Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not Everyone is a Mother

Let me start off this post by saying I don't mean to offend anyone with what I am about to say. This is merely a post about my frustration of getting together with women around the same age as me.
Last night, Sean and I went to a BBQ at our friends' house. There were several other people invited and most of them were women, as training is currently keeping our soldiers occupied elsewhere.  Most of these women are mothers, although there were a couple other than myself that were not.

By the end of the night I was sorry I'd even agreed to go to this BBQ. For a good four hours all that was discussed was breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, pregnancy, how pregnancy changed their bodies and various actions their children perform on a daily basis.

I do love children, I do plan on having children, I like discussing the children of my friends. However, most of my friends do talk about other things other than their children. I simply cannot deal with all children talk/pregnancy talk all the time. It simply drives me batty.  Somehow women managed to discuss other things before they become mothers, so what is so keeping them from doing that now? I do not mean that mothers should never discuss their children, but please consider that their are others out there that do not want to hear every single story of what happened when you were pregnant or every mundane activity your child completes during the day. Quite frankly I find it a bit inconsiderate when there are people around that do not have children and topics of motherhood are all that is discussed.

I ended up spending the night mostly hanging out with the two men that were at this BBQ, one of which was my husband.  It appears until I have a child, that's most likely the formula I will be following at future gatherings.

29 comments:

Emily's Going Nuts said...

Ugh, you aren't the only one who feels this way. Promise. I hate when women do that.

Jenn said...

Aw, I'm sorry that's all they talked about. I was at a gathering like that recently, and I think it has more to do with them being uncomfortable around new people and not knowing what else to talk about? Maybe? Then they see that they have this *thing* in common, so they start talking about it, and I dunno if you've ever visited one of those mommy forums, but people can get crazy carried away with it!

While I have a child (plus another that refuses to exit my body at this moment), the thing I look forward to most when getting together with other friends (moms or not) is NOT talking about kids! lol :) There's a time and a place to talk about them, but every conversation does not need to revolve around them...

I hope the next get-together is more fun for you!

Allison C said...

I feel the same way! Any time I would go to a coffee event at my old post, that's all people talked about and I felt like I had nothing to add to the conversation because I don't have kids yet. Then I would hear jokes about how the stuff they talked about (giving birth, stuff their kids do) was birth control for me. It's so frustrating!

Mrs.B said...

I think it's because it's something they all have in common.

I usually don't talk pregnancy/child birth/ what she's doing unless asked.
Sometimes I just want to have some girl time and real adult conversation so I can understand how it'd be annoying.

Amanda said...

I totally get it. This I why I choose not to hang around most women with children. Or military spouses in general. Most only talk about their kids, or complain about being a parent.

Caitlin said...

I feel the exact same way. It always makes me sad when women give up any semblance of identity once they have children. You were a person before kids, you still are one now!

Have you seen this Tumblr? http://www.stfuparentsblog.com Pretty hilars :)

Samantha said...

I know a lot of mothers that feel the same way... children can enrich your life and household but there are things in life. Since I found out I was pregnant I have managed to talk about other things. Even before I found out I was pregnant I managed to talk about other things in life than my husband and school. People just need to expand their horizons.

Mrs. H said...

AMEN! I feel the same way! About 2 months ago one of my friends was having a cookout at their place. Lots of kids came, which was fine by me. The women split off from the men and were all talking. Once the women found out 1. I'm not a mom. 2. I don't want to be one ANYTIME soon. 3. I was not just a military wife, but a AD member too...not one of them said a single word to me for the rest of the night. I ended up hanging in the garage with the men and getting rude and catty comments made about me for the rest of the night. I learned to never do that again!

Jessica Lynn said...

I feel like I could've written this. That's all anyone here ever talks about. So annoying.

tootie said...

I can definitely relate! Especially when ladies talk about child birth and all the details. (Eek!)

Amber M. said...

I have three babies and still get annoyed at those kind of conversations. I'm more of a person than just a mother! I'm sorry you were kind of the odd one out, but just know not all mothers only speak mother talk.

Natalie said...

I'm a stay at home mom so when I am away from my son I can't wait to talk about non baby stuff. But as a mother I understand, your kids become your life. It is hard to find other things to talk about at times. I don't have any advice except to try and steer the conversation away from kids?

~The Buzuleciu's~ said...

OMG I feel the same way!!

Crystal said...

I had a similar situation when all the friends in my group started having kids and only 3 of us did not. The conversations definitely centered around the children topic and it can be tough to get a word in about anything else. I still deal with the frustration at times too and do my best to add a little something else to the conversation now and then. I feel your pain :)

The Pink Growl said...

I 1000000% agree with you! I feel like at this point in my life I'm surrounded my people with children. And like you said, if they are my close friends then I don't mind it and I want updates on their kids, but come on let's talk about something else every now and then.
You would think that if you're out without your kids then you want adult talk.

Meg said...

I find this to be a problem, especially with military. Not so much the talking about it, I suppose, but we seem to have a hard time meeting people because almost every military couple that we know that are around our age have children. I'm not anti-children having people, but it's really difficult to be good friends with people who have kids when you DON'T have kids, if you didn't have a foundation before hand.

Mallory Hill said...

I can completely relate, especially to Mrs. H. Since Mac and I don't want kids, I get all kinds of comments and stares once people find out. One of my best friends has a little boy and we still hang out all the time but it seems like when I get around any other group of women, I am very out of place. It's really hard and that is never going to change I guess.

Dana said...

Somehow women managed to discuss other things before they become mothers, so what is so keeping them from doing that now?

Having a child changes your life in a way that you never thought possible...some good, some not-so-good. We do it (this incessant talking of our children) for reassurance bc, quite frankly, often even the best of us do not know what the F*&^ we are doing, esp. not in the beginning. We see people in the same boat & look to each other for help. It's not even conscious at times. I can't even begin to explain how all-encompassing it is ... for the first few years I couldn't talk about anything else because I couldn't even see or imagine much of anything else. That can be VERY difficult, believe me.

The good news for you is twofold --it decreases as the children get older, mostly because mothers get back some personal time & can explore other interests. Secondly, those women will be there for you! It may not be the ones at the gathering you attended, but there will be a group for you. Just like me, you'll need them :) AND you'll be there for them, too.
Dana

Abbie said...

Oh trust me, you are not the only one who feels that way! Whenever the topic of conversation turns to babies, pregnancy, nursing, etc., I simply get up and join a different conversation. I can't sit and participate in something that I know NOTHING about!

Jes said...

so frustrating! I hope that when I eventually become a mother I don't forget what it was like pre-baby.

Jamie said...

I was never friends with people who had babies before I had my baby for that same reason. Now that I have one, all I can talk about is my baby. :)

Tori said...

Dude, I feel like it's infiltrating Facebook and bloggy land too. I've quit following a lot of blogs because of it.

Seneca said...

Sometimes, I feel like I'm just a contrarian, I suppose, but...to someone without children, it seems like "children" are a subject, a topic, just like the Army, what books you're reading, the weather, politics, etc. might be. But as parents, usually you don't see it that way, you are just talking about your life, and your life includes your children- they are a big part of it. So I don't see it as some sort of intentional slight to anyone that's childless. Our last few get togethers before we left our last duty station, it was well known we were leaving the Army, but I didn't think it rude that much of the topic of conversation was about Army things- upcoming deployments, PCS's, promotions,etc. That's life- people talk about what's going on (and what's important) in their lives.

~Kristen~ said...

I also hate when they ask me how many kids I have, and when I say none, they either look at me with pity because they think I can't have kids or they give me that weird look like "you must hate kids because you don't want any." I haven't even been married for two years yet! And I am getting my Master's Degree so I can teach kids! I hate when mothers do this to me.

Dana said...

I second "the other Dana." I will add that, as a stay-at-home mom, you are 100% immersed in every single thing that happens with your children on a daily basis. Sometimes my mom will call and ask, "So what's your day been like?" and honestly, all I can respond with is something funny Jericho said, or that the highlight of my day is that the dishes got done. So essentially, you become your children's lives, at least for a while. But I will also say that we secretly crave adult conversation - at least I do. That's how I know what's going on in the world sometimes.

Jen said...

Agreed. I am a Mom (for the first time at 35, so I had LOTS of years in your shoes) and I am rarely around non Moms here.

However, if I did get an afternoon out to socialize, I would not want to talk about those things! I am sorry you got stuck in the middle of that.

And as someone that was told she might not be able to have kids, a conversation like that would have not only been irritating to me years ago, but also upsetting.

Alisha @ Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife said...

I am treated the same way. I am either a) hanging out with my husband and his friends and being spoken about, b) not invited to things because we don't have kids and being spoken about, c) when they rudely ask why we don't have kids and I tell them that I can't...I get looks that should be on FB and spoken about.

Its just sad that we are treated this way. We wish we could have kids, but, it wasn't in the cards. It wasn't meant to be and we accept that and we just wish that everyone else would. We have a beautiful fur baby who is our daughter.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I feel this way OFTEN!

❈ Annie - Blonde Glambition ❈ said...

I've have felt the same way so many times! This is one reason why I'm really hesitant about get togethers. It seems the guys and gals always split off, and often the subject turns to children. I was invited to a bbq during the deployment. It was supposed to be a pick-me-up. Instead I was surrounded by 5 women I didn't know who were talking about breast feeding, bowel movements, and the effects of pregnancy on their body during and after. I was the only one without a kid. Needless to say, I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. All subjects are ok, but within moderation.