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Thread: childfree + friend with kids?

  1. #31
    and it sounds like all our lives Kari's Avatar
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    I hate married couples who are like that. My husband and I do spend a lot of time together (what can I say, I like the guy), but I frequently spend time with my friends alone as well and never try to fix them up with people at parties. WTF. That's just ridiculous. I find that people who do that sort of thing are vastly insecure and unhappy in their own marriage.

  2. #32
    Generally speaking, I think there are just some people whose entire identity is tied to another person, be it their child or their mate. I think it's important for anyone in a healthy relationship to have couples to friends they can hang out with together, but I also think it's important for each person to have individual friends. Everyone needs their own identity, "me time," and friendships that aren't tied to the relationship they're in.

    One of my closest friends growing up pretty much fell of the face of the earth once she got a boyfriend, and only ever hung out with me when he dumped her. Then once she found another boyfriend, she disappeared again. It was frustrating...it's like I only got to see her when she was heartbroken and needed me to keep her occupied.

  3. #33
    man, that's a bummer. my group of friends is all mixed in with married couples, dating couples, singles, those with children and those without. And while the initial shock of having children has been a bit of a barrier, we always seem to be able to work around it - by having movie night at the home of the new parents, for example. We have "baby momma" nights and "baby daddy nights" so the gals can all hang out together and the men have to watch the kids, or the guys go out and the ladies watch the babies.

    I have heard this kind of trepidation from a handful of my friends outside of this core group, who have expressed a concern that I will follow the suit of some of their other friends, who kind of dropped off the planet after getting married. And I wonder if maybe those couples got married like, really soon into their relationship? Or what? Is getting married really all that different of a life change than, say, living with someone for five years? Because I'm about to get married but we've already been together for this long, and living together, so I don't really anticipate a sudden change in my social behavior.

    Kids, if and when that happens, is a completely different story. Major life change, and I will probably curtail a lot of social stuff, at least for a few years.
    I never thought about love when I thought about home

  4. #34
    Senior Member ontheindianside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gog View Post
    Maeve, I agree. I've parted company with friends who married and suddenly became offensively couple-centric. You know, the type who suddenly find it problematic to invite single people to their parties, or only do so to try and heavy-handedly matchmake them with other people whose singleness offends them. Then there's when you find every single time you get together you're just used an a sounding board for their complaints about their other half. It's insulting and even worse, boring as hell.
    I call those people "uber-adults" or "uber-marrieds." Many of my friends in my hometown are afflicted by the condition, whether they're married or not (though most of them are married). I wouldn't go so far as to say that they aggressively matchmake (actually, they almost resist it - perhaps out of self-absorption), but they do put a major emphasis on their "serious couple" status; they complain about each other, even when both of them are in the conversation; and they relish taking on "adult responsibilities," which they like to pretend non-marrieds don't have to deal with. Oh, and dinner parties, of course.

    I always feel like, because I didn't become a lawyer/accountant/nurse/teacher, stay in my hometown, and/or marry someone I've known since high school but did decide to get the fuck out and live and work in several different places, they think I live in some kind of fantasy world where nothing actually matters. (Almost like when I lived in a dorm my first year of college - the sorority girls I with whom I involuntarily shared space treated me like some kind of novelty because I was not, you know, a sorority girl and would say things like, "Oh my god, isn't she funny?" when I voiced my normal opinions and stuff. Now I feel like the uber-adults/marrieds treat us singletons like novelties in that same sort of condescending way.) Sometimes I think they have to act a little superior to reassure themselves that they didn't make the wrong decision, but other times I think they're just selfish, oblivious, and rude. I mean, I do have almost the exact same responsibilities (luckily none of my good friends have children yet) they have and personally feel that mine can be harder to deal with, since I don't have a second income, and there aren't many people around who can or will watch my cats if I have to travel for work or help me carry this heavy thing or with whom to cuddle up when I'm sad, stressed, etc. Seriously, a friend once told me that she was able to deal with stress better now that she's had more "real world experience"! I wanted to punch her in the fucking face. It's like, "Does changing your whole life plan after the first didn't work out, getting laid off in two different states in less than two years, and living/working in three different cities where you don't know anyone not count as 'real world experience' in the same way as does your easy transition from college to law school to law practice to marriage to the only person in the world who'd put up with you?"

    It makes it difficult to hang out with them because I always feel kind of like the odd man out, even though they say that's not the case. They don't try to have conversations about things to which everyone can relate, and if you're having a hard time, instead of empathizing and listening, they try to tell you what to do because, obviously, they have all the answers. They're MARRIED! But they also try to deny what they're doing and how they're acting with this sort of condescending "That's in your head" (implication: your jealous of my boring and tedious lifestyle) thing.

    I almost wish they would set me up! At least then it would be easier to explain why it's awkward to be around them too much.
    Last edited by ontheindianside; 02-08-2011 at 11:58 AM.

  5. #35
    The Good Book is missing some pages Maeve's Avatar
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    ^ Fortunately my friends, either married or yet parents, don't act that way. Our "departure" is more related to real changes (home address, daily duties, different hours) and the inclusion of the "other"'s circle of friends. These things subtract from the relationship, either if you want it or not, and create a sort of space between me and them that's difficult, sometimes, to bypass.

    And, by the way, I don't know if it's only my experience or if others can say it but I think that marital and parental statuses really change people and the perspectives they have on their own needs and what "should" be others' needs.
    In a way is a real door to the adulthood world and whatever it's the profession and life a single non parent person has, I think that there's always that sort of freedom and independency that links her/him to a "younger" state of mind. Bearing responsibilities for others other than oneself is always different than being alone.
    For example I have the chance to do almost whatever I feel to do in my spare time: write, watching movies, hangin' out with friends whenever I like without having to depend on anybody's schedule other than mine, even choose to simply start the PC and decide to waste time on a computer game.
    I think that this kind of freedom and independence is impossible to keep when you begin sharing your life with another person. Marrying (and I don't mean marrying in a strict way, even deciding to live with your partner) and having babies imply conscious and willfull choices that a single person doesn't have to make.

    Is it right, butterfly, they like you better framed and dried?

  6. #36
    Senior Member ontheindianside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeve View Post
    And, by the way, I don't know if it's only my experience or if others can say it but I think that marital and parental statuses really change people and the perspectives they have on their own needs and what "should" be others' needs.
    In a way is a real door to the adulthood world and whatever it's the profession and life a single non parent person has, I think that there's always that sort of freedom and independency that links her/him to a "younger" state of mind. Bearing responsibilities for others other than oneself is always different than being alone.
    For example I have the chance to do almost whatever I feel to do in my spare time: write, watching movies, hangin' out with friends whenever I like without having to depend on anybody's schedule other than mine, even choose to simply start the PC and decide to waste time on a computer game.

    I think that this kind of freedom and independence is impossible to keep when you begin sharing your life with another person. Marrying (and I don't mean marrying in a strict way, even deciding to live with your partner) and having babies imply conscious and willfull choices that a single person doesn't have to make.
    I see what you're saying and agree that when people have children, they do have burdens that childless or childfree people don't have. But people who are just married or living together? I don't know. I mean, they can also choose to waste time on video games or go shopping with no repercussions (unless they've put themselves in a relationship that creates them). Especially young married people. Let's take my sister, who is married and exactly my age, for example. Her day differs from mine in only one significant way: when she comes home from work, her husband is there (or will be soon). She's not required to have dinner on the table for him or anything, and neither is he. They're just two people who live together and are in a relationship. I've never been married or lived with a partner, so perhaps there's something I'm missing, but I don't see it.

    Sometimes I think it might be easier, practically speaking, to be married. If I have to go out of town, I have to find someone to watch my cats (if I were married, my partner would do it, and I wouldn't have to take him/her out to dinner or something for feeding the animals). If I forget to get an important thing at the store on the way home, I have to go back and get it (can't call my husband and say, "Hey, can you pick up some dish soap on your way home?"). I have to pay my own rent and bills without another person's help (though, admittedly, I only pay for shelter, hot water, lights, etc. for one person, not two - but I also don't have two incomes). I'm the only person who can clean the house, go to the grocery store, do the laundry and all that other annoying shit that takes up half my weekend. Married people almost have more free time because they can split that shit up! Sure, I can decide to go out after work without having to call someone and tell them where I'll be, but unless you're breaking plans or have a controlling asshole for a partner, then how hard is it to call your partner and say, "Hey, I'm going out with the coworkers"?

    I understand babies. With babies, yes, you are undoubtedly responsible for another person's well-being. But, unless I've misunderstood marriage all these years, marriage partners have only a nominal and very minimal responsibility to one another when it comes to basic functions like feeding, clothing, and cleaning up after the other. I understand that sometimes emotional responsibilities (such as, "No, sorry, my partner is going through a really tough time, and I think she'd appreciate it if I just came home after work" or . . . seriously, I can't think of another; either I'm really emotionally immature or I'm totally right!) keep married/seriously partnered people from doing whatever they want, but having a live-in partner is not like having a baby. It's like living with another adult.

    But, back to friends with kids, have you guys seen those awful Facebook baby calendar things? I was paging through updates on my phone last night and saw one "friend"'s; oh, it was gross. Not like, "Emily is having morning sickness; it looks like muffins!" but more like, "The baby is starting to learn noises she'll hear after she's born: Emily's voice, the vacuum cleaner, and the dog's bark!" Ugh. I don't care. Actually, I'm off to figure out how to hide that thing. Or maybe that person.

  7. #37
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    ^Also, and ovbiously this is more the women, although I've known men do it too when marrying 'up' financially - it's incredibly annoying when they play the 'more responsible/adult then thou' game when they're .. um, basically obviously living off their husband's salary, or would never be able to afford the mortgage/trappings of so-called adulthood they indulge in without it. Or they just don't work at all, in which case ... LOL, shut it. Having a wealthy partner who pays your bills doesn't make you more responsible than a bloody child, no matter how many babies you throw into the equation.

    The worst experience I've had with this was a friend of 11 years, weathered through thick and thin, who over a year of engagement and upon marriage to a man much older than herself became more and more unpleasant and contemptuous to me, culminating in an excrutiating dinner post-marriage where she made such patronising, nasty remarks to me that I immediately cut her and her pompous twat of a daddy figure out of my life straight afterwards.

  8. #38
    The Good Book is missing some pages Maeve's Avatar
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    I guess that also in marriage (or living with a partner) every person acts differently. Generalizations are always wrong for sure but in my experience a friend's marriage was never a changeless or almost changeless process.
    There are various degrees of that obviously and if two people are able to keep their lives almost as they were before is a good thing... and I say it because I'm one of those people so used to her independecy that if I found a partner so tlerant about it I would really happy even to live with him


    About facebook... I don't have a FB account and this thing adds to the many reasons why I'll never want one

    Is it right, butterfly, they like you better framed and dried?

  9. #39
    Senior Member ontheindianside's Avatar
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    ^I agree that people often do change when they get married. I just don't get why!

  10. #40
    the reichenbach hero fox in socks's Avatar
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    Updating! The person i was referring to at the OP has laid it on hard core. Im starting (im a bit slow) to get that she was manipulative prior to babyhaving, but babyhaving made it more obvious. example/ranting:

    We were supposed to get together a few weeks ago. Day before the date i get a voicemail "cant meet, husband has an emergency meeting, no sitter." Okay, fair enough. that happens.

    So we plan another day, dinner after i get out of work. I get a voice mail the day of whilst working, so I hear it as I'm walking out the door to meet this girl, "Hi. The kids are sick. Can we delay our meeting so i can help husband put the kids to bed?". Really? He cant put his kids to bed by himself because theyre sick??Wwhat? Anyway, I phone her to find out what "delay" means. Apparently its like 2 hrs AFTER im calling her, you know whilst walking out of work to meet her. Ugh, no...i dont want to hang around in the city doing fuck all until the kids are to bed. Her solution? Come over and wait whilst theyre putting the kids to bed."We have beer". How could I resist that offer!?!.....So her other suggestion "lets make plans another day in the evening after kiddos to bed". Great. Sensible.

    So that day comes and I get a call about 3 hrs before we're supposed to meet "Hi. Have to cancel. my moms in town and...." seriously y'all i stopped listening. Her next suggestion was "since moms here, we might have a sitter, so ill call you today or tomorrow and we can get together!"

    And thats the last ive heard. I know im whining, but really, its about the manipulation aspect. Like because she has children everyone in the world should be sitting and waiting for her to be available for life. i mean she HAS CHILDREN! I really can't stand when people are disrespectful of others' time......Long rant, but it pisses me off and thats what the internet is for.

    Honestly, i think kids or no kids, if you value whatever friendships/relationships, you'll both make them work. My stance is the same, im not friends with your kids, im friends with you. I dont mind a wee bit of kid talk, i mean theyre a major part of your life, but if life cannot exist without putting yourself on a parental pedestal, its hardly worth it.

  11. #41
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd give it up with someone who pulls that shit unapologetically and constantly. It's kind of a puffed-up princess type of thing, married, single, childed or not. What you said in your original post about not carving out chunks of personal time for people who you KNOW will likely find an excuse to 'forget' or cancel holds true. Note to people who pull this; it sends a pretty clear message that you don't respect your friend's time or indeed, your friend.

  12. #42
    the reichenbach hero fox in socks's Avatar
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    Agreed. And to confirm your point, this particular person was a princess pants prior to kiddos, but for some odd reason, I put up with her shit then and earned a legacy of bullshit. Lesson learned.

    It does amaze me the heavy mom-entitlement that exists though. These are the same people who write outraged comments to on-line articles about bratty kids claiming "kids are people too", "you can't control them all the time" and other such shoulder-shrugging "it's out of my control" type comments, usually by user names such as "katysmum66" and "mommy2twins".

  13. #43
    Denali, you're lucky she doesn't just bring the brats with her, which is what one of my friends does (I've probably already mentioned it in this thread). She's even brought her kid to a fucking art show in a BAR one night! I was like, WTF?!

    You're right though, about how some people will use kids as a way to manipulate the situation so that you basically have to cater 100% to them. I'd never really thought about it that way, but that's exactly what it is. And of course because you don't have kids, you're totes available ALL THE TIME. She can change plans with you and you'll still be available because you don't have kids! Except not.

  14. #44
    Who's Deanna? SparkleMotion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fox in socks View Post
    Honestly, i think kids or no kids, if you value whatever friendships/relationships, you'll both make them work. My stance is the same, im not friends with your kids, im friends with you. I dont mind a wee bit of kid talk, i mean theyre a major part of your life, but if life cannot exist without putting yourself on a parental pedestal, its hardly worth it.
    I love you, foxy! Yes, stuff comes up when you have kids. You obviously understand that. But when your friend doesn't even seem to wat to have a life outside her children you have to re-evaluate. While I was pretty baby-consumed the first 6 months of my son's life, it became apparent to me very quickly that if I didn't have a life outside of that I would kill myself. Then again, my friends are my family and spending quality time with them is very important to me. It sounds like your friend has lost sight of that and I'm sorry.

  15. #45
    fluid, affectionate, chaste, mature Carbuncle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julius ebola View Post
    What you said in your original post about not carving out chunks of personal time for people who you KNOW will likely find an excuse to 'forget' or cancel holds true. Note to people who pull this; it sends a pretty clear message that you don't respect your friend's time or indeed, your friend.
    requoted for TRUTH. imo the kids thing probably exacerbates a problem that was already present before in a less extreme form. I have a good friend who's a single parent to a little boy, and she is always up for things when she says she is. it's NOT THAT HARD. anybody who won't make the effort is a complete waste of your time.

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