A childless friend of mine commented to me the other day that when she caught up with a mutual friend who is a new mum that our friend had nothing to talk about except the baby. Whilst the childless lady was open to discussing the baby, she felt there should be a time limit on how long a mum can talk about the ins and outs of her baby. She questioned whether she really needed to know about the texture and frequency of this little cherub’s bowel movements?
Now I’m really torn on this subject because I have stood in both women’s shoes. As I explained to my childless friend, when you spend every waking (and sleeping) hour of the day caring for a baby you don’t have much else going on in your universe. You do tend to be focused wholly and solely on your baby, and heck who doesn’t want to hear about an embarrassing exploding nappy episode? If our friend had just moved house or started a new job, then she would be focused on talking about that subject. It makes sense that we talk about what we are experiencing.
However, I’d like to point out to the new mums that the world hasn’t stopped turning just because you had a child. Your childless friends miss the ‘old’ you who could laugh about common experiences and discuss topics that are more relatable to the greater community. They are also living life and might like to see that you are interested in what is going on in their lives, as much as you are intensively focused on yours.
I guess all I can say is that friendship is a two way street and whilst we are all guilty of being self indulgent by talking about what is monopolizing our time, we need to make time for our friends as they are a great support network and will hopefully still be around to hang out with you once your kids grow up and don’t need you 24/7.
Mums – keep your baby focused conversations for other mums who can empathize with your situation and make sure you keep a bit of the real you available to nurture friendships with others not on the same journey as you!
Do you think there should be a time limit on talking about your baby, or do you think that a friend should want to listen to anything you have to say? Let me know your thoughts!
(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, freedigitalphotos.net)