I have a dirty secret. (and no it doesn’t involve garters)
Try as I might, I struggle to be friends with friends who have babies. Note, not kids. Kids are awesome. But babies…????
Let me explain before you form your lynch mob and light the torches.
As a 40 something without kids, (through circumstance and genetics), I’ve seen over a dozen friends through engagements, marriages, their first, second and yes third babies so I speak from experience.
I’m thrilled for the life choices that my friends have made, have supported their decisions and been there to walk their dog, house sit, coo over diamond rings and silk dresses, maternity pedicures and yes, even visits to the delivery room. But once the baby arrives.. well its a whole other story. My pink slip is already in the mail.
I think that babies are cute. I’m not a monster. But I don’t seem to love babies the way other women love babies. I’ve never squealed when meeting one and they all seem….well…. samey. Plus they have a hole in their head.
Let me say that again..They have a hole in their head.
Something which in a grown up person would cause people to scream, be rushed into the ER, put on life support and have to wear one of those head brace things… nope, baby just lolls around with that hole flapping in the breeze. I mean, mothers don’t even make them wear helmets. And I’m no safety expert but I don’t think that pink fleece cap is going to do much if their brains start falling out…
No, babies are weird, scary and they don’t do anything.
Now I’ll hold and play with one if I’m forced (which I have been), but its like someone giving me a kitten. I’ll hold it, stroke it and coo… but after a little while, I’m good. Unless its going to suddenly offer up a Woody Allen-equese ‘bon mot’… well… I might as well be holding a piece of veal. Even my nieces… I felt immediately attached to them and find them just adorable.. but as babies…. not my first choice of dinner companion. Maybe I am a cold soulless bitch and maybe its because they’re not mine, but I just skipped the gene which determined ‘must.have.one’ around my middle thirties. Which is where it gets tricky.
Because your friends with babies don’t like to be around people who don’t love their babies. Which means that about 1-12 months after the arrival of little Sasha, Simone or Emily, I’ll no longer be invited over, the calls will stop and I’m basically in the cold zone until the kid starts school. Which means I’ve lost more friends over the last 10 years than I did through elementary school, high school and college. (I was quite the annoying little rat)
But surely that’s a good thing you ask? if you don’t like babies, why would you want to hang out with them?
But those babies, they come with parents attached. And those parents used to be my friends. And with the arrival of babies comes a shifting of priorities which puts good friends second, and good friends who aren’t into babies, don’t want a baby and can’t have a baby, pretty much in the trash heap.
And because you’re meant to love babies, and understand the life is different now, you’re meant to accept with a knowing smile and a positive affirmation. Yes, we understand that its 1) sleep, 2) work 3) each other and maybe 11) call a friend…. but it still sucks. And when it happens over and over again.. it doesn’t get any less sucky.
So today, I’m saying it out loud. It sucks that I can’t be friends with friends who babies. It sucks to be dumped by friends because we don’t share that one thing in common.
But on a good note, they all start rolling back in when the stinker starts first Grade.