Young and Lonely

Welcome to the Tuesday guest blog. Every Tuesday "On Balance" features the views of a guest writer. It could be your neighbor, your boss, your most loved or hated poster from the blog, or you! Send me your entry (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.

By Moira Demyan

I am the first in my group of friends to have a baby. When I was pregnant, I thought motherhood would open doors to new friends and playgroups and activities. Honestly, I've never felt lonelier. Some days I feel like it is me and Henry -- now 10 months -- against the world. Sometimes, I can't even count my husband on my team. And I've realized I have two major barriers to the fabled world of mom friends.

First of all, I work. I tried to join Waterbabies, and music class and something else, but they are all on weekdays when I'm at work. I was in a new moms group at the local hospital, but had to quit after maternity leave because they met Tuesday afternoons. I've found that many stay-at-home moms don't want to meet on weekends, and working moms seem to reserve weekends as family-only time. I don't think Henry will be any worse for the wear without group classes at his age. I want the playgroups for me.

Second, I'm too young. Though at 26 I was at the national average age for a first pregnancy, I feel like a little kid at the grown-ups table. Many of the mothers I meet who have young children are at least 10 years older (and there is nothing wrong with that). When they hear that I was born in 1980, they act as if I was a pregnant teenager (again, nothing wrong with that). Henry wasn't an accident, but just arrived a lot sooner than my husband and I were planning.

This is the main wedge between my husband and I. He wants to be out with friends and at bars on weekends, like many people our age. I want to be asleep by 10. I feel he sometimes resents our life right now -- that I cheated him from being a young, fun couple. I think if only I could meet another couple like us -- who understand the importance of bedtime routines and chain restaurants -- we would be so much happier.

Moms need other moms. I know there have to be other young, working moms like myself. I just haven't found them yet.

Moira Demyan, a marketing manager at Bankworld, Inc., lives in northern Virginia with her husband and son.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  August 15, 2006; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs
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Maybe you can check in with that DCUrbanMoms website and find some people through there. Also, don't forget about your old friends.

Your husband needs to seriously grow up. He's a father and a husband - not a frat boy. He's never going to wish he went to the bar -- but he is going to regret the time he missed with his son sitting around and moping that he's not at the bar.

Also, it never hurts to have your old friends over for brunch/dinner - even if it's just spaghetti or take out. If you take the first steps...they may surprise you.

Posted by: Danielle | August 15, 2006 7:38 AM

I became a mom 10 days shy of my 26th birthday. My daughter was completely planned except that she was 3 months early (the conception problem that never was). My husband and I lost almost all of our friends because they were mostly unmarried and definitely childless. Take heart. Your boy will be just fine as long as he is loved. If you look at the community rec groups offered through county government there are usually offerings on the weekends. My daughter and I did Gymboree every Saturday morning to give my stay-at-home husband a break. Once she was old enough, we started going to other programs.

I think you're main problem isn't your age or the fact that you work. In fact, it doesn't sound to me like you have any problems. You need to find a compromise with your husband. First, he needs to let go of his childhood. Then, you guys need to get a friend or relative (or a good babysitter) to watch your baby for date nights periodically. Your husband might also want to engage more with the baby by going to the local park or something, without you. Parenthood is much more real and fulfilling when you actually are engaged in your child's day to day life. Working parent or not.

Posted by: Chin Up! | August 15, 2006 7:42 AM

I agree with the first two posters. They are exactly right about your husband--time to grow up. He can go out once in a while with his friends, but he needs to be spending more time with you and your child.

I was 28 when I had my first and worked as well. It is tough when it seems that other mothers are at home and getting together. They do seem to shun the one's who work, but in reality it's not entirely true. There are classes for babies on the weekends if you look for them. Check out the Y or the JCCs, check out your local rec centers and church/synagogues. Gymboree has classes on the weekends as well. I met other parents through an activity that didn't involve children (a recreational sport), but some of these people are my closest friends and they all have children.

And the idea about a 1-2 x a month date night is good advice. I didn't with my first, but relaxed more with my second and I wish I had done these sooner. I understand the feeling that since we work, we feel/felt that we had to spend every other waking minute with our kids. You need some time to your self too. It's good for your child to have a happy mother.

And in reality, many SAHM feel isolated too. We are becoming an isolated society. People stick to themselves more these days. So it's not just you.

Posted by: working mother | August 15, 2006 7:50 AM


It is very lonely sometimes, even when you ARE involved in a few activities with the kids. A few suggestions: Fairfax County has Baby and Me swim "lessons" on weekends and evenings, that's what we did. In fact, look at Fairfax County for several thinsg, like kid art classes and "gym" type classes. They often have many sessions during the day evening and weekends.
And places like The Little Gym have classes in the evenings, we have met some good friends there.

As far as your husband goes he needs to make peace with where his life is, accept it and be happy with it. And I second the poster above who suggested nights out, just the 2 of you. Maybe you can even meet your friends out sometimes on those nights.

We were lucky, everyone we knew was having kids around the same time as us, so we never had that identity crisis of being in one place and our friends another.

Good luck, it will get better!

If you live in the Burke area there is a working moms social group I can give you information on.

Posted by: BurkeMom | August 15, 2006 7:54 AM

I don't really have constructive advice, but I'm sorry that you feel so lonely. Even though I'm not a mom yet, and I'm a few years older than you, I've had periods of loneliness. DC is a transient area and friendships ebb and flow. Occasionally it all coincides to create a time period when you are more likely to feel out of the loop.

I hope it gets better for you soon!

Posted by: alexva | August 15, 2006 7:56 AM

I have a comment from "the other side" -- I'm about the same age as Moira, and I'm one of the very few in my circle who isn't married and doesn't have children. I am EXTREMELY lonely these days, because it feels like all my girlfriends have deserted me.

No one is intrested in anything anymore except BABY BABY BABY, and frankly there's only so much of that I can take. If I want to see them I have to deal with their elaborate schedules and plan things weeks in advance and still they cancel half the time. They're never willing to do things on my terms, it *always* has to be on their terms.

So check yourself on that -- maybe your old friends really do want to see you, they just need some compromise on your part with regards to schedules, activities, etc. Try to ditch the "mom" label every now and then and just go back to being "girlfriend".

Posted by: Juliana | August 15, 2006 8:06 AM

Do you have family in the area? There is nothing wrong with living baby with Grandma for a night to go out and have fun with your husband and friends. Talk to him. Maybe Friday night can be social and fun night, and then the rest of the weekend is their for family time. I think you have to understand that your old friends probably also feel somewhat alienated by your marriage, and that is a conversation you should have with them.

Posted by: Kelly | August 15, 2006 8:09 AM

Even though I'm not a mom yet, most of my close friends already have children (and we are all 2 to 3 years younger then you). I have tried to stayed in touch with them through all their changes, you must remember though as much as your friends might like your children; they don't just want to talk about them at all times. In my experiences I've found that many new moms forget the fact that they are more than just a mom. They continue to be sisters, friends, daughters, and specialy wifes. I guess my advise would be to nurture those already established relationships, and like the posters before- I agree on alone time for you and your husband.

Posted by: M | August 15, 2006 8:17 AM

Tell your husband it's time to act like a man. I don't mean to sound harsh, but this isn't college and it's unacceptable, particularly with you working as well, for him to be more interested in knocking back a few with the boys then being a father and husband.

I don't know how much you've tried to talk with him about this behavior, but the other posters suggestion of making a night or two for you both to go out and relax seems like a good offer of compromise without completely taking away a social life. On the other hand, if he's stumbling into your home after last call, it's time to go to the therapist.

Posted by: Flustered in Frederick | August 15, 2006 8:39 AM


Here is my opinion, if you can listen to the perspective of one who has been there. My kids (four of them) are in their teens and early twenties. My wife and I began having them when she was 20 and I was 26. Now I am 50 and she is 44. The folks who wait longer are going to pay a price. It's great to be within reach of our children's age and activity level. You are at an advantage you'll come to enjoy in the years ahead.

Anyway, the solution to your loneliness is simple and traditional. Have another child. I guarantee you will not be lonely again. As to your husband, kick him in the butt and hand him the kid. Parenthood is not a lifestyle choice, it is life.

Posted by: David | August 15, 2006 8:41 AM

I had the same problem when my son was born. We lived in an apartment downtown (the only people in the building with a kid), and every time I went to the park to meet other moms I realized I was the only mom there. All the other grownups were nannies and they had their own cliques that didn't seem to accept outsiders. My husband also had a hard time adjusting to life with a baby. But once our son got older, started walking and talking, they really started to hit it off. Now they are best friends and spend loads of time together. I think some people, not just men, have a hard time bonding with infants because they aren't as responsive to their attention as a toddler.

And we moved to the 'burbs. There are lots of kids on our street and couples we like a lot. We still have our unmarried childless friends, but we see them for brunch rather than try to make a happy hour or club at night.

We did see a therapist about our problems adjusting to being parents. I'm not sure if it helped, but it was nice to get out of the house together just the two of us, even if it was to see a counselor.

Good luck to you!

Posted by: B | August 15, 2006 8:48 AM

I work full-time, and we met a lot of our friends at the local park, at the library's Saturday morning story time for little kids, and by taking walks through the neighborhood. Good luck!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 8:55 AM

I agree with what Juliana stated above. Go out once and a while and just be a girlfriend to your friends. With a young child, I am sure it is hard to think of anything other than your little one. But remember, your friends want you to hear about them too. And, they want parts of the "old you" back again.

That said, one of my biggest fears of motherhood is losing myself. I don't want to be a woman who only spends time with her child or doesn't talk to their friends about their interests as well. I don't have children yet, but am sure it is hard. Any advice as to how to strike this balance would be great.

FWIW, I am 32 and none of my friends have children. We are only now starting to try for them. I will be interested to see if David is right and I will "pay the price". I will say that right now, I look and feel younger than 30. So maybe I won't feel it as much. We'll see if the workouts have been worth it.

I would advise not to have another to get rid of the lonliness. You may want to wait until your husband has ocme around to try that one.

Posted by: Thought | August 15, 2006 8:56 AM

The solution to loneliness (or any other emotional problem)is never going to be having another baby! What a dopey concept.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 9:04 AM

So you want these groups for you because your husband cannot fullfill you emotionally. Seems like some counselling should be going on between you and your husband. You can meet as many like people you want, but the void will still be there. Only your husband can fill that void, so you have 2 basic options. Work on it with him, or leave it unfilled. I vote for the latter, because in the long run, the one that will REALLY be affected is your child...

Posted by: JoeD. | August 15, 2006 9:06 AM

There is a lot of good advise on this board. Yes, your husband needs to grow up - but I understand a bit of his frustration.

What about neighbors? Your commentary doesn't say anything about where you live, but I found after we had several LONELY years when my daughter was first born - we finally met some great neighbors. We used to see people walking in the evenings with their kids and dogs so we started going out for walks too - now 5 summers later we have a close knit neighborhood that hangs out together all the time. Some neighbors have kids, some do not, some moms work, some do not - but we all enjoy a beverage, watch sports, talk and the kids play. You have to be willing to get the ball rolling and open your home to have a get together.

Good Luck, things will get better.

Posted by: cmac | August 15, 2006 9:07 AM

I've been waiting for this topic!!! Thank you! I had my first beautiful daughter at the embarrassingly young age of 21 and my second beautiful daughter at 24. It's tough being the youngest Mom in every situation, especially because I look much younger than I am.

I've felt like an outcast from the "Mom Clique" at schools, play groups, and Girl Scouts. I've noticed that even my children's teachers seem to react differently to me than the other mothers who volunteer in the classrooms. I've attempted to make friends with the mother's of my children's friends, but I too feel like the 'little kid at the grown-up table." I was overjoyed to turn 30 because I thought that I would feel better, but as I said, I look much younger and the way other 40-something Moms with kids the same age as mine react to me hurts.

My children were surprises, not accidents, I was married at the age of 20 before I became pregnant, and have been in the same loving marriage for 10 years.

Posted by: Finally 30 | August 15, 2006 9:09 AM

I was 22 when I had my oldest son. People used to ask me if I was the nanny, especially while living in a more affluent area where women pretty much never had their kids before age 35. Two pieces of advice: hang in there - it gets easier to meet other moms when the kids are older, especially once they start preschool. Second, see if there's an older woman you can bond with. I have found that older women are much more accepting of younger moms - you will remind them of themselves when their kids were young. And they have years of wisdom and experience to share. Plus they're not hung up in the competition and insecurities which can poison mom's interactions with each other.
And tell your husband to grow the heck up! A child shouldn't have to compete with a beer and overgrown frat boys for attention. He may well benefit from therapy in order to help him adjust to being a grown-up.

Posted by: RebeccaT | August 15, 2006 9:19 AM

I was really lonely when my kids were little until I found out about Mothers of Preschoolers (

It's a Christian organization which is really for MOMS and not just kids. They have evening meetings specifically for working moms -- as well as daytime meetings for at home moms -- where the emphasis is on meeting the MOM's needs, socially, creatively, spiritually, etc. (They also provide childcare for your kids.)

There are lots of MOPS groups in Fairfax County, and it's a great way to meet other moms. And the moms span all ages. I had my kids in my thirties and made great friends with younger and older moms. Go to their website, type in your zipcode and see what groups exist in your area.

Posted by: Another Suggestion | August 15, 2006 9:22 AM

"I will be interested to see if David is right and I will "pay the price"."

Nonsense. People should have children when they are ready. This David person is a little arrogant and is just justifying his choice. You'll be fine and so will your children. Enjoy the trying-for-children-stage of your life.

And to Finally 30--I was typically one of the younger mothers when my son was going through preschool and elementary school. I didn't feel alienated even though I was not only young but looked much younger. Perhaps you ACT much younger and it's a turn-off. There have been one or two mothers I've come across who turned me off because they were so ridiculously immature. Age doesn't matter--it's how you behave and approach others.

Posted by: working mother | August 15, 2006 9:23 AM

I had my daughter two days before my 25th birthday, and went back to work 7 weeks later. I'm having my second child in two months, just shy of my 28th birthday, and can relate to the deart of [at least visible] moms in their twenties. They are out there, I just don't know where they hang out in the dc area. Honestly though, all I have time for is seeing my old friends who I miss very much. None have kids yet, but I prefer them to making friends will other moms who I may have nothing in common with....

Posted by: dcmom | August 15, 2006 9:25 AM

I disagree with the posters who say it's "time to grow up" for your husband. A lot of people here are posting "he NEEDS to" sentences. Well, yes, he probably should be more mature and spend more time with your baby and you, but if he's not feeling it, you can't make him feel it. You can't force anyone to "grow up" and any attempts you make to force it will only make him less likely to want to stay home with the baby on a Saturday night.

Try to understand a bit from his point of view also. This apparently was not a planned pregnancy, which is not your fault or his, but please recognize that he wasn't ready and neither were you, but you're doing your best and perhaps he is also. Having a baby is a huge change in a your life and in your marriage. Give him a little breathing room and allow him to still be 26 years old at times. Please give some effort to keeping your marriage a good one, like having date nights and asking friends over for simple evenings. I know it's a tough time for you, but the days and months will pass. As your son gets a little bit older, your husband might find it easier and more rewarding to interact with him.

Sometimes feeling lonely when you have an infant is a part of the experience of motherhood. You will soon establish your new routines and you'll "find yourself" again. If you have one or two good friends, let them know that you feel lonely and isolated, and they might reach out to you more. And TALK to your husband. Tell him you miss hanging out with friends and going to bars and all that, but that you also find it wonderful to have this child. You can find a compromise. Remind your husband that your son will only be so little and so needy for a couple of years, and you'll both be young still when he's going off to college!

And please don't label yourself as too young. The older mothers who are giving you looks and attitude may be jealous of you deep down because you have the youth and energy that maybe they don't feel. A lot of women who have children in their late 30s to late 40s find it's more exhausting than they ever imagined and confess they wish they'd done it when they were younger.

Posted by: A.M. | August 15, 2006 9:27 AM

A friend of mine got married, had two kids, and suddenly found herself with a husband who didn't want to be a father. He insisted on still hanging out with his college buddies, playing golf, and expected his wife (an engineer herself) to stay home and raise the children by herself.

Once she found out he was fooling around on her, she divorced him. At that point her husband's family came to his support, got him the best divorce lawyer in the county, portrayed her as a non-christian mom with questionable abilities and values, and the sympathetic judge awarded HIM the kids! Her ex-husband still has zero interest in raising the kids; they were handed off to his family and she only gets to see them at scheduled visitation times. A true tragedy all around.

Posted by: John | August 15, 2006 9:33 AM

To Juliana: You need to grow up! You expect BABIES to adapt to YOUR precious schedule? You're whining that parents' lives can be unpredictable and that's a problem for YOU?

You are (supposedly) a grown-up. Surely you can roll with some schedule changes better than an infant.

I'm glad you're not one of my "friends."

Posted by: To Juliana | August 15, 2006 9:34 AM

Responding to the childless people who are annoyed that their friends with kids no longer have much time for them: sorry, children need their moms more than you need your girlfriend. I don't even know how to convey to childless people just how overwhelming the needs of children can be. I am married, work, and have two children under 5. Holding it all together is unbelievably difficult. Much, much, much more difficult than being a single person who has to adapt from time to time to the schedule of a parent in order to keep the friendship growing.

Give your friends with small children a break. I have had many very challenging jobs, jobs full of danger, jobs with 24 hour on-call schedules, you name it, and NOTHING is as exhausting or difficult (or rewarding) than having small children. Your friends will come out of it in a few years-- by the time their children are over 5, their lives will be a lot easier. For now, try to accommodate them. When you're in the same boat, if you have children, you'll understand why they need you to be a little more generous for a few years. You'll need the same from your childless friends.

Posted by: mom of 2 | August 15, 2006 9:34 AM

Responding to the childless people who are annoyed that their friends with kids no longer have much time for them: sorry, children need their moms more than you need your girlfriend. I don't even know how to convey to childless people just how overwhelming the needs of children can be. I am married, work, and have two children under 5. Holding it all together is unbelievably difficult. Much, much, much more difficult than being a single person who has to adapt from time to time to the schedule of a parent in order to keep the friendship growing.

Give your friends with small children a break. I have had many very challenging jobs, jobs full of danger, jobs with 24 hour on-call schedules, you name it, and NOTHING is as exhausting or difficult (or rewarding) than having small children. Your friends will come out of it in a few years-- by the time their children are over 5, their lives will be a lot easier. For now, try to accommodate them. When you're in the same boat, if you have children, you'll understand why they need you to be a little more generous for a few years. You'll need the same from your childless friends.

Posted by: mom of 2 | August 15, 2006 9:35 AM

I totally related to this post! I do think it's hard for working moms to break in. We tried Saturday Gymboree -- it was a horrible little clique that we would clearly always be outsiders at. We're trying Fairfax Co rec center classes now -- they are not the same fixed group at the outset so it's a bit easier, plus there are Saturday options. It is frustrating that most of the Mom groups are geared to SAHMs and have hours that don't accommodate working moms. My son is 2 now -- just wait til you see the preschool hours! Like 4 days from 11-4 would work for working families (oh, and if you don't already have him registered, you're sunk).
All I can say is hang in there -- they are more mobile at this age, so you can still socialize a bit more easily. When they're a bit older, they're more interactive, which is easier in a different way and may help your husband get engaged more. Meanwhile, hand him the kid and step back so they can find their own synergy together.
The one thing I didn't relate to was being left out because of being too young. I'm in my 40's and my husband in his 50's -- we're left out at the other end of the spectrum! We're incorporating younger friends. There are two great benefits of being older parents -- all your college friends' kids are the perfect babysitter age, and we're a lot more relaxed about parenting in general. I disagree that we're paying a price -- our child is reaping a benefit!

Posted by: AlexMom | August 15, 2006 9:39 AM

"Tell your husband it's time to act like a man. I don't mean to sound harsh, but this isn't college and it's unacceptable, particularly with you working as well, for him to be more interested in knocking back a few with the boys then being a father and husband."

Hubby needs to realize that his kid is only young for a little while, but the bitterness and anger he engenders in his spouse can last for a lifetime....through alimony and child support if need be! I hate to say it, but he needs to grow a pair and be a Dad to the child he fathered.

Posted by: Dad of 2 | August 15, 2006 10:09 AM

What a great topic. :) I say hang in there and keep trying classes or hanging out at the library or whatever you have to do - all you really need to do is find one or two moms with whom you 'click.' I take business cards to the park with me and hand them out to people... it feels a bit silly but two moms have responded warmly 'cause they were lonely too!

For the issue with your husband - in our relationship (and I'm *cough* older) it's actually me who craves a bit of time out. One solution we've found during the summer are festivals/outdoor concerts/etc. The baby can enjoy them and so can we as a couple and it feels like a party. Sure, it throws the sleep schedule off a little bit (although my son is good about sleeping in a baby carrier), but it's worth it every now and then.

See if you can't hook into something fun and family friendly here and there and it might help.

Posted by: Shandra | August 15, 2006 10:19 AM

A lot of you posters need get off the husbands case. The time between 24-30 are the best times for males, you have a good job and you can travel and do the things you want. Male and females of this age like to go out and have a drink, doesn't make them frat boy or girls. Did you talk to him before you decided to have this child, or were you just like I'm having it no matter what.

Posted by: Brian, DC | August 15, 2006 10:22 AM

Uh, Brian, DC, are you aware of how babies are made? Takes two to tango kid - if you want to spend your 24-30 years partying, don't make babies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 10:25 AM

In defense of the childless friends (I am one too), we don't expect babies to adapt to our schedule...that is ridiculous. You have to look at our point of view...our friends who have babies complain we never see them...then they never have time or constantly break dates! I am just tired of being made to feel guilty because I have "abandoned" my friends who have kids.
And just for the record, I am not a "childfree kid hater" - I do like kids, especially babies - I just have always known I did not want to have them. And I do babysit for family/friends to give them a night out...

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 10:26 AM

"You expect BABIES to adapt to YOUR precious schedule?"

No, I expect my friends to participate in the give-and-take of maintaining a friendship. Sometimes I should work around them, sometimes they should work around me. I have important non-child-related commitments in my life that take my time and energy, but my desire to maintain my friendships means that sometimes I am willing to adjust my schedule to meet my friends' needs. I ask only that they sometimes do the same for me.

"sorry, children need their moms more than you need your girlfriend."

Ah, but the point of this conversation is about the *mom* (Moira) needing *her* girlfriends. My point was simply that maybe she can take some steps to stay in closer touch with her pre-baby friends.

"I'm glad you're not one of my 'friends'"

Um ... no need to worry about that, I assure you.

Posted by: Juliana | August 15, 2006 10:29 AM

I'm single, never been married, and not likely to have children at this point. (This might explain the two dogs and three birds-smile.) I watched all my college friends get married and have kids, and spent those years feeling left out and lonely. Fortunately, I have many other blessings in my life and have learned to be happy in myself. It's interesting to hear the other side of "having it all" (in my view) and being lonely. My suggestions are based on my friends' experiences....Join a church, synagogue, or local recreation center if your county or city has one and you're not religious. They have plenty of activities on weekends, and it is a tremendous way to make new friends and a great way to network to find babysitters. If you live near a park or schoolyard, take the baby for walks and you'll probably meet people. Compromise with your husband - he gets one "evening out" (not "night" out, but home at a reasonable hour) with the boys, and you get one evening out a month with your friends while he stays home. And another out together, just the two of you, with someone else watching the baby. Hang in there - having the blessing of watching my friends' children grow up, I can assure it's all worthwhile.

Posted by: Single at 45 | August 15, 2006 10:32 AM

I was 33 and DH was 30 when our daughter was born. We did not meet each other till I was 30 and he was 27 years old. So technically we did not have the opportunity to make babies earlier. I would not worry about being the youngest mother. I actually envy your youth. I am only guessing that I would have had more energy to deal with the sleepless nights 10 years early. Also this area is very affluent and the typical first time mother is about 5 years older then the typical first time mother in other areas. I think anything past HS, is an acceptable age to start parenting. Since when did you need a masters degree and a 6 figure income to be a parent. As long as the child's basic needs are met and well loved they will be fine. I think their are pros and cons to being an older parent. DH and I did a lot of travel both domestically and internationally before DD arrived. Now, we are not so put off by going to spend a week at WDW versus flying to Asia or a cool skiing trip. Also we have a significantly more disposable income. The huge day care costs, classes, retirement, and college education funds are easier to come by when you are a mid level professional rather then your first job out of grad school or college. Also, my DD is the last grand child on my side of the family. The advice and hand me downs are immesurable. I would die without my SILs. Also older cousins get a huge kick out of the last family baby. DD is the first grand child on DH side. She gets the best of both worlds. What are the down sides? The biggest being she will probably never have a sibling. I truly believe that if we had kids even 5-7 years earlier, we would have had the energy to have a second. Also DH is in a higher management position. He can't devote the time necessary for baby #2. So there are pros and cons. I certainly don't shun younger mothers. Again the biggest obstacle is probably your working status. As far as your husband, he does need to grow up. His single bachelor or DINK days are over. He has something far better then a beer with his friends. He has someone who will look up and look toward him for life. Julianna or whoever talked about her GFs ditching her after having a baby. I am sorry but it happens. Kids are an overwhelming responsibility. You can never ditch the title mom. You will be a mom till the day you die. It is just a fact. Bear with them. Friendships circle around. And I bet in less then 10 years, you will be the one showing off your baby pictures and talking about little Susie nonstop. Let your friends know you are still interested but give them a few years.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 10:33 AM

Moira, I can definitely understand where you're coming from. My husband and I were the first in our group of friends (we're both 25 and our friends are roughly the same age) to get pregnant, and then subsequently the first to have a miscarriage. If pregnancy was new to our friends, miscarriage was totally out of left field. The type of miscarriage we had precludes us from trying again for about a year, so now we're what--able to go out to bars and hang out with friends late, but still in the place where we wanted a child and don't have one.

Posted by: DawgFan | August 15, 2006 10:35 AM

What an interesting topic! I would like to second the poster who mentioned getting to know the neighbors. In a transient area like DC, community is all the more important. I used to live in Northern Virginia and then in DC. There's nothing wrong with those areas but they are worlds away from the neighborhood I've found. FWIW, I live in the historic part of Hyattsville. Every evening there are couples of all ages (and races and ethnicities) walking their strollers and their dogs along the streets or in the park. I know that we'll have a tremendous support network when we do have children because we already babysit for neighbors or help out when they need a hand. My husband and I still go out a lot since DC is so close by, but you can't help meeting kids and their parents when they come trick-or-treating on Halloween. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I know my limits and even without having kids, know I'll need the support of a community (particularly with no family around). I know that changing where you live isn't a solution for everyone (and it's always a trade off), but there are definitely some communities that provide more resources if you want/need them.

Posted by: Soon to be Mom (I hope!) | August 15, 2006 10:38 AM


First off - congratulations on a healthy baby. I know you're feeling cr@ppy, but at least you should take a little solace in that.

Two - yes, check with Fairfax County. They have all sorts of cool weekend stuff so you can meet other Moms like you. Also, check with the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program, they have a lot of weekday stuff, but they also have weekend stuff as well.

Three - ignore the other Moms. Trust me, they're jealous that you have the physical energy to stay up until 10, and that you'll be done paying college tuition before you're 50. I wish I could have had a baby at your age - old enough to be a bit mature, but young enough to still have the stamina.

Four - invite your friends over on a weekend, make your husband spend some time with the baby, and talk to your friends about almost anything but the baby. Or call your friends, and arrange to hit one of the many museums in town and find a kid-friendly place for lunch where the baby can hang out in his stroller while you guys eat. It is possible - I've had friends do it. My mother did it. And you'll be happier if you're a person who happens to be a parent, as opposed to mostly a parent. (Good for Henry, too - he can be used to being out and about before he hits tantrummy ages.)

Finally - call your husband on his behaviour. Nicely and firmly, but do it. You didn't get pregnant by yourself. He's a father now, he needs to grow up. And if he says he's too young, don't buy it. Consider this:

My parents - nice Catholic kids back in the mid-60's - got married when my Mom was 19 and my Dad was 20. By the time they were 25 and 26, they had three kids, a 5 y/0, a 3 y/o and an infant. My father was in medical school and finishing up his internship during this time period - not a whole lot of spare time. My mom even tried to continue nursing school after my brother (the oldest) was born, but just couldn't continue after she got pregnant with my sister. And to top it all off, shortly after I was born (the youngest), Dad was sent to Vietnam for a year.

Despite all this, my Dad has always helped where he could and my parents have *always* had date night at least twice a month in one form or another. Sometimes it took the form of hanging out with another young married parent couple - all us kids went to bed in one or two bedrooms, and the parents stayed up drinking wine and playing cards. You can still hang and be a parent, you know. It's just instead of a bar, you're listening to CD's and grabbing your beer out of someone's fridge.

Parenthood is adjustment. Make your husband understand that if he helps out a bit, you might be willing to stay up later than 10 and have a fun night out, too.

Good luck and enjoy your baby. :D

Posted by: Chasmosaur | August 15, 2006 10:40 AM

I recommend that your family go to events like the "Movie on the Mall" and the Friday evening jazz concerts at the National Gallery of Art sculpture garden. These are free events that you can meet your other unmarried, unparent friends at and everyone can enjoy a picnic together (and the sangria at National Gallery is quite good!). You may need to leave a bit earlier than others to get the kid to bed but all will understand. While you are there, you can keep an eye open for other families and introduce yourself. Just by keeping a weekly routine, you will start to recognize other families and that will give you an opening. Love the idea of meeting neighbors also-- spend evenings after dinner at your local park or just walking around the block.

Posted by: Capitol Hill mom | August 15, 2006 10:42 AM

Your husband is in a tough place. I wonder if he really misses his friends or if he really misses you. My father was always very irritated at the way my sister and I took all of my mother's attention. He always thought her attention should have been on him. It's not right or wrong; it's just the way it was (and is).

They had date night. Saturday nights were, and still are, sacred in our house. Even if they didn't go out, they dressed up, cooked dinner together and ate with the silver and china by candlelight. They never bothered with cleaning up until Sunday morning and there was no talk of children on Saturday night. It was a night just for the two of them. It didn't change my dad's point of view but it did help balance things.

Posted by: Emily | August 15, 2006 10:42 AM

I really think that when you live a young-partygoing lifestyle and then have a baby you really need to re-balance your lives. My wife and I are working through this as well. Your new life will never be just like the old one, but you have the ability to make it even better, certainly more fulfilling. Date nights are very important to keeping you and the spouse energized and out of the day-to-day ruts of being a parent.

I think the "tell your husband to just GET OVER IT" argument completely misses the point. When has telling someone that ever worked? Get with him and spend some enjoyable time and that will make it easier transition out of 'hanging out with the boys every free minute' mode.

At 10 months, Henry is also getting to a phase where he will be fun for your husband to play with. Right around 11 mos. I figured out how to teach my little guy to play a modified game of 'catch'. (He rolls it.) It cracks us up.

Long story short - Have fun as a couple and have fun as a family. Help hubby figure out how to have fun with his little boy. He will need the bigger boys less and all will be well.

Posted by: Proud Papa | August 15, 2006 10:48 AM

Two couples that we socialize regularly with do not have children yet. The first couple has been "trying" for 7 years and second couple is living together and not married and not ready for children. I assume at some point, they will decide to be childless or move on to trying to have a baby. Anyway, this is one way we deal with the socializing. Once a month all three couples have dinner together. We rotate houses. When it is your house, you make the main dish, and the other two couples bring sides and dessert. Although, our dishes are mainly store bought except at our home, the couples seem to be OK with that. It is not that we don't have time once a month to cook, I just prefer not to. But the deal was that we get to bring our kid along. Originally when the idea was brought up, the invitation did not include our daughter. So I said we will participate this time and get a sitter but we normally can't do this and leave her with a sitter. We do our best to save sitter times for dates for just the two of us or events that are absolutely not toddler friendly-like the theater or movies or fancy resturants that serve you with actual napkins. Couple #1 was very offended. Because they were infertile, they were going through a phase of I don't want to see kids just right now. I respect that but they also have to deal with we have a kid and nothing is going to change that. You know what I did. I took GF to lunch, just the two of us. DH stayed with the baby. We laughed, talked, and cried about her situation. I gave her a book on dealing with infertility and I read it before giving it to her. I told her if she is ever having a day or week that she is not up to seeing kids, let me know. We have no problems sitting at home and letting the other two couples get together. Never had a problem since then. Occassionally the three couples or two couples want to get together for a more mature event. Either DH attends without me or I attend with out him. But for the most part we try to find activities that we can all enjoy. We go annually to a tree farm and pumpkin patch. We enjoy game nights (board games) at each other's house. It will be years if ever that we will be going to theme parks or puppet shows together. But it has been worth the extra effort. The best thing and the hardest thing is to make friends with other young parents. Eventually, the kids grow up and make friends of their own. So even dragging them to see the family friends die out. But I still like to hear updates on some of the children of family friends of my childhood. And you know what, my parents friends are still thrilled to hear about our lives. It takes a village to raise a kid. These other adults add to each child's life experience. They become defacto "aunts" and "uncles."

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 10:51 AM

Another thought. When I was growing up, my parents met with friends who also had kids on Friday or Saturday nights. They got together and played cards (Maj Jong since we are Chinese Americans). There was often another room with a TV and/or VCR and/or games or books for kids that came long. The games rotated between homes. They got to spend time with friends, my dad had his beer and they had some relaxing times with friends who also had kids and no sitters, etc. Think about finding some other young couples with children and starting up a night to just get together. Play games (part games like Apples-2-Apples, Taboo, Scattergories, etc are god starters) or cards or just hang out. Hunt around for activities for your son and just keep an eye out for other young parents about your age...when you find them, invite them over...break the ice and you'll get started.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 15, 2006 10:51 AM

TV (preferably Big and HD) and beer (ideally from CO2 power beer dispenser) will bring Papi into line and save this marriage.

Once hubby realizes how much the little one loves spending time with Daddy watching the Redskins while sitting in the pile of warm laundry all will right itself. The first time jr says "Cheers" and clicks that ba ba or sippy cup to your long neck will be a time, to remember.

As the little one gets older, go watch the games of Washington or Georgetown RFC so hubby can get his fill of frat boy fun. Or for rainy days or a less testosterone filled day out, the DC museums are VERY daddy and stroller friendly - Dulles is COOL...Smithsonian etc too - and the price? Free.

You're less than a year on this journey. Hubbums will come around - just find some common ground. If that doesnt work you can yell and nag and tell him he HAS to change his ways or ELSE! (this last bit of advice is on a par for base stupidity with the advice to have another kid right away.)

Posted by: Fo3 | August 15, 2006 10:52 AM


You say it's perfectly okay for people to have kids later, which is true, and also okay for them to look down on you as a "pregnant teenager." NOT true. I don't know why it has become socially acceptable to sneer at having babies in your 20s, as if this makes you a redneck or a fundamentalist. Well, I had a baby at 29 and I'm a professional with a Ph.D. Don't let them get you down--they're just jealous! Tell your husband you need his support and keep an eye out for other working parents in the same boat. Good luck.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 10:53 AM

My husband and I married young but delayed over 7 years before starting our family. I was 28 and he was almost 30 for the first baby. I also waited until HE agreed it was "time". I guess we felt ready.

But I still felt VERY lonely and unsupported in the first years. It certainly did not help that we lived far from family and made a major cross-country move soon after the birth. My husband somehow thought we would still have all our old friends, activities, daily sex (hah!),etc PLUS a baby. That simply isn't possible. He resented it; I resented it AND him.

We eventually grew into our new roles. But it often takes longer for the guy. He does not have all those pregnancy and birth hormones preparing him for the changes. But he is not off the hook. Get a sitter, take him out, and have a heart-to-heart talk with him about your needs and feelings and listen to his. Respect each others needs. Compromises have to be made, but make sure neither of you gives up what is really important to you.

If everyone waited until they were totally "ready" (educated, mature,decent house, jobs, money, sitters, world traveled, etc) to have kids, there would be almost none born! (Checkout the negative birth rates in Europe and Japan!)

You can do it. Also, post-partum depression, should you suspect it, is no joke - it's a serious illness. Get any help you need right away.

Good luck, dear.

Posted by: been there | August 15, 2006 10:54 AM

This discussion is better than therapy. Great advice all around. Good to be back.

Posted by: Leslie | August 15, 2006 10:57 AM

OK, when I read the title of today's blog I thought it would be about single lonely professionals trying to figure their way through the world of coupledom. I find that an interesting topic. Is anyone else interested in that? Future blog topic?

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 11:00 AM

To those of you frustrated with singles who are frustrated with parents:

I'm a young, single female who would LOVE to have a husband and babies right now. But like Juliana and other posters here, I've watched many of my friends get married and have kids, as I've remained single. And most of these friends have since put zero effort into maintaining friendships with me and other old friends, all the while complaining that they're lonely.

I find this very hurtful. Not just because they no longer seem to value my friendship, and because they take my efforts to keep it up for granted -- but because they complain about loneliness when they HAVE a great husband and beautiful children. I don't deny the loneliness Moira and and my young-mother friends feel -- but I'd just like them to get a bit of perspective. I'm single and childless -- I don't have anyone waiting for me when I go home; I'm not blessed with the hugs and kisses of a sticky toddler every day.

Treasure what you have; and display some sensitivity to those around you who'd love to have it to, but can't find it.

And then assauge your own loneliness, and theirs, by putting back some effort into those old friendships.

Posted by: Julie | August 15, 2006 11:01 AM

I totally understand how you feel Moira!

I'm 26, I became pregnant (whoops!) a month after moving to a new city, starting a new job and turning 23. I lost all my college friends because I left their city and couldn't go out and have fun at bars anymore. And because I still work I have had a very hard time finding new friends here. All the people my age at work are just getting married and not even thinking kids! My 2 1/2 yr old daughter has become my best friend (and she told me the other day that I'm hers!). It is lonely. I'm thinking of moving back to NoVa where my husband's family is but part of me knows it'll be hard living where I used to have so much fun and so many friends. Keep your chin up and find your strength and joy in yourself and your son. I'd love to be your friend!

Your husband will come around soon. I think maybe a few counseling sessions might help. I went a few times to work out the feelings of loss I've had with what used to be my old life. He's just trying to hang on and needs help moving forward.

Posted by: Philly Mom | August 15, 2006 11:01 AM

Here Here! It's all about your neighorhood. As a new parent, where ever you can find other young parents is a blessing. But when you're working and taking care of a newborn (by yourself it seems), you probably don't want to drive or metro very far to find activities or friends. If you're not in a kid-friendly neighborhood, move. It doesn't even have to be far. Sometimes even a few blocks or a municipality or two over can make a difference!

Posted by: find the community | August 15, 2006 11:02 AM

I'm 37 and the mom of an 18 month old. I envy young moms their youth b/c I wish I'd started having kids when I was younger. I would like my son to have a brother or sister, but I don't know if I have the stamina to handle pregnancy and sleepless nights again.

SAHMs feel the loneliness, too. I thought I would make lots of new mom friends in playgroups, but I've yet to connect with other moms. Maybe I'm just a natural 'loner', but the groups and classes I've been to seem very cliqueish. Also, I'm not a rich SAHM. We get by, but there aren't a lot of extras. I'm staggered by the wealth I've experienced living in this area. Where are the normal, middle class moms?

Posted by: Springfield Mom | August 15, 2006 11:03 AM

A.M. - I have to completely disagree with your assessment that the "DH" cannot be "told" to change. DH is not a 5 year old, he's a grown man who has made certain decisions (marriage, children) and has a wife who obviously feels overwhelmed and unsupported. Sorry, but when you are a grown up you need to prioritize your life. Moira's hubby obviously is uninterested in doing so, which to me raises a small red flag about his interest in being a good father. He shouldn't HAVE TO BE told that it's not right to still want to party all night, and the fact that it appears that he does would make me worry about the kinds of values he will instill in his son.

On a related note, I will just say that as a woman without children, I think Juliana's point is well taken. For example, I am close with my sister, but having a conversation with her on the phone is impossible b/c my nephew constantly interrupts/needs something, etc .. at a point, I just told her, when he's napping, call me back so we can chat. It wasn't to be rude, it wasn't to ask her to value me over her son, but no one was getting anywhere b/c she couldn't focus on both me and my nephew. I know it is difficult for parents, especially parents of newborns to "make time" that is uninterrupted w/friends and family, but there is a middle ground where all parties can feel as though they are spending quality time together.

Posted by: Sister in Silver Spring | August 15, 2006 11:05 AM

Hi Moira, thanks for sharing your story and situation. Although I am not a mother, I do understand and sympathize with what your going through. I have a similar situation. I have the same situation but without a baby.

Most of all of my "friends" have children and I don't. I'm single, I do not have children and do not have a boyfriend but what I do have is a lot of time on my hands. Man, I am TOTALLY bored! I am in need of some single or married, mature friends that are willing to take the time to spend with friends. I would love to meet people who recognize how very important true friendships are and establishing them and more importantly, keeping them.

I guess I had it all wrong. Being single, I felt that having a family was everything. That it would solve all my problems of being alone and feelings lonely sometimes but after reading your story, I see that isn't so.

I haven't had a chance to read what others wrote to you but I think that you were on the right road with looking into joining classes, it's too bad it didn't work out. It's not your fault, the timing was just bad. I hope that you were given some good advice.

I sincerely and deeply wish that you find a way to combat this aloneness that you feel. The feeling of isolation, as if it's just you and your baby (sometimes); God, I feel the same way sometimes.

Often times, I feel it is just me against the world. - Well, anyway, I wish for you that things will get better for both you and your husband and that the two of you will be able to bond and become closer and be able to adjust to having a new baby. I would love to see how things works out, who knows, perhaps you can give me some advice. If you would like to talk please e-mail me at: - Hope to talk to you soon. - Good Luck and Hang in There, V.

Posted by: V | August 15, 2006 11:07 AM

I think it is weird that people are concerned about the mommy "cliques" at places like Gymboree. When my daughter was little I didn't worry about whether the other mom's would like me. The cliques at places like that form because of signing up for the same class session after session. Ignore it and it will embrace you.

In the end, I think it was my self confidence and general aloofness towards the "clique" that made them curious enough to start to talk to me. You need to feel comfortable being alone before others will feel comfortable in approaching you.

Posted by: Kinda Funny | August 15, 2006 11:11 AM

Thank you so much for this post - there are a lot more of us in your situation than it may seem at times. I'm 29 and having our first, and even I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb in my office and among our friends. Our first friends to have a baby did last year and they were 36 and 40. So we are on the young end in our group too. It's not much comfort, but there are more of us out there! We're due soon and I wouldn't be surprised at all if my DH and I deal with the exact same issues as you two...

I would like commend Fo3 and other men who have written in to say that the 'tell him to get over it' comments AREN'T helpful or even realistic. We try very hard in our marriage to stick to the "what would I think if he/she said that to me?"rule - and if my husband spoke to me that way about something I'd be pretty p*ssed off. It's not constructive. Fo3 makes some great points - right now, your son is still truly a baby, and it's tough for a lot of men to feel confident about spending one-on-one time. My cousin said that until his son was about 1.5 yrs old, he just didn't know what to do with him. Now they are inseparable. Fo3's ideas about shared activities are great - if the baby is in a good mood and not too cranky, how about hitting Crystal City Sports Pub with some friends, bring the baby, and when Henry gets tired, you two can head home and he can get a ride with a friend. It's a compromise, sure. You may prefer that he go home when you two do; but if easing into group activities like this that mix baby time and adult time can help you find balance, then do it. Best of luck sweetheart, and thanks again for sharing your story!

Posted by: Hang in there Moira! | August 15, 2006 11:11 AM

1. Loneliness - I sympathize with your loneliness. As a single with no children I find it very hard to meet people in the DC area and the other cities I've lived in. In the past month or so I've seen a couple of articles about the increasing isolation of Americans. It seems that the average American has fewer friends that he or she can confide in than 20-30 years ago. While this knowledge hasn't necessarily increased my number of friends it has helped me in that I realize this is a problem for many people now and I am not the only one with the problem. It's made me feel more comfortable reaching out to other people.
2. Friends without kids - I know when many of my friends had kids I was very interested in staying in touch and hearing about their kids. However I did get tired of never being asked about what was going on with me in my life and hearing about nothing but their children. These friendships died because of this. Your friends may be willing to make some compromises to see you but be sure to ask them about themselves.

Posted by: kep | August 15, 2006 11:11 AM

I'd second the importance of maintaining your non-child friendships - it can really help you remember who you are outside of motherhood, which I think is really important to staying sane.

It takes work and accomodation on both sides, in my experience. When I was single, I had several friends with kids and we just did things at their house most often, and I knew I just needed to chill sometimes while they dealt with the stuff that comes up with kids. Now my friends make the same accomodations to me, and I make an effort to make sure I spend some time with them sans bebe so we can have real conversations. And I try to call them when my son is sleeping, or when I'm commuting (with my headset on, of course) so we're not constantly interrupted. And I finally learned that it's ok for me to go out and if my son misses me and cries a little bit, that's ok too.

It's a give and take, and the first few months are the hardest, but I think it's really worthwhile.

Posted by: Megan | August 15, 2006 11:12 AM

All of this can be lonely.
Is there a parent's group at your son's day care? There was an active one where my son was in preschool, and that was a way to meet people.
If there isn't - start one! See if you can organize a pizza night for parents - collect something like $10 per family and order pizza (the school might allow you to use their place). This would be a way to meet other parents, perhaps in your neighborhood.
It took me a while to find out about a parent's association in my neighborhood - ask around about that.
If you don't find one, put up posters with your name/number telling people you'd like to meet them - or put an ad in a local paper. It's all exhausting, since you're already exhausted from working and taking care of the kid - but it's doable.
If you don't know where to start, maybe there's a civic association in your neighborhood?
It doesn't matter when you have kids, everyone's different. If you start young, you maybe have more energy, if you start later, you maybe have more experience. There are pros and cons to being younger, being older, etc. It doesn't really matter in the long run, actually.
But really, get your husband on board - there's no reason to feel like you're doing this all by yourself. And getting others to help - i.e., swapping babysitting with neighbors, or something like that, is needed.
I don't know where in the world we created the concept that children should be raised by ONLY the mom and dad - truly, we'd have many more depressed and unhappy parents if they didn't accept help from others. There's no shame in getting help - it's about impossible to do it otherwise. We're trying to raise children, not martyrs.

Posted by: atlmom | August 15, 2006 11:14 AM

I'm 47, my youngest is 10 y/o. That means his friends parents could be 32. I have always liked the young moms, I think we get along, please don't worry about that!
Have people over. Then hubby can party all night while baby sleeps.
Go places with baby. My youngest napped in the car or stroller. Or went to bed early at night if he missed his nap. I wish I'd know how flexible babies can be when I had my oldest, and made myself a slave to his schedule. Not necessary.
Good luck!!

Posted by: experienced mom | August 15, 2006 11:18 AM

I hate to say this...but if you're single there is absolutely NO WAY you can really understand. Yes it's hard to find people but you don't have to coerce or ask someone else to take your child in order to go out anywhere by yourself, take a class, etc.
Moira, feel free to e-mail me at if you want atleast an e-mail buddy that understands.

Posted by: Philly Mom | August 15, 2006 11:19 AM

"I'm staggered by the wealth I've experienced living in this area. Where are the normal, middle class moms?"

In the normal middle-class communities, of course :)

Moira, I don't have children yet, but I cannot imagine that your husbands' friends are so shallow that they think it's okay he's out partying with them when there's a newborn at home. If a new dad continually came out with our group (leaving wife and baby at home), you can bet he'd get LOADS of questions and looks of death. Perhaps you should mention to him that his friends probably tolerate his presence but think he's a loser for not shirking his responsibilities. I mean, honestly, who could respect someone like that? He's probably fooling himself if he thinks his friends still think he's the cool frat boy.

Posted by: Mt. Rainier, Maryland | August 15, 2006 11:20 AM

hubby needs tlc. he needs to feel he is still important to his wife, and not replaced by the baby. He wants to go out and have fun. Immature? yes. Selfish? yes. But its the reality of hubby's feelings that need to be dealt with. (And of course he needs to shape up, I'm just saying he may not see it that way.)

Posted by: experienced mom | August 15, 2006 11:24 AM

You are in a normal period of transition. Hang in there and try to enjoy your baby. Try to find some family together time at the parks and be sure to bring dad along.

Many have walked your path and many more will.

Posted by: Baby1 | August 15, 2006 11:26 AM

"Hang in there Moira" suggested taking a baby to a sports bar .. um .. hello .. are you serious?

Also, it's fine and dandy to take an attitude of "how would I feel if (spous) said something to me like that" if you are talking about a choice in attire or whether or not you "looked fat" in something but this is a CHILD we are talking about.

Moira is obviously willing to raise this problem in a very public forum that will no doubt get back to her husband (as well as all these responses) so I think the time to say "how would I feel if he said that to me" is over. I am guessing she's already tried to discuss this problem with her husband and he doesn't seem interested in remedying the situation. I hate to say it, but it's not a very far trip from a guy hanging out with his buddies to having a wandering eye, to saying, who needs this responsibility and leaving. If Moira's hubby won't accept counseling and a swift kick in the pants, it would tell me he's not interested in being the right kind of husband and father.

Posted by: To: "Hang in There" | August 15, 2006 11:35 AM

ToSpringfieldmom: hey, I live in Springfield too. DD did mygym all last year. I don't work on Fridays. I did not find it very cliquish but I was only interested in wearing out my kid. Most parents did not stick around long enough to actually socialize. Also some people drove pretty far to get there. So I don't think every one actually lived in the same neighborhood. Don't worry about the lavish lifestyle in the DC area. My guess is quite a lot of them are in debt up to their eyeballs-credit card debt, car loans, little to no savings and interest only loans are attributing to the lifestyles all around the country now.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 11:38 AM

Perhaps if one of her goal is to stay connected to her non-parent, it would be best not to assume that there is "NO WAY" they could understand.

One of my very best friends was the first to have a kid and yes, things to do change. But we never lost interest in each other. I asked about her munchkin and what was going on in her life and she asked about school and work and what was going on in my life. Yes, it's definitely different (I went to the circus with them for possibly the first time in 14 years) but if the friendship is worth it, you'll both adapt.

Posted by: Hmm. . . | August 15, 2006 11:41 AM

Hey folks...let's go easy on the Dad. This family has undergone a major life change, the addition of a baby to their family. With any major life change, comes changes in routine, compromises on what you can and can't do and just stress and pressure to live with what you or life has wrought.

Everyone handles those changes differently and on different schedules. Just because one partner was fully committed and ready for such a change faster, doesn't make it easier (in fact, it can add stress and make it harder on him that he's "not holdin up his end of the bargain) to accept the changes. Yes, he wants to party and live his old life, and another way to deal is to wean himself off. As a 2-household working family, perhaps they can arrange for an evening or two off to go and have a night out with the boys. If they both need it, then they alternate, say every other Friday, Dad gets off and every other Friday Mom gets off for an evening out relaxing. Many people cannot just make a major life change and move smoothly into a new rhythm and life.
After some time, when he adjusts, that night may become either date night or something else. I know one friend who originally created Mom's night out to force her husband to spend more time with their kid and to have time off for herself. Later, she hada problems finding things to do on Mom's night out but had to maintain it because Dad and son got into a regular activity that night that didn't work for her. After time, she was looking for things to occupy her "night off."

I agree that he has to make the change, but to do so with an ultimatum isn't always the best way to go. This ultimatum, "get a life and grow up" attitude whether it comes from the husband or the wife, can often cause more harm than help in the couples' relationship.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 15, 2006 11:45 AM

"Hang in there Moira" suggested taking a baby to a sports bar .. um .. hello .. are you serious?

sports bar, restaurant, what ever, take the baby and go where hubby wants to go. take baby bowling, to the golf course, to the mall, the park, just go.
Assign hubby to the weekend early am baby shift. Mom needs more sleep. Then he will be to tired to go out carousing on sat night!

Posted by: experienced mom | August 15, 2006 11:45 AM

Just another opinion- I've found it very difficult to maintain my relationships with my childless friends, since I had kids. It's like we're in 2 different worlds, and it's pretty hard to reconcile them. (Childless people really don't get it when you keep having to cancel or change plans unexpectedly, which I've become accustomed to, for example. I don't blame them- I didn't understand either before I became a mom.)

I've been lucky enough to make a lot of new friends who do have kids, and we "get" each other much better. But I do miss my old friends. Sort of an unintended consequence of becoming a parent.

Posted by: randommom | August 15, 2006 11:47 AM

'I know one friend who originally created Mom's night out to force her husband to spend more time with their kid and to have time off for herself.'


Posted by: experienced mom | August 15, 2006 11:47 AM

As far as the sports bar - I have been to that particular one, and it really isn't a place I would bring a child. There are lots of restaurants in this area that are a much better fit.

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 11:49 AM

>>>I hate to say it, but it's not a very far trip from a guy hanging out with his buddies to having a wandering eye, to saying, who needs this responsibility and leaving.>>

For those keeping track, the little digs started almost immediately, but the hard-core male bashing didn't kick in until 11:35. Baby steps! By next week it won't happen until lunch time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 11:51 AM

Wow, Moira's blog brings back memories. I was just shy of my 31st birthday when I had my daughter, and my ex-husband had just turned 26. We experienced many of the same things that Moira and others describe. While my ex-husband loved his baby very much, he still had the irresponsible party attitude. And yes, we found that many of our pre-pregnancy friends who did not have children did not want to socialize with us anymore.

How did we deal with it? In retrospect, not too well. It was easy enough to slip into a new social circle of other couples with children, but my ex-husband's drinking did not slow down and became a real problem. We went to marriage counseling; after several months, the counselor recommended in-patient treatment for my ex-husband's alcoholism. He refused. Less than two years later, we had separated and subsequently divorced.

Hopefully Moira's husband is simply holding on to his youth and they do not have these other issues. A change in friends with similar lifestyles would definitely help. Also, the aforementioned date nights are imperative to keeping the romance alive. Also, try working out a schedule that allows each of you a "girl's night out" and a "boy's night out" a couple of times per month. Several married couples I know do this, and all are happily married with well-adjusted kids.

Posted by: single western mom | August 15, 2006 11:51 AM

There is no way you can understand until you have children. You think you can. But you can't. I didn't before I had my daughter. That's all I was trying to say.

Posted by: Philly Mom | August 15, 2006 11:51 AM

As someone who will be a father soon and whose bed-rested wife has already caused a change of schedule, I feel little sympathy for an uninvolved dad. When my wife and I made the decision to have kids (twins as it turns out) we both knew that life would change significantly. Becuase of complications it has happened earlier than I thought, but being involved in your kids lives, even at the very youngest ages, is important. I can't imagine his friends not knowing that, and he should too.

As for the outsider mom, I get the impression that motherhood is like high school in some regards and not always the best way. Try to find groups that are mom + baby in activities you used to enjoy and find the other new members there. They are most likely to be sympathetic to a new mom who needs friends.

Posted by: Jonathan | August 15, 2006 11:52 AM

I'm six months pregnant, and wondering how my social life is going to look post-baby, as well. I'm 29 and my partner is 35. None of our friends here have children yet; one couple is due any day so at least we won't be going first! We had already outgrown the bar-hopping for the most part. We're more coffee shop/dinner party people at this point. We got pregnant sooner than we were planning to, but we're both very involved with our nephews and niece's lives, so "baby" isn't a foreign concept, at least. (Ironically, we are also both the oldest in our respective families, which makes all this talk about "young" parents rather amusing, doesn't it.)

I think we may have found an interesting solution to the socializing issue, though obviously not one that will work for everybody: a sailboat. We bought one with another couple that we're friends with, and it's become the standard Sunday activity now. The boat wasn't even expensive, and it gets our butts off of the couch on the weekends. It's certainly not hard to talk our friends into joining us on the boat. We take picnic lunches and lots of cold drinks and just chill out on the bay for the day. Beats the hell out of stinky bar!

By the time sailing season starts next year, our baby will be old enough to take on the boat with us no problem. The couple we own the boat with don't have children yet, but they are very excited about our baby. Both the husband and wife are involved with their nieces and nephews, and they seem to see our baby as an extension of that, not an obstacle to hanging out with us.

Down the road, my partner and I both see sailing as a great venue for family time, as well as lots of daddy-daughter bonding when I can't join them. Practicing all those figure-eight knots has to be good for the fine motor skills!

I've also been checking out neighborhood playgroups. Listservs are a godsend! Three months ago, I had no idea how I was going to handle this, but these days I feel much more confident. One thing that reassures me is that my core friend group is full of people who are all very excited that we're having a baby. They don't have children (some of them don't want children of their own at all), but they sure like the idea of hanging out with ours. I hope that is still true once my little one arrives.

Posted by: D.C. Mom-to-Be | August 15, 2006 11:55 AM

I'm currently reading the fascinating book "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert" by John Gottman. This is the guy who can predict divorces in 5 years by watching a 15-minute discussion between a couple.

Anyway, one of the things that struck me is that 70% of married women experience a sharp decrease in marital satisfaction after the birth of the first child. The other 30% had it stay the same or even increase. Gottman says the difference between these two groups is that the husband joins the wife in the parenthood journey, rather than feeling left out, resentful, or wishing things were the way they used to be. I think he gave specific suggestions for how men could deal with this, but I didn't really pay attention to this part of the book.

Posted by: Ms L | August 15, 2006 11:57 AM

My wife likes it when I go over to my friends' houses to escape/party. She finds it comforting that I'm still likable enough to actually have a few friends left, even though they may be whack jobs on their own account. I like to be able to say what I think, laugh at my friends jokes, jam heavy metal tunes, pound brewskies, smoke pot and cigaretts and have a few hours of social time outside my family. When I stumble back home, I'm a very happy daddy, and the wife & kids love me for that. Thank you, friends, for giving me that escape! It's just what the doctor ordered!

I think Single at 45 made the best suggestion to solve Moira's loneliness problem so far: Join a church. They usually meet every Sunday. Involve yourself with charity. Helping somebody out less fortunate than you are really saps the self-pity out of your soul.

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 15, 2006 11:57 AM

For what it's worth, when I became a mom at 28, I felt like the youngest parent on the planet in DC (I've since moved to Houston and had the tables turned).

My husband and I decided pretty quickly that if we were going to be the only ones with children, our daughter would have lots of "aunties" and "uncles". Our daughter went everywhere with us. While it did not keep us from feeling a little lost in parenthood, we rarely felt lonely.

Our advice would be: don't underestimate your friends or your baby. If your childless friends like coffee or Happy Hour, look for outdoor locations. Let your baby nap in the stroller every now and again. My husband and I put our daughter in the Baby Bjorn and she was out in the world as soon as the doctor said it was OK. She saw her first baseball game at 8 weeks. Your life as twety-somethings doesn't need to end, just flex.

Four years later, we are sane and our daughter is incredibly sociable & adaptable.

Posted by: Another "young" Mom | August 15, 2006 11:59 AM

I am sure that there are some people who are living beyond there means, but some of us aren't. We have a large house, no cc or car debt, and a conventional mortgage. We got lucky in that we chose to live frugally when we were younger and now that we are in our 30's we are in clover. There IS a lot of money in this area. Some of my neighbors have a lot more than we do, but I don't wonder how they are paying for it. I assume they are working! Not everyone who has a big house and a nice car is in debt. This is a rich country. But after a while, you get used to living as an adult, you don't buy so much crap, and you stop playing with it. No one who met me or my husband would think about our financial situation unless they came to our house. Then the only thing they might think is "why don't they have more stuff?" I can't stand maintaining things, that's why.

Posted by: To Lieu | August 15, 2006 12:00 PM

Tosingle45: don't you find that religous groups in general put a huge emphasis on family. I think it leaves single people out of the equation a lot of times. At least that is what I found when I was a young single person. Maybe I belong to the wrong church.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 12:01 PM

Sure, head to a sports bar. It's the best way to ensure that your child will develop lung cancer and be able to get rich quick by suing tobacco companies for second hand smoke damage.

Works for me.

Posted by: Sports Bar??? | August 15, 2006 12:01 PM

Lieu - I agree to some extent on the church thing - though at least when you are young and single there is usually a Young Singles group to join. When you are over 40 and divorced, you may as well be invisible. Or maybe they wish you are..

Anyone out there know a church that would welcome and older, divorced woman?

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 12:03 PM

Finding activities that those with kids and without can enjoy is definitely key. The sailboat sounds great, but for those of us for whom that is not an option, there are lots of other landlocked, cheaper ways too. Picnics in the park, like someone mentioned. Music festivals. Some bars are a possibility if there's a smoking ban in effect - I took our son with me to hear my husband's acoustic band play in some bars when he was small enough that he was content to sit in my lap or be in the sling, and it worked out fine. Cookouts at your house. Stuff that's low-key, provides some built-in entertainment for the babes, but is not excessivly kid-focused.

Posted by: Megan | August 15, 2006 12:05 PM

Tospringfieldmom: I wasn't implying everyone is in debt. DH and I are not in debt. We have no cc debt, no student loans, no car paymetns and a conventional mortgage. I just know a lot of my friends have all the debt imaginable. They take lavish nice vacations twice a year. I am just saying across this country, serious debt is mounting. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and a good out look on life.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 12:08 PM

I think that loneliness is inherent in the transition from childless to parent. I read somewhere recently that the two most lonely times in a woman's life are pregnancy and death. I think that there is a lot of good advice within the above posts, and I hope that it helps Moira, and others as well. I am 31, about to be a mom, and also feeling pretty lonely. I am excited, and so is my husabnd, but that doesn't mean this isn't a big lifestyle change that will affect both of us profoundly, and in different ways. It already has affected me more than he in many respects, simply because of the limitations that are put on you in pregnancy. I hope to be one of those moms, those couples, where we take the baby out with us everywhere, but I know that nothing will be the same as it was before. better in some ways, worse in others. Good luck Moira, and good luck to all the parents out there.

Posted by: mdsailor | August 15, 2006 12:09 PM

Tomissicat: my church used to have a 40s something group. It was suppose to correspond to their twenties and thirties group. But what they found was the 20s and 30s crowd sometimes remained single into their 40s. And some of the divorced 30s turned into the single at 40 crowd. The group did not last. It sort of pittered out in a few years. Good luck finding a group. I don't know when religion became so family oriented. After all, wasn't Jesus a single man in his 30s???

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 12:10 PM

Hey d.c. mom to be--do you need any new friends? My kids are babysittin' age! I could use some time on the bay! What a great idea. Maybe I can convince my husband we need a boat more than a hottub. Good luck, and I hope your new sailor doesn't get seasick! And as you dive down into motherhood, don't forget to take a l-o-n-g snorkel so you get a breath of life without children now and again. It won't be like breathing above the surface, but it will keep you alive!

FO4--if you lived in Maryland, I would swear I know you. Did you watch Mary-Louise Parker last night?

Posted by: parttimer | August 15, 2006 12:17 PM

I second the idea of getting to know your neighbors/joining a civic association. Also, check out non-chain kid friendly places & arrange to meet your friends for drinks/dinner with Henry in tow -- there are a ton (especially now that the weather is nice and you can sit outside -- which is great for a kid that age -- lots to look at). You don't say where you are in NoVa, but look into Del Ray in Alexandria (pretty much all the restaurants are happy to have kids and are popular with the single crowd as well) or places in Arlington. Also -- a sports place is a great idea now that most places are completely non-smoking. My husband loves football and we took our baby daughter (dressed in her special football watching outfit) to Champs in Arlington a couple of times and we all had a blast (took separate cars in case she needed to go home). We also have gotten into the habit of inviting people (both old friends and new neighborhood pals) to our house to watch sports events or eat or have cocktails or some combination thereof. We get to socialize, our kid gets lots of attention in familiar surroundings and we can disappear to put her to bed and then rejoin the fun.

As for your husband's desire to go out with his friends -- make a deal with him that you each get one night or weekend day of your choosing to go do something alone or with friends while the other watches the baby. This recognizes that you both need some non-baby time to rejuvenate in whatever way works (for me it was going to get a manicure or meeting a friend for lunch, for him it was having a late night out for beers with friends). But it also brings home the idea that you are equally responsible for your kid. Then arrange date nights (as others have suggested) where you do something alone together. If you are reluctant to leave Henry with a sitter for a long time, try little chunks of time at first until you are comfortable. (Or try meeting for lunch during the work week, when Henry is being taken care of already). Good Luck.

Posted by: Moria | August 15, 2006 12:19 PM

My wife and I have gone through several changes in employment, parenthood, life, etc. The best thing to do is depend on your own sense of when things need to be a little different.

If you miss adult company, have a few of your friends come over (meaning husband and wife) this will keep the hubby home. If they have a kid, invest in a pop up playpen. An extra kids bed will make your lack of a social life easier to deal with...

Also, there may be friends who seem to always be willing to come to your house but never reciprocate. Well, when the sense is right ease off for a while, you'll appreciate your friends more when they aren't taking advantage of your hospitality all the time. Get a good group of friends, Scrabble friends, College game friends, shopping friends, etc.

After commuting all week, I'm more than happy to take the three princesses while the wife goes out with the girls. I can kick the soccer ball around outside, watch a game with them, play a game with them, and best of all, I don't have to leave the house.

So now that you have a sense of what you want, sense of what you're missing. Use some common sense and make a small step to alleviate your loneliness. But make sure you include the hubby. He's obviously lonely too.

Posted by: Mr. Estrogen Central | August 15, 2006 12:20 PM

To all the childless posters who wonder why I don't make more of an effort to adapt to your schedule or ask you about your life when you call...

I have a 19-month-old and a 2-month-old. I'm back to work full time, plus commuting. Husband works full time too. It's not that I don't care about you, but I am TIRED. Bone crushing, mind warping tired. I simply do not have the energy right now to care about your problem with your coworker or your new haircut like I used to. You will not understand until someday when you will be this TIRED too. Then maybe you will forgive me for not putting more effort into you, but at this point I just don't have one ounce of effort to spare right now. If you could just cut me some slack for another year or two, you'll have my friendship for life. I will do the same for you when it's your turn to go through these chaotic baby years.

Posted by: TiredMom | August 15, 2006 12:23 PM

Moira -

I swear when I read your post it felt like my story all over again.

While I was not one of my first friends to have a child, I discovered very quickly how my social life became a thing of the distant past. Like you, my situation was similar. A resentful, 'absent' husband, a full time job, a neighborhood full of people far older than I (with children near the same age) who treated me as if I was a novelty or entertainment, and very little opportunity to get me or my daughter out with other moms.

I tried time and time again, even rearranging my work schedule so that we could join playgroups, but it never really stuck. Weekend classes? Filled up before I could get my entry form in. Weekend playgroups? Forget about it. None of it worked. Finally, I got fed up with the situation and literally told my husband that on Saturday mornings from when my daughter woke up until nap time that she was HIS RESPONSIBILITY. That way I could do some things for me - get a pedicure, go to the library, have brunch with an old friend.

This arrangement helped both my husband and I in many ways. For him, he was able to develop that bond with our daughter, for me, I felt like I could reclaim some 'me' time. Of course, I'm still lonely and long for more friends for both my daughter and I, this little step made a world of difference.

Posted by: Suzmarmac | August 15, 2006 12:24 PM

'He wants to be out with friends and at bars on weekends, like many people our age" Give the guy a break... it doesn't say that he wants to be out all night, that he wants to be out without wife, or that he doesn't want to be a good father. Would you be dumping on him so much if it said out playing golf or working out rather than at bars?

I was 31 and 35 when my kids were born. I had made many friends at work and considered my lunchtimes with friends as part of my social life. I played on an adult sports league two times per week immediately after work and hubby picked up from daycare. And (GASP), he sometimes met me at the local bar where the teams gathered after practice/games. After a while, I discovered that I no longer wanted to have this as part of my life and felt no qualms about giving it up. Sometimes we went out together and sometimes separately. We actually never had a "Friends" sort of group who all hung out together.

Try developing friendships at work and see where that leads.

Posted by: noname | August 15, 2006 12:29 PM

To those who say to go easy on Dad, he needs time to transition: that may end up being the way it has to happen, but it sure ain't fair. My biggest lesson from DS's first month was that i had to learn and learn fast how to be a parent, coz this was my life from now on. Esp. b/c I was breastfeeding, I didnt' have any choice to "transition." My own hubby asked if I wouldn't mind him hanging out with his friends one night this weekend - since he just finished grad school (last weekend) i said of course go ahead, but I'm also thinking - that's not even a choice for me. There's never a time when I can, as someone else put it, "ditch the label Mom" - it's 24-7. I'm not resentful - I ADORE being with DS all the time, but it is so much easier when I can share parenthood with DH.
Of course part of the problem is I still can't leave DS even with DH and go out with my friends b/c DS will not drink from anything but me. No bottle, no sippy cup, nothing. Couldn't have a date night if I tried! But as I tell myself... it's only a couple of more months till he's eating solids anyway, and - this time will never come again...

Posted by: SAHM with 4 mo old | August 15, 2006 12:32 PM

I really relate to your story.

I had my first at 26, which is on the young side for this area. Twentyone years later I'm enjoying being young, and having a senior in college.

My salary has climbed over the years so I can do fun stuff with my free time, like travel with my husband, while many of my friends are hanging around Middle Schools listening to the 6th grade Orchestra - ahhhhh.

So hang on - there are benefits to being a young parent!

Do you belong to a church? I found Moms I could relate to there. Activities on Sunday worked out, and it wasn't just working/non-working women. This is also a place where you might find babysitters!

I smoozed with other Moms' who worked where I did. Kids are a great thing to talk about and I have always garnered support and advise from my co-workers.

Posted by: RoseG | August 15, 2006 12:41 PM

Father of 4 has officially jumped the shark
Aug 15 at 11:57 am

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 12:44 PM

Er, not into the organized religion thing, so joining a church won't be much help....

This woman is lonely inside of her marriage - a BIG RED FLAG waving in front of the bull!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 12:45 PM

Moira's baby is 10 months, not 10 days, old ... don't you think the husband has had enough time to "transition"? I guess that's the thing that concerns me. He's younger, so probably less mature to begin with, and his baby (a son no less!) is almost a year old, yet his wife feels compelled to print her name on a blog that attracts 100s of views where he's essentially being thrown under the bus. This to me reads like the proverbial "cry for help" b/c the husband is not responding to her needs.

As others have noted, where is his selflessness in giving Moira some time to herself or to go out? Doesn't seem to be there. It's unfair when one parent essentially gives over 100 percent of the parenting to the other spouse and is obviously something that isn't sitting well in the Demyan household. Quit defending the husband and calling this "male bashing" ...

Posted by: Peeved in Potomac | August 15, 2006 12:47 PM

re: David's comments. There is a lot to be said for having kids early. Nothing wrong with having kids in the 30's (I did it), but teens in the 40's and 50's are no picnic. I know people who have died in their 40's or developed cancer or other serious illnesses. "It's a shame they won't see their kids grow up" or "Thank God they had their kids young and don't have to worry about what will happen when the parents are gone"

I have also seen friends who had kids young retire early, travel and do lots of other things I would like to do but can't because teens are still home.

Have your kids when you are ready and don't worry about anyone else. I was 45 when my child was 10 and she had a classmate whose mother was 30. For quite a while my daughter insisted that she would have her first at 16 so she wouldn't be an old mother like me :).

As far as single friends - yes they should recognize that it's harder for you now, but every now and then you should make the effort to visit them at their homes. My sister who is single/childless makes great effort to see her friends with kids, but none of them will go to spend an evening with her because "we have to bring so much stuff" "the baby would be off her schedule" "the older kids might break something". She has told me several times that she understands, but would like to be the one who gets to have guests at least once in a while.

My best friend had her son at age 17 and I was over 30. Somehow we managed to still remain friends and I think she deserves more credit than I do.

Posted by: noname | August 15, 2006 12:47 PM

To the poster at 11:35 and everyone else who flipped out about the 'sports bar' idea. A) it's just an idea, if she doesn't like it, then she doesn't have to go and B) nobody is forcing you to go.

The smoking comment is a bit of a stretch, at least for a NOVA mom like Moira, since localities in the Commonwealth are much less likely to ban smoking in restaurants like MD and DC. That's a factor in VA no matter what kind of establishment you take your kids to. So spare me the condescension on that front.

'Another Young Mom' at 11:59 has it right - yup, taking your kid to a baseball game or even a BAR on a weekend day for watching sports, if that's what it takes to keep up with your friends and actually enjoy yourself as adults, is what it takes. It's not evil, it doesn't make those who chose to do so bad parents. It means they're doing what's right for them and their relationship with each other and their social circle. If you think it's awful nobody's forcing you to do the same.

And I still stand by my thought that snapping at her husband to 'GET OVER IT' is a sure way to start divorce proceedings. Using the 'it's about our CHILD' line of argument would likely be viewed as manipulative and be counterproductive if he's already feeling squeezed. Hmm, afternoon in a sportsbar with the baby or getting divorced but feeling secure in your moral superiority? I'll take the bar, thanks.

Posted by: Hang in there Moira, still. | August 15, 2006 12:50 PM

Moira - As others have said, do hang in there! I think meeting compatible "mom" friends of any age can get easier as children get a little older. I'm an older mom, but also work full time and didn't feel a connection with other moms when our daughter was very young and I was choosing activities for her. Ever since she's been pursuing her own interests (sports, dance, art, etc.), we've supported her in those as much as we can, and somehow I've had contact with many other moms with whom I do click. Maybe partly because the kids all have genuine shared interests and that spills over to the parents as well.

Posted by: Mom of active one | August 15, 2006 12:51 PM

"I simply do not have the energy right now to care about your problem with your coworker or your new haircut like I used to. You will not understand until someday when you will be this TIRED too."

Hmmm ... why are the problems of people without children automatically co-worker bickering and bad haricuts? In fact, my most pressing problems right now are dealing with a parent in early stages of dementia and making a possibly life-altering career/education decision.

We are ALL tired, every one of us, not just those who have children.

If any of my friends ever took the attitude that TiredMom seems to have of "I just don't have time to deal with you and your petty problems" then I guarantee I'd stop worrying about maintaining *that* particular relationship.

Posted by: Juliana | August 15, 2006 12:52 PM

Lori - THANK YOU! You expressed what I tried and failed to get across. What a common sense post.

Posted by: Hang in there Moira! | August 15, 2006 12:54 PM

Hang in there - That's exactly the point .. the husband needs to take responsibility for his action (impregnating his wife). It's not an either/or .. either he tows the line or gets divorced .. it's the point that as an ADULT he needs to take responsibility for his action.

There's no moral superiority and no manipulation. The man made a conscious decision and doesn't appear interested in living with the consequences of it ..your suggestion is to go to the Crystal City Sports Bar long enough to have a "family night" and then leave the hubby to his bottomless beer so he can stumble home in a cab?

Posted by: To Hang In There | August 15, 2006 12:54 PM


I was 1 month shy of my 29th birthday when I gave birth to twins, just 1 year after my husband and I were married (also a "kind of surprise" situation). I had to get over the whole "we never go out like our friends do" thing really fast. But my husband was my partner in crime and very supportive - he dove into doing A LOT more housework so I could nurse the babies pretty much around the clock, and even now several years later, is a co-parent, equally capable of taking care of them. It sounds to me like your husband's lack of support is really the key issue and he should realize that a generation ago, men his age had careers and several children and a mortgage and weren't playing frat boy anymore at age 26. He needs to GROW UP!

Can you cut back your work schedule at all? I take Fridays off (I happen to work only 32 hours a week over 4 days, but a lot of moms I know work 40 hours in 4 days instead) and it has made a HUGE difference. That way you have your day when you can take Henry out and about and meet other moms - most playgroups only meet once a week anyway and you could find one or a class that meets on Fridays.

Some unsolicted advice -- don't even think of having ANY more kids until your husband is totally on board with being a full and supportive parent, backing you up and proactively putting your family's needs ahead of happy hour, the big game, and Gold Cup.

Best of luck!

Posted by: Arlington Mom | August 15, 2006 12:54 PM

Julianna - will second what you said. As I said before, I realize having a child is tiring and time-consuming - I really cannot imagine how some of you do it. What I am tired of is ALWAYS being portrayed as the selfish, whiney childless person...Do you really think your childless friends will wait if you have that attitude? What if I said - oh, I will wait until your kids get older, then I will be friends with you. (not that I would ever say that)

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 12:55 PM

re: nursing - I brought that up only beacuse that was one way that I was able to have somewhat of a social life. I could meet friends without having to take baby along and without having to take time to pump beforehand. I found that hubby also bonded more with the babies when he took responsibility for preparing bottles and feeding. For us, it was good all around - for others, make your own choices - do what you want.

Posted by: noname | August 15, 2006 12:55 PM

Hope this doesn't start a battle, but here goes.

I stopped nursing at 10 weeks. then either of us (or a babysitter or relative) could make bottles and feed the baby. No pumping required. I found it very liberating. Many feel that nursing is more convenient and for some I guess it is. I found it very confining and the number 1 thing that contributed to my feeling of being a mom 24/7.

Posted by: noname | August 15, 2006 12:56 PM

PS ..TiredMom seems to have enough time to write responses to this blog, so she can't be THAT busy ...

Posted by: P in P | August 15, 2006 12:56 PM

I have a friend who spent months of her child's early life telling her husband point-blank "You need to grow up. You need to grow up!" and guess what? He began to spend more and more time at work and on the golf course. Why do so many here think a wife telling her husband he needs to do this or that will be productive? Would YOU want to be ordered around by your spouse? If Moira truly feels that her husband is deserting her for the frat boys friends and the bars, then she should get some counseling and try to bring him in also. I am amazed at all the anger that is expressed here toward husbands and their parenting level. Remember, the only person you can control is yourself.

Posted by: Lori | August 15, 2006 12:56 PM

I had a good friend who I partied with on a regular basis. When the kids came along we went our separate ways. She was a party girl who didn't want to hang out with the kids and I was happy to be home with family and friends.

Nobody was right or wrong, just different. This happens in life. Live yours and let others live theirs. If you have friendships that survive all that happens in life, then you are indeed very lucky.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 12:59 PM

Noname, although I am a big supporter of breastfeeding, I really see your point of view. When I read the post from the woman who noted that men have the choice to transition, while a breastfeeding mother does not, I totally sympathized. My son also completely rejected the bottle, sippy cup, and every other possible method of eating other than the breast itself, and it made it very hard to feel like I could go out on my own. Fortunately, for me, there were enough things I could do with my son during that time that it was ok. And as she noted, at some point they start taking solids and the load lightens up. For me, it was worth it to get through those first six months that way. But it's not for everyone. The only thing I would add though, is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you can get your baby to take a bottle early on, you can keep nursing but also give formula (or pump if you don't mind it). I know a lot of moms do that and it helps maintain their sanity and balance while also allowing them to continue breastfeeding.

Posted by: Megan | August 15, 2006 1:00 PM

ToJulianna-the tired mother did not mean to say childless people do not have any valid problems. But I do have to say that nursing a kid round the clock till 19 months is mind blowing exhausting. My DD did not sleep through the night till around 22 months. She nursed through the night till 19 months. I nursed and pumped till she was 18 motnhs. I thought I was going to die. I really wasn't sure I could make it another year like that. I thought for sure I would be fired, divorced, or end up in a looney bin. I had problems when I was single and childless. The biggest was saving enough money on one salary to buy a house. My very loving step father also died when I was single. But nothing compares to dealing with life and no sleep. I don't think she meant to put you down. Just trying to explain that it is almost unreasonable to hold down a full time job, nurse, and have two small children. I think I could be the President of the US, if I could just get 8 hours of sleep a night. Even now, with DD (3), she isn't a great sleeper. I find I can be a decent wife, a good mother, and a some what decent employee on 6 hours of sleep a night. Really, their kids will start to sleep through the night and you will eventually have kids of your own. The friendships will cycle around if they are meant to be.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 1:01 PM

Your child will take a bottle. Try several different ones. If the child is hungry enough, he/she will take one.
You need you time - being a martyr is hardly the best thing for your child.
In any event, you should probably have an hour or two between feedings - so in reality, you could feed the child, take an hour or two to do something, then be back before another feeding - making sure there is something for the baby to eat, just in case.

From someone who nursed two children for 13 months each - the second one I pumped at work for. And the second one got much less formula than the first, just remember they don't put poison in formula, and it's okay for the kid to have some. More if that's how you need to do it.
My second wasn't a big fan of the bottle, but he had to get used to it, since there was little choice. They are children, they adapt.

Posted by: atlmom | August 15, 2006 1:02 PM

To 12:54 - I give up. All I'm saying is that trying to compromise and meet in the middle every once in a while to find activities that both parties enjoy is a better alternative than him going out by himself after a fight over the issue, while mom and baby sit at home. Am I saying it needs to be every weekend? No. Am I saying it needs to be at night? No - one college football game with friends on a Saturday afternoon, where yes, beer is consumed, may go a long way to making her husband feel like he hasn't given up 100% of their former life. And if wanting to work to occasionally accomodate his need for that kind of activity makes me or Moira (if she would ever choose to do so) a doormat or a bad wife or a bad mother this fall, then so be it. But I think my husband will disagree with you. Maybe it's just lucky I like college football and beer.

Posted by: Hang in there Moira! | August 15, 2006 1:02 PM

So sorry but will definitely be snarky about smoking around children. I don't care where you live. There is no excuse for exposing your child when it isn't necessary (not that it ever should be). I used to live in VA, the whole smoking thing is a big reason we left and came back to MD.

Posted by: Still condescending | August 15, 2006 1:03 PM

I was just wondering if you have tried any social groups at area churchs? I am a young married (no kids yet) and when I moved to a new area the young married/adult class at our church really helped with the feelings of lonliness I would get. I think the MOPs sugjestion is a great one, we have one at our church and those ladies are great! They don't care what age you or your child is, they just want to spend time with other adults. I hope it works out for you, and it will.
Congratulations on your beautiful baby by the way.

Posted by: Melissa | August 15, 2006 1:03 PM

"Moira's hubby obviously is uninterested in doing so, which to me raises a small red flag about his interest in being a good father."

What?! Where is the evidence of this in her post? She says that he wants to be out on weekends like their other friends. She writes, "I feel he sometimes resents our life right now." Ok, those are her feelings, but not evidence that he's "obviously" uninterested in being a good husband and father.

Sounds like the guy is also at a bit of a loss, just like she is. Let's promote understanding between this couple rather than telling her that he's not interested in being her partner.

Posted by: A.M. | August 15, 2006 1:04 PM

What a great guest blog today. I really relate to your problem. I had my daughter at 29 and was living in DC. I felt isolated, no one at work in my group had kids and my family and friends back home in Ohio had ten year olds. It's hard living in DC for many reasons, cost of living, commute, etc, but add kids and it just makes it that much harder.

I don't really have any suggestions, I really just kept to myself and only went out with my single friends when I was made to feel guilty if I didn't (please single friends don't do this to your working mother or father friends). It's really hard to put your kids in day care all day and have them waiting on you, only to find at pick up that you are not there. And as far as the mom title thing goes, I can't drop it even if I wanted to and I don't want to. Some people are moms who don't even have kids, it's just their nature. It doesn't mean that we don't value our single friends or like them anymore it just means things are different for us.

Anyway, maybe you could try and start your own mother's group with people who are in the same situation.

I'd love to be in your group, but I moved out of the city. You really can't be the only person who feels the way you do. Try and stay positive and I agree on the thing where you let your husband go out once a week, if he returns the favor. Good Luck

Posted by: scarry | August 15, 2006 1:05 PM

Lori: This isn't "can you do the dishes" or "fold the laundry" ..this is a child .. a life that these two people conceived and created. If your friend's husband decided to work on his handicap instead of his child, I feel sorry for your friend, she married a selfish loser. If you go back and read Moira's original story, she says he's already grown resentful, so I don't think she's hen-pecking, he's not interested in engaging as a parent, which is completely wrong considering he helped bring the child into the world in the first place. Grow up is exactly what this guy needs to do.

Posted by: To Lori | August 15, 2006 1:10 PM

The good news is that the not finding other parents will become a non-issue once pre-school and education years begin. Then there will be too MANY events to go to and meet up and plan with other moms and you'll have to screen out the ones you don't like!

Depending on how docile your kid is, you could still take him to adult events- there are a million groups people never think of. Your fave tv show? Your family dog? There's a doxie meetup every month in NOVA and taking a baby there wouldn't be a problem as long as the baby didn't get upset by the dogs and was controlled. So don't limit yourself to "mom type groups" only. You need sanity for your self.

I agree that you and the father need to sit down and start sharing more of the responsiblities and understanding expectations. You both should be able to have your adult alone time as you grow into becoming parents.

Posted by: Liz | August 15, 2006 1:14 PM

Hello, Sports Bar??? -- there are smoking bans in place all over the DC area now (see Montgomery County and soon all of DC). And one sports bar I know of built a smoke-free section because the owner wanted it that way. It wasn't a dumb suggestion.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 1:14 PM

Grow up is exactly what this guy needs to do.

Posted by: To Lori | August 15, 2006 01:10 PM

I don't think that anyone thinks the guy doesn't need to grow up, they're suggesting that just ordering him to do so may not be the best way to get there. Finding ways to spend time together as a family that the husband enjoys may help him connect with the baby, drop some of his childish resentment, and act like a dad. It may also allow Moira to ease some of her own loneliness.

Taking our son, at 6 weeks old, to my husband's gigs was a great way for all of us to be together, to meld our family life with our (and especially his) social life, and get me out of the house. It made my husband feel happy and connected. What's so wrong with that?

Posted by: Megan | August 15, 2006 1:16 PM

I took my daughter to a sport's bar in VA. They seated us away from the smoke and I couldn't smell it. We had a nice time, it's not for everyone, but it is fun for some.

Posted by: scarry | August 15, 2006 1:17 PM

I think it's troubling that telling a man to get over it (in a polite way and not constant nagging) is seen as a pathway to divorce. So the husband can do what he wants and the wife has to work with him or understand him and cut him some slack? That's a bunch of shiggity. Yet another thing that the woman has to do to make everything work. What does the man do? What he should do is grow up, take responsibility and realize that choosing a family brings sacrifices as well as joys.
Resentment can be normal; but at some point, he has to put it aside, deal and move on with the parenting. After all, that's what the woman has to do. Lower expectations bring lesser results.

To TiredMom -- ummm, your comment earlier was a little too self-important. You don't want to hear about coworkers and haircuts; your childless friends don't want to hear you ad naus. about your two infants and how tired you are. If you want to maintain the friendship, find common ground subjects to talk about.

Posted by: momoftwo | August 15, 2006 1:21 PM

Why would you take your child to a sports bar when there are at least a dozen 'kid-centric' type places like Rainforest Cafe (just to use them as an example) that would seem much more appropriate? To say you couldn't 'smell' the smoke so it was ok .. second hand smoke ..hello?

Posted by: Smokeless | August 15, 2006 1:23 PM

I know what you mean about feeling a little excluded from the Mommy-cliques. My theory is that some women deal with the stress of motherhood by returning to high school social behavior. But having the theory doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt.

Look around for something to do with your little guy that appeals to you (instead of just doing whatever traditional Mommy things you can think of), you're most likely to find people you like there. IME, the traditional mommy and me classes tend to be pretty mindless and dull. Speaking as a SAHM, I always thought they existed just to fill SAHMs days, and WOHMs wouldn't be interested. Becoming a regular at your neighborhood park every Saturday morning is probably a better place to meet people.

Is there anything you, your husband and friends like to do in the daytime? We have found that hiking is a hobby that has transferred from our childless life into our family life. Lots of things change when you have kids, but EVERYTHING doesn't have to change, and hanging on to who you were (both as individuals and as a couple) can ease the transition.

I agree that you need to sit down with your husband and talk. Does your baby have a good bedtime routine, and a reasonable bedtime? I found that our marriage started getting back on track once we had evenings together again.

As for the whole childless friends issue-- I found I had to let one friendship go because anytime we got together, she expected it to go on FOREVER. When you're a mom, you can't spend all day Saturday walking around the mall, there are too many chores to do at home.

Posted by: BT sort of... | August 15, 2006 1:23 PM

"The man made a conscious decision and doesn't appear interested in living with the consequences of it "

Please remember that this was a surprise pregnancy! He did NOT decide to have a baby at that time. So he was surprised and unprepared and 10 months into his son's life he is having trouble transitioning. Get him some help. Kicking him will do about as much good as telling Moira "Gee, your son is almost ONE year old and you can't get over your need to have some friends? Grow up and deal with it because you're a mom now!"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 1:25 PM

I think the point of that whole thread of the conversation was to find an activity that could make the hubby feel like he was having a good time. Rainforest Cafe is not the same as a sports bar for hanging out with friends. Find one that's smoke-free, great. But parents who make THEIR leisure time all about the kids end up resenting the kids and each other. You're still adults who are allowed to have fun, for god's sake. Life doesn't have to be all The Wiggles and Rainforest Cafe, it can still be the White Stripes and sushi, at least it is for my husband and I...

Posted by: to smokeless, etc | August 15, 2006 1:26 PM

In all three of our kids, DW couldnt get the babies to go for anything but lefty and righty until she fully stopped nursing. The first two are still picky eaters, the third will eat anything. They are all healthy. Our life stabilized when I was able to partcipate more with late night feeds, w/e feeds, feeds during Mets games etc. I was sort of on the outside looking in with baby number one, and as DW was trying to prove her mettle as a mom - I wasnt really allowed to do as much as I wanted until much later.

They all say cheers, can hum the WFAN theme song, know the offsides rule in Hockey and help fold laundry. The 3 year old is a BIG help - she hit redial (tranquility base had just checked in) and called me at the office today asking if I could come home to help find one of her toys which was missing. "Trading." "3-year old looking for Lightnin' McQueen on line two."

Posted by: Fo3 | August 15, 2006 1:26 PM

PS ... If you read Moira's post, hubby's desire to be out with the boys is described as the "main wedge" between them, so I don't think it's overstating matters to say he is uninterested in being a good father b/c if he were being a good father, he would know that playing frat boy isn't going to cut it anymore.

Posted by: To A.M. | August 15, 2006 1:30 PM

I don'tthink dad should be out every weekend night with the guys but once in a while is ok if you think of it as his "me time". But you should get some "me time" too. It's true that many working moms see weekends as family time, but not necessarily as family-all-by-ourselves time. They want to have fun too. I've recently discovered the secret is to act fast. Take your baby to the grocery, the park, a walk, whatever. If you see another mom with a baby, catch her eye, introduce yourself, get talking about how hard it is to have kids (it'll get almost any mom going), volunteer your phone number. If the other mom is on the other side of the grocery, park, street, etc, then invent an excuse to go over there. I've learned not to wait till the second time you see them: there might not be a second time. when you have a baby, one good thing is it makes you instantly harmless. I think it's worth keeping in mind that we're all in the same boat. Even the cliquey moms at the Gymboree are probably jsut glad they found some other moms to talk to. Eventually you too can be part of the clique.

Posted by: m | August 15, 2006 1:32 PM

It is often said that the character of person can be summed up in their response to the unexpected. Planned or not, this baby is his responsiblity too. He did not have 10 months to try to learn to adjust. He had 10 months plus the months after they found she was pregnant. How much of learning curve does he get? I don't know too many employers that would sit around and wait for you to learn your job for 20 months.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 1:33 PM

"I don't think that anyone thinks the guy doesn't need to grow up"

There's not enough information. He wants to be with friends at bars on weekends. Nothing says that he is doing it every weekend. I would like to do that myself and I am 40-something. I only do it once in a while, and never drive when I do (my kids need me to make it home safely). DH and I take turns drinking when we are out.

Marriage is give-and-take. He may not need to grow up. They may need to find a way to do things he wants to do and things she wants to do. Maybe she could take a nap on Saturday so she can stay out past 10. Maybe he should take care of things so she can have a night out without him and baby.

To make a blanket statement based on a few short paragraphs is absurd. Jumping to conclusions is surprising, especially coming from lawyers.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 1:34 PM

Smokeless, the dad would probably hate a "kid-centric" place like Rainforest Cafe. Your child -- if you have one -- is exposed to toxins every single day in the environment. It's not like the dad takes his kid to a smoky bar every night. Let him decide what is appropriate for his own child and you protect yours however you need to.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 1:43 PM

There wasn't any smoke where we were sitting. I would never endanger my child, nor am I asking anyone else to do the same thing. It is just a suggestion, of something the family could do together that would include the husband. Next suggestion please.

Posted by: scarry | August 15, 2006 1:44 PM

Maybe my kid is weird but she breast feed every two hours for 13 months. She nursed twice a night till 15 months and once a night till 19 months. Depends on the kid. If I had to do it all over again, I would have snuck her some cereal. I was good and did not introduce solids till 6 months.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 1:45 PM

'It's only a couple of more months till he's eating solids anyway'

Forget that 6 months til solid food thing! Start solid food at 4 months, beginning with cereal. it takes awhile to really get solids established. then you are only breast feeding four times a day.

Out with baby? Breast feed in the restroom or the car. Or in the corner of a restaurant booth with a blanket. Or in full view for all I care, but people do get wierd about that.

Posted by: experienced mom | August 15, 2006 1:46 PM

I was born in 1961 (back then my mom, age 26, was considered an "older mother"!) and my parents basically took me where ever they went. They took me to the horse races when I was one month old, and they brought me to DC with them when I was 14 months. Those were the good old days -- they hired a cab driver to take them on a tour of the city and they walked around the monuments while I slept in a basket in the cab and the driver napped!

Make the child part of your life as best you can and GET OUT and live! At 26 Moira and her husband should be able to figure out ways to rebuild their lives and still feel youthful, even with a baby along.

Posted by: Mel | August 15, 2006 1:47 PM

I'd like to second and third Mom of 2 - some common sense here. Why is it ALWAYS the woman's job to hold everything together? These husbands and fathers don't need to "help" their wives with housework, they need to DO whatever housework needs to be done. Take responsibility - it's the adult thing to do. We have socialized men to believe it's OK to maintain their interests (bars and golf)after the kids come, and we as women will do all the home/child related work. Look at those stats about the 70% dissatisfaction rate. Does Moira's husband every consider maybe she needs a night out with her friends,or God forbid, expect some attention from him? He certainly does need to grow up, he sounds like a spoiled child who wants to be the center of attention 24/7.

Posted by: Glad | August 15, 2006 1:47 PM

Background: I got pregnant during a rebound relationship, he's three years younger, I won't marry him because he won't "settle down", I have a child from a previous relationship, I have asked him to move out three times because he wasn't adjusting to the "family life" on a timeline I felt was conducive to maintaining a proper example for my daughter about what relationships should be.
For me, I don't think its a matter of someone "growing up." For some, its a welcome relief when the SO takes off and gets out of the house, for others, its a whole other slew of issues.
Personally, I'm not a very social person, so when I go out, I want to go out with my SO because thats who I like spending my time with. Whether right or wrong, when he goes out two to three times a week with his friends, it feels like a slap in the face of "Why can't I be enough for you?" even though that is not what his intention is.
I've come to realize that our priorities are very different and what I'm working on now is how to resolve this. There are a myriad of solutions, but I don't want either of us to "sacrifice" who we are. I also don't believe in being in an empty relationship.
I want my daughter to have a positive example of the gives and takes in a "normal" relationship. I don't like having to explain to her why X isn't home after work and mommy is and she won't see him before she goes to bed. I don't believe it shows a fair "balance". I don't ask him to take over parenting duties for her, but I do expect him to "help" me with our son. The fact that I use the phrase "help" me with our son even nauseates me somewhat.
Let the flaming begin.

Posted by: LGB | August 15, 2006 1:48 PM

There is enough information if you consider: (1) she describes this desire to be out at the bars as the "main wedge" and (2) she's posted this information for the whole bloody world to see! If this were just some minor issue, do you really think she would risk public ridicule, scorn and analysis? Not to mention the fact that her husband is no doubt going to read all of these messages?

To borrow from another poster, how would you feel if your spouse aired your dirty laundry like this? I think a marriage has to be in pretty POOR shape for a wife to take this drastic step.

Posted by: Still Peeved in Potomac! | August 15, 2006 1:49 PM

My husband used to golf 18 holes on Saturday with various friends, then go to the bar for a few, then come home and say he was to tired for x, y and z. Then I decided to take up golf and said that we could alternate Saturdays. Funnily enough, he soon gave up golf. He still plays occassionally, but not like he used to play. Now we all play tennis.

Whatever you do, don't quit your job.

Re sports bars: In montgomery county you can take a kid anywhere and not worry about smoke. If it is a quiet place, great. Dave and Busters, however, might damage the hearing of a kid. I think the important thing is to have you time, couple time and family time. If you have to schedule it, so be it. Maybe on Friday nights you can alternate going out with friends (who wants to go out on Friday? I am tired and want to stay home, eat pizza and watch movies with my kids. Too bad they want to do all of that at their friends house!), on Saturday night you can go out on a date by yourselves, and on Sunday you have family time. The important thing is your baby is young and you can incorporate this now--it is harder as they get older.

FYI to anyone who needs to read a great book on motherhood, A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is worth reading every year. Has anyone out there read it?

Posted by: parttimer | August 15, 2006 1:52 PM

I thought she was asking for suggestions on how to meet people since she works and is younger than most of the mothers she meets.

If their biggest problem is that he still likes to go out, then they are in pretty good shape. Again, it does not say that he goes out, only that he would like to. the fact that he is resenting the new life sounds to me that he is not going out.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 1:56 PM

By six months, my pediatrician said it would be okay if I wanted to allow the kid to yell after 10 PM until 7 AM - that he was perfectly capable of having enough food for the night and if I needed some rest, then I shouldn't feel guilty about it.
Odd thing was, first one slept thru the night at 12 weeks - and he was only 10 lbs. Second one, it was about 9 months, maybe, and he is WAY chunkier - so you'd think he'd have a bigger tummy!

Posted by: atlmom | August 15, 2006 1:58 PM

She wants some friends, he wants to keep the friends he has. Both have a similar problem to solve. I hope they can share their feelings and work out a good solution. This is a common problem for new parents, not like it's the first time I've heard this from moms and dads of little ones.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:02 PM

Parttimer, just like Moira, I live in Northern Virginia and don't have time to watch TV. (except for American Idol with the family)

With 4 kids and all their social activities, I rarely get a weekend without another birthday barty at Chuckie's, girl scout function, school concert/play, soccer game... Seldom do I ever get the house to myself either, which I really enjoy because I can drink out of the milk carton and stick my finger in the peanut butter without getting busted and lectured by my stinkers. For me, at this point in life, there is no such thing as lonely time.

Moira, if you feel like it's you and Henry against the world, this is a serious problem. The onus is on you to get your husband back on your team. Unlike young mothers, new dads don't have that instinctive bond that pulls us to our babies. Most husbands need individualized training in this department, and if you want to keep him, you need to put forth the effort.
A few suggestions:
1. While you cook dinner, send hubby & baby out for a walk.
2. While you iron hubby's shirts, have hubby give baby a bath.
3. While you sip a glass of wine, Have hubby put baby to bed. (hint to him that sex may follow)
4. Make hubby change at least 1 diaper a week.
5. Take a lot of pictures of hubby & baby. Put them in photo albums and review them often. this will build his confidence that he is a good father.
6. Hand your baby off to as many people who will hold him. This will greatly reduce separation anxiety for both your baby and you.
7. When everybody is home and baby starts to cry, run to the bathroom and lock yourself in for a long, long time. Take a bath.
8. Vacuum in the nude.
9. Send baby and hubby shopping. Remind him not to forget the box of diapers and A&D ointment, oh, and a pregnancy testing kit too.
10. Join a gym, tighten up. Daddies love coming home to a young, hot mamma!

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 15, 2006 2:04 PM

Moira wrote a column called "Young and Lonely" about needing more mommy friends. She didn't write a column called "My Husband and the Father of Our Child Is In the Bars Every Weekend Until 4 a.m."

How much "dirty laundry" is it airing to admit to being a lonely new mom and that your young husband misses the old life of hanging out in bars with pals? It's not some "drastic" confession. You think every new dad out there happily gives up the life they knew to sit home and change poopy diapers? Not true! And moms like Moira miss their childless life, too, but we don't kick them all over the place when they admit it.

Posted by: Cosi | August 15, 2006 2:07 PM

I had a baby two weeks shy of my 26th birthday, which to my high school classmates was incredibly old and to my then law school classmates was the equivalent of a teen pregnancy.

- Childcare!

- It only takes one friend or compatriot to make you feel less alone. I found someone at church who was in the same situation. Given that you are not quite in either world (the stay-at-home moms who used to have a career and "retired" at 35 for the one perfect child, and the single working people), don't expect a bunch of people in exactly the same circumstance. But also don't expect that you can only be friends with someone in the same circumstance. I find I love to hang out with women whose children are nearly grown and who are old enough to be my mother!
- My husband really stepped up, but it was because we found ways for him to take responsibility and bond with our daughter WHEN I WAS NOT AROUND. (Consider doing something on the weekend -- even going to the gym or shopping -- and leaving your husband in charge. He might have a really good time.)

Posted by: Krys | August 15, 2006 2:08 PM

Father of 4,

great suggestions except the nude sweeping thing! Hey, and they should join a gym with free childcare together. Mommies like hot, built daddies too!

Posted by: scarry | August 15, 2006 2:08 PM

"You need to find a compromise with your husband. First, he needs to let go of his childhood."

Didn't he already let go of his childhood? From Demyan's description, it seems as though he's hanging on to First-World middle-class young adulthood, not hanging on to childhood.

"Anyway, the solution to your loneliness is simple and traditional. Have another child. I guarantee you will not be lonely again. As to your husband, kick him in the butt and hand him the kid."

...and if you follow this advice, then get ready to explain to kid #2 why he or she is obviously unwanted by his or her father, and why you poked holes in your husband's condoms.

"Uh, Brian, DC, are you aware of how babies are made? Takes two to tango kid - if you want to spend your 24-30 years partying, don't make babies."

That's a very good point - whether you want to spend your 24-30 years partying or anything else like establishing your career, finding someone to marry, getting out of debt, strengthening your marriage before adding more people to the family, travelling, volunteering, etc.

"OK, when I read the title of today's blog I thought it would be about single lonely professionals trying to figure their way through the world of coupledom. I find that an interesting topic. Is anyone else interested in that? Future blog topic?"

You're right. It even relates to balancing office work, marriage, and parenthood (after all, you need to get married in the first place to balance those).

"Have people over. Then hubby can party all night while baby sleeps."

Great idea! Staying in on Saturday night doesn't have to mean avoiding friends...

"Childless people really don't get it when you keep having to cancel or change plans unexpectedly, which I've become accustomed to, for example. I don't blame them- I didn't understand either before I became a mom."

Some professors can be unpredictable too. Their students (even the ones without kids) keep having to cancel or change plans unexpectedly when the prof. doesn't stick to the syllabus and adds or moves class sections at the last minute! I was in this situation myself a couple of semesters ago.

"It sounds to me like your husband's lack of support is really the key issue and he should realize that a generation ago, men his age had careers and several children and a mortgage and weren't playing frat boy anymore at age 26."

...and even today, some "men" half his age are already fathers, so what's your point?

This guy's resentment is inappropriate because he apparently chose to not use enough birth control, not because he turned 26.

Posted by: Maria | August 15, 2006 2:10 PM

I wonder if the author discussed this post with her husband in advance of posting? Had they discussed this issue prior to the post in any depth, or will this be the first he hears of it? Have I missed a post about that issue?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:11 PM

Of the 12 couples I know with kids, I count 10 in which the mom, at some point, told me she felt her husband wasn't being a full partner in raising their child(ren). Usually this happened within the first 18 months. The dads ranged in age from 28 to 59. All of the couples are still intact and all of the moms seem happy and the family is much more integrated. I think Moira's problem is a common experience.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:12 PM

To all you on the warpath about this Dad, please don't prejudge or jump to conclusions. Moira's note said "This is the main wedge between my husband and I. He wants to be out with friends and at bars on weekends, like many people our age. I want to be asleep by 10." This doesn't say that he *IS* out with friends and at bars every weekend, but he wants it. This doesn't say he isn't a supportive father, just that he resents it. She says at the top "Some days I feel like it is me and Henry -- now 10 months -- against the world. Sometimes, I can't even count my husband on my team." which sounds to me like at least some times he is on her team and helping out.

He needs time to adjust...he isn't completely copping out, but there's friction between them. The whole point here is to find balance (isn't that what this blog is about?). One of the things to find balance (and for both mom and dad) is to find a way for each of them to get some "me time". This is why the suggestions include "date nights", "Mom's night out", "Dad's night out" etc. They have to find a way to work those things in so they each find some balance and don't burn out. I know a couple who found another similar couple in their neighborhood and they arranged once a month for each couple to have a night off by switching off kids those nights. Although this couple usually spent the night together (perhaps doing the bar-hopping or friends things they used to do together), sometimes they used the time for each to go and do something for themselves (one night, the mom went out shopping just for herself to have the night off and spend it thinking of herself) and dad went out with a couple of old friends.

Somewhere we've lost the idea of balance. The modern myth of full-time WOHM, housewife, mother, all rolled into one superwoman who can do anything has caused many problems for many who get burned out. Don't turn it around and burn out fathers too once they get involved. Try to find balance for both parents.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 15, 2006 2:12 PM

"This guy's resentment is inappropriate because he apparently chose to not use enough birth control, not because he turned 26."

When are people going to understand that birth control doesn't always work?!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:16 PM

To Juliana,

I've been childless and busy and tired. And I've been a mom and busy and tired. There's no comparison! You won't know until you experience yourself -- like a lot of things in life.

If you really care about your friends, can't you be a little more patient with them? Try telling a wailing 6-month-old to wait while you finish up your phone call with a friend -- it just doesn't work that well. Sorry.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:17 PM

OK, when I read the title of today's blog I thought it would be about single lonely professionals trying to figure their way through the world of coupledom. I find that an interesting topic. Is anyone else interested in that? Future blog topic?"

You're right. It even relates to balancing office work, marriage, and parenthood (after all, you need to get married in the first place to balance those).

I thought this blog was about balancing work and life. Not just married life with children.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 2:20 PM

I've been childless and busy and tired. And I've been a mom and busy and tired. There's no comparison! You won't know until you experience yourself -- like a lot of things in life.

"If you really care about your friends, can't you be a little more patient with them? Try telling a wailing 6-month-old to wait while you finish up your phone call with a friend -- it just doesn't work that well. Sorry.

Posted by: | August 15, 2006 02:17 PM "
I for one am sick of the "you don't know what it's like" etc etc. It just seems like the childless friends have to shoulder 100% of the understanding and patience, while the mommy can treat them as she wishes because "we don't understand".
Climb off your cross, someone else needs the wood...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:21 PM

Scarry, You caught me on the vacuum thing, I should have added "with the living room curtains open"...

When you settle down, maybe you can offer a guest blog and work in the cultural differences between the KC and DC areas, if any.

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 15, 2006 2:21 PM

Lieu, I also thought it was about "Work-Life Balance", otherwise why did we have Psycho Temp Stories day?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:21 PM

"When are people going to understand that birth control doesn't always work?!"

when are people going to understand that birth control makes more unwanted babies than it prevents.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:25 PM

Leslie's own words.....

"This blog is devoted to illuminating the work/family debate through stories from moms about how we juggle work and kids, in whatever portions we've chosen (including none). So welcome, working moms, sort-of working moms and not-working-right-now moms."

Posted by: THE POINT OF THIS BLOG PEOPLE! | August 15, 2006 2:27 PM

Well, I don't know what it is like to be a mother (or a father, obviously!), but I have been that ear on the other end of the phone for my married friends enough to know that compromise is a big part of the's not easy on either side! It's easy to slam the father in this situation, but then again we don't have his side of the story.
I do feel for new parents...not an easy road!

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 2:28 PM

My husband and I chose not to have kids and would like to still hang out with our friends who do have them, but as soon as the other couples had kids, they started organizing things and inviting other couples with kids but not us. It became the New Parents Club. When we mention it, they say, "Oh, you don't want to hang around all those screaming kids." When we assure them that it would be fine, they still don't invite us. We had a few couples and their kids to a picnic and it went well, but still we rarely get invitations, except perhaps to the annual birthday party, not to the less "formal" events.

Moira, if your friends tell you they want to be with you even when your son is screaming his head off, invite them over!

Posted by: Reston | August 15, 2006 2:31 PM

"So welcome, working moms, sort-of working moms and not-working-right-now moms."

Ok, there you have it. All men abandon this blog RIGHT NOW!

Posted by: Gebus | August 15, 2006 2:32 PM

I've been childless and busy and tired. And I've been a mom and busy and tired. There's no comparison! You won't know until you experience yourself -- like a lot of things in life.

If you really care about your friends, can't you be a little more patient with them? Try telling a wailing 6-month-old to wait while you finish up your phone call with a friend -- it just doesn't work that well. Sorry.


Unfortunately, this condescending tone is one of the reasons that some of us don't have patience with some mothers.

Some of us have ailing relatives or provide full-time care to people with life disabilities (are you saying that taking care of your infant is harder than taking care of a person with Downs or MS or any other physically debilitating condition?) Full time caretakers experience similar problems to mothers. We have to care, feed, chauffer and monitor continuously. Some of us have been in those situations. Why is your situation any different from trying to be on the phone when a home-bound parent suddenly screams out "I can't get off the toilet!" while their adult child is on the phone. Just because some childless people cannot understand does not mean all cannot.

Yes, some of us childless can understand what it's like. However, some of you parents aren't willing to admit that some of us can understand it. And the condescending tone only makes it worse.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 15, 2006 2:35 PM

And women who aren't mothers. They need to leave also.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:35 PM

"Jumping to conclusions is surprising, especially coming from lawyers."

No no, we just call it reading between the lines and make it a specialty!

Seriously, I suppose you're right and there isn't that much information there - but when I read that he seems to resent her for the fact that THEY had a baby, that he seems to think she "cheated him from being a young, fun couple," it strikes me as a real sign of immaturity and an unwillingness to accept responsibility for his actions. Granted, we only have her perception, but she's the author and I see no reason to assume she's lying or off her rocker.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:35 PM

Leslie's own words.....

"This blog is devoted to illuminating the work/family debate through stories from moms about how we juggle work and kids, in whatever portions we've chosen (including none). So welcome, working moms, sort-of working moms and not-working-right-now moms."

Posted by: THE POINT OF THIS BLOG PEOPLE! | August 15, 2006 02:27 PM

All single people and dads get out! It will be so much easier to blame everything on you when you're gone! You guys don't understand and you should all just grow up!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:37 PM

Yeah not to be rude but since Leslie has her own guest blog rebeldad, clearly she wants this blog to be for more then just mothers. Essentially, her topics to center around life and work balance that pertains to everyone. People who work in the home and out of the home. But I guess if you want to be a stickler-guys and single people need to jump ship. Now really???

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 2:37 PM

I'm not going to take that poster literally. I think she (?) was just trying to point out that the topic that Leslie started with was for moms/parents, who have their own unique points of view than some other groups. If you want to talk about being, young, lonely, and single/childless....hit up the editor of Wash Post for your own blog. $$$!

Posted by: Proud Dad | August 15, 2006 2:45 PM

The thing about the DC area is that it's filled with bitter old hags that wait enritely too late to have children and then try to make themselves feel better by criticizing people who do it on schedule with the rest of the country.

Hang In There had excellent advice, maybe because she's my wife, but probably because she has a bit of common sense that's lacking in the ridiculous Subaru-driving immasculating, henpecking harpies that usually frequent these discussions.

From a biological perspective, your son is a symbol to your husband that his days as a single guy are over. He has to make sure his genetic material survives now, where before, he just had to worry about casting it far and wide. He may have had those delusions about being single while you were married without kids, but your son is a daily reminder that his life is changing. It's not an easy thing to accept for younger men.

The key is to help him find an activity and some bonding time for him and Henry to share. Start out by having him watch Henry while a game is on at home. Then move on to going to the bar with him once or twice and taking care of Henry. Ask him to hold the baby from time to time during the game, with the idea of him taking care of Henry 100% in the near future. He can still have 1 beer per hour (your body metabolizes the alcohol that fast) and be fine. He can't drink his face off, but he can still partake.

In general, it's about finding a balance - something relatively few people in this discussion seem to want to do. If your balance isn't what makes everyone else happy, then fine. It doesn't have to. Do what works for you.

Oh, and on you being 26, you'll be glad of it at your first PTA meeting. You'll most likely be the youngest and most attractive one there, as most of the other moms in this area will have wasted their youth sucking lemons and delaying their family lives.

Enjoy being a young mom now, but wait for later. You'll be able to see Henry start his own family and you'll enjoy them on your own time, rather than on the borrowed time that 40-year-old first time mothers use.

That's right, you bitter old hags that give Moira a hard time - she'll get to spend 10 extra years with her grandchildren that you won't. Your grandchildren will barely know you and your memory will fade before they can tell their kids about you. All you'll be remembered for is the inheritance and the gifts. I'd rather have the memories that only time spent can give.

Moira, work and communicate with your husband to find a common ground. It will work out, though. He may just need a little time.

Posted by: Analyst | August 15, 2006 2:51 PM

Good list. Although in my case we made it a rule that evenings and weekends were the time period for #4. Not once a week. I could handle the odor better than she did, but she's decided it's better than the stuff coming out the other end.

Handing the baby off to others is the single most important thing you can do to get your life back. It will allow you to relax more and you can spend some more time with hubby.

Posted by: Working Dad | August 15, 2006 2:52 PM

I think you have been reading my diary. ;) My experience was almost the same (except for the partying husband bit - he worked nights so that we wouldn't have to pay for childcare). Have you considered joining DC Working Moms? The group was founded in 2004 to help working mothers set up lunches (for them near their workplaces) and playgroups (for the kids near their homes) that fit in with a working mom's schedule, not to mention the online support.

Posted by: Meagan | August 15, 2006 2:52 PM

"I've been childless and busy and tired. And I've been a mom and busy and tired. There's no comparison! You won't know until you experience yourself -- like a lot of things in life."

Good god could you possibly be any more condescending?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:54 PM

To Analyst:do you the men of these 40 year old women having children are any younger? Who criticized her on this blog about being a 26 year old mother?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 2:59 PM

This is my exact experience, I lived through this (am living it still!) when I had my first baby at 23. Very painful, I totally hear you. I tried and tried to join things but it was really hard and my husband is not a "joiner" so no support in that.

Some of these suggestions are really good, I'll check them out myself!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 3:00 PM

"Climb off your cross, someone else needs the wood..."

LOL! Yes, someone else can use the wood to pull off splinters to poke holes in the condoms and produce unwanted children who cut into bar-hopping time. The rest of the wood can be used to pry the screaming elderly family member off the toilet so you can finish your phone conversation.

Any other snippets from today's snark-a-thon that we can add to this bizarre tale?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 3:06 PM

To Analyst:

My mom passed away at 58 and when her first (and only at the time) grandchild was 9 months old. You never know when you're going to go. You have a time frame that works for you - others have their own time frames that work for them. There's no good that comes from judging others - you just sound self righteous. Everyone has different experiences, and they are all okay. Someone with more life experience may be a better parent than one with less, but a younger parent may have more energy for the children - you just never know - there are tradeoffs with everything. Why make snap judgements about others?

Posted by: atlmom | August 15, 2006 3:07 PM

Sorry, the smart arse who posted at 3:06 p.m. is me. I clicked on submit too fast.

Posted by: momoftwo | August 15, 2006 3:09 PM

momoftwo - thanks for the laugh...:-)

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 3:10 PM

toaltmom-ignore analyst. He clearly has issues!

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 3:13 PM

I think we can safely say that the bone weary tiredness that comes from feeding a new baby every 2 hours is very very hard. Something that I had never felt before and never since-- and something I wouldn't compare to anything else. But it passes. Frankly in my case- I was only bad (felt like I was going insane) for 3 or so weeks before the times between feeding lengthened etc-- I was less crazy more zombie and then functioning.

I know my childless friends understood I was going through a challenging time but also know that after the 3-4 weeks I would be back and ready to engage. They had patience with me- which I banked on-- they are my friends afterall...

Posted by: UP | August 15, 2006 3:19 PM

"Climb off your cross, someone else needs the wood..."

wow people are nasty to each other on this blog. I don't agree with a lot of what people write here, but sometimes the tone gets lost in writing and I think a lot of you are overreacting and judging on misinterpretations. Everybody has their own perspective and it's useful to hear other people out without trying to cut them down. Or am I to naive?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 3:29 PM

"When are people going to understand that birth control doesn't always work?!"

when are people going to understand that birth control makes more unwanted babies than it prevents.

Like when the woman "accidentally" forgets to take the pill?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 3:38 PM

2:11 wrote: "I wonder if the author discussed this post with her husband in advance of posting? Had they discussed this issue prior to the post in any depth, or will this be the first he hears of it? Have I missed a post about that issue?"

I wondered that too. I would be royally PO'd if I got blindsided by something like this. I wouldn't be too happy if I knew something like this was going to be published, but then again, I'm such a good Dad I don't have to worry about any of this stuff.

Posted by: Dad of 2 | August 15, 2006 3:40 PM

I think the condescending tone of the post came thru quite clearly.
basically, it was said: you don't understand - I'm doing something so important, you'll just have to deal.
I have single, married, childed, childless friends. We have all figured out how to live peacefully. I have been supportive when I can be, and they understand I am going through a bunch, but I also understand they are going through a bunch.
When my friend was in the hospital, and needed somewhere to go, and her brother abandoned her, she stayed at my house for three or four days. I had an 18 month old at the time, but she needed a place to stay and we had room for her. No questions asked. None of the: oh, well, you know I wish we *could* - which is exactly what her brother said to her. There was no reason for that type of attitude, yet there it was.
She had neck surgery 2 or 3 months ago, and was married this past month. I feel horrible that all I did was send her some food while she was recovering, but she was completely appreciative (and has the best now husband she could ask for). We all do what we can to help - and I for one try not to tell anyone I know *wow, you just don't understand how difficult it is to be *me**. Cause everyone has it rough, that's life.

Posted by: atlmom | August 15, 2006 3:42 PM

Or am I to naive?

Actually this is one of the better days-for real.

Posted by: scarry | August 15, 2006 3:43 PM

Analyst--you need to chill! The nice thing about this place is that we all have choices! And you never know how long people will live. We just returned from vacation where my kids played cards with their great-grandparents, who, at ages 82 and 83, are of sound body (mostly) and mind. They also did sewing projects with their grandmother, who is 63. And they went kayaking with their father, who is 32. They themselves are 10 and 12. (Yeah, we were young, but because we were lucky enough to find each other young we were able to have kids young. Not everyone finds their soulmate in college! Plus, if we WERE going to have kids, we had to get on the bus because of potential health issues. My only regret is that we didn't have another. There will always be beer, bars and social events). My neighbor had a massive heart attack 6 months ago, leaving behind a three year old and wife. He was under 40.

Posted by: parttimer | August 15, 2006 3:46 PM

I think atlmom makes the most sense here...everyone has their obstacles and everyone has their issues that are important to them. We all do need to support each other to the best of our abilities (don't feel guilty, sending food is a great help).
No one likes a drama queen...

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 3:46 PM

To anon 3:29. Stick around a little longer and you'll find out this is one of the funniest blogs in town. there's a lot of humor here, and just like parenting, it takes a little experience to recognise it. It's fun to line up with men vs women, single vs married, young vs old, throw a few cats and dogs on top... and see what you get.

I kind of think of it like an egg toss and you are always welcome to toss one my way, just make it easier on us and post your name.

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 15, 2006 3:48 PM

"when are people going to understand that birth control makes more unwanted babies than it prevents.

"Like when the woman "accidentally" forgets to take the pill?"

Or when a married couple use nothing but premarital abstinence (a la "you won't need contraceptives, you just need to be a virgin on your wedding night")?

Posted by: Maria | August 15, 2006 3:51 PM

Naive - I was born in D.C. I am think I am pretty nice!!
Not everyone is mean and nasty, don't worry. You just have to keep looking for the nicer folks...

Posted by: Missicat | August 15, 2006 3:52 PM

"Snark-a-thon"....."shiggety", my vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds....also, to "Analyst"....the first four letters seem to describe you.......

Posted by: Dad of 2 | August 15, 2006 3:52 PM

"and the sympathetic judge awarded HIM the kids!"

Hey John this is awful. WHere did this happen? I hope your friend can take he/them back to court soon. I wanted to comment earlier on it, but I got side tracked.

Posted by: scarry | August 15, 2006 3:52 PM

OK, I am new here obviously. Is this mostly people from the washington area? Is that why so many nasty, nasty posts? I am not from the area, but I've spent time there before and met some seriously greedy/selfish/condessending people there. (and some nice ones too!).

Posted by: Naive from 3:29 | August 15, 2006 3:53 PM

Missicat and others,

Unitarian-Universailist churches are great places to meet people-- they are very accepting of every family configuration out there (well, I guess polygamy is out, but you get the idea) and the church doesn't try to fit you into a particular mold but instead encourages you to be your best self. As soon as I attended I felt at home. It has historical Christian roots, but people of all faiths are made to feel welcome and appreciated. Lots of interfaith families attend UU churches. All Souls on 16th ST is especially good because it is racially mixed-- something to note during "the most segregated hour of the week."

Posted by: that's UU for you! | August 15, 2006 3:56 PM

I completely understand that until I have children I will not and cannot understand just how demanding and tiring it is.
However a friendship cannot be one sided - me the childless friend being there for the friend with children regardless of her being un-interested in my life!
Why would anyone be friends with someone who isn't interested in them? (even though it is obviously for a good reason I.e. being busy with children, being tired etc)
Would a mom be happy to be friends with another mom who only talks about her own kids and family and never asks about the other mom's kid/family? - I think not!
Friendship is a give a take - if your not willing to give don't expect to take (even though you are doing a very noble thing - looking after your children/family)

Posted by: One sided friendship | August 15, 2006 4:08 PM

To the poster who suggested that Moira's main issue is lack of friends, I think you read too narrowly. Clearly, that is part of it, but the frat boy hubby is obviously adding to her sense of alienation.

Dad of 4 made some good suggestions, though I'd be MORE curious to see what his suggestions are for this deadbeat dad who just wants to rock and roll all night and party every day and doesn't seem to give a fig about his 10 month old son.

Someone made the right point ..the guy had 9 months BEFORE the kid was born to start coping and has now had another 10 and yet, he still wants to hang out with the boys. 19 months to get "adjusted" seems a bit much to me.

PS .. why does Moira have to do all these things to PLEASE her husband when she too is working (and it seems) is the primary care giver for the kid!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 4:08 PM

To Maria: I think Moira was already married when Henry was conceived. Being a virgin on her wedding night has nothing to do with this child's conception.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 4:13 PM

If I had to guess I would say probably a little over 50% are from the DC area.

The DC-area folks can seem to speak in the most direct terms, but the angry stilted stuff comes from everywhere. For instance, in our weekly class-warfare episode the angrier people are clearly the out of towners.

Compared to the tone on political blogs this one is decidedly less harsh. Even the usual sniping (some of the same names go at it every day) seems to have an element of teasing.

Posted by: To: Naive from 3:29 | August 15, 2006 4:14 PM

"Dad of 4 made some good suggestions, though I'd be MORE curious to see what his suggestions are for this deadbeat dad who just wants to rock and roll all night and party every day and doesn't seem to give a fig about his 10 month old son."

Right. Clearly there is no male-bashing going on today. Calling someone a "deadbeat dad" is a term of endearment.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 4:18 PM

Previously posted as Pro-Nursing Mama, but I feel weird since we aren't talking about BF'ing.

I considered "UberBoober", but I have finally decided on "Lulu" so that those of you who have written me off already can just recall you thought I was lulu...

On-topic, I was also the first mom amongst my friends. They were sure my husband and I would have no use for them once the kid was born. I assured them no way, we were still totally down with hanging out.

We were never big party people, so that transition wasn't hard. We still do dinner parties and have them over or go to their bbq's. They know we can't really afford babysitters and don't have family to watch our daughter so if they invite us - we will probably say yes and ask if we can bring our daughter.

We have since moved away from DC. I had to make all new friends. Oddly, in DC all our friends were single or MNK but down here all our friends are people with kids. Slightly unbalanced. At least our DC friends come down to visit.

I would also like to encourage the author to be honest with childless friends about what would make it easier for you to hang out and invite them over to your place so as not to lose those friendships. But keep in mind they are not going to want to hear about what kind of poop your kid had that day.

Posted by: lulu | August 15, 2006 4:20 PM

I had my first child at 24 - more than a few years before any of my friends. I can completely understand what you are going through. Now that my children are school aged, I have had to endure other parents asking if I was the older sibling. (I take it as a compliment.) Needless to say, I cannot always identify with "older" parents. But take heart, things do get better. You will find your groove. Continue to look at baby & me classes - there's bound to be something out there. Yes, your husband needs to step up. Nights out with your husband will be sure to help him come around....Good luck & God bless.

Posted by: southerngal | August 15, 2006 4:20 PM

Analyst, doesn't everyone become an inheritance and/or gift ultimately? Meaning, everyone will die. And the old, bitter hags whose children have no grandparents are in the same boat as the young women whose children's grandparents die young. You never know.

And to the anonymous poster who snarked about women "forgetting" to take the pill, guess what? I hear there's a neat little invention that's been around for a while. It's called a condom. And if one uses this neat little thing, AND the pill is used, then the birth control is more effective! How about that! Everyone taking personal responsibility for their bodies -- now that's a concept.

Posted by: momoftwo | August 15, 2006 4:22 PM

I think the tone has less to do with the locale of posters than the anonymity of the forum.

Posted by: Re: perceived nastiness | August 15, 2006 4:23 PM

I think, at least for me, a big problem contributing to the loneliness is that high housing costs have forced much of my circle of friends (who used to all live in the city) to this or that suburb in search of space and decent schools. So even just to get together for a bbq takes hours in traffic for everybody. It's hard to maintain those old friendships, and hard to make new ones in our new neighborhood. It seems like no one is ever just hanging around and willing to hang out with us (and our kids).

Posted by: stranded out here | August 15, 2006 4:26 PM

"Even the usual sniping (some of the same names go at it every day) seems to have an element of teasing."

I think there's a lot of teasing among the regulars; there's also a lot of people who like to debate, and sometimes its hard to tell the difference between sniping and debating in a forum where you lose tone, facial expressions etc that help soften/put context on our statements.

And I think the nastiness and the niceness come from all locales

Posted by: Megan | August 15, 2006 4:27 PM

"this deadbeat dad who just wants to rock and roll all night and party every day and doesn't seem to give a fig about his 10 month old son."

Wow, 4:08, do you KNOW Moira's husband? If you don't, why do you think you can make such a judgement about his life and his attitude toward parenting? Moira makes a few statements and people on here are saying he's a loser who isn't interested in being a parent. All I can read is that he's a young father who's feeling a big change in his life, just as his wife is.

Posted by: Teddy | August 15, 2006 4:32 PM

4:08 is just some old fart who is proud that he can quote KISS lyrics. Loser.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 4:33 PM

Great post, very well articulated. I agree with others who say Moira needs some time to herself, and she and her husband need some time as a couple. Finding other women who have kids the same age as yours does not equate to friendship, if that's all you have in common. I am 48, my kids are grown but I guess some things never change. Grown women revert back to their junior high type cliques where they turn a cold shoulder to the ones who are "different." Wish we women could all just get along.

Posted by: Suzy | August 15, 2006 4:39 PM

"I feel he sometimes resents our life right now -- that I cheated him from being a young, fun couple."

To me this doesn't sound as if her husband wants to be out in the bars all night acting like a frat boy. It sounds like he wishes THEY -- as a couple -- could still go out and socialize like they once did. This is not uncommon and certainly doesn't mean he's a "deadbeat dad" or uninterested in parenting! She may be right in diagnosing that they need a couple of "couple w/kids" friends.

Posted by: Toya | August 15, 2006 4:50 PM

I haven't read all the posts, but I wanted to say I understand. My son is 10 months old and I'm still sooo tired! And I work full time, so I don't want to go out when I have free time: I want to hang out with the baby, and my husband, or sleep.
Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who's taken over most of the shopping and cooking, since I'm the one nursing and getting up at night. Some days I think I get the better end of the deal, some days I'm too tired to think.
My advice is use the DC working moms listerv to set up a weekend playgroup with working moms in your area. Try meeting every other weekends, or once a month. I'm meeting other moms that way, hoping to make a real friend or two at some point.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 4:51 PM

It is really frustrating to be the single friend who feels cancelled on a lot.

It is also really hard to explain why suddenly it's so hard to commit to anything, but it is a real problem - not an indication of "how much I care" or anything like that. It's a trade off - "is taking a crying teething baby out worth both struggle while out and the three hour meltdown afterwards?"

For me the solution has been (partial, anyway) to have friends come over - it's less disruptive to the baby. But they've had to be willing to do it, and occasionally to ignore messes and meltdowns. I find there are two broad category of friends - those who are willing to ride out the ups and downs and yes, odd poop discussion, or go to a park instead of a concert. And those who are more attached to the prior wine & dine lifestyle than they were to me. Both are understandable and fine, but I do often mourn my participation in the second.

There are certainly parents who choose to maintain that lifestyle - we couldn't, for financial (babysitter + dinner out minus my full salary and cost of diapers) reasons but also because it just hasn't felt right. Once my son is older that will likely change, but I will probably have lost some of those friends by then.

Posted by: Shandra | August 15, 2006 5:04 PM

Some people are just unhappy and/or selfish, no matter what situation they are in. The single friend who refuses to accommodate the new parent (or SO) and the new mom who is unable to even ask about other people and their concerns are cut, unfortunately, from the same cloth.

My dad taught me that sometimes, there are things we gotta do, even though we may not want to do them. If they are done, the beneficiary should allow for a bit of grumbling.

Posted by: Do I need a name? | August 15, 2006 5:12 PM

"When are people going to understand that birth control doesn't always work?!"

When are people going to understand that when you decide to have sex you're deciding to risk starting a baby? You can lower the risk, but not eliminate it completely.

Posted by: GJ | August 15, 2006 5:21 PM

We're in a new town, and I'm sometimes relieved that we don't have any friends, though I do feel lonely. Both of us work full time, we have a three-year-old, and an 18-month old, and now enter morning sickness and general pregnancy exhaustion for me, boo hoo! Tiredness aside, we are happy and lucky.

My husband goes out once a week or so to play guitar with some people he's just met, and honestly, I look forward to those evenings alone, after the kids are in bed. He doesn't need "me" time alone--he just gets bored--and I very definitely do, even if it's just falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV. I used to have hobbies... :)

We were also the first to reproduce. Our best friends, a couple, moved away when I was pregnant, so we don't really know what would have happened with them, but they're not the party type, and I'm sure things would have been okay, with the compromises on both sides that others have mentioned.

We took our son with us everywhere in DC--even the Brickskeller once, where I nursed him under a blanket--and other childless friends seemed to enjoy (or at least not mind) having him along. Outings were less about him and more about all of us, and him experiencing new things and new people, like listening to my husband play music with friends. All of the DC-specific suggestions made above were great, especially those involving the outdoors, where older kids can play and be loud while adults talk.

Posted by: niner | August 15, 2006 5:54 PM

"For me the solution has been (partial, anyway) to have friends come over - it's less disruptive to the baby. But they've had to be willing to do it, and occasionally to ignore messes and meltdowns."

Shandra, this is a good example of what I have been talking about. Sometimes I'm perfectly happy to come over to your house and visit/hang out there and ignore messes and meltdowns. I know that's easier for you and for your baby, even though it's not always my first choice of activity.

Other times I would hope that you would make an effort to let *me* pick the activity -- get a sitter if necessary, because obviously you're not going to want to have a baby meltdown in a nice restaurant.

Sometimes we do "mom" things and sometimes we do "non-mom" things ... I don't expect you to do it my way every time, but I don't want to do it *your* way every time either.

My point is that, as friends, we should *both* be willing to compromise.

Posted by: Juliana | August 15, 2006 6:12 PM

Along with both friends being willing to compromise, there needs to be some understanding about what you're asking of the other person.

A dinner at a "nice restaurant" + babysitter can be quite a lot of money, and it may be more than a new parent can afford to blow on an evening.

The vibe I get from your posts is that you'd like for your friends to be like they used to be, at least some of the time. That can be hard when you're a new mom, but babies grow up, and they'll probably "come back" if you give them a little time.

Posted by: TO Juliana | August 15, 2006 6:58 PM

I had my children when I was 22 & 25. Since I looked very young for my age (many people thought I was a teenager), I was subjected to daily insults from the older mothers about my reproductive choices. My children are now in college, I am 45 and the insults continue to this day. Don't let those cruel people let you not enjoy your child or motherhood. Talk to you husband and try to get him to act like an adult. But on the same token, it would not hurt to get a sitter one night and go out (just the two of you) and have some fun. Continue to look for activites that will keep you active.
For all those older mom's who treat you like dirt, the truth is they are probably jealous beccause they were incapable of conceiving a child like a normal women. Many women wait for the "perfect" time to start having children. When that time arrives, they are too old to conceive. I work in an office where everyone there has either been through or is going through artifical means in order to conceive children. They all sit around and discuss the woes about not being able to conceive. The act like IVF is the normal way for human beings to reproduce. When they find out that I have childlren in college they treat me like I am some kind of freak. The true is they are the freaks and there children are little frankensteins conceived in a petri dish because they were too old to conceive.

Posted by: beenthere | August 15, 2006 7:08 PM

"This discussion is better than therapy. Great advice all around. Good to be back.
Posted by: Leslie | August 15, 2006 10:57 AM"

This is sarcasm, right? If you think this is better than therapy, you're doing it wrong.

Posted by: Therapized | August 15, 2006 7:20 PM

All single people and dads get out! It will be so much easier to blame everything on you when you're gone! You guys don't understand and you should all just grow up!
Posted by: | August 15, 2006 02:37 PM

Best laugh today!

Posted by: ELR | August 15, 2006 7:24 PM

"When are people going to understand that when you decide to have sex you're deciding to risk starting a baby? You can lower the risk, but not eliminate it completely."

Hmm. How many of the gay and lesbian married couples in Massachusetts saved sex for marriage because they didn't want to risk starting babies before their weddings...? ;)

"A dinner at a 'nice restaurant' + babysitter can be quite a lot of money, and it may be more than a new parent can afford to blow on an evening."

It might also be more than a nonparent or older parent can afford. This kind of thing isn't always a parent-vs-nonparent - friends can have all sorts of differences to take into consideration.

"The true is they are the freaks and there children are little frankensteins conceived in a petri dish because they were too old to conceive."

Now I wonder how many pregnant teenagers in the world would call you a freak, accuse you of taking the easy way out, assume you must have been too ugly to get married or at least laid in your teens, etc. because you didn't have kids until your 20s...

Posted by: Maria | August 15, 2006 7:38 PM

"A dinner at a "nice restaurant" + babysitter can be quite a lot of money, and it may be more than a new parent can afford to blow on an evening."

That was actually an unintentional red herring ... the "nice restaurant" isn't really the point, and I'm usually pretty broke too.

It's not about the expense, it's about both people making the effort to accommodate each other's needs in turn. It could be nothing but going to Caribou to have coffee and adult conversation for an hour (not "adult" conversation ... unless that's your thing ...) without being interrupted by crying and diaper changing and such.

My point is that sometimes I certainly can be expected to fit into my friends' parenting schedules, but other times those friends should adjust *their* schedules to accommodate me. Maintaining and developing a friendship -- the topic of Moira's original post -- requires effort on the part of *both* parties.

My fundamental point is that if Moira wants to keep up with her pre-baby friends to combat her lonliness then perhaps she should examine this aspect of the way she socializes with them.

Posted by: Juliana | August 15, 2006 8:39 PM

To been there: I hope you did not mean to sound as ugly as you did. Conceive the normal way and frankstein children. That is pretty heartless. I had my daughter at age 33 through natural conception. I think it is utterly sick that you would assume that she was an invitro baby because I was in my 30s. I don't look down on women in their 20s for having kids. Frankly most first time mothers are between 25-30. But your interpretation of the pain that some couples face during infertility is pretty sickening. I hope to god someone in your family doesn't have to face that pain.

Posted by: Lieu | August 15, 2006 8:49 PM

They all sit around and discuss the woes about not being able to conceive. The act like IVF is the normal way for human beings to reproduce. When they find out that I have childlren in college they treat me like I am some kind of freak. The true is they are the freaks and there children are little frankensteins conceived in a petri dish because they were too old to conceive.


Excuse me? The reason that we are investigating alternatives is that my wife has a genetic disorder that has caused three generations of her family a lot of grief due to early loss of vision. We made the conscious decision that we do not want our children to have to go the life-long difficulties with low vision to blindness that she and her family have gone through. It order to treat it, my wife has had seven surgeries in three years on her eyes, with a lot of difficulties and is on immuno-suppression due to transplant surgery, so she cannot carry. So we're looking into alternatives. This was a very difficult decision for us to make and we came late in life to realize that despite the issues, we'd like to be parents and are now financially stable enough to provide a good life for said child. Because we place the health of my wife and our child at a premium and have waited until later, we are now insulted and called freaks.

One would think that the way that others treat you (implying you are some sort of freak) would teach you to have more respect for others and to know that they dealt with their circumstances the best they could. But it seems that their treatment has only spurred you to judgemental petty vengeance. Hopefully you'll teach your children to be more mature and adult that you are.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 15, 2006 9:45 PM

"It's not about the expense, it's about both people making the effort to accommodate each other's needs in turn. It could be nothing but going to Caribou to have coffee and adult conversation for an hour (not "adult" conversation ... unless that's your thing ...) without being interrupted by crying and diaper changing and such."

I'm responding not to argue but just to express my experience. YMMV Juliana and I think you have a complete right to yours and I'm glad to hear it. Because it is something important in thinking about social isolation and friendships and things.

Just to clarify, I was speaking out of my experience with a particular group of people, where it was about the experience in the expensive see-and-be-seen environment. We never went out for coffee, so it makes sense we aren't doing that now. :-)

On the topic of coffee, though, it's a hard one.

My experience (I can't say what's right or anything, just what I've found) is that if my friends aren't willing to give me the benefit of the doubt that when I say it's hard to get out it is /hard to get out/ and not some selfish spiralling lazy-assed illusion I've created, we're more likely to stay friends.

To go into some detail as an example - if you're breastfeeding on demand, for the first I'd say 6 months (depending on your baby's personality) you aren't sure if the baby will want to nurse, so leaving the baby is hard.

If you're working, you may need to spend a lot of time pumping &/or nursing to keep supply up, plus your time is even more compressed than it used to be.

So two hours - a half hour to get to the coffee shop, a half hour back, and an hour at coffee, can be hard. I'm not saying it's unreasonable. Just that it may be harder than it appears.

(Pumping, by the way, and using a bottle - things I thought would be a breeze! - is something that can be really hard to do "once in a while" because in order to have enough milk to pump you have to either have been pumping at the same time every day for at least a few days, so that your breasts produce enough milk for the pump, or you have to pump just before you would normally do a feed, which means pumping 20 min before the baby is hungry which can be precision timing to do if you're going out. You can't just get a phone call at 3, pump for ten minutes, and run off... at least I couldn't. Some women with amazing breasts might be able to. :) And introducing a bottle of formula here and there as an alternative works for some babies and for others it doesn't - they won't take it. Plus if the baby skips a feed or two the mum gets painful, rock hard breasts - think of having a small melon stuck under your skin. It hurts.)

These are the kinds of stupid details childless/free friends often don't want to hear about (pumping... ewww). And yet that's the legitimate reason, not a lack of love or respect for the friend.

I focused on just one issue here but it seems like so many parenting things are like that. Skipping a nap can mean the baby's up all night; taking the baby to a sitter that's not the usual daycare may mean no nap. It all cascades into chaos way faster than I ever guessed before I went through it.

Also parenting is crazy busy. I breastfed my son for this first year, and recently I realized I have spent no fewer than four hours in every 24 - and really more like six - breastfeeding /every/ day for the whole year. Just breastfeeding. I am suddenly grateful for friends who were willing to sit with me while I did, since that was almost a quarter of all the hours in the day.

Aside from work I can't think of anything I used to /have/ to spend 4 hours every single day on.

But having said all that - if it's really just an hour and the baby's older, well then I do ENTIRELY think spouses/partners can and should cover for an hour.

For me the problem is those do tend to be "primetime" hours - late at night after a long workday, or weekend days. So again the devil's kind of in the details - as long as my friend's up for coffee on Saturday at 1:30 on a weekend my husband's not on call - yay. :) 5:45 pm on Thursday, not so much.

Having said all that I do find it's /great/ to get out without the baby now and then - and more and more as he gets older. It's just less often than even I would like, and I have several friends, so if I can get out once or twice a month for a baby free meal/coffee/whatever, that means each friend might get that every third month... yikes I think I'd better go at least make some appreciative phone calls. :-)

Posted by: Shandra | August 15, 2006 10:44 PM


My step-sister has also had many eye surgeries and is on massive drugs for iritis (sp?). They are having to delay childbearing, she is going to make the best mom when the time is right.

Best of luck with your research on alternatives.

Looking forward to the day you can change your name to something along the lines of "Dad I am".

Posted by: lulu | August 15, 2006 10:49 PM


I concur with just about everything you said. BF can be a challenge for many reasons but definitely when you are trying to incorporate a social life and pumping/ timing it all just right.

I found that, for us, my single friends might not have been thrilled to hang out with the baby (although they made a big fuss of saying, "Bring the munchkin!") but I often went out to with everyone and just nursed the baby under a receiving blanket or by being discrete and often she fell asleep which allowed for me to talk the grown up talk for the whole meal or coffee time. As she got older that got harder but then I learned to only give her certain special toys when we were out and I really wanted to focus or bringing snacks she actually could feed herself.

But you made an excellent point about the timing being crucial. I was lucky that I had friends that after one conversation about our needs to be flexible would try to make it work. For example, when I couldn't say what time we could do lunch until that very morning they rolled with it. And with certain friends I would go to a restaurant near them and call them once I was there so they didn't waste time on their lunch break waiting for us.

My daughter is 2 now and it is soooooo much easier than it was when she was under 18 months. It has been just long enough for the amnesia to set in.

I can only think of a handful of times we have had to cancel since our daughter was born. And I can think of about a handful for my childless friends. Things happen and everyone needs to remember that they didn't intend to break the date.

Posted by: lu | August 15, 2006 11:02 PM

3rd post in a row and I doubt anyone is even still reading...

I forgot to mention that I totally know what you are talking about when you mentioned how BF'ing is a huge part of your day. I remember feeling at times that was all I did. That and go to the bathroom in between feedings.

Thank god as they get bigger it goes faster. And regretfully, I didn't learn how to BF while walking around with my daughter in a sling until way late in the game. Oh and it is also key to figure out how to nurse laying down so that you can just snuggle and watch TV or whatever.

Posted by: lulu | August 15, 2006 11:10 PM

and my first baby, who I breast fed for a year, which I remember as if it were yesterday, is now 6'4" and a senior in high school. I used to wonder about those old ladies who said enjoy the baby, they grow up so fast. Now I know!!

Posted by: experienced mom | August 15, 2006 11:23 PM


Thanks. And having just spent the last 3-4 years of our lives dealing with my wife's vision problems, we are excited to finally be moving on...

Please send your sister our best wishes for treating her condition--from someone who's been there and understands. Hmmm...I wonder if your sister has what my wife has...a genetic condition called aniridia which leads to malformation of several parts of the eyes. For most of the 90K people in the North America with the condition, it is sporadic (first time condition in them), but for many (like my wife) it is hereditary.

It's funny that you suggested my nick changing to "Dad I Am"...I am a big Dr. Seuss fan and that somehow seems quite appropriate, when the time comes. :-)

Thanks for your support.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 15, 2006 11:43 PM

Ah, the joys of working late...

Lulu (love the new name) and Shandra, I am soooo with you on all that. I took our son with me pretty much everywhere I wanted to go (except movies...) and nursed him with abandon. Since he usually fell asleep while nursing, a lot of people didn't even realize what we were up to unless they came over for a closer look thinking he was asleep. But man, BFing can take a huuuge bite out of your day and if you don't think you cna nurse in public you'll never go anywhere. For the first few months my son nursed so much it felt like I lived in that d**n rocking chair - he was a marathoner, on for forty minutes, off for forty minutes, on again. Thank god for DVDs and good friends who were content to sit an chat while he nursed (whether at my place, their place, or the coffee shop). And he never would take a bottle of pumped milk, much less formula - I suppose if we had been willing to cut him off until he was so hungry he had no choice, but it wasn't worth that much to me. We spent a fortune on every bottle known to man, even the fancy Adiris, and no luck. So we gave up and made do.

Now he eats solids like crazy and still loves to nurse too, but it's so much easier to leave and go out and not worry. You get there, and hopefully your friends get there with you.

Posted by: Megan | August 15, 2006 11:55 PM

I can second Shandra's post. It's just not that easy in practice to get away to spend an hour with a friend, and even if you do, you may be paying for it for the next three days. And if you try to take them with you, well.... we try to take our toddlers, Sean and Julian, with us to see friends and this is how it goes:

"Hey, Mike and Sue, it's great to see you JULIAN GET YOUR HANDS OFF THAT VASE RIGHT NOW, it's been such a long time, we should do this more often, IF YOU DON'T PUT THAT DOWN ON THE COUNT OF 10 YOU"RE GOING TO GET A TIME OUT! So how do you like your new OK TIME OUT! I CAN'T HEAR YOU WHEN YOU THROW A TANTRUM! job? oh wait now I have to chase him. Sorry I'll be right back.

Repeat every 5 minutes until the visit is over.

That said, I also sympathize with the single friends because I used to be one. But I think it's unrealistic to expect that friends wiht kids are going to be available for a lot of socializing. It's just the nature of the beast.

Father of 4, I find your posts to be very funny, but I disagree with your position that new mom needs to fix the problem by (boils down to) coddling new dad. The stuff about the instinctive connection is an excuse for shirking responsibility: new moms don't feel any less frazzled and don't necessarily feel any more connected to their babies than new dads. new moms take care of their babies because it's their responsibility. Let's not mince words, time's a-wasting. New dad should just suck it up!

Posted by: m | August 16, 2006 12:22 AM

I am in favor of coddling, frequently when coddled I coddle back.

another idea - go see movie matinees - and nurse in the back row. Even non-G movies - I dont think the infant will be traumatized by the off color humor of "The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" or whatever. I have fond memories when our first was nursing and we could escape to the well air-conditioned multiplex. Now when DS turned one - he was too active and we had to get a sitter to get to the movies. So enjoy the littlun while they sleep and arent as active,,

Posted by: Fo3 | August 16, 2006 8:05 AM

"New dad should just suck it up! " Wow, she (definitely a she) needs to tell us all how she forces her husband to suck it up whenever she wants something done. Exactly how does that work, while maintaining a marriage?

On another note, does anyone else chuckle when Lulu uses "BFing" as a verb? Immature, I know. I should just 'suck it up'.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2006 8:51 AM

I don't see how Fo4 comments were interpreted to coddle the dad.

Seems to me running into the bathroom (a great idea that I under utilized) and passing the kid off to as many people as possible is more like "sink or swim".

I would have changed the diaper part to every diaper but that is because I have vested interest in less diaper changes.

I don't remember his other suggestions but I thought the tone was comical with good ideas thrown in.

Posted by: lulu | August 16, 2006 9:06 AM

Shandra, it's like you and I are living the exact same life! I agree with everything you wrote and you expressed it perfectly.

Posted by: One last post | August 16, 2006 9:24 AM

Moira, when I was in your shoes, I used the Internet to make friends. What I really craved were friendships not based on us all having children the same age, so I went on a message board for my own interests and hobbies and made friends.

Your husband needs to get out every once in awhile and so do you. Not a lot, but once in awhile keeps you happy and young and connected to yourself.

Finally when the kids reach school age, you'll find that you make mom-type friends if you didn't already, moms of the other kids in the class or moms of the other kids on the team. You have some shared ground there, but what I find is that those friendships tend to be superficial. But they do sustain your social life.

Don't base friendships on age (and I'd advise the same to older moms). It is shocking to us in our 40s to realize gals who are 20 years younger are having kids, but that's our problem and we should get over it.

And do connect with old friends. Two college friends and I don't see each other much since kids and marriage, but we do meet three times a year for a meal and to reconnect.

Posted by: Fairfax | August 16, 2006 9:52 AM

The stuff about the instinctive connection is an excuse for shirking responsibility: new moms don't feel any less frazzled and don't necessarily feel
any more connected to their babies than new dads.]

OK, Let me be serious for a minute.

When my wife was pregnant, she felt sick in the morning. She told me all about it.
When the baby inside her tummy kicked, my wife felt it and sometimes she would tell me. A few times I got to feel her stomach wiggle a little with my hand when baby got really active.
When baby hiccupped, my wife knew about it. Sometimes she told me.
When my wife bfed the baby, I was left out, but she did tell me how she enjoyed the intimacy.

I hadn't even been a new father for a week and I was seeing a bond forming between wife and baby, yes, a physical bond (bfeeding) in which I could not participate. 4 to 6 hours a day, right? I was lucky to get 1 hour of attention a day, and even then, the baby interfeared.

My wife loved her new baby more than she loved me.

the baby would rather go hungry than take a bottle.

the baby loved my wife more than the baby loved me.

I felt left out. All I was good for in that relationship was a paycheck, maid services, and a crying baby. Maybe a few stiff ones with my friends at the bar could help me put things in perspective?

there does exist a special, intimate, natural bond between Mother and child. that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

there are a few men that are just natural dads right out of the box, but few and far between, and my #1 advice for all new moms is: It's up to you to cultivate a loving relationship between husband and baby! If you fail at this one, you may find you and your baby on a team without dad.

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 16, 2006 9:55 AM

Lu, Megan, M, one last post - no kidding. :) I fourth the whole "nursing in public is fantastic" thing and I'm really glad I stuck with getting used to a sling and carrier but boy was that a learned skill too. And I do have a friend or two who weren't that comfortable being around it - I understand, it just made it harder.

Now he can take a sippy in public, but of course we're into the toddler era and that's a whole other story. :-)

Fo4 - you are so right on all that. My husband and I got blindsided by how the inherent inequalities railroaded our good intentions. Luckily we both stayed with it.

I think it does fit into the whole question of social time out, because I sometimes did just have to leave and let my husband deal with whatever, rather than stepping in.

From the wife's perspective I can say that I had to deliberately remind myself that it was overall more important that they have a relationship than that things got done "right" all the time. (I still do.) When of course the truth is that I arrived at my concept of what's "right" through a lot of trial and error anyway.

Posted by: Shandra | August 16, 2006 10:33 AM

Fof4: I fed my daughter formula from day one. Had no interest in breastfeeding at all. I think this is probably by far the biggest reason my husband has always been so involved in our daughters life. From day one, he was able to feed her, and whether by breast or bottle, there is a bond that forms when holding a little small child and realizing they are relying on you to provide them sustenance. And as she would fall asleep in either of our arms after her bottle, with a look of pure love and contentment on her face, that bond was strengthened. He never felt left out of her rearing, and she is the biggest daddy's girl I have ever seen (at 15 months). HE puts her to bed. HE gets up with her overnight. Due to our work schedules, HE gets her ready in the morning (which often includes baths, because she gets too hyper and wont sleep if we give her a bath at night) and drops her off at daycare. I pick her up from daycare, take care of dinner (almost every night - he helps when I'm really tired or not feeling well), and I am generally the one who reads her cues best, but their bond is rock solid and often *I* end up feeling left out of it.

Posted by: Jolie | August 16, 2006 10:51 AM

"often *I* end up feeling left out of it."

Well obviously you do - perhaps you should try doing more with/for her and not leaving it to your husband to do the majority of the work. And maybe if you have another baby you'll worry more about the health of your child than what you're interested in doing.

Posted by: to Jolie | August 16, 2006 12:07 PM

I'd like to give a big FU to you. On top of everything else mom has to do with a newborn, SHE has to cultivate the relationship between dad and baby? No wonder people like Moira have trouble. And don't think this doesn't translate directly into how women and especially mothers are treated at work. If OTHER people have a problem, WE have to fix it or suck it up.

This whole blog today/yesterday annoys me. If a man had done the guest blog and said "my wife doesn't seem interested in our new baby, he's 10 months old and she prefers to spend time with her friends and complains about being tied down" people would have gone NUTS. But because we're talking about a dad, apparently that's OK. This is all such BS, dads get a free pass and mom gets all the blame, again.

Posted by: toFatherof4 | August 16, 2006 12:08 PM

Choosing not to breastfeed does not mean that you don't worry about the health of your child.

I feel sorry for your children if they are being raised by someone so inflexible that there is no room in the world for any different path than the one you have chosen.

Posted by: you're a nutcase | August 16, 2006 12:52 PM

You are a nutcase. While I was a breast feeding advocate and breastfed for an obscenely long time (don't ask, but the kid had teeth, could talk and was potty trained), formula is a great thing! It keeps kids from starving! My sister had to have emergency surgery when her kid was 4 months old. She couldn't pump--it was an emergency! She couldn't breast feed for a while, and the kid didn't starve because he had a bottle! I myself am healthy and was not breastfed because I was a preemie. This was a long time ago, so pumping wan't really an option for my mom, who would have done it if she had had a pump. She did breastfeed my sister, and she is the one with all of the allergies. Jolie, ignore this baiter. I think it is GREAT that your husband is as into your kid as you are, and that they have there own relationship. It's unusual.

Having said all that, I completely agree with what you said, TFO4, but let's play nice and not use nasty words like FU. I personally like "nutcase' or 'whackjob'.I agree, I agree, I agree. Can you imagine if the tables were turned? The kid would be in flipping foster care! There are many other ways to bond with your kid besides feeding it. And years to do it. We had a sling that my husband used to wear to carry the baby. Enjoy whatever time you get with your kid and don't make it into a competition. You can't win every race.

Posted by: to 'to jolie' and 'to father of 4" | August 16, 2006 1:16 PM

There was a time when I let people like "nutcase" upset me. And then I realized people like that need something to feel superior for, and if they think breastfeeding makes them better than me, well, so be it. I have a beautiful, sweet child who loves both of her parents dearly. She is well behaved, well socialized, and pretty darn smart. And I have a husband that dotes on his daughter and a daughter who thinks he is the greatest thing in the world (and yes, I am still second best in her eyes). And I have friends/family with fathers who have little to no involvement, whether they want it or not, and often its due to their wife playing their breastfeeding entitlement card (which somehow also equates to "I get to do everything else for the child as well because you arent qualified to").

I spend every night after work with my daughter being the sole focus of my attention - we take family walks every day after dinner. I spend the rest of my evening on the floor of the family room, playing with my daughter, reading to her, showing her new things, teaching her new words, having tickle wars and kiss attacks and watching her giggle like crazy.

I know my daughter is loved and happy and well adjusted. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. Yes, sometimes I see their bond and feel left out. But I would rather my daughter and husband have that special bond than find myself on a message board complaining that I do everything while he goes out with his friends and parties.

Posted by: Jolie | August 16, 2006 1:53 PM

I can relate to your situation, as I had my son at 21, three weeks before my last round of finals in college. Unlike yours, however, my husband totally embraced fatherhood, and I'm the one who, at times has struggled with the feeling that we are completely missing out on our twenties, supposedly the most fun, carefree time of our lives. Here's the thing- you don't have to stop being a fun, spontaneous couple just because you have a baby!! I realized this a couple years ago, and now, at 26, with two kids, I've stopped trying to claw my way into the 30-something mom's club by wearing "older-looking" clothes and going to bed at 10. Last year, while I was picking my son up from preschool, I turned to go, and heard one of the teachers say to my son's teacher "That's not Eric's mom is it?" When my son's teacher said that I was, she replied "She looks like she's fourteen!" I get this a LOT, as I'm not only young to have kids, I look even younger. It used to bother me, until I realized, people who make comments like that are jealous of me! I am not responsible for what others think of me, who don't know me as a person. I AM responsible for what they think after they get to know me. And what I hope they think of me is: Wow, what a surprisingly self-posessed, mature young lady. Her kids are lucky to have such a fun, young, spontaneous, but also well-grounded mother. You sound like you have a great career and you love your son. I agree that there are too few outlets for young moms, especially ones who work. You could start your own book club, evening playgroup, or something like that. I disagree with many of the other posters that your husband is an immature jerk. I think his feelings are understandable, and they don't make him a bad father. I'm sure he loves your son as much as you do. He just needs to know that your identity as a fun, young couple hasn't been swallowed up by parenthood. You need to let him know that the two of you can still do some of the same things you used to do together before the baby. My husband got tickets for my birthday for a concert when my youngest was 6 months old. He still wasn't weened, so we took him with us and he slept through the whole thing! When my oldest was 3 months old we took him to one of our school's baskeball games. I had to cover his ears with my hands the whole time so he wouldn't go deaf, but he loves to look at the pictures of his first basketball game now. Anyway, Good luck, it gets much, much easier as they grow, and you grow.

Posted by: Katie A. | August 16, 2006 2:01 PM


"The thing about the DC area is that it's filled with bitter old hags that wait enritely too late to have children and then try to make themselves feel better by criticizing people who do it on schedule with the rest of the country ... That's right, you bitter old hags that give Moira a hard time - she'll get to spend 10 extra years with her grandchildren that you won't. Your grandchildren will barely know you and your memory will fade before they can tell their kids about you. All you'll be remembered for is the inheritance and the gifts. I'd rather have the memories that only time spent can give."


I'm not purposely waiting to have kids. I haven't yet found a father for the kids I'd like to have had yesterday! Despite your overly simplistic (and caustic) picture of single women in the DC area, I happen to know lots of young women who feel just as I do.

"bitter old hags" - Really! Analyst - I sincerely hope your daughters never learn that you wrote such a thing. I sure would be hurt if I learned my dad (who was married and had kids very young - and is now enjoying the benefits of his LUCK in that) had done so.

Posted by: Julie | August 16, 2006 3:53 PM

Moira, I guess my main thought is that your husband truly is losing out if he either wants to, or actually does, spend more time going out than with his little boy. I have three kids: boy-girl twins ages 5, and a son age 20 months. There's nothing I'd rather do than be with them, though like most everyone I do need some time for myself. I'm an older dad, however (50), and what I value has changed over the years. I sometimes wonder if I would have felt like your husband does if I'd had kids at his age. Hopefully he'll realize that going to bars, etc., has very little meaning and the best things that ever happened to him are waiting at home.

Posted by: Daddy Mike | August 16, 2006 4:10 PM

"But I think it's unrealistic to expect that friends with kids are going to be available for a lot of socializing. It's just the nature of the beast."

Well, then, I don't mean to sound blunt, but don't complain about being lonely when you realize that you have no friends except for your children.

The *original point* of this entire conversation was how Moira could feel less lonely, and making an effort to re-connect/stay connected with pre-baby friends is one way to achieve that.

If you've made the calculation that you will let your pre-baby friendships slide because it's just too difficult to be a mom and be a good friend at the same time, then that's your decision. But maybe it's not one that Moira is ready to make.

Posted by: Juliana | August 16, 2006 8:46 PM


Accentuate the positive. I really hate posting comments to blogs for the most part because of the bashing and trashing that goes on. Now and then I dive in, though. Must be masochistic. Anyway, listen to those who seem sincerely trying to help you, or whose comments resonant with the sound of truth ... and ignore the rest.

Posted by: Daddy Mike | August 16, 2006 10:15 PM


Accentuate the positive. I really hate posting comments to blogs for the most part because of the bashing and trashing that goes on. Now and then I dive in, though. Must be masochistic. Anyway, listen to those who seem sincerely trying to help you, or whose comments resonant with the sound of truth ... and ignore the rest.

Posted by: Daddy Mike | August 16, 2006 10:16 PM

This Juliana is so self-centered. *I* wanna pick the restaurant. Wah! *I* have money problems too. Wah! *I* am tired too. Wah!

She sounds like a pretty high-maintenance "friend."

Here's a radical idea for Juliana: go out to restaurants and bars with some of your child-free friends on some nights, and on other nights hang out with your mom friend watching a dvd after the munchkins are in bed. What's wrong with that? Everybody has fun and nobody has to go to extremes to fit the friendship into their lifestyle.

Posted by: Ugh! | August 17, 2006 9:36 AM

I didn't read any of the other comments. I find little value in reading what someone else says about what the original poster said. Perhaps their comments have value, in and of themselves, perhaps not...perhaps they ought to start their own blog...but I just hate the idea of 255 people leaping into someone elses' marital woes. This whole idea is very strange that way...what makes a 3rd person think they can really help two people?

The problem is that these two people have a problem, a big problem, not the problem that she thinks that they have, and they are not sitting down together and solving it together. That is the main problem that runs throughout this entire blog. Sure suggestions can help, but the main issue is a lack of common desire to solve the problem, yes or no?

Do they both even see that there is a problem? If so, what do they each think the problem is? What's the communication level here? Is this just yet another attempt to use peer pressure to force the other person to actually look at, and maybe even see, things from the perspective of the first person?

Probably so.

My perspective is that from what she says, neither of them are really handling this parenthood issue well. She wants to have fun with other moms, we can assume that they are women, and he wants to have fun with other guys, whether in a bar, in a gym, on the beach, whatever, the point is that he wants to get outside the marriage, outside the parenting. Where is their having fun together, or with the child?

Is that an issue?

It seems so.

Or is there too much child and not enough of other things, to balance the situation?

Again...why aren't they meeting their needs together? Could that be the real issue here?

No, tell the guy he needs to act like a man. That's it. That's the ticket.

It seems to me that in the old days when a mother would tell her husband that she needs some variety, he would say "ok I'll watch the boy for a while, go out and have some fun with your friends, go see your sisters or your mom". That would be if they didn't all head to the park together.

The real issue is that this is not happening here.

Posted by: cc | August 17, 2006 6:08 PM


can you people stay focused on the original article, instead of arguing about breast-feeding and birth-control and what age is the "right" age to have a child? Good grief!

When did this become a parenting forum?

Posted by: cc | August 17, 2006 6:16 PM a general sense, what does it take to save a marriage?

Basically two people who are good for each other.

Why do you want to stay married to someone who isn't good for you to be married to? How long do you think that will many patches and bandages do you think it will take to keep you going?

It is one thing if they don't see what you see, don't think the way that you think. Yet another if you don't tell them what you think. And a third, if they hear you and ignore you, or tell you that you're wrong and dismiss you and what you're saying without bothering to understand what you are saying, and why. And yet a fourth if you two are just a bad match. Not to mention if a couple can't find a way to adapt or adjust to each other when the moment comes, while the time is ripe. Without 3rd-party intervention. Without a lot of frustration, aggravation, effort. One person breaking down and basically telling the other to do this or that or else they will be very unhappy. They're already very unhappy. No one wants to be married to a selfish idiot.

I suggest to all of you that ultimately what matters is that you communicate with your spouse and you both want to make things work, and you both CAN make things work TOGETHER without too much trouble. If you have good communication and really care for each other, you'll work these things out and be happy together. If not...don't bother trying, you're not going to get very far together, and sooner or later it's going to blow up in your face. Or theirs.

That's the situation that this woman is in, and also, to a large extent, it is the situation that anyone who complains about their spouse in a public forum, is in. Forums are for help with the details of a relationship. Not the relationship itself.

For help with your relationship, you need to turn to, or Yahoo Personals, or some method of meeting a better match.

Posted by: cc | August 17, 2006 6:29 PM

255 different opinions.

This one I can relate to, as I have seen this played out in person. A few years ago one of the guys in my neighborhood ran around his backyard on a Sunday afternoon, shouting these very words. "All I'm good for is to pay the bills".

You have to realize that if that's all you do, that she can think is good about you, that's what she'll think. God help you if you are more trouble for her than a crying baby.

"I felt left out. All I was good for in that relationship was a paycheck, maid services, and a crying baby. Maybe a few stiff ones with my friends at the bar could help me put things in perspective?"

...I hope that worked, really.

Mothers have no real choice, they can choose to attend to a helpless infant, or an adult male who hopefully will not act like an infant. You're not a woman, hopefully you don't want to be one. Let her do her thing. When the time is right, hopefully, it'll get better. That's just part of the process and if you bag it when she needs you the most, to be there for the two of them and support them, you will never hear the end of it and you will deserve every word. Instead, do your thing. Let her have her space and support her, and you will get it back in spades, when the child needs less of her time...and can give some time to you, too. Don't make it so that she resents you when she doesn't have to spend so much time taking care of your child.

...but, by now the damage is done, I guess.

Posted by: cc | August 17, 2006 6:40 PM

a sad forum. The ones who need help will get a piece or two of help and maybe 5% of them will make it as a result. The ones who don't need help (mostly due to the pathetic circumstances of their own private lives, but sometimes because they are smarter and more able to have a healthy relationship with a good partner choice) are all over it, to give help to those who can't really use it...who need to be able to come up with it on their own, with their partner.

It's like watching a suicide. "My wife is a really great successful mother of 3 kids who juggles a full/part-time career, but, still, isn't happy at home, or in her work, because of me and other thoughtless, self-centered men, and her inability to get us to take her seriously due to the fact that we don't have to because there are a lot more of us than her and she has to choose between me or someone else just like me...simply because she refuses to quit when the going gets tough, and made the mistake of falling in love with a lout for all the wrong reasons..."

and what exactly is all this talking going to do to change that?

just distract her from her in-house problems.

Oh, and help pay the bills.

Great, so now she is selling her own blood. And like people drawn to a public hanging, we can't tear away from this public display. Not even beginning to have enough modesty and respect for the dying to do that.

I refuse to read this blog any longer. I do not wish to feed on the flesh of members of my own species. Sad as they may be. I wish you all good luck and Gods' help with your problems. But remember, the best help you will ever find will come from within, when you open your eyes, use your ears, and think, with that big ball of gray matter between your ears.

Posted by: cc | August 17, 2006 6:52 PM

We're on vacation this week, so I haven't read all these comments, although I'm sure a lot have bashed you (and your wonderful husband), and for that I'm sorry. I completely understand what you're going through. Since I had Dylan at 28, I feel all alone sometimes too. I think that one of the problems may be that as working moms, we're so exhausted at the end of the day, there doesn't seem like there's time for anything else. Hang in there, though, I'm told it only gets better (and I tend to believe that!) ;)

Posted by: Dylan's Mom | August 18, 2006 5:49 PM

Dear Moira and New Mothers Everywhere--

I'm sorry that things have not gotten any better for working mothers since I had my first child in 1976. I wish that people--women and men--would support each other, particularly because we never know when we ourselves might need support and love and reaffirmation from each other.

Moira, having a first baby is an experience that is never duplicated in life. It is so hard to change gears from being a very with-it twentysomething to being a mother whose main concerns are her baby and who also has the demands of a full-time job and career goals. Our idea of what constitutes fun or a fulfilling life are very different after the baby comes.

When I had my first child, I was 32--too old by mid-seventies standards! Most of my friends had kids in elementary school already and the mothers with babies in our neighborhood were about ten years younger. Plus, I worked "outside the home." Stay-at-home moms were, sad to say, not always nice to me and it didn't seem that we had that much in common.

I over-compensated by being the Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Den Mother, PTA president, room mother and all that other stuff to prove I was worthy even though I had a career. Then I found myself getting angry at and feeling just a tiny bit superior to stay-at-home moms who didn't do all that I did.

It took some time to adjust. I found new friends. I kept some of my childless friends and made good friends from among those stay-at-home mothers. I was able to find activities for me and my children on weekends and evenings--and learned to enjoy just taking walks and getting together with neighbors for a beer and pizza on Friday night. I also learned that I could have fun with women who were ten years younger and twenty years older. And the dichotomy between the "haves" and "have nots" (as my husband differentiated those who did and did not have children) began to blur and disappear.

Because my husband and I were married eight years before our daughter was born, we had a very strong and stable relationship. That does not mean we never had conflict or that I (or he) never felt put upon or as though we had all the stress and none of the joys of life. But I'm a big talker so we got it all out on the table!

You'll find good friends--your ability to open up in this blog says to me that you are a warm, caring and giving person and people will discern that when they meet you.

Our first pediatrician told me on every visit to make sure that I kept my relationship with my husband strong. He encouraged date nights and I think it is a great idea. We were fortunate to have great teenage babysitters in our community and I also found them at church--the girls who volunteer to work in the nursery are good bets. Also, if you have neighbors whose children are grown and whose grandchildren are far away, see if they would enjoy spending a few hours with Henry so that you two can go out for a while.

Enjoy Henry and your husband and your life.

Posted by: Been There | August 21, 2006 10:35 PM

Congratulations on your ten month old baby. I think I can relate to you, but from the opposite end of the spectrum. My friends had their kids in their late 20's and early 30's (we're now in our early 40's), but I never married, so last yr I had a baby of my own. My friends are long past the having a baby stage so I have added a whole new set of new mom friends - and would encourage you to do the same. Since I have a 13 month old, and work full-time, maybe you'd be up for a weekend "play date," trip to the pool or even signing up for a class together with our kids? Feel free to contact me.

Posted by: Mom to 13 mos old in Arlington | August 24, 2006 11:47 AM

Wow, OMG, I can't believe this is a topic on this blog! My DH is 25 and I am 23, and we (purposely) just had our first child in May. I also feel like I am the only 20-something mother with a "good" college education (in grad school now). I wish there was someway for us to get together! I was really worried that my old friends would abandon me after my son was born, but thankfully they have stuck around thus far and are really supportive. But I'd really like to make more, new friends , who like me are moms in their 20s.

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