DAME’s Friendkeeper brings an only-child mother back from the brink, and helps us cope with a friend’s annoying new obsession.
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My best friend has been my best friend since 2nd grade (we are 33 now). We have almost been like twins. We always did the same extracurricular activities in school; we went to the same college. It isn’t as weird as it sounds but we met two guy best friends and fell in love and got married (a year apart). Anyway, since the second grade we said we would have only one child. I have a three-year-old and my friend has a four-year-old, and here’s the problem: I just found out she is pregnant. I know this sounds ridiculous but I am so upset and mad and hurt that she is having a second kid. She apologized to me and of course I said it was fine, and my husband is upset with me and I’m having a really hard time with it and I don’t know what to do.
No Baby on Board
Same thing happened to me—only it wasn’t my best friend, it was Tina Fey, who is my imaginary best friend, but only for a couple of years. I don’t even think she was born when I was in 2nd grade. I have one kid and Tina said she was only going to have one kid and she even justified it in her amazing book Bossypants. And then she went and got pregnant. I was like, FUCK! Now what? I was 44, in the middle of splitting up with my husband, my kid was 8, I was broke … and now I was supposed to get pregnant?? DAMN IT, TINA, a little warning would be nice!
Anyway, I know your feelings are very real and true and you hurt deeply. You feel alone or maybe you’re worried that with her other kid she won’t have as much time for you, but this is your problem and you have to not make your friend feel bad. We all like to have the choices we make validated. I think the choice to have one child is very easy for some people and very tough for others. I struggled with it—would I be making my kid’s life harder or sadder or lonelier? I tortured myself about it until my last egg shriveled up and blew away. But a good friend of mine with a single child was like, “No fuckin’ way in hell do I want to have another one, this one’s fine!”
And I’m going to say this: I think this is a good thing that your friend got pregnant without you, because eventually something was going to happen where your lives wouldn’t match perfectly anymore and this is as good a time to deal with it as any. And you must deal with it yourself or with your husband or therapist. Talk about the feelings and realize that people have to make personal family decisions with their spouse, not their BFF, and they certainly shouldn’t be held to something they decided when they were 7 years old. And it sounds like you have a very full life of your own. Embrace the new kid and support your friend and get something that she doesn’t have…I suggest a crop top.
A friend of mine started going to therapy a few months ago. At the time, I totally encouraged her to see someone, honestly I’m of the mindset that everyone could benefit from therapy, no matter how well-adjusted you think you are. But man, she got SO into it. Like, too into it. She starts so many sentences with, “My therapist said” or “My therapist thinks” and she even considers herself somewhat of an armchair therapist in her own right, spouting off terms and “diagnosing” me and other friends when we’re just trying to talk about our problems. I don’t want to discourage her, I still think therapy is beneficial for her. But if she tells me I’m triangulating one more time, I’m seriously going to lose it.
So Not Therapeutic
Yeah, there’s nothing like someone who has discovered therapy, or stopped eating wheat and dairy, or found religion, or quit drinking, or blah blah to drive you insane. However, they should have a grace period where they can talk about it ad nauseam, don’t you think? Take my friend Anklebracelet (I’m tired of thinking of fake names). She did one of those cleanses, lost a ton of weight, all I heard was cleanse, cleanse, cleanse, and then about four months later, no more talk of cleanse. But initially it was annoying as heck, especially because I’m kind of the opposite of a cleanser. I like my insides dirty and filled with sugar and booze. As far as the therapy thing, hooray for her, seriously. I wish the whole world would be therapized. It would be much easier to deal with everyone if they were self-aware. As far as diagnosing you, a simple, “I know you are, but what am I?” should do the trick. I sincerely believe her new vision will fade and she’ll stop doing it. It’s still new and exciting to her. If it doesn’t, simply tell her how that diagnosing makes YOU feel.
Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.
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