being a mom
STFU Parents: When Moms Lose Their Identity On Facebook
One of the most common complaints I hear fromÂ STFU, ParentsÂ readers is the concern overÂ losing a friendÂ post-baby. I’ve received hundreds of emails aboutÂ this subject, and the majority of the emotional outpourings aren’t even related to the submissions themselves. They’re related to a longer history, a backstory that unravels when a submitter tries to explain the meaning behind a submission. Sometimes I get the sense from submitters that the point of emailing wasn’t even to submit to the blog, but to share a sentiment in the hopes of feeling understood. As much as I don’t believe that parents and non-parents can’t get along or remainÂ close friendsÂ after babies wedge themselves into every hour of a new parent’s life, the truth is, there are a lot of frustrated and lonely folks who are left wonderingÂ where their friend(s) went. They ask themselves if it’s “them.” Maybe they’re not paying enough attention to the friend’s new post-baby stories. Maybe they’re not exhibiting enough interest. Or maybe they’re exhibitingÂ tooÂ muchÂ interest? Ultimately, I think most people come to realize that babies transform parents’ entire lives — and, occasionally,Â their personalities, too.
The types of relationships I’ve heard about that match this description run the gamut, and not everyone who feels like she’s mourning the loss of a friendship is a non-parent. The upset usually has very little to do with Friend A being disinterested in hearing about Friend B’s baby, but rather Friend A feeling like she doesn’t even recognize Friend B anymore. Most people (even us heathens without children) are genuinely excited to see the latest baby pics and follow along with theÂ documomtationÂ of big milestones on Facebook (as allÂ “quality” friendsÂ in 2014 should). It’s not the baby fodder that leads to the loss of friendship. It’s the fact that some people justÂ changeÂ after having kids — a shift that parents of the internet are anything but shy about detailing on their blogs and on sites likeÂ Huffington Post ParentsÂ andÂ Scary Mommy. While these posts are funny, they often seem to translate to, “I’m a MOM now, so don’t ask me to “go out for drinks” unless they come in a sippy cup! And no, I won’t attend events that require attire other than yoga pants, and I won’t apologize for not caring about yourÂ meaningless lifeÂ when I’ve got my awesome kid on my mind, because guess what? He’s more interesting than your marathon training or political views or whatever it is you want to chat about.”