this website and it seems like an answer for me. I have been struggling with infertility for 16 years. I always felt like I had no voice and here I find many voices–screaming just like I have been.
    I think that I gravitate to non-moms for protection of my own heart. I have many friends younger than I am–unmarried at this point and no children. And then I have a group of friends who are older and whose children are older–so I kind of fit in with them.
    I think that is one of the areas I struggle with the most–who do I fit in with?

  32. Yaya

    April 18, 2009 1:23 am

    I keep losing friends to the Mommy Club left and right. Once they become moms I get left behind. And it sucks having them complain left and right about their kids when that’s all I want in life so I just give up on that relationship and move on to my other friends who don’t have kids yet. My fear is that eventually all our friends will have kids and we still won’t, and we’ll be alone.

  33. Jenn

    April 20, 2009 4:52 pm

    I am so glad that I logged on to this blog this morning. Much of what is being said is exactly how I feel, and I felt like I was the only person on the planet who feels this way. I have been dealing with IF for 5 years and have definitely isolated myself from social functions. All of our friends now have kids and the relationships have changed. I feel left out and like a third wheel. Reading your blog has really helped me to put things in perspective. Thanks

  34. Dyanna

    April 20, 2009 5:29 pm

    ok the girl who sits by me at work just came back from maternity leave….Help!!!! She won’t stop talking about her baby! We both went through infertility at the same time, hers worked, mine didn’t. You’d think she’d get it…

  35. Sharon LaMothe

    April 24, 2009 4:38 am

    There is something to be said for ME time and a separate kid time…I am a mom of 2 with them being 9 years apart due to secondary infertility….so now one is on his own at 22 and the other is 13…and I am “free” to have friends who are both moms and non-moms. The point is that we all become almost non-momish at some point in our lives and we all need our women friends. Know that those moms are consumed by their kids because they are surrounded by every little life changing detail of raising a kid(s) but in a few short years they will be “free” again….their teens and twenty somethings will be independent and the empty nesters will need to relearn what it was like to be a non-mom again!

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