How to tell "friends"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Um. I still have not told most of my college "friends" about our baby. (The exceptions are the couple of them who have been supportive.)

And neither has the girl who is the instigator of that post told me about her pregnancy, and I have found out from the couple girls who are supportive of me that she is due any day now. It is beyond me to figure out what she is thinking- is she really never going to tell me about her CHILD??

Part of me never wants to tell any of the rest of them. It seems as though they could care less about what I was struggling with, so why should I share this with them either. I feel like everyone who I would want to know about our little one already knows.

Another reason I don't want to tell them is because I am scared that they will finally include me. And that will hurt. Because I want them to include me because of me, not because I "have" something. What if you were only friends with people who had designer jeans? What if you were only friends with people who had $50k in the bank? What if you were only friends with people who had ........?

I am friends with people who make $30k and people who make $250k, and it doesn't make a beans bit of difference to me. I am friends with these folks because of them, not because of what they have. I understand that in some respects, people of similar interests and capabilities are going to gravitate towards each other, but that doesn't mean that you can't value others who are different than you. And up until this point, that is how I feel my college "friends" have treated me: I didn't have everything in common with them anymore, so why should I be included in their lives?

But, ah-ha, after I tell them about our baby, I will be in common with them!! (Remember this post where one of them whom I've already told said that "now" we would be able to talk more? What, was her phone broken when I shared my struggle with them?) It will sting if, at this point, they attempt to make our relationship sunshine and roses again.

And yet another reason I don't want to tell is that I don't want to perpetuate either of these two myths: 1) That if you stop "trying" so hard, you will conceive, and 2) That everyone gets pregnant eventually. I cringe to the deepest depths to think that our miracle baby would play any part in them thinking those things, but let's face it, they are going to think it, and I have no control over it. But darn if I don't want to rip these thoughts out of their head preemptively.

But on the very other hand, I can't wait to tell them. I can't wait to write how I've treasured every second of nausea. I can't wait to tell them about how every morning when it is nearly impossible to wake up, I thank God for this little one sapping all my energy. I can't wait to describe the thrill of losing my waist and buying maternity pants, and of getting out of breath on walks I used to own and practicing prenatal yoga. I can't wait to remind them what a miracle every baby is, and that not one day of any baby's life should be taken for granted or complained about.

It's not that I really want to make them feel guilty for their awful maternal behaviors (okay, maybe a teeny bit), but you have to understand that they are the most ungrateful, taking-for-granted, complaining set of moms I have ever known. It is really a sad state of affairs. Mr. A wonders why I even associate with them anymore.

The truth is that I don't. Or at least I didn't, thanks to them pulling themselves away from me. Well, again, except for maybe 2-3 of them. We'll see how the rest of them act when they hear the news.


Anonymous said...

That's a powerful statement about how you want people to be interested in you for you and not because of what you have--very astute observation!

(And yes, definitely one of the wonderful pregnant bloggers ;))

TeeJay said...

How you're feeling is completely justifiable. If it were me and if my feelings were as strong as yours, I would probably either let them find out on their own or do another blanket e-mail detailing what a miracle you have been granted. And then it will be up to you how you let the "friendships" progress from that point. If you feel like they are only interested in you because of your baby, then you don't have to return phone calls or know, it's very busy work being a grateful pregnant lady. :-)

Anonymous said...

It is the truth that some of the will be so happy for you, because FINALLY they'll have something to talk to you about, to bond over.
If they couldn't make time for you during your childlessness, why all of a sudden do they have time for you when you have kids?
Maybe it'll feel wrong when they get all crazy excited for you, but then again maybe it'll be nice :). And you might find you've gained at least a support network of other mom friends for when you need it.

Praying for Hope said...

Tell them when you're ready, and tell them how you have treasured every discomfort of this pregnancy because of the wait and uncertainty you faced to get to this point. If they choose to take it all in a laissez-faire attitude, that's there problem. You know what a miracle you have on your hands.

Kasey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Wife said...

It was such a struggle to get pregnant that I didn't really want to share the news with everyone. It was like my own private joy and if I told people then it would somehow lessen it. I didn't tell work till I was like 24 weeks along. I kept making excuses. I let other people (my mom, sister, best friend) tell everyone else. I relished the time when it was just this secret that only my family knew. I thought I would want to shout it out when I did get pregnant but nope.

Coco said...

Wow. Such a tough situation to be in. I'm sorry. *hugs* I'd say, if you tell them at all, then be prepared with some emotional armour. Say a prayer and take some valium first...okay not the valium. :) I would bet that they respond to your pregnancy with the same amount of sensitivity and understanding as they did to your infertility struggles. You can tell them all day long what a miracle it is, and how happy you are to experience the parts that they complained about... but I worry that they'll only make fun of it, roll their eyes, or try to make it be "less than." Pearls before swine. And I don't want you to get hurt again, or have them trying to defile or tear down your amazing miracle.

I'm with your hubby on this, why keep friends like that around? I mean, don't cut them out but keep your distance, at least emotionally, until they prove themselves worthy of having such an amazing friend as you are. Good luck!!! Follow your heart and know we all stand behind you.

Mommy-In-Waiting said...

I like what the other poster said about sending a blanket e-mail telling them or letting them find out on their own. It sounds like they aren't a great group to begin with, and I'm sure their negativity and attitude won't be missed. Just do what you feel is right for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I am strong believer that we need to remove toxic relationships in our lives- they sap us more than we will ever know. I am glad that you are able to truly appreciate your journey by letting it become a part of you as opposed to just leaving it behind when.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...this is a tough one. Part of me thinks don't tell. They don't deserve to share in your miracle. Then another part of me thinks maybe you should tell them so maybe they realize how badly they treated you.

Of course if it was me, I'd write a nice long letter about how in a very small way I was thankful for infertility because it taught me who my real friends are and the type of mother I do not want to be. But hey that's just me.

Lady Grey said...

Oh what a difficult situation! I think tell them, shout from the roof-top about your great miracle. They probably won't appreciate it, or get how hard things have been for you. But it's good for them to hear.

Adele said...

It's strange. It's such an isolating experience. But then this is compounded because people DO isolate you, as well. Either because they feel badly or because they thing you no longer have enough in common. I can understand how you feel.

Meg said...

There is a season for everything. College friendships are probably most close during college. People grow up, change, and we move on with life.

I don't have much in common with my college friends anymore. And it's more than OK with me. I've moved on. I've become such a different person than I was then (thank goodness). The more I mature, I'm finding that I enjoy being friends with and learning from the older, wiser women in my church now.

I don't think you're being mean or immature to move on from these friendships. It sounds like they were over long before now. It sounds like they're causing too much unnecessary stress in a new mama's life.

I would suggest that you prayerfully seek out the wiser, older women in your church who can mentor you in your child rearing endeavors. You may just be blessed with some new, sweet friendships that are much more fulfilling.

AL said...

I felt so much this way too, esp the "see? you just needed to stop trying" bit of it. unfortunately, there's no way we can stop them from thinking that.

Best of luck telling them. If it were me, I might be tempted to send an announcement with a note in there somewhere thanking them for being supportive through our years struggling to conceive....hopefully that will at least cause them to reflect on how they treated you at the very least.


the misfit said...

Obviously I have not been in this position or had to do this but...I think they're still not going to be useful or supportive or good friends. Your experience becoming a mother after IF is not the same as theirs. Your outlook will be different and you'll go through different things and need different sorts of support from friends. And those who couldn't offer it before you were pregnant most likely will not be able to now that you are, either. I guess if it were me I wouldn't expect much from them - and would let the news filter down to them naturally, and if they ask why you didn't make a big announcement, you could just say that after going through IF, you didn't feel comfortable with proceeding that way. Your pregnancy might make a magical difference in their enthusiasm level, but I doubt it will make any magical difference in the quality of your friendship with them if they're still not willing to be with you where you are. That's just my thinking - obviously, I've never met these people. And here's hoping that they'll exceed expectations!

Jess said...

I am catching up on all your posts and find them all so very interesting and thought-provoking.

My only advice I can give is to tell friends when YOU are ready. Not any sooner. You'll know.

Trisha said...

We've had the same thing happen now that we have Garrett. Some old friends came by to "visit" and that's the first time we had seen them since our wedding?! I can't wait to hear what the response is!