The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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 Post subject: Do You Come in Last?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:43 pm
Posts: 6
Do you feel like you're not being listened to? Your thoughts / concerns/worries aren't valid because you don't have kids? Do people belittle you?

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Well obviously my answer is yes. Lately I've been feeling it more and more & it's driving me crazy! (Warning: Rant below)

When I talk about how tired I am (after doing flip flopping of shifts form overnights to early morning - back & forth all the time - getting 2-3 hrs a night on my work days) They just say 'oh please, you're not tired unless you have kids'. So I ask: Are you seriously getting less than 3 hours a night?!! - I was shocked because there are 2 adults for the one child... They then act surprised "Oh no I go to bed at this time and by the time I wake up at 5am, I'm wiped out because the baby woke me up 3 times to feed" I mentally do the math... 6 hours (though interrupted) some how is WORSE than my 2-3 hours? really? I even ask how long the feeding was & when they went back to sleep and it's still more sleep than 3 hours. So why act like I got more?

And it's not a competition but they act like it is. Like, why can't they just be like "oh man that sucks, I hear ya, I'm exhausted too" instead they have to act like they have it worse. Why? You chose that life. I just chose to keep a job (despite them deciding to change it a 24hr position) - I'm choosing to keep a roof over my head instead of homelessness. Slightly different.

Making plans always has to be a major problem. I even tell my friends what days I have off and say 'any of those work for you? I'm flexible on the times...' And they pick a day, make arrangements with family or baby-sitters to watch the kids etc. Then the day comes and they're like 'I'm going to bring my baby'. All the time!

I always end up getting roped into doing what they want because if I say I don't want to they accuse me of being selfish. So often I'll do what they want. It's not much fun for me which is why I've been avoiding most of my friends (as most have kids and do this all the time).

When trying to talk to friends & family who have little kids - whether it's in person or on the phone - they go 'uh-huh' a lot then later stop and go 'sorry what?' or don't answer when I ask them questions. It's obvious they're not paying attention. Often I'll have to re-start my sentence. And these are times when they say they CAN talk. I get that occasionally things come up but it happens all the time.

And when I tell them I have something I really need to talk about they act the exact same way. No regard for what's going on in my life or my concerns. For awhile there I really took it to heart, like they didn't care at all about me. Like I did something wrong.

Now I'm just fed up. It's obvious they're actually being very selfish. I change plans all the time for them. I even go to the kids birthday parties (buying them presents) and it's all time. Recently I mentioned how I was going to have to stop with the presents as it's becoming too much. I'm sorry but paying for about 12 different kids' birthday gifts in a year (not including my nieces & nephew - which are a priority for me) gets to be really expensive! That's not including Christmas gifts. So I'm not buying anyone presents unless it's my family. I can't afford it.

A few of my friends & I used to do Christmas gift exchanges every year. It was really fun & we always made a night of it. Cocktails & gifts. Then they all had babies & the cocktails ended so it was just presents. Then a year later they were all claiming they were trying to budget so could we stop with the gifts? Sure alright, I get it. (meanwhile they go on fancy vacations & buy new cars etc)
We agreed on having a nice potluck dinner at that time every year instead. That lasted for 1 year and then the excuses came "oh so busy...my kids...my baby etc". It really made me feel like crap. But considering the texts and brief calls they'd make to, it's obvious they don't hate me. I just feel like they don't care enough about me to put effort into our friendship...and we were really close before they had kids...

I also discovered some of my friends have a game night & didn't tell me for a full year. When I asked about it they said it's for parent's only as they sometimes talk about their kids etc during the game night... And at first I thought they were just excluding me but then realized our mutual friend wasn't invited too because he also doesn't have kids. It's total crap. Especially since WE were the ones to suggest game night anyways (our version included a lot of alcohol but we were willing to go without).

There are several other examples of how we're not invited or included in things because it's 'parents-only'. And considering 99% of people I know are parents, it makes it very difficult to go out & have fun or have a life. But try to tell them that. When I bring up my concerns I'm always told I'M being selfish.

This is why I've started reaching out to my childfree friends. Mind you they live in other countries (Except for 2) but at least we can talk without the sound of children shrieking or being judged. They also actually let me tell them what's going on in my life & what worries & concerns I have - you know, things real friends should do...

But it does make me frustrated that almost everyone else in my life won't take me seriously or listen to what I have to say. It really does feel like I come in last to them & it doesn't feel good.


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 Post subject: Re: Do You Come in Last?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:00 am
Posts: 648
Location: North Wales, UK
Well unfortunately when people have kids they do become their priority, everything else then does become of a lesser priority and they'll have a pecking order.

You can't change others behaviour, attitudes, values or what they consider to be important, if someone tried to do that to you how would you feel? I'm not condoning their behaviour, I fucking hate breeders and their spawn and if they were all fired off into the deepest reaches of space I would delighted........but I can understand what it's like to have things that are the utmost importance to me in my life and woe betide someone who tries to interfere.

I can't say that I have been ignored because I don't have kids, except when I dare to have an opinion on child raising (like they know any better, it's not as though they get a brain implant on 'how to be a parent' when they shit one out). But that's because I've steered clear of breeders and their litters and have spent my time with either like minded individuals or people who share my interests.

I didn't waste my time with people who no longer saw me as important, I couldn't change their behaviour but I could damn well change my own, what's that expression "doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is a sign of madness".

Don't waste your time and emotional energy on people who aren't bothered, you can't change them, so make some other changes. Next time someone is clearly distracted let them know e.g. 'well, you're clearly too distracted to listen, so call me back when you're not....TaTa'! Stop putting up with the BS and stressing yourself out, their not stressed about messing you about, so stop doing it to yourself and putting yourself in the situation. 'No' is a very underused word, it's amazing what can happen when it's employed.

As I said on the other thread, friendships and relationships often have a lifespan and serve a great purpose during that time, but when circumstances change then sometimes relationships change. I'm sure you've been in a romantic relationship and at some point decided it wasn't working any more and you had a choice, walk away and be lonely for a bit, or put up with it and be constantly miserable.

Better sometimes to let them friendships pass naturally than constantly trying to resuscitate them and just angering and upsetting yourself in the process.

It's easy for me to say this I know that, but I have taken my own advice and lived through it and come out the other side and much happier and philosophical as a result.

_________________
Too bright to breed


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 Post subject: Re: Do You Come in Last?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:59 pm
Posts: 62
Well I will say with the tiredness debate that if you are working you may lose sleep for a couple of shifts but you have the opportunity to make up for it. I think that interrupted sleep that parents get for months or years on end is almost like torture. I personally haven't ever experienced that but if you have a couple of bad nights then think about how that would feel for two years straight. I understand that it shouldn't be a competition, like you say it should just be "Oh it sucks to be tired, I know how that feels" rather than "what do you know about tired".

I can't say that I have felt belittled. I usually don't give my opinion on child raising because I couldn't care less. I have felt pity from people though and that is really annoying.

One thing I have noticed though is that my social circle did shrink. A lot of friends felt more comfortable in the mom circle. I wasn't invited to things because it was a kids thing and it did feel a bit isolating. Sometimes people drift away and the friendship may come back later or not at all. Most mom's fall into new friendships with other school moms, soccer moms they just end up having more in common.

I do hate it when people ring up and the baby is screaming. It would be a good idea to just say "Oh it sounds like you have your hands full, I'll speak to you later at a better time".

I have found a couple of friends who are child free and those friendships are more fulfilling to me now. I feel like we are on the same page and it's easier. I use to get hurt about some friendships but sometimes people change. I wouldn't cut off these friendships but have you thought about not putting as much energy and emotion into them. Start looking at other avenues to make new friends. Your lives are at completely different places and sometimes friendships survive that and sometimes they don't. It's hard.


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