A baby can be a funeral for a friendship

Discuss

130 Responses to “A baby can be a funeral for a friendship”

  1. Rammed Earth says:

    I call that first birthday for the first kid your friends have “The Last Time You See Your Friends Alive”

    • BookGuy says:

      Alternatively:  “When You Do See Your Friends, the Conversation Will Only Be About Baby Poop.”

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’ve had friends who disappeared from sight after having a baby, but I’ve also had friends who just strapped the thing onto their backs and continued enjoying adult relationships and activities.  If you’re willing to keep up the weekly lunch date post-partum, I’ll be perfectly happy to carry the baby bag for you.

      • cjporkchop says:

         …Assuming the baby/kid is in a good mood and isn’t overly disruptive of the conversation or restaurant environment.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          I don’t really understand why people are bothered by fussy babies (unless you’re a new mother and are biologically predestined to respond to it.)  Babies cry.  It’s part of life.  I’ve never found it bothersome unless I’m trapped in a car with them.

          • cjporkchop says:

             The sound of a baby crying is worse than nails on a chalkboard for me.

            A little noise is fine in most casual restaurants, but if it’s *really* crying the parent should remove it from the premises until it’s relatively quiet again. Common courtesy. People fart and belch and it’s part of life, but that doesn’t mean they should do it loudly in public.

          • princessalex says:

             And, this is why many new parents stop hanging out with their friends.  They know how much of an imposition it is to add a baby to the relationship.  :-/

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Since women are virtually always the primary caregivers, this is fundamentally indistinguishable from the doctrine of barefoot and pregnant.

          • blueelm says:

            Hmmm… I’m triggered some what by crying children, but I’ve always considered that *my* problem. Babies cry and can’t help it.

            Now when a parent has a four year old standing on the table and screaming I start to question whether they should be forcibly removed from the area and remanded to parenting class somewhere. This is particularly true if the parent starts shrieking as loudly as the child.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Eurgh. My waiter friends always had tales of toddlers and school-age children(!) pissing in the booths and their parents getting pissed off when they were told not to.

          • chgoliz says:

             I think it’s because babies are not a part of life anymore.  Seriously.  In the US, we now expect a baby/toddler/young child to be either at home with Mommy or in a preschool surrounded by other juvenile delinquents around the same age.  Most people these days have never actually cared for a baby until they have one themselves.  The different-but-equal needs of babies and children are completely foreign to most non-parents.

            There were new parents behind us during one leg of our family’s recent trip.  They were trying frantically to shush their 14-month-old who was crying quietly during landing.  I had to explain to them that crying is the baby’s way to clear her ears, which is actually really important medically speaking, so since they didn’t have a bottle or boob for her to suck on they had to let her cry.  They were so worried that other passengers would be mad about the crying they didn’t even realize there was a danger to their baby involved.  Just knowing that the closest passengers to them were compassionate about the situation and not angry helped them calm down noticeably…. which, of course, helped the baby calm down too.

            We’re all in this together.  That couple’s baby has as much right to be in a public space as any other human being.  Besides, that baby will be paying my Social Security.  A new generation of taxpayers is a good thing, even if they need a few years to act more like grownups.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            When I flew to Egypt, the flight across country was on a US carrier and the crew ignored children or gave them the fish-eye. As soon as EgyptAir turned off the seat belt sign, the crew swooped down, grabbed all the babies and toddlers and started playing with them.

          • blueelm says:

            God that made me remember a recent flight where the couple in front of me had three kids. We traded seats so they could sit together. The baby cried (no surprise) but then the middle child got airsick and vomited half the flight. Then when they had to wait through customs the oldest got sick and threw up all over the father. Honestly… I still feel *so* bad for those people. That must have been the worst day ever.

          • oasisob1 says:

            Or an airplane.

        • peregrinus says:

           The trick is to give the baby what they need to be happy.  My kids went everywhere with me, and rarely cried for more then 5 seconds.  If they’re unwell, then yes, they’ll shriek – but then, they shouldn’t be out, poor things.  Bless them, they cry more now than ever.

          • rocketpj says:

            That works as long as you define ‘what they need to be happy’ as including healthy boundaries.

            Toddlers can sometimes be bought off, but as they get older it gets worse.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Babies aren’t equipped to respond to limit setting.

  2. big ryan says:

    friendships begin and end for all sorts of reasons, if you find that your friendships are starting to fade because of major life changes maybe its time to start working on new relationships with people who are on the same level as you

    • Leah Raeder says:

      Huh? What’s wrong with lamenting the loss of an old friend due to your lives going in drastically divergent directions?

      I dislike the problem-focused attitude here. It’s okay to mourn. It’s okay to pause and reflect and miss someone you know you’re never going to be as close with again.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      This would work equally well in a thread on intellectual property and copyright.

  3. mtdna says:

    I remember being lonely when my kid was born because people assumed I was so preoccupied with it I wouldn’t want to go out, so they didn’t call. You can actually take tiny babies pretty much anywhere. As Rammed Earth says, it’s that first birthday…

    • foobar says:

      But there are a lot of places you really shouldn’t take a tiny baby. Like a movie theatre, or a restaurant.

      • blueelm says:

        Tiny babies handle restaurants pretty well. I was in an opera group and one of the soloists often came to practice with the baby wrapped up against her belly.

        When they are really small they are really not that much trouble unless they really need something.

        • foobar says:

          So that’s why no one ever complains about crying babies.

        • beforewepost says:

          I’d bet a **lot** of money you’ve never had a kid.

          • blueelm says:

            I don’t think anyone would take that bet, as I’ve said repeatedly I’m *not* parent material and well past the point where it matters anyway. I suppose as a parent, you believe you should be banished from all social areas. That’s perfectly fine for you, and I guess that would be why friends will move on without you.

            Personally, I haven’t minded adapting to people’s babies. But maybe that’s because I *won’t* ever have one, so they’re just transient experiences to me.

      • oasisob1 says:

        How about sky or scuba diving?

    • Finnagain says:

      You can actually take tiny babies pretty much anywhere.

      Please don’t.

    • wysinwyg says:

      I’ve always been pretty anti-baby-in-public but lately I’ve seen a lot of women with infants on the subway during my morning commute and got to thinking about how isolating it must be in some ways to be a new mother.  It’s definitely changed my opinion on crying babies.  They still annoy the hell out of me but now I’m trying to get over it.

      • blueelm says:

        I can’t imagine how depressed I would get shut away at home with nothing but a baby for company. I think I read that novel. It didn’t end well.

        Buuuut  I would never subject a person to me as a mother anyway so that’s one problem solved.

  4. dragonfrog says:

    I find that the friends I’ve lost touch with after having a kid are mainy the ones who don’t realize that the world offers places to meet friends, other than bars.

    • Boundegar says:

      This. Having a baby could just take a friendship in a new direction, but you’re going to have to want it and work at it. It won’t come automatically. Part of the trouble is that, back in college, friendships were fairly automatic. And if your friendship was predicated on getting super baked on pot cookies, it’s pretty much doomed, I hope.

      • Jim Saul says:

        There’s also some variation in the kind of life those new parents choose to give their kids… judging from some of the posts on this site, parenthood hasn’t made our hosts into boring people.

      • dragonfrog says:

        Nothing against getting baked on pot cookies even – you can do that at home, where minors are allowed.  You have to accept that I’m going to stay more sober than you.  You can get baked, just have to stay marginally coherent enough to remember which cookies are the ones the kid can have.

        • Boundegar says:

          Yea, but then there’s that problem of what to do when the kid falls off the balcony – dial 911, or have a helpless giggle-fit, and then forget what you were laughing about?

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      At the same time there’s no reason to have to cut meeting friends for drinks/dinner/shows out of your life either. I have friends with kids who still manage to enjoy some night life here and there. It’s not that hard. You don’t always have to go out as a couple either, if you can’t have family or a sitter watch the kid(s). My male friends watch the kid(s) so that mom can go have fun all the time, and vice versa..  If parents just stay at home or only do “kid” events when they go out, then that’s a decision they’re making.

      • dragonfrog says:

        It’s easier now that the kid is a few years old.  But when all she ate was breast milk, leaving her with a sitter for four hours wasn’t an easy option.

        Part of the problem was our local puritanical liquor licensing laws – since they got rid of smoking in bars, there’s no reason an infant can’t be there.  And yet our licensing scheme is still based on the notion that bars are dangerous dens of unmitigated vice where people drink until they either vomit and pass out, stab one another, or fornicate under the tables.

        All it would take would be for people to have their drinks at a place with a cafe license (or whatever the license category is called – kids are allowed, and adults can order drinks without food, just as at a bar).

        Again, there’s nothing wrong with people going to a bar, I don’t begrudge them that.  It’s when folks have said that they’d like to see us, and we’ve said we’d like to see them, and we’ve suggested a number of places for drinks where kids are allowed, and pointed out why we’re suggesting those particular places – and then they say “Oh, goody, can’t wait to see you, everyone’s going to (place with a no-minors license).  Oh, you can’t go?  Oh, what a shame.  No, I don’t think we can move it to (minors-allowed place just across the street), that’s just too much of a disruption to our plans” – I do start to get fed up.

  5. theophrastvs says:

    The sad bit is to watch the change in awareness track.  Almost without exception everyone of my cohort that has procreated who were previously into politics and technology and sports and global-news, suddenly (with almost an audible ‘click’), all that shrinks down to car safety seats, diapers, kid health worries, day-care.  It’s quite understandable and practical(!)  But i sure miss their willingness to discuss anything besides child rearing, (“sorry, i haven’t read anything about that stuff, too busy taking Rupert to soccer, do you know–is grapejuice hard to digest?”)

    • EH says:

      Children invariably shrink their parents’ world.

      • PaulDavisTheFirst says:

        its more like squishing a balloon. part of it gets flatter and smaller, but another parts gets bigger and expands out into new space.

        • cjporkchop says:

          From an outsider’s perspective, that part that gets bigger fills an area of space that’s all about diapers and The Wiggles.

          Again, the part we outsiders care about shrinks.

          • PaulDavisTheFirst says:

            for me, having kids has made me reflect much more on my relationship with my own parents and family, the fragility of memory, questions about what really was and was not significant during my own childhood,  cultural change, language evolution … and a host of other things that in my pre-parenting days i might have given lip service too, but really would have had little to say about them.

          • cjporkchop says:

             If my friends with kids wanted to talk about that stuff, I’d love to discuss such things!

            PARENTS: Talk about THAT stuff, not poops!

          • beforewepost says:

            When my first son was born  my perspective did change. Just moments before he was born, I was thinking “She lives – the baby can die.” It was a very difficult birth. The second he issued his first cry, it was as if a switch had been flipped and I was all about protecting this new bundle of noise. 

            That experience viscerally taught me that genes drive behavior and some life experiences trigger circuits that up to that point have been latent.  Despite all the grief they’ve engendered over the years, I love my children. To me, they are by far the most important thing I’ll leave behind.Beats getting drunk and baked with friends by a country mile.

          • Gilbert Wham says:

             Yup. I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the fact my girl turned up in the world and made me be a better person. Changed everything. And, she’s old enough to go to the pub with for beers with now anyway, which is pretty fucking sweet.

      • tioedong says:

        Children might “shrink” the world only if you think things like play and theatre and fancy material toys are important. However, they teach you things like patience, willingness to sacrifice your short term pleasures for long term results, and of course, the lesson that true joy is in little things like watching your child’s face when you show him his first butterfly.

        • EH says:

          All of those things are typically then practiced among a fewer number of people. Feel free to cast aspersions based upon assumptions about my priorities though, do you teach your child to do that too?

          BOOM ROASTED

      • Brainspore says:

        Depends on your point of view. My brother-in-law’s wife recently left him because he wanted to spend the rest of his life living like he did when he was in his early 20s. Meanwhile, my wife and I don’t get to hit the bars much anymore but we get genuinely new experiences every day we spend with our kids.

        From where I’m sitting my world doesn’t feel smaller than his.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          For one thing, you can go on the merry-go-round in the park now without getting arrested.

          • Gilbert Wham says:

            And wander down the street burbling random shit, so long as you’ve got the pushchair with you (with a baby in it, natch).

          • Brainspore says:

            Shoot, you don’t need a kid for that. Just get a bluetooth headset.

    • chgoliz says:

      In fact, parents are often incredibly passionate about politics, technology, sports, and global news.  Those subjects are just not the primary focus in the early months.

      Did they put up with hearing the details of every new relationship (and break-up) you had?  What’s the difference?

    • Of course, only the „politics” one is actually important. That “sports” is even in the same sentence boggles my mind.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       Some of these people just become bores as they get older, it doesn’t even require children. Sad to say.

  6. tyrsalvia says:

    Yep. When my friends have kids, I largely don’t see them much anymore. I suspect this is mutual – I don’t like kids very much, and they’re busy anyways. Also, it seems like new parents only want to talk about their kids, which, yawn. (And from their perspective, I don’t really have any advice to offer or stories to share, either.) It’s not such an issue with people who have older kids, but by that point, people often have lives pretty filled up with family life and doing things with other people who have kids so the kids entertain each other.

    I hope we can reconnect when they’re no longer so focused on being mommy and daddy.

    • welcomeabored says:

      I’m in my fifties and I’m still waiting for this transition with friends who have children. 

      You know, like in the commercials, where the parents are standing outside, watching Junior with his overstuffed car of gear for his dormroom drive off to college with a wave of their hands and moist eyes.  As he turns the corner out of sight, they race each other back into the house to have awkward sex on the kitchen counter, or to be the first to claim his bedroom to accommodate their hobbies.  People with lives pre-parenthood, and they’re eager to get back to them.

      I don’t know any of those people, although the seniors I bowl with are a lively, active bunch… but that was a different generation of parents and parenting.  Nope, the people I’ve met never stop being parents.  Even when their children have long since left the nest, all they want to talk about is their children and grandchildren.  They don’t have lives to go back to, they don’t have hobbies (unless you’re counting their family).  Children don’t just seem to shrink their parent’s world; they eliminate all thought of anything or anyone else.  Six years ago when a friend of mine announced she was trying to get pregnant, I heard the faint strains of a dirge.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I’m in my fifties and I’m still waiting for this transition with friends who have children.

        I’m in the “screw you” camp on that one. I don’t want to hear from someone who hasn’t had time for me for the last decade or two and wants to use me to wallpaper an empty nest. The same applies to the ones who disappear every time they get a new boyfriend and then come crawling back after the break-up.

        • welcomeabored says:

          ‘wants to use me to wallpaper an empty nest’

          Oooo, that’s good.  Mind if I borrow it?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Go ahead.  Also:

            Six years ago when a friend of mine announced she was trying to get pregnant, I heard the faint strains of a dirge.

            No different than when someone suddenly expresses an interest in Second Life.

        • Jim Saul says:

          How about the ones you only hear from when they need help moving?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            The ones who are always having back trouble when I need help moving?

          • Jim Saul says:

            Funny how that works.

            I literally tore a bicep last fall, yet I still get those calls, which nicely demonstrates the amount of attention some favor-askers pay to others.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            The funny thing is, I’ve seen the ones who show up to help someone move classified as B-List friends when none of the A-Listers ever showed to help. People are creepy.

          • Jim Saul says:

            At least it’s not as bad as being “good with computers” in the late 90′s. Looking back, what an insane hassle that was.

        • blueelm says:

          The ones you only hear from when they get kicked out of AA/NA. Those are… those are… those are the ones that take the cake. Bonus points if they owe you money.

      • Ambiguity says:

        They don’t have lives to go back to, they don’t have hobbies (unless you’re counting their family).

        Let’s face it: most people don’t have interesting hobbies and lives to go back to, unless you count drinking and watching TV.

        My friends, who are in general interesting and engaging people (that’s why I have them as friends, after all), didn’t become less interesting when they had kids… except for the first few years, when they were necessarily — and understandably –  focused on different things. And it’s the same situation when I had kids. Yes, you focus on them for a few years, but now that my kids are older, I actually have more outside interests now than I did pre-kids.

    • Brainspore says:

      I’ve always wondered why it’s socially acceptable to say “I don’t like kids” but generally considered crass and small-minded to say “I don’t like elderly people.”

      • Where is it socially acceptable to say “I don’t like kids?” I’ll move there. I don’t like kids and anytime I’ve said so enraged parents have ripped me a new one. I’m disabled, though, and it does seem to be acceptable for parents to not want their kids to be exposed to disabled people.

        • Brainspore says:

          I’ve always found people who say “I don’t like (age group)” boorish and unpleasant. It has nothing to do with being a parent. I feel the same way about anyone who would say “I don’t like disabled people.”

  7. Capital_7 says:

    It’s happened to me a few times.  I’m unlucky in that I haven’t been married, and I have no children.  The marrying thing kills your friendship if you’re single.  If you can manage to hold on through a marriage, the baby will- absolutely will- sever those last ties.  I’m going through it now, again.  New baby, no talk about anything but the baby.  I like babies, but I do not feel that parental connection, so naturally I think babies are poopy and dumb.

  8. fivetonsflax says:

    As a parent, I still want to eat cookies and watch sci-fi flicks.  Just give me a few days’ notice, please, so I can hire a sitter.

  9. Grey Devil says:

    The original blog post title is slightly misleading. It does start off with thoughts on how babies can change existing relationships, but the meat of the actual post is about why a comedian does what he/she does. Would be interested in a full post on the original line of thought and related issues though.

    • Jim Saul says:

      Maybe, but I took it more that the title was intentionally pretending that kind of exaggerated self-absorption to carry on the same tone humor in the piece.

      • wysinwyg says:

         I couldn’t make the connection but I imagine that must be it.  Thanks, stranger!

        • Jim Saul says:

          A sharper hook quote might have been:

          A haggard, middle-aged woman pulled a sharpie out of her pocket, and drew a mustache onto her face with a very practiced motion. Then she reached into her coat and took her shirt off completely, unfurling her boobs like faded, trusty flags she’d flown a million times before.

  10. Dlo Burns says:

    Among my (remaining) friends we call it ”getting mormon’ed”. 

    [for those of you who don't know the mormon church(es) place a high value on (excessive) breeding]

  11. cjporkchop says:

    [this comment intended as a reply to tioedong's comment beginning "Children might "shrink" the world only if you think things like play and theatre and fancy material toys are important."]

    For me, true joy is in little things like enjoying pleasant weather with my husband on our deck in SoCal and talking about sciencey things or current events, or just relaxing/napping together. People with kids often don’t have the time to do things like that. Some do. Good on them.

    YMMV, but I happen to think that culture (is that what you mean by “play”?) and theatre can be very important. I wouldn’t want to live in a place without culture and art! Again, many parents may not have the time to go enjoy museums or theatrical performances as often as they would like. I wish they did.

    • Brainspore says:

      …many parents may not have the time to go enjoy museums or theatrical performances as often as they would like. I wish they did.

      Really? Because some of your earlier statements kind of made it sound like you’d really rather not have us there if it meant you might accidentally overhear a baby crying.

      • EH says:

        If you’re taking a baby subject to crying to the theater or a museum, that tells me either you couldn’t get a babysitter or you’re inflicting it on those around for socialization purposes. A baby at these places is about as considerate as a cellphone, maybe less, since a cellphone can be turned off.

        “Accidentally,” LOL.

        • Gilbert Wham says:

          “Here, little one, look at the world. Here’s a place full of wonderful, strange things from far-away places and far-away times. We call it a ‘Museum’. See those people over there, scowling at you, because you’re little and still learning , and you get a little excited and loud? They are called ‘misanthropes’. I know that’s a big word for you, as you’re just learning to speak. We also call them ‘jerks’. Can you say ‘jerk’? Come on, let’s go and see the dinosaurs.”

          I know some people’s kids seem to be diminutive shock-troops for some beserker army, but howay man. We were all little and noisy and puked on stuff. Didn’t mean we should have been under house-arrest.

      • Is it hard to imagine we’d like you there but feel you need to get a sitter for the baby? 

        • Brainspore says:

          I just get annoyed by people who complain that parents turn into boring people who don’t want to do cultural stuff, yet simultaneously complain about seeing children in public.

          I don’t take my kids to five star restaurants or quiet movie theaters, but if you’re gonna get your knickers in a knot by the idea of seeing a kid in the vicinity of an art museum or a concert in the park then maybe the child isn’t the one who is wanting in the maturity department.

  12. BunnyShank says:

    Refreshing, people don’t often talk about how becoming a parent ruins your life, and that you are the one entirely responsible for that. Its why I have such a measure of respect for the people who know they do not want children.

  13. Linley Lee says:

    As someone trying to get pregnant, with fertitily issues, this post made me sad.  Not because I think I will lose friends if it happens, but because of the lack of understanding on both sides.  Stuff changes, but that just means you have to change with it.  Friends in mine social group have had kids, what you do together changes, but you still hang out.  Three years later and we are all still good friends.

  14. What happened to us is that half our friends disappeared after we had kids. Not our choice. We were abandoned. 

    • Cynical says:

       I wonder if it’s so much of a case of being abandoned as your friends getting sick of the baby crying every 30 seconds when you’re trying to have a conversation, the constant fussing and baby talk, the smell of dirty diapers, the never-ending “Oh, he’s such a genius; he nearly managed to go without shitting himself for half an hour yesterday!” comments, and the feeling of nagging guilt that they’re distracting you from something far more important..?

      Not that I’m bitter and speaking from experience, of course…

      • DrunkenOrangetree says:

         Dude, if this is satire, it’s failing.

        • Cynical says:

          Not satire, just pointing out as someone with no interest in having children whose friends all seem to be having babies at the moment that being “abandoned” is a two-way street. It’s not an intrinsically bad thing by any means; you develop different priorities when you become a parent but you can’t expect everyone around you to share your single-minded devotion to your offspring…

          • DrunkenOrangetree says:

             Really? Your friends actually said “Oh, he’s such a genius; he nearly managed to go without shitting himself for half an hour yesterday!”

          • Cynical says:

             Well, no, but that was an example of hyperbole, not satire.

    • EH says:

      You may have been otherwise occupied and not noticed. That is, you may have abandoned them first.

  15. Sekino says:

    Parents get a LOT of snark and flak about their ‘lifestyle choice’, but fact is, LOTS of people are- or become- boring whether they’re parents or not.

    I’ve known people who’d monopolize most conversations with their relationship issues (and drop off the planet because their current squeeze didn’t want to hang out with the same people), or their crappy job and office gossip, or episodes of the reality shows they watch. You can’t tell me it’s only parents who suddenly stop making a priority out of partying with buddies, or making more room in their lives for creativity, discovery, adventure… A lot of people give up on these things because of career choices, relationship choices, just plain lack of energy or interest, etc.

    On the other hand, many parents aren’t wrecks (or nincompoops who unleash feral monsters upon innocent bystanders). My husband and I need creativity. We had to preserve that and we did. There isn’t a week that goes by without us working on some common project, or attending a science lecture (saw Bill Nye just two weeks ago), or having a friend over for a beer. It does require some work and organization to make sure everything gets accomplished along with the parenting, but the greatest part is that as the years go by, our girl is becoming increasingly interested- and involved- in what we do. She’s not an enemy of our art and geekiness, she’s an extra geek for us to hang out with. She also never ruined anyone’s peaceful evening at the restaurant; not once. We’d take her out when we knew she was well rested and entertained..

    So please don’t be too brutal with parents and their kids, as if they are a monolith. As another already pointed out, this very blog is run by several parents. If your own friends, for whatever reason, fall off the planet, it’s too bad but there will be other cool people along the way. Some of them may also happen to be parents whose kids are alright.

    • blueelm says:

      Parents like you give me hope for the world.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      LOTS of people are- or become- boring whether they’re parents or not.

      Yes. I believe this too.

      “The kids” is just the excuse for never doing anything not homebody related. These people were headed down this road regardless.  I have plenty of friends with kids who still maintain dynamic lifestyles and manage to remain friends with us kid-less folks as well. Of course it’s a give and take, and us kid-less friends need to indulge them by attending “family” type outings here and there as well.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       As you say, some of those cool people will hopefully be your kids.

  16. blueelm says:

    I’ve made friends with people who already *have* kids. Does this not normally happen? Some times parents want a single friend so they can step away from the parent role for a minute and catch their breath. 

    I don’t keep friends for long anyway. I just drift away. This probably has something to do with the fact that I abruptly move every few years with little warning. But of the friends I’ve had who have children (and at my age that’s a lot of them) I’ve found the only ones I don’t care to see at all anymore are the ones who change all of their values.

    That *does* happen with some people.

    If suddenly your parenthood causes you to have contempt for me as a human being, then sure… we’re not going to be friends anymore. But really the kid is a minor factor there. If some one went from ally to bible thumper I’d lose contact with them kid or no kid.

    I’ve also seen strong talented women suddenly become eroded housewives who let their husband AND kids bully them and make fun of them constantly. It is actually hard to maintain a friendship like that when the baby wagon seems more like Stolkholm Syndrome.

  17. Jonathan Roberts says:

    I find this does happen, but there’s also plenty of option for it not to be that way. We have two young children (3 years and 6 months) and have people over every week for a meal and some activity. The group tends to be between 10 and 30 people, with a good mix of families and singles. We find it more of a hassle to leave the house than invite people in, and a number of singles would rather not cook for over a dozen people. Our kids get to play with other kids and also to spend time with people doing normal adult things, so they learn to be a bit more patient and less self centered when we do bring them out in public.

    I think a lot of it has to do with not making the early years all about making an environment that is focused on the child to the exclusion of other things. Sure, you’ll have more time pressure than before you had kids, but people can work together so that there are social events where kids are welcome (but not the main thing) and parents can spend time not focusing on their kids. I guess it depends on the kids themselves, we lucked out with two fairly quiet children but I know others who would have more trouble with their kids’ behaviour.

  18. rocketpj says:

    Having kids takes a lot of time.  And they aren’t just little annoyances/inconveniences, they are actual people who deserve lots of attention and caring.

    I lost some of my friends when my first kid was born.  People who are used to getting together spontaneously have a hard time with a friend who suddenly needs to plan 4 days ahead and can’t always be available.  I’ve lost other friends when I split with a girlfriend (which apparently meant splitting with a whole group of people) or even just moved into a different neighbourhood.

    When you have kids you tend to make new friends however, as the kids end up making links for you with other parents – who often as not are likeable and have similar interests.  It’s life. Life includes changes.

  19. Daemon says:

    I’m actually amazed that anyone actually wants children. Whatever combination of genes is supposed to make me find kids appealing on any level missed me entirely

    • rocketpj says:

      When people say they don’t want children my first thought is to wonder how old they are.

      Before my spouse and I hit thirty we were both adamant about not having kids.  I wavered first but both of us had made a full 180 be about 33 or so.  I saw the same pattern in a great many of our friends.

      Not everyone, some remain kid-less by choice and more power to them. Never have a kid if you don’t want one – they are people who don’t deserve to be resented.

      • I don’t want kids. I am 54. And thank you for assuming I’d resent a kid I had just because I don’t want one. You’re a terrible person too.

        • chgoliz says:

           How astute of you to notice that someone’s general response to someone else’s post, which included props for people who are childless-by-choice, was somehow actually targeted at you in particular.

          This thread seems to have hit quite the nerve.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            This is the least anti-child thread that I can remember. It’s sort of weird that we have so many child haters when three of the Boingers are rather avid parents.

          • chgoliz says:

             Well you know….once you become a parent, you becoming boring and have no interests anymore except for poop.  Those parental Boingers must be figments of someone’s imagination.

    • DrunkenOrangetree says:

       Can you tell me when kids stop being kids? So, we’d know when you’re going to allow them into your company?

  20. jtegnell says:

    Boing Boing is really a fashionable spot for circle jerk parent bashing, isn’t it?

  21. jellyfibs says:

    I don’t want my own kids, but I actually don’t mind other people’s kids once they get a little beyond the baby stage, but I think that’s weird for people to understand. I actually love being in an aunt-like role to kids. One of my friends is dating someone with a child and I think it’s assumed that the kid is annoying to adult friends, but I actually don’t mind being around the child and it doesn’t seem like the child minds me either. From what I hear, she’s still telling random people about some of the things we did together and hopes we can spend more time together so I can teach her things. I like to think I never lost my child-like curiosity, which helps me connect with kids. I also appreciate living in a world where kids are educated and I don’t mind doing some of the dirty work getting them there. Just don’t bring them to my home unannounced. My home is definitely not a kid friendly place….

  22. Hi – I  wrote the original post that Xeni is pointing to here, and I’m wondering if many of you eve read the thing. It’s nominally about having babies, but a lot more about what it feels like when the thing you do instead kicks your life in the nuts. And how you evaluate ALL of your choices accordingly.

    I know baby stuff gets people pretty riled up, just wondering if this thread was about the post at all, or about some other stuff that people just wanted to express.

    • chgoliz says:

       You have your own comment section.  This is a different comment section, following a post which focused on one small part of your original post elsewhere.

Leave a Reply