My best friend is pregnant. We used to be single, living together and going through the trials and tribulations of life-after uni together. Then she found a boyfriend, accidentally got pregnant and moved out. And I don’t blame her. I like her boyfriend and I wish them all the happiness in the world and the healthiest baby (I know it will be amazing).
Do I want a baby of my own? Of course I do, but only when I find the right guy and we’ll be in a serious relationship… I still have a lot of time for that (we’re both 24 going on 25). But there is something bothering me; she stopped being MY friend.
All of the internet research suggest that most common problem in this occasion is that a single or even friend in a relationship gets jealous of her pregnant friend. There’s a lot of advice and words of understanding for the mommy-to-be whose friends don’t understand that she’s incubating a human being and still want her to join the nights out or do the things she did in her single life. What those pages don’t say is the story of the other side.
So you feel neglected and forgotten because a person who was your best friend in the world and who knew all of your secrets isn’t there anymore? Get over it! You had a really bad day at work, you feel a little bit down and don’t have anyone to go out with and shake out all of your troubles? Forget it; it’s not like, understanding that your friend needs some rest, you wouldn’t accept just sitting at her place and complaining about everything straight to her face. You can’t or don’t want to talk to your family right now and you could use a friendly ear for just a moment? Out of the question!
I am not saying that my pregnant friend should listen to me 24/7. Maybe part of it is my fault for not stating my feelings but that is it; we are a part of society that tries to tell us on the one side that pregnancy is a normal state but on the other creates this myth of a blessed woman who cannot be upset or faced with anything that does not have to do with her pregnancy and babies. You can see other friends (those who already had babies) talking about names, giving her advice, sending her links to useful tools and things she will need once the baby comes. And yes, let’s celebrate it. Let us buy toys, tiny booties and shirts and pyjamas, let us plan what and when she will need.
But let us not forget that it is a nine months! Nine months, which accounts to around 270 days, which equals to 6480 hours and if we assume that half of it is spent sleeping, that leaves us with 3240. 3240 hours left and in all of that time all you can think and talk about is a choice between ready-made and material diapers? Surely you find the time to watch the tv show that you liked to watch before you were expecting or get excited that gossip says that the couple who you thought were going to be together finally did?
I would like to say a lot more on this topic but even now, in my own head, social constructs are telling me that I am being mean and selfish and a really bad friend and what does that suggests? When my friend met her boyfriend I spent some time with them but mostly stayed away so they could spend some time together (unlike our crazy flatmate who was bothering them all of the time). When she found out about the pregnancy she was panicking and I was there to help her calm down and promised that whatever will happen between her and her boyfriend, I will be there to support her, like we’ve been promising each other in our future scenarios. When she decided to move out (living me with a crazy flatmate) I helped her move stuff and furniture and divided things that once were ours into two even piles. She got the dog that she bought, but we were raising and taking care of together. And even though she lives by my workplace and we planned for me to have a spare key and drop by anytime I want to see her or even take care of the dog, suddenly I am not needed because she has her boyfriend.
Even as I write this, I sit alone in my new flat (which she still had not seen despite my numerous invitations, and the flat being placed ten minutes away from her house) instead of going to town not far away from here for a short non-boys, ‘let’s see some other place on a day off’ trip with her, because she wanted to rest after work and I try.
I try to be understanding that she is being limited in the things that we used to do together but on the other side I cannot help but think what my mom used to tell me: that pregnancy is a normal state and as long as woman does not carry heavy things or overexert herself, she is free to do whatever she did before. She needs to change her life in order to accommodate a new one, but it does not mean that she needs to cut off old one altogether. Question is, is it the hormones and changes in her body that make her create an unapproachable nest with her partner or is it society way of separating the single and paired up people as if they were different species?