All the controversy of yesterday’s post gave me butterflies in my stomach. I hope that those us of that disagreed are still friends, I mean, we can’t always agree on everything, right?
These disagreements got me thinking about some friends of ours back in Alabama. Actually, to be more accurate, I guess I should say former friends because they quit returning our calls. I shall call these friends “Melinda” and “Mark.”
Tate is CERTAIN that I said something rude to them, without realizing, and they decided they didn’t want to be friends anymore.
Actually in this case, I don’t think it was anything I said, but rather the fact that we have a VERY different parenting style than Melinda and Mark. When we first met, Melinda and I were pregnant and due a month apart. Before the babies came, we spent lots of time together going to movies and out to eat. We shopped, talked on the phone, and planned future vacations with our families together.
Then I had Carson. And our lives CHANGED. With a colicky baby, we didn’t really like to leave the house much in those early days, especially in the evenings to go out to dinner. Melinda and Mark were blessed with a baby that never cried, never fussed, slept like a pro, did fine without naps, could go to a movie theatre as a newborn, or in other words they gave birth to one of those alien babies you see on TLC’s A Baby Story.
Melinda and Mark would regularly call and ask us to go to dinner. These invitations made me nearly suffer from panic attacks at the thought of being out in the evening during the witching hour. Seriously, the thought of leaving my house after about 4 PM made me sick to my stomach. “Everyone will know what a terrible mother I am when they see that I can’t console my child!” “They’ll ask us to leave because Carson will be disturbing everyone else.” I started declining most invitations or suggesting we go to lunch or that they come to our house…much to their annoyance.
Eventually they quit calling and didn’t return our phone calls.
We stuck to a pretty strict nap and bedtime schedule with Carson (out of necessity), they didn’t. They bottle fed, and Melinda always seemed very defensive about it since I breastfed. On a whim, Melinda and Mark could go for a quick vacation to the beach, I needed time for planning and packing and mentally preparing. I’ve always thought that with our different parenting styles, we just weren’t able to maintain a friendship.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever lost friends over different parenting styles? Can you be friends with someone who has very different beliefs and habits?