Friendships in 30's

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2005
Friendships in 30's
2
Thu, 03-13-2014 - 7:55pm

Ok ladies need some serious perspective here. I have a friend from college and after that we had been extremely close. We are now both married with children. She has a 4 year old and 20 month old and a stepdaughter who is 14 that currently lives with them. I have a 2 1/2 year old. We live many states apart and aside from catching up via phone, email & social media don't know when we would see each other again. We last spoke via phone almost 4 months ago when she know we were having health issues with me son with his language and were going to see a team at a children's hospital to get some further information. Awful time for parents with the stress and worry. We spoke about the situation and she assured me she wanted to know what was happening and would call me after appointment. Never heard from her after. I of course was beside myself with the news that my son may be on the autistic spectrum. I waited for a while and was otherwise busy with my son. She never called, I tried to afew times to see how she was and to fill her in, didn't return my calls. Now four months later she suddlenly calls two days in a row on her way home from work in the car. Now, we've had the problem in the past where she calls for about 10 mins (I appreciate the effort if it is for real) but is highly distracted, phone cutting in and out and says she has less than 10 mins b/f she picks the kids up at daycare. It feels as if she is just sort of checking something off her to-do list i.e. called friend, check, but not that she really can or wants to talk. No one is that busy, it is all about priorites in my mind. I've told her we don't need to talk frequently as we are both busy moms and it would be much better to talk less frequently but really have a meaningful conversation. She claims she has no time and always wants to talk about how busy she is with a job, and three children. I am just as busy, especially with a special needs child, but don't feel the need to keep discussing how busy I am. It's not important, to be alive is to be busy and I'd rather really here what is happening with you if I'm making the time to maintain our friendship. 

What is the deal here ladies? Her husband does nothing to help with the children and she likes to complain about that and how she has no time to herself. This has been happening since her children were born. First it was I don't understand how busy she is as she is a mom, then once I was a mom, it was you don't undestand I have 2 plus a stepdaughter and a fulltime job, etc. 

After she called last week 2x during her eveing commute, I sent her a polite message stating I'd love to catch up, but when she had time to actually talk and connect. No point in my mind otherwise. Call me when/if she can. I feel for her with her situation with her husband, but if she chooses not to address it, not much I can do for it. Some people just love to vent/complain I guess. Either address it if it is bothering you and I'd be happy to listen or forget about it. Instead, she just wants to talk about how "busy" she is and exhausted all the time. Ideas, I'm at my wits end and not sure what else, if anything, can be done to salvage this relationship, or if it is worth it. I don't have many girlfriends since I have moved around and do cherish my relationship with her, but it's at the point do i just let it fade off and not say anything or be up front and address. I told her today that her commute time coming home was not convenient for me and/or conducive to catching up and could we set up something else even if it was less frequent. She just went on about how was working from home today and would call me to catch up and seemed amenable to doing so. Well, needless to say she didn't call. I called when my son went down for a nap and we chatted for an hour. She thanked me for calling, complained about how caught up at work she was and imagine what my life would be like if I had to work. What? Like being a SAHM to a special needs child is not work? I really don't get it. 

Thoughts?

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 03-13-2014 - 10:08pm

No, you really don't get it.  Being a SAHM to one child is nothing like working full time and having three children.  Sorry if you don't like to hear that, but it's reality.  She works all day.  Plus commute, that is probably 10 to 11 hours out of her day.  It took me 1.5 to 2 hours in the morning to get 2 kids up, dressed, fed, dogs walked, wash a load of laundry, myself fixed, and get to daycare.  Assuming she sleeps 8 hours, that kills 21 of 24 hours.  So, when she gets home from work she has to make dinner, clean the kitchen, dry and fold the load of laundry she washed that morning, spend time with the little kids, wash them, put them to bed-hopefully before 10 pm, check the teen's book bag, check her homework, check her computer, maybe talk to some teachers, go watch her play vollyball, play pep band, try out for Othello, practice her tuba, say hello to her husband, feed the dog, walk the dog, take out the garbage, fall in bed, get up the next morning and do it all over again. 

NO, she does not have time to sit on the phone for an hour, or even  20 minutes, unless you want to hear her spend the entire conversation saying, "Put that down, no you can't have juice, don't hit the dog, don't put your sister's toys in the toilet, put your pants back on, give me my makeup, you can't pierce your bellybutton,  you can't go to Donnies tonight or ever, hair dye is for adults, there is a reason I password protected that computer..."  Talking during her commute IS the only time she has to "catch up".  If you don't like that, leave her alone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 03-14-2014 - 10:59am

I don't mean to put down being a SAHM because when you have a little child that does take all of your attention.  It seemed if I got on the phone that was when my DD decided to try to climb up onto the countertops or something like that.  But you do have more free time--I assume you have some time to get cleaning done during the day or you could chat while your son is watching TV etc.  OK if she works full time, driving home might be the only time she gets to talk where kids aren't making demands on her time.  My own DD (who lives in a diff. state) and is single and has no kids, calls me a lot during her commute--when she was in college she used to call me while she walked across campus.  I think if you want to keep up a friendship, you have to flexible and find time when the other person is available.  Long phone calls aren't always reasonable to expect and sometimes you have to settle for 10 mins. here & there.  And maybe she just figures that if you are a close friend, you are someone she can vent to about her job, useless DH & busy life.  I think if you want someone to have a closer friendship, you should look around for someone where you live and maybe you can get together with your kids, let them play and the moms can chat.  I think it's hard to maintain a close friendship where you aren't seeing each other in person any more.