While pregnancy is often a different experience for each expecting mother, there are some things that may be similar. One thing I found that a few pregnant women have in common is feeling like people forget about them or rather “fall back” from them in their own way. I’ve experienced this a bit myself with my social circle. If you become pregnant you’ll see that the invites decrease or stop altogether. People may not reach out as often or stop reaching out. You may have to initiate outings and conversations until you get fed up with doing so. Things not only change physically for an expecting mother, but socially.
I found myself googling “people forget about you when you’re pregnant” and various posts and pages popped up to show me I was not alone in my thinking. Although you may not “actually” be alone and your support system is there, there are days where you may feel well…alone. That’s because you realize that you and those people you once communicated with are in different stages of life now and sometimes you’re the first out of your group of friends to have kids. While you’re getting prepared to be a mother your friends concerns and obligations are at a different level and phase. It can definitely suck to watch everyone around you have fun but it’s also important for people to note that pregnancy does not equate to being “unable”. Pregnant people like to have fun too and there are various things to do that doesn’t involve drinking, drugs, or money. To better explain what I mean, I found a few comments posted on a forum about this exact topic:
“Anyone else feel like your friends forget you exist when you’re pregnant? I’m 28 and most of my friends haven’t had children yet so maybe that is why but it seems like no one wants to hang out with you when you’re pregnant. It doesn’t help that my husband works away and is gone for weeks at a time (3 weeks at work and 3 at home) or that I’m hormonal. I’m so bored!”
“Omg. Yes. Every single day I can’t help but get so angry when I think about how neglected I’m feeling. I understand why my friends have kind of forgotten me… pregnancy is boring for a bunch of 21 year olds who have no kids or responsibility. Plus I can’t really do anything fun anymore anyway. Too broke and tired and fat hahaha.
But still. I get really upset when I think about how close we were before and how excited everyone was when I found out I was pregnant, and how quickly they all just faded away. I cry about the loneliness a lot 😦 and my BF works 24 hour shifts at a time, every other day. So I know how you feel about being just SO bored and alone 😦“
A particular comment stood out to me and helped me realize that there is a two way street when it comes to pregnancy. While you may be going through changes, people you have relationships with may feel like a change is taking place also. That change can be in conversation, responsibilities, outings, etc. The problem is two-sided, while an expectant mom may feel neglected, the friend or close relationship may feel like there is no space or time for them in your life anymore. Here’s what it said:
“Don’t forget, the pendulum swings both ways. Maybe your friends feel neglected from you as well. Or maybe they don’t want to hear about pregnancy stuff.
It’s hard for us pregnant women, we’re carrying and growing a child so it’s what we think about 24/7. Therefore we can talk about it 24/7! It can become very difficult to hear about it constantly when you’re the “friend”.
Try to make the effort with them first and keep the pregnancy talk to a minimum, focus on them. They will ask about your pregnancy if they’re good friends, so you should get the opportunity to tell them exciting things you’re thinking! If they don’t reciprocate after that, maybe join some pregnancy classes and make new relatable friends 🙂“
When you announce a pregnancy people automatically see you as a mother and the problem is with some, that becomes your only identity.
There’s a shift in relationships that take place, not with all, but with a few it will be noticeable and you’ll find yourself saying, “things have changed.” When you announce a pregnancy people automatically see you as a mother and the problem is with some, that becomes your only identity. Mother is a big title but mothers still have lives and mothers are their own person, yes things will change because as a mother you are now responsible for a human being but that’s not all. We are still capable of having conversations about other things, still capable of going out. Even when we can’t go out, an invitation or knowing you’re thought of is nice.
So why does this shift happen? Have you ever been pregnant or currently expecting and wondered why you and a few people have fell off? Or maybe you’re the close relationship and you’re wondering as well or can relate in some way.
I’ve done my research and there’s a few more reasons I didn’t note above as to why you and a friend or family member, etc. may decrease in socialization when you’re the one expecting.
- They are giving you your space – while that’s understandable and appreciated this is often the time an expecting mother needs that extra support the most if they are close to someone relationship wise, especially if she’s a first time mother trying to grasp the process of growing life and still carrying out everyday living. Sometimes that space can feel like abandonment and like the person they needed or would have liked to be around, wasn’t.
- They don’t talk “baby” – when you’re expecting you sometimes get so excited and rant and rave about babies, babies, and more babies by default. Honestly sometimes people don’t want to talk about that or feel they can’t relate and don’t reach out, out of fear that’s where the conversation will head. But those who are expecting are capable of talking about other things. It takes two to have a conversation one person doesn’t and shouldn’t have to lead, it should flow amongst those involved so change the topic and if that doesn’t work tell your expecting friend how you feel and vice versa, communication is key.
- Truth be told, you are less compatible – some friends and people are for different phases of our lives. One person may be your turn up buddy, the other, your venting partner and so on. It becomes a question of what stage your friends and close relationships are at in life…if they have families of their own and if they share the same priorities you do.
- It’s not them, it’s you – Yes, it can be you. You can be at fault when it comes to maintaining relationships. Maybe you aren’t including people or they feel left out of your journey. Maybe you aren’t contacting them as often as you think or checking up on them. Life doesn’t stop when you become pregnant; your friends and family still have a life of their own and sometimes they need advice or to vent about their own problems. In the midst of preparing to be a good mom, your relationships may suffer. You may become so engulfed in your new baby preparation and excitement that everything else goes out the window. Some people are understanding and that’s why they give you space, others may not understand and those relationships may drift off and ultimately end.
The list can go on but it all comes down to the individual and those involved as to why your relationships may be shifting. It’s not just one person at fault as it takes two to communicate and nurture those relationships. All parties involved have to understand that everyone is going through their own changes and adjusting to a new life being brought into the equation. If you feel your close relationships aren’t as supportive or involved, open that door of communication just as if you are the friend or close relationship and feel like the expecting mother isn’t as inclusive or you feel neglected in a way. It all comes down to communication and understanding. If nothing changes then you know that relationship has ran its course, some people just aren’t interested in being apart of certain journey’s.
A great read to accompany this post:
“An Open Letter to My Friends Who Don’t Have Kids“
- “Discussing Pregnancy with a Mommy To Be” – Sherrie
- Discussing Motherhood With Katrina
- A Letter To My Black Son
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Thanks for reading, Be Blessed & Stay Humble. As always Choose You Always!
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