2010-10-08

Selfish Feelings

night out

night out6

night out5

night out2

night out7

Jeans? h&m
Jacket? Zara
Sequin shirt? Thrifted
Boots? Modern Vintage, Winners
Bag? Winners
Lighting? Half truck headlights and half flash.

It sounds like a punch line but the more I think about it, I think it's no coincidence that I started my blog at about the same time that all my friends got pregnant. And now, a year and a half later, they all have babies and I have a blog. When I say 'all' my friends got pregnant, I am exaggerating only a little. Because while I have friends from many different aspects (work, school...) of my life, the girls in my core group of friends (you know, the friends that you have unspoken plans with every weekend and hang out with way. too. much.?) all did get pregnant within 3 months of each other. And so for the last year and a half, I have spent many parties sitting in the inevitable pregnancy or breastfeeding circle, clutching my wine glass in my one hand and the wine bottle firmly in the other. Perhaps it is cruel to drink in front of those who can't but when the conversation is 97% about nausea, cloth diapers vs. disposable, teething and nap schedules (this part I do not exaggerate, it really is 97%... please admit this...), I turn to my wine for relief. I am just not ready for that stage of my life yet but everyone in my life is at that stage already.

And because in Canada, there is a year maternity leave, these girls would often get together for play dates while I was at work. This is obviously perfectly natural and to be honest, I think that I, in turn, found a bit of an escape in the blogging community. A community who thinks it's normal to gush over the latest vintage treasure and that hiking in heels to find the perfect picture spot is just another day in the life of... I love this community and I love blogging but I do miss the carefree friendships of just a few years ago.

I have been sitting on this post for a while. After all, who really wants to admit that babies make them bitter? When I have nothing to write about, the words spill forth in a sarcastic fountain but when I approach a serious post, I struggle to write my thoughts in a fair way. The bottom line is that I have felt really left out this last year. My life changed so much without anything in my life changing (know what I mean?)... and I say that acknowledging that my friends lives changed even more but that was through an active change they made themselves. I can say in full confidence that I am a great friend, I have always taken friendship very seriously (when Matt and I started dating way back, I would often take a friend with me because they weren't in a serious relationship at the time and there was no way I was letting one of my girls stay in on a Friday night...) but this whole bitterness thing is infecting me. When my head is clear, I know that my friends would never mean for me to feel that my childless life isn't important, but in my frustration, the lack of phone calls, the lack of interest and the half-assed birthday wishes on my Facebook wall really stung. And I let these hurt feelings fester... never good. And I want it to stop because the frown lines on my forehead will soon need Botox and we haven't budgeted for that expense until 2016.

So, I am working on banishing the anger and trying to have more empathy for their schedule and their daily struggles and in return I seek 10% serious conversation, 8% political discussions and 12% pure frivolous talk... I can handle 70% baby talk. In fact, I am almost an expert by now.
And what does this post have to do with this outfit? I wore this out when I started 'dating' one of my close friends again. Gone are the days that I can make a bored phone call and end up with a friend on my couch after a night of random fun. Now, we schedule. Sometimes, a month in advance. But it works and it's good to just go out because I miss these girls and I think they miss me too. Because as long as I'm not a Bitter Betty, I'm a fun kid.

And the best part of going out was that my friend and I showed up in very similar outfits... without an advance high school outfit planning phone call. Black boots, distressed jeans, casual jacket and side slung bag... Turns out that we still share a wavelength... and a love for sweet potato fries.

night out4

45 comments :

Jennifer said...

Thank you! Because babies are making me bitter and I was beginning to worry I was the only one. It's hard because you feel like everyone is joining this spit-up-stained, sleepless club and now you have no way to relate anymore. Your honesty is very welcomed.

sara star said...

I only have a few friends with kids, and those are the ones who still keep time in their schedule for me and other friends and still know how to have fun.

Its a choice people make, just like when you kept time in your schedule for friends when you got a boyfriend, some friends keep time in their schedule when they have kids. Maybe not as much--but its all about priorities.

Most of my good friends don't have kids and don't plan to (me too) and I like it that way.

Alex said...

I think I'm about to hit this point. Two close friends are due within the next few months and the conversation ratio is about 60% pregnancy talk already. I'm excited for them, I really am, but I don't like babies and so ultimately I can't help but be a teensy bit tired by it sometimes.

Casey Dozhier said...

I can remember feeling this way also when all my friends were having babies. I was a late starter , but now that my kids take all my time up, I see my friends enjoying friendships again, because their kids are less needy. I know in time I will be able to enjoy more time with my friends. But until then , I will live in the moment and appreciate all that I have- Your honesty is awesome , and I love your style .

Farm Girl Fashionista said...

First, I'll get the frivolity out of the way...love your outfit pick...and the choice of lighting! Very cool!!

Like you, I also value my friendships and at the age where most women have children. After moving to a new area, it has made it difficult to make new friends when my husband and I have chosen to have dogs...or as we like to think of them as our "furry children" as opposed to the human variety. I've met great women, but find it hard to relate and feel a bit "immature" when I'd rather talk about purses and shoes than daycare and diaper rash!?

Just wanted you to know...you're not alone in your feelings! Chin up! Stay beautiful!!

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

this post ended so sweetly--it's wonderful that you guys are still on the same wavelength!!
my friends aren't having babies but suddenly everyone is coupled up and those implicit plans need to be scheduled in advance, which is only sorta similar, but i can totally sympathize with the changing lives.
i am sending you a gigantic friend hug from the blog world, where you will never be alone!
(funny, my word verification is "winer"...get it, wine...r)

Emma at Daily Clothes Fix said...

This is a lovely post: honest, beautifully written and touching on some many things that lots of us share. I think that if your friendship is worth it, it will endure through all these changes and your last photo and comments prove this perfectly.

As for the outfit, it looks great and I love the lighting.

Future Lint said...

Fortunately I am not at that stage... yet. But quite a few of my friends got married this year and I have a few more coming up, and one who is already pregnant... so I know it's going to sneak up on me. And while I work in a school, I myself will never have children and I am entitled to that! Love the outfit, especially the sparkly with the more rugged jeans!

Terri said...

just where are these photos taken?

I remember days as a young mother feeling a longing for my childless life on occasion. Hang in there. Surely there will be days they NEED to talk to you, simply to remember who they were.

Jodi said...

oh you said it all too perfectly.. I bought a more expensive Cervelo Tri bike and do Ironmans instead of having kids.. and all our friends are athletes in the same boat... we love our cat. I am bored hearing diaper and colic stories and have always felt so selfish for that.. always felt guilty for feeling that way. Always felt like maybe I am a bad person because I dont have kids yet... your post is too awesome, thanks for sharing this!! much appreciated!!

Jameil said...

I, too, totally get it. I have friends I can't even talk to regularly anymore because I get tired of their baby convos or if they're trying to have a normal convo, I get interrupted by them talking to their kids. Obviously I don't begrudge them that but I'm not there and sometimes it irritates me more than I often admit.

A.Co said...

1) I love this post.

2) I feel like I can relate.

3) I like your style (but you knew this... I hope).

Honestly, I don't have too many friends with children (or child) yet, but one of my best friends IS currently preggo and due in January. We've barely seen each other since she got pregnant. Mind you, I WAS planning a wedding, which she was a bridesmaid in, which was super busy. THe wedding was almost two months ago. I have not seen her. She lives 5 streets away. How terrible is that?! It's both our faults, but, I can only imagine what it's going to be like once the baby comes - it's like, writing a friend off to that, 'You have a baby now' island and you KNOW things will never be the same... But, we can hope, and be optimistic that things will be okay, and it's just a part of growing up, I guess :)

A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

thatdamngreendress said...

I think one of the big problems is that expressing these feelings is socially unacceptable, that if you aren't raising a family you're somehow selfish and irresponsible. When it has nothing to do with that- I know lots of selfish and irresponsible parents! The thing about good friends, though, as another poster wrote, is that the baby talk will go away eventually and hopefully you can regain some of the old intimacies, if perhaps more...scheduled! and yay for taking mommies out on the town in jeans and awesome booties!

briannelee said...

I hear ya. I luckily do not have many friends who have babies, but it seems like once someone has one, its all they talk about. I have one friend who writes about 50 FB status updates a day and they are all about her baby. I hate to be mean, but I just don't care!

I am nervous that I am never going to want to have children...I am almost 30. Ahhhh. I am just not ready for it yet. My cats are my babies ;)

Morgan and Lua said...

In alot of ways I can really relate to this post. While none of my friends are pregnant or have children we have certainly all drifted apart. I have in fact been going through many friendship break ups and as you said I have found alot of comfort in the blogging community (I mean look at me commenting on a post on a Friday night ... case in point). Sometimes I wonder if this is a cop out. Is it just too easy to sit here and "become friends" with all these wonderful girls in the blogosphere or am I just hiding from facing the reality that my lifelong friends are really no longer my friends. My core group has gone for one reason or another over the past few months coinciding wonderfully with the breakup from my boyfriend of 4 years -extreme sarcasm-. This tangent is mostly to say that I'm really happy you've been able to work out the kinks in your friendships. Sometimes it is more work, ie. scheduling get togethers, but that doesn't mean the time spent together is any less valuable. Somehow as we get older it feels like we have less and less unscheduled time anyway. If these people are coming back into your life, then it's really good, and those girls are truly meant to be. Especially if you dress alike. If this was a voice mail the machine would have cut me out a few hundred words ago.

Ok, you look great, I heart your friends bag, and...
HAPPY THANKSGIVING in Canada

www.morganandlua.blogspot.com

Ms. Ten said...

I have been ditched by plenty of friends when they started dating. I think it is awfully sweet that you would take a friend with you so she wouldn't have to spend the night alone.

I don't really have a circle of friends right now but I can appreciate being a little fed up with baby talk. A lot of the women I know - internet friends, relatives, former high school classmates - all had babies recently. I understand that the baby is a great joy in their life and also a lot of work, but at the same time if I liked them as a person, it was who they were pre-baby and wish I could see that person more often.

Jade said...

If you replaced "pregnant and with child" with "engaged" and talking about marriage- I'm in the exact same boat. and I'm bitter, too. I want to go wedding dress shopping, and help try cakes, and pick out colors, but I also want to do non-wedding stuff too. Or, just ask me about my day- I realize it has nothing to do with your wedding, but it's important to me too.

so, yeah, I know how you feel. it's refreshing knowing that someone is going through the same types of things- and I agree- It's pretty sweet that you guys are still on the same wavelength- girlfriends are the best and it's so important to have them.

20 York Street said...

That phase you had last year when a loot of your friends were getting pregnant, pooping babies and all that - that is exactly what I'm going through right now.

Perhaps I shouldn't say I can relate but heck, I can relate completely! I am a very, very good friend and I feel horrible feeling this way but sadly, that is the case a lot of times!

Happy Thanksgiving!

besos,

Win a Banana Republic Statement Necklace at:

20 YORK STREET

Melanie said...

First let me say that your post is incredibly well written... witty and charming. I totally see where you're coming from. Several of my friends are in the process of getting married and it's insane. I can only image how you're feeling.

Other than that, I really adore those pants. You look super cute!

Melanie@UnravelledThreads

The Suburb Experiment said...

The trick is, and I think you may have already figured it out, is to keep it one-on-one. Your friend is probably relieved to not have to talk babies (which is pretty easy to fall into, like talking shop with coworkers after work).

Jenn

Healthy and Homemade said...

I used to be all baby crazy and couldn't wait to get knocked up until everyone else did and I got a glimpse into their lives. Now I'm seriously happy to not have kids yet and just be able to enjoy my time with my husband, which is super limited. I'm also glad I have more to talk about than just babies, I feel like I've lost a lot of friends along the way. You're super close during their pregnancies, then you kind of get kicked to the curb and they never ask about your life anymore.

Wow, rant over. I'm glad I'm not the only one in this boat. Love the matchy outfits btw, that's pretty awesome!

Glitter Scrubs said...

heck yes. My closest mini-group of girlfriends either have babies or are informing me of the 18 million ways they're trying to get pregnant. Yikes. Perhaps this is why I have an over-abundance of guy friends and only a handful of girlfriends? I listen and smile, add in a few one-liners, but babies aren't my thing right now.

I was laughing the other day at how one of my best friends and I used to be out all night dancing or at the beach or wherever the night took us and now she can't stay at a gathering for more than 20 minutes because her toddler is into everything and i'm left a little sad and somehow i have pasta salad in my hair, true story.

I promise I'm not a baby hater lol, I love kids. I'm not very accepting of this getting older, new life changes thing.
When I'm feeling exceptionally annoyed the stfuparents.tumblr.com blog always makes me feel better hahah. Because sometimes I really don't give a rip how exhausted you are with your kid, but you have time to update your facebook status every 30 seconds, still manage to score the highest level on facebook scrabble and farmville invite harass me.
Even though we're only connected through blogs, I'm glad there's someone out there who is the same age and feels the same way :)

PS: we need to have a sequin off. like a dance off, but with less of my bad moves and more of my bad poses.

Kiki said...

I'd just like to say that I love how very honest you are in your blog. It sounds so sincere. This may sound super cheesy, but I started crying when I read today's post, because I can relate in so many ways. So thank you a ton. :)
-kiki

www.anewoutfitaday.blogspot.com

MARISA said...

"we havent budgeted for that until 2016" hahaha.

this was probably one of my favourite posts.

i had a similar conversation with one of my best friends lately.....except there are no babies involved and one of my points was "we cant get together now...wait until kids are involved". i just dont get not making time.

needless to say..i've been festering my anger for bit too.

thanks for being honest and being relatable.

Sidewalk Chalk said...

I hit this point last year, and that's when I started my blog. Though my friends haven't had babies (yet) -- it's more like we all graduated and ended up living in different parts of the country, and I needed a new place to find friendship. I think it's great that you got to spend some time one-on-one with your friend -- it's probably a great comfort to her (and you!) to not want to talk about babies for a couple of hours.

I do not plan on having children. I feel like I can really relate to you in a way, and I love that you were so honest about this.


PS I love your sequined top!


JoAnn
Sidewalk Chalk

MUA said...

I was your friends 6 years ago : with a 2-year-old baby and a newborn, fighting to have the time to shave both legs the same day ...I nearly burst in tears the first time I went back home after a night out with the girls for the 1st time in a million years. They had the most exciting lives and I had cereals in my hair ! I was still the same person and I longed for crazy little talks about shoes, make up and dates. But they just asked about the babies (don't get me wrong that was completely nice...but I felt SO out of the game...). Don't worry, they'll be back, maybe only in a year or 2 and they need you to hang on because they MISS you like crazy, believe me ....
Sorry my English is so bad , it is hard to explain when you speak about something so intimate and English is not your 1st language ... Your honesty is awesome and I doubt anyone could be insulted or anything

Caro xxx

keelan said...

i was the first of my girlfriends to have a child. but you know what? i made time for my friends. it was a conscious choice on my part, but one that i was happy to make.
*
my son is 11 now, and they all have babies and toddlers. and they have done the same thing that your friends have done. it's frustrating - there's more to life than kids, and i say that as a very involved mother. i've realized that if i want to see them (either just them or with their families), i need to take on the role of planner.
*
i'm an organizer at heart, so this works for me. each week, i run with one, do yoga with another, some time at a coffee shop with yet another. every couple of months, we get together with the families for dinner, going to the zoo, or to the pumpkin patch. it works - but we definitely don't see each other as much as we used to.
*
so, my advice? name your feelings (which you did here!), figure out what you want/need, and take the reins on organizing time with your friends.

Ashley, Lions Lace Lattes said...

This was a really great post. Thanks for sharing what's been going on in your life. Friendships seem to get more and more complicated every year that passes. I am having to schedule coffee dates months in advance as well.

Your outfit is really cute! I am loving the sequinned top :)

Anonymous said...

First off my advise would be... DO. NOT. FEEL. GUILTY.
They made their choice to have children, just as you (and I) have made your (our) choice NOT to have children.
I know my friends with children are busy and have little ones to take care of, but my life and job and cats and husband and 'vintage' house (and all its many diy projects waiting for me) take up my valuable time as well. But I resent the fact that some of my friends act as if my life is easier somehow because I don't have kids. Let me tell you honey, I have just as many pressures and stresses as the next gal! I just don't have to worry about diapers and spit-up - I clean up hairballs instead.

Snappy-Q said...

Wow, this is a post that I can totally relate to! I had about 20 people that I know, including 5 of my close friends, about a year and a half ago. It becomes so hard to be part of conversations first about pregnancy, then about labour, then breastfeeding, eating solids, walking, talking, etc. But I do agree that you have to still make plans with those friends, so you don't become totally lost from their worlds.
Basically, well put! (oh and nice outfits too!)

Nadine said...

Nice post - LOVE the photos and really appreciate your honesty. It's always interesting when people share these slightly 'taboo' feelings in a sensitive way. I had all my kids in my 20s, so it's fascinating to read your perspective.

s said...

I love everything about this post - the sentiments you talked about and you're gorgeous outfit!! :) I'm in the same boat- EVERYONE is getting preggers and my hubby and I are quite happy with our dogs thank you very much! But somehow that is just....yeah. I understand you're sentiments!

As for your outfit- spot on and wonderful as well!

Thanks for sharing something that most of us just think is a "just me" feeling!

Rach is Ordinarily Urbane said...

Wow I can totally relate to this. Last weekend I saw my college girlfriends for a baby shower and then my high school friends for an engagement party and we were all on the same wavelength... feeling left out in some ways and missing the comfort of one another in other ways. The 'scheduling' is the worst part, but I try to remind myself that the important people will always stay close.

Also, love this look and the super fun sequins :)

RETRO REVA said...

Great post, sweetie !
I am 46, would easily skip several meals for a trip to the thrift stores and have never had a baby, and never will. I too get a bit sad that I may have "lost out" by not taking the plunge, but there are so many other people just like you, maybe who feel that even a bird can have babies, but I kinda believe it's the women who chose NOT to breed that add the spice into this nutty little world. I'll bet the sometimes feel a bit bitter that they HAVE kids (what a huge responsibility!)
Just being "me" without having to be "mom" as well, seems to have worked out just fine ;) Plus, I am the "cool" aunt :)

barefootandvintage said...

weird! all of my girlfriends (plus my ex bff) are preggers. oh! and 2 coworkers. i mean, really? what a sick joke to play on me. i totally have baby fever now. and i'm not sure if it's because everyone's having babies or if it's because i really like babies. they are hard work. anyway, i can relate to you. all of a sudden, i don't know what to talk to my girls about. i feel like i have to say nice things and forgo my potty mouth when i talk to the moms-to-be...also, they can't drink. wtf? just one glass?! i ask. the answer is no and then i feel like an asshole friend. AND...no one goes out anymore. i can't tell you the last time i dressed up and went out dancing...ah well. i've been on both sides of this...after i had my son, my bff didn't know how to deal. it hurt my feelings that she was "mad" at me for being busy.
aaaaanyway...i dreamt about you last night! a bunch of us bloggers were in some city, at some event, staying at some "house". we were all rooming there for a long period of time. going to fashion shows, getting free gifts, etc...at one point in the dream, everyone had left the room and you approached me to let me know that you couldn't believe i was pairing up with "so and so" (i don't know who, couldn't see the face and you didn't say a name.) and that you and i had more in common, etc etc...it was pretty funny to me when i woke up.
so...yeah. i think this comment is long enough. you look lovely! i dig your style so much. :)

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

I was actually just saying to a friend that I am tired of people asking my husband and I when we are going to have kids. We're not. And you know what? Next time you ask, the answer is going to be the same. And funny enough, when you asked last time, we still weren't.
And you know what? It's rude to ask.
And further to that, I don't question why you decided to have kids. You have to right to question why we've decided not to.

Yup, I'm that annoyed.

Half Dressed said...

Love that you are both in similar outfits! Love the boots :)

L x
Half Dressed

Hope said...

Oh my goodness, I can totally relate to how your feeling, even though none of my friends are really having babies..yet. A certain friend is counting down the days on the calendar until her third anniversary {that's when her husband and her agreed to start "trying"}, and I know people that have been married less than a year, and they start popping out kids like there's no tommorow. I don't quite get it, although I'm choosing not to have any kids. Just dogs. :)

And the blogging community is a great escape for me as well. I can write about whatever, and they're is usually someone to talk to.

And also, I can relate to the changing friendships. I think that's the part that sucks the worst. I've been dealing with that as well, and having friends change that much..can really leave you feeling lonely, and longing for the old days.

Anyway, thanks for this honest post. It's good to know that I'm not alone.

Holly Courtney said...

I can definitely relate to you and am sorry you're going through this. I think you are making the right move in asking your friends to cut down to 70% baby talk. I know it is easy for them to ramble on about babies all day but good friends (which I assume they are) would realize that you do not fit into that conversation and would change the flow to include you. I also don't think any woman should feel bad about putting off children for a few years or not having them at all. We are not all meant to be mothers. Could you and your friends schedule one babyless night out each month? Could the husbands take care of the kids and let you all go out and have some fun?

Holly Courtney said...

Also, I don't like the title of this post. You are NOT being selfish! These are normal feelings.

Work With What You've Got said...

Babies make me bitter too. For reasons too personal to mention. And because I might as well shake your hand now and tell you goodbye and it's been nice knowing you when you tell me the good news. Becasue you? Are never going to call me again.I'm sure eventually I'll meet the girl in my world who is the exception, but I haven't yet!

joelle van dyne said...

aw i (kind of) know how you feel. while my friends aren't having babies yet, it seems they ALL got married in the past year! i'm 100% happy for them. but it is still hard to realize that your closest friends are moving on to a next step in life while you're staying behind in a previous one. i know the baby thing will be next. oh well, it is better to wait to do things till you're truly ready! otherwise you wouldn't enjoy it.

anyway, i'm glad you started this blog! i love reading it, and i love this set of photos- the shoes are awesome, and the lighting is so dramatic.

AsianCajuns (Cath) said...

You're not alone! I've only had a handful of friends who have had babies, but I'm definitely not at that point in my life where I want them. Thank god for other style bloggers like you!

ACP said...

YES! thank you. I feel the same way (babies make me bitter, too) and it feels very awkward to ever try to broach the subject...with anyone. Good for you for putting it out there and being a good friend and most importantly really good fashion blogger.

J'Anns Boutique said...

Thank you for this!!!!!!!!!!! My best friend just had a kid and I feel the same way. I felt kind of selfish because I was not understanding their lives anymore....yea! I'm not alone.