I am getting no pleasure from my friends company

Agony Aunt's picture

Dear Patricia Marie,

My best friend has just had a baby at the age of 48. Both of us have grown up children and have shared so much together. However, the thoughts of going through the baby years again with her feels me with horror, and would make me feel I would be going backwards, not forwards with our friendship. Indeed, our adult children now have their own lives and are trying for babies themselves. I have met up with my friend a handful of times since she has had her new born and am ashamed to say, I am getting no pleasure from her company and find we now have little, if anything in common. I try to keep in contact by telephone, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage in conversation with her as she is constantly pre-occupied with the baby. Do you think I am being selfish and unreasonable?

Patricia Marie says...

Friends who are alongside us during our life stages are special to us because we share valuable experiences together, which become a huge part of our memories, and that applies whether we are young carefree students, newly married, and if we have babies, young children or teenagers. We support each other through all the stress, pain, celebrations and happiness life can bring. Once your own children grow up, you don't want to be having a meaningful conversation interrupted by a young infant, so I can understand your feelings of frustration and impatience with your friend. Nevertheless, it seems sad to turn your back on decades of friendship because of this. 

Whilst we can feel safe having friends with the same interests and goals, it can also bring some freshness, intrigue and excitement to a friendship when two people have different things going on in their lives. Could you suggest you and your friend meet when the baby can be looked after? I'm sure your friend will appreciate some quality time out, and appreciate a welcome relief from baby talk, but when she does, compromise and be ready to listen, as this will help re-establish the bond. Do also remember, one day soon you may have a grandchild and your friend could be the best possible person to have on call.

Patricia Marie, our Agony Aunt, wants to hear your problems, dilemmas, and quarrels. Just email them to patricia.marie@lady.co.uk