My Friend Had A Kid And I Don’t Know Who She Is Anymore

I love kids—just as long as they’re quiet, not mine, and preferably on TV so I don’t have to actually deal with them. Still, when one of my closest friends told me she was pregnant, I tried to be as supportive as possible. Unfortunately, now that she’s actually had the kid, she’s not the same person anymore—and I don’t know what this means for our friendship.

  1. She doesn’t take care of herself. My friend used to be a total gym rat, into clean eating and getting eight hours of sleep every day. She used to bug me about being healthier! Now, it seems like the only thing she eats are leftover tater tots off her kid’s plate, and exercise consists of fighting through every diaper change. Now, I get that having a child shifts your priorities a lot, but isn’t it also important to care for yourself so you can actually be a good mom? I worry that she’s neglecting herself in the name of motherhood, but she refuses to admit it.
  2. She’s afraid of everything. We used to get into some mad situations, and my friend was always the instigator. She loved being spontaneous, trying new things, and seeing how far she could bend the rules. Now, everything is a threat: plastic straws are carcinogenic, coffee causes sleep apnea, and our favorite brunch spot is definitely infected with the plague. Having a baby has made her uber-scared of anything that could pose a hazard, and it’s kind of ridiculous how she’s become.
  3. She doesn’t want to go anywhere without her kid. I mean, yeah, I know she loves him, but come on. Being separated for a couple hours isn’t going to cause irreparable psychological damage to a toddler! Plus, her husband works from home so it’s not like she’d have issues with childcare. But no matter what I say, she has to tote baby along—so no more bars, R-rated movies, or literally anything that isn’t kid-friendly.
  4. She acts like I’m this immature child-woman and she’s the responsible one. OK, I have had my wild moments, but I’m a grown-ass adult—I have a job, I pay my taxes, and I eat the occasional vegetable. But my friend seems to think that now that she’s popped a kid out, she’s automatically infinitely more responsible and I’m her flighty childless friend. I hate how superior she acts, and I don’t even think she realizes what she’s doing.
  5. I’m worried she’s going to regret giving up on her career. My friend loved her job and was doing really well at her company. The original plan was for her to take six months of maternity leave and then go back to work. Now, she’s talking about how she wants to wait until her kid’s in middle school, and then “revisit” the idea of returning to the office! I don’t want to shame stay-at-home moms, and maybe her goals really have drastically changed. But I also know that she was incredibly passionate about her career, and I don’t want her to look back in 20 years and wish she’d done it differently.
  6. She never stops talking about her kid. I get it, her child is a big part of her life. And as unofficial auntie, I’m more than willing to spend the requisite time cooing over pictures and listening to what obscenely cute made-up word the baby said this time. But at some point, I have to draw the line: we’re adults, so shouldn’t we be able to have at least some adult conversations? My friend and I used to talk about everything from politics to trashy television, but now every conversation seems to circle back to her baby—it’s driving me nuts.
  7. She acts like other people’s experiences are inferior to having a baby. My friend has always been a great listener, and our entire friend group used to go to her for advice. Boy trouble, career problems, you name it—my girl was always ready with an open ear and some sound pointers. But lately, whenever anyone brings up a problem, she just scoffs and acts like they’re being dramatic. It seems like she thinks that having a baby is the most important experience that anyone could have and everything else is irrelevant.
  8.  She thinks she’s doing me a favor by hanging out with me. She’s busy with a baby, a husband, and a home and I try to respect her new lifestyle. However, I feel like getting her to spend time with me is like pulling teeth—and when she does show up, she’s always distracted. She also gets defensive when I ask her about it, like she’s making this huge sacrifice to see me and I should be grateful for any crumbs of friendship she tosses my way.
  9. Now that she’s married with a kid, she thinks I should be too. My friend and I have always been polar opposites dating styles—she yearned for the nuclear unit and I wanted to explore and not be tied down—and we always respected our differences. Now that she’s “accomplished” domestic bliss, though, she’s super invested in making sure I’m on track for the same. From setting me up with her husband’s boring friends to criticizing my “reckless lifestyle,” she’s constantly trying to steer me towards the white picket fence life. I know she cares about me, but this is getting a bit much.
  10. I worry our friendship won’t ever be the same. It’s not just like we had a big fight and can make up the next day—she’ll be responsible for her kid for the next 17 years, and possibly even longer! Either we’re going to have to have a serious discussion or we’re just going to grow farther and farther apart.
Devani is a biology student with a deep love and no talent for spoken word poetry. She enjoys singing in the shower, lychee boba, and hopes to one day develop enough coordination to look cool in da club.