Hayden Panettiere: I had a baby and found out who my true friends are

Hayden Panettiere has an interview with Parade Magazine to promote the new season of Nashville, which will be coming out on CMT on January 5th. I wasn’t sure if I would continue watching it, but who am I kidding? I need some more popcorn television and the Hallmark channel holiday specials are not cutting it. I will set my DVR. Hayden has so much respect from me for going public with her battle with postpartum depression, something she talked about openly before seeking inpatient treatment this past spring. She’s out of treatment, her relationship with her fiance seems solid, and it sounds like she’s on the other side of what she went through. In her interview with Parade, she hints that she had fairweather friends who ditched her after she had a baby and good riddance.

You (and the rest of the cast) made the move to Nashville when the show began filming there in 2012. Does it feel like home?
When I first arrived, I remember struggling with the concept of making a place so foreign to me feel like home. I was 22, not a mom [yet] and had no one to answer to but myself. My life was all about having fun, exploring myself and meeting new people. It was filled with late nights, great music and figuring out where I fit in here in Nashville. Then I went through a pregnancy and I found out who my true friends were—the ones that were going to stick around and support me. I’ll just say the outcome was slim pickins! My life became all about staying healthy, getting good sleep, finding parks and nature. Now I’m the mother of a 2-year-old [Kaya Evdokia Klitschko with Ukranian boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko], I’ve found my pack of solid, loyal, lifelong friends here and am settled into a beautiful routine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a blast. My life and who I am have simply evolved in a beautiful way. So actually Nashville feels like a first home to me!

What’s a typical Sunday like for you now?
My Sundays are about gearing up and preparing for a long workweek. I can’t say that anything is typical or “the norm” about any day of the week now that I’m the mom of a 2-year-old. She gets her hands in just about everything, and my biggest job at the moment is keeping her alive!

[From Parade]

A couple of years ago I found out who my friends were by losing 50 pounds. Once I got fit people saw me differently, but I didn’t feel like a different person and I had my feelings hurt a few times. Then I quit drinking and that was another change that people didn’t want to stick around for. Friends like you when you fit into their lifestyle, their expectations and the things they like to do. When either of you change then the friendship adjusts and people are uncomfortable with that. I imagine that Hayden’s battle with depression also showed her which friends were just there to party with her. Juliette went through a similar struggle on Nashville. I know that show can be soapy and over the top but it does have good writers who get a lot right. I can’t wait to see how those characters are doing.

I loved that line about how her main job is keeping her two year-old daughter alive. I bet Kaya is a spitfire!


A photo posted by Hayden Panettiere (@haydenpanettier) on

Photos credit: Fameflynet, Getty and Instagram/Hayden Panettiere

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72 Responses to “Hayden Panettiere: I had a baby and found out who my true friends are”

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  1. Minnieder says:

    Good for her! And you too Celebitchy!! 😀

  2. Little Darling says:

    CB congrats girl!! 50 pounds is major! So is quitting drinking! I found that quitting drinking can really alter who you want to spend time with, who wants to spend time with you, and how enjoyable drinking activities are when you aren’t drinking, and how finding other activities that don’t involve drinking are usually more enjoyable,

    I, too, love that she spoke about PPD and also was wise enough to seek treatment on an inpatient level. As a postpartum doula, I work with so many mamas who slide down the slippery slope of postpartum depression. Strong women. Smart women. Capable women. It is a disease that shows no bias and is often, way TOO OFTEN, suffered in isolation because of the shame with admitting you’re feeling overwhelmed after a baby is strong.

    Hayden has always seemed like a great gal to me.

  3. VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

    I would imagine that it was her depression as well as the fact that she probably was not available to party or hang out as she might’ve been…………more focused on going to work, spending time with her hot boyfriend, and the baby.

    For some people–all it does take is for you to not drink anymore. Some people can’t do anything without drinking, or making a big fuss about it–my grandma was like that. It got to the point to where we couldn’t be around her when she was drinking as teenagers and that made a huge difference in how much we saw her–read: barely.

    I mean shoot–I went out to dinner with a group of bankers (my grandfather is the president of a bank where I live)…and I ordered a soda, and everyone at the table immediately asked me if I was pregnant, because I was 21 and not drinking.

    • Shambles says:

      Hey boyfriend/fiancé is really, ridiculously hot.

      • Emily says:

        “I would imagine that it was her depression as well as the fact that she probably was not available to party or hang out as she might’ve been…………more focused on going to work, spending time with her hot boyfriend, and the baby.”

        She was probably the one who ditched her friends. She probably had no time for them. Once a woman drives down the Mommy Track, the friends she has who aren’t parents want to go out and do adult activities in the evening. Their life doesn’t change with the baby; hers did.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        I KNOW. I need to google if he has any single brothers that are just as big and tall…….that is my kryptonite.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        See I have experienced the opposite. It is a case by case basis, obviously–but I have a really good friend who has kids. She had three kids before she met me. She’s having another one. And yea………I LOVE babies and toddlers, so we do talk about her kids, or she’ll tell me about their schedule i.e. Kid X, Y, and Z went on a playdate here, while I did……………but then I would say the other 70% of the time we talk about work (which is how we met), or other things that interest us.

        Of course, in my original post, I was speculating……….but it doesn’t seem like a stretch, especially with her pap pics, etc……….that she hung out with people who liked to have fun, because so did she….but that changed after she had a baby.

        But then I also feel like if the friendship dies, it is because you just were never friends like that. I mean, no one stops hanging out with their brother/sister because their brother/sister had a baby………..but on the same token, you can’t expect a friend to take on actual responsibilities with the baby, etc as a given (or with any major life change).

      • Emily says:

        It sounds like what you have is a real friendship. Those exist, but are rare. Most friendships tank when someone goes through a major life change: a move far away, marriage, kids, etc. A lot of people, once they hit a certain age, no longer value friendship. They have too many other things to do and it’s on the bottom of their priority list. It’s too bad, because some of the best times I had were hanging out with a group of friends in my 20s.

    • Bridget says:

      Hayden reputedly hung out with a hard partying crowd for a while (though I never gave credence to the CDAN created rumor that she was a hooker). Hollywood scenesters aren’t really the ones you count on to be there when things get tough.

  4. Shambles says:

    Agreed, people mostly want to spend time with those that fit into their lifestyle. On the other side of things, though, my best friend had a baby and I am a non-married non-parent. And throughout her pregnancy and the first few months of her baby’s life, she treated me like a personal assistant and sometimes even a significant other (she has a husband), responsibilities that I did not sign up for. I’ve distanced from the friendship a bit, but I still help when I can and when I feel like there’s mutual respect in the situation. Anyway, I say this just to point out that it can go both ways.

    • Little Darling says:

      You became her sister wife eh? That’s a hard spot to be in.

      • Shambles says:

        That’s a really good way to put it, LD, and yeah. I did. Ugh. It got weird, and I wasn’t being treated with respect at all.

    • kimbers says:

      Heck ya it goes both ways! Lost many friends bc they couldnt do anything without talking bout their kids. They forgot they were human, and became moms, where all they wanted from u was free baby sitting, anothwr ear to listen about lil suzy’s generic baby story and a good gift for their kids birthday. I dont drink or party but it would bc nice to go see a show with a once adventurous woman. So ya slim pickens both ways.

      • TQB says:

        It’s hard to read your comment and understand how you can not see that the suffering and sad people in the situation are your friends with kids. Becoming a parent is, for most, totally overwhelming. Believe me, I would LOVE to have something to talk about besides my kid. I just, literally, DON’T.

    • chaine says:

      I agree it goes both ways. I don’t have kids, am not someone that goes out and parties or has late nights or drinks a bunch, yet many of my friends that had kids basically dumped me once they joined the mommy club. I’ve always assumed it’s because their lives now revolve around their children and they don’t think I would have anything worthwhile to say or do with them since I’m not also a mommy. It’s not that they don’t have time, they go out and do activities, it’s just activities with their kids the other people who have kids.

      You start to feel depressed and isolated by them after a while and then communication sort of dies out and then you run into them five or six years later at the grocery store and they act fake friendly like you’re the one that hasn’t been around to see them…

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, it’s hard from the other side too. I have several friends who I don’t feel very close to now that they’ve had kids. I’m sure it’s mostly on me. Obviously, they have a lot going on with their children. I worry about calling too late, or they are always busy when I do call, so largely I just got out of the habit of calling. It’s a bummer, but I hope we’ll be in better touch when the kids get a little older maybe.

      • fruitloops says:

        It’s totally the way you put it. I have a baby and most of my friends don’t. So for me now 7 pm is late because I’m waiting since 6.30 for the baby to give in and go to bed, and once she is down for the night I don’t dare to speak on the phone so that I don’t wake her up. During the day I am with her so I can’t really talk on the phone for hours, when she sleeps I do things around the house I can’t with her around.
        Going just for drinks in the evening is difficult because I have to put her down (I can never know when that will be), pump milk for emergencies, and then I am tired at 10 and want to go home because she still wakes up twice at night for feeding and at 6 is up for the day.
        Going at someone’s house requires planning and logistics, working around her sleeping and eating schedule, and bathing and going to bed, carrying a bunch of her stuff just for couple of hours or so…
        So it’s not that I don’t think my friends are worthy of my time any more, it’s that I don’t have any more time to spare, but I am also hoping that they will stick around, one way or the other, until that period passes, because soon enough babies won’t be babies any more.

      • tealily says:

        I dig it. As the childless friend, I just want to say that I’m happy to come to yours if you invite me. I’ll even bring food! 🙂

      • Emily says:

        “So for me now 7 pm is late because I’m waiting since 6.30 for the baby to give in and go to bed, and once she is down for the night I don’t dare to speak on the phone so that I don’t wake her up.”

        That seems a bit over the top. Does the baby have supersonic hearing? I think maybe you just don’t want to talk on the phone.

      • kat says:

        Yes, they wake up at almost anything, and when you’ve been with them for 12 hours, and you’ve spent 45 minutes getting them down, it’s like a despair spiral when they wake up again and you see your hour of ACTUAL free time as a human being disappear into a puff of smoke. So no, Fruitloops isn’t being over the top at all. Children, and especially babies and toddlers suck all of your physical and emotional energy up. ALL.OF.IT.

      • Emily says:

        “Yes, they wake up at almost anything, and when you’ve been with them for 12 hours, and you’ve spent 45 minutes getting them down … ”

        What if it’s a two-story house? Can’t you just put the baby monitor on, close the door of the baby’s room and head downstairs to make a phone call? I get if you’re exhausted and don’t feel like talking on the phone. I do not have children, but I babysat the same family almost every Saturday night for four years. I started when the kids were 4 and 1. I put them to bed and, with a few exceptions, never had trouble having time to watch tv or make a phone call before their parents came home.

      • fruitloops says:

        Ha ha Emily, not over the top at all. We live in a small apartment and I did try talking on the phone when she went to sleep, twice, she woke up both times, also when my husband spoke on the phone in the evening, he also did it twice. And what Kat described- that’s how it is, literally.
        Oh and anyway, I text my friends, I tell them I just put baby to sleep and can’t talk on the phone so we text then for a while, and I hope they understand, noone complained so far.

      • Emily says:

        But if the baby wakes up … can’t she go back to sleep? Don’t the experts say it’s good to let the baby self-soothe for a little bit?

      • Lee1 says:

        Sleep training can be a VERY sensitive subject and many women aren’t comfortable letting their baby cry themselves back to sleep. When I finally was so exhausted I was showing signs of depression, I accepted to let my daughter cry but I had to be watching on the monitor to reassure myself that she was ok and I did timed checks where I went in and rubbed her back. Not exactly conducive to talking on the phone when your baby is screaming in one room and you’re sobbing in the other.

        But infancy and sleep issues are such a short period in the grand scheme of life. If I had friends who couldn’t understand that I was less available for at least 6-12months after having a baby then I would question what that friendship was based on in the first place. That being said, I did still text my friends and invite them over provided they understood I wasn’t able to play hostess. But we could sit and chat and have some coffee.

    • La Blah says:

      This was what happened to my oldest friendship. I was actually more than happy to help out, I babysat at least one full day a month, on my day off work, every time, and regular evenings and weekends starting from when the baby was just a few weeks old. I didn’t expect that she would adapt to fit me and I was happy to adapt to fit her but after 8 years of this, I had a bad year. My heart was ripped out when the love of my life died suddenly, way too young. I got one phone call from my friend (who lives less than 500 metres from me). People who I didn’t know all that well and others that I hadn’t seen much and mainly kept up with via FB over the years were in touch, checking in on me, bringing me food but my friend of over 20 years, who’s children were closer to me than her siblings, was pretty much absent.

      It’s not something I think I will forget and it’s made me resent all the changes I made and the efforts I made to stay in her life when things changed for her. Just because you have kids it doesn’t mean that you need to become completely self obsessed and blind to everyone else.

  5. Badoosh2678 says:

    That so ain’t her nursery – open stack of diapers and a crib that hasn’t been dropped. – with a 2 year old?! Whoever staged that set does not have kids!

  6. Darlene says:

    I didn’t know Nashville moved to CMT and was coming so soon! Thank you for letting us know!

    I love Hayden and I bet she’s a great mom. I hope she has an easier year this year.

  7. detritus says:

    It works in reverse too, once your friends have babies and start a family, you find out who can be bothered to keep in touch and who replaces you with moms who have kids the exact same age of their kids.
    It’s ok, separates the wheat from the chaff, but it can hurt.

    Weight loss and not drinking is a big one too. I got sick and gained a lot of weight and couldn’t drink or eat wheat anymore, people significantly changed the way they dealt with me. I got a combo of wheat-free shaming, constant party shaming (everyone gets sick it’s called a hangover!) and either pity over my weight gain or derision. It was super fun, and because my disease is ‘invisible’ I also had people calling me out on faking it.

    Friends are there for the good times AND the bad. If your friends are only there when its bad, or only there when it’s easy, they aren’t friends.

    • LA says:

      I think it’s a little unfair to call people out for fading away after a MAJOR life change. It doesn’t bother me that my friends with kids don’t hang out with me much anymore- their lives are totally different now and they need other moms to support them. In the same vein, I don’t want to hang around your house with your kid all day everyday- that is if you even have time to hang out. Life changes and relationships change.

      • detritus says:

        It’s not calling anyone out. It’s pointing out the truth, and that it can work both ways, for those being ditched by their friends when they become a mom, and those ditched by their friends when they don’t become a mom.

        If you don’t make the cut in someones life and they replace you with new people that are more convenient, you weren’t really a friend. Life and relationships change, but you were obviously not close or connected on a deeper level otherwise the effort would be there. Proximity friends aren’t real friends.

        Now, I’m not saying cut everyone from the mommy brigade. finding new friends that are going through what you are is important for support. Shit gets real tough for awhile, and I would never ditch a friend going through that, or be pissed at them meeting new people. BUT, I can make a call when someone is legitimately busy versus too busy for me.

      • Bridget says:

        Or you know, you can give people a little grace. On both ends. When you have a baby understand that maybe your other friends don’t really want to hear all about life with a baby or child. But also when your friends have kids (and you don’t) understand that they’re working on tiny amounts of sleep at a job that’s literally 24-7, and aren’t up for a night of clubbing because all you want to do is go to bed. That’s the thing my childless friends never got – I’d have LOVED to hang out. But would it have killed them to take the effort, considering that I barely had the opportunity to shower every couple of days? That’s why mom friends end up being so important, because they get that. Plus they bring you dinner and wine when you’re struggling.

      • fruitloops says:

        Thank you LA and Bridget, I would love to make normal plans instead of ‘You two arrange for the time, tell me where you are and I’ll come as soon as possible after I put the baby to sleep’, and I’d love to be able to stay out for as long as I want because I’ll sleep in, but sleeping in for me now means sleeping till 7, if baby allows me to, only on the weekends because I work, and a good night’s sleep is when she wakes up once for food and eats for 10 minutes instead of twice for an hour long feeding.
        So to me complaining about friends who became parents and ‘ditched’ their non parent friends, without at least trying to understand the new situation the person is in, seems a bit self-centered and childish.

      • detritus says:

        I’m not in the mood to mince words today ladies, so here it is:

        @fruitloops “So to me complaining about friends who became parents and ‘ditched’ their non parent friends, without at least trying to understand the new situation the person is in, seems a bit self-centered and childish.”

        Its funny, because I find people who read part of a comment, jump to conclusions and assume things to be childish and foolish.

        I never said any of that, I said “you find out who can be bothered to keep in touch and who replaces you with moms who have kids the exact same age of their kids.”

        “you can give people a little grace. On both ends.”
        Are you kidding me? I directly said that there is a difference between people who cut you out because they don’t have time and those who can’t be bothered.

        Don’t project your crappy friend’s behaviour on me. And don’t think that if you are a crappy friend when you are a mom that you deserve for everyone to forgive and forget.

    • Sadezilla says:

      Detritus, your experience is resonating with me right now. I’m just starting a non-drinking lifestyle, and it’s so, super weird for me. I haven’t had friends drop out of my life for that reason (yet), but I kind of don’t know what to tell people. I generally just say it’s a “healthy living choice,” but people seem to assume something is up. And I guess there is something up, but I don’t want to talk about it with every colleague and acquaintance.

      It sounds like you are committed to your health, so props to you!

      This is a reason why I love Celebitchy – the comments section feels like it’s full of friendly, understanding women. I appreciate the venue to open up. 🙂

      • chaine says:

        I have gone through periods of non-drinking, once for several years, and it is weird to try to fit in at first. Then I realized that if I don’t make a big deal about it, no one else really will, and that they don’t really care. If someone questions me, I usually just throw out a white lie that I’m the designated driver, or I’m watching my weight, or I’ve just taken cold meds–If I say “I’ve stopped drinking” that is what makes them uncomfortable and makes a big deal about it.

      • detritus says:

        Good luck! It starts out OK usually, because people think you’ll get back on the bandwagon. This was expecially my problem because I was the party girl. Parties were at my house. I made everyone drinks, probably forced shots on people who maybe didn’t want them, looking back.

        It only really started to impact me people realized I wasn’t going to get hammered with them, probably never again.

        It took about a year for the ‘oh don’t be a baby’ stuff to ramp up and then it died down after I got mad at a few people comparing what I have to hangovers. I lost a few friends, but everyone got old and babied around the same time so there was a natural die off of super drinking.

        Looking at the health effects from booze, with less of a bias than when I was drinking, I’m pretty glad the choice was made for me and early on.

        In public, if you are nervous about sticking out, order a Shirley Temple or a mock Ceasar and no one will be the wiser.

      • MrsBadBob says:

        I agree, that it is easy to be around drinkers and not drink, if you don’t make a big deal about it. Non-alcoholic options are always available, including mock-tails, and honestly, no body really cares if you drink or not, people just get used to your choice.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    I’m looking forward to the show returning!
    I think it’s a natural part of life, when you experience a change, some friends fall away, and the stronger friendships stay.
    It is sad for her considering all she went through, that some people bailed on her.

  9. Leigh says:

    I really dislike the implication that because her life changed that those friends who no longer jive with her interests/lifestyle are “fairweather” friends (although the follow-through from her comments that being a parent is a bad turn in life is cracking me up, I’m a smug child-freer, so hahahaahha!). Look if we’re lucky we all get maybe a couple of friends that are truly a part of our soul, who know us over the years and remain close. But come on, most friendships are built on mutual interests, or current lifestyles, we all have “work” friends, or “workout” friends, or friends you do volunteer work with or a specific hobby, and when things change in your life, a new job, new volunteer work, new hobbies, those friendships can wane. But just because those friendships aren’t soul-binding, life long matches doesn’t mean they are “fairweather” or “lesser”, they’re just built on a specific foundation and that foundation has changed. I have some close friends with kids, and yeah I never see or hang with them anymore, but it doesn’t mean I stopped caring, it just means our lives are filled with different priorities. But man, I sure hope they don’t think I’m a lousy person whose friendship never mattered simply because we aren’t hanging out every Saturday.

    • Luca76 says:

      Speaking as a childless person I’ve had the experience of finding out who my real friends are. For her it happened to be having a kid, for others it might be losing weight, an illness, legal problems, a bad divorce etc. But there are eye opening experiences you have when you find out who really has your back. And by the way it could be that person who you only talk to once a year and lives across the country is willing to drop anything in a crisis to be a support system. On the other hand you might find out a friend you see daily can’t be bothered at all. It’s a very real thing.

    • Sadezilla says:

      Echoing both Leigh’s and Luca76’s comments. In my 20’s, my college friend group started drifting apart as people got into serious relationships, and I didn’t have other close friends to replace them with. I felt isolated and kind of rejected by them, though I don’t think they were consciously distancing me. It was a natural drift.

      Now, in my mid-30’s, I’m discovering that I don’t particularly enjoy my oldest friend in the world, who’s part of that group. We live in the same city now for the first time in over 10 years, and I don’t see her often. When I first moved to the same city, it bothered me, and again, I felt kind of abandoned. Fortunately, I realized that while I hope we’ll stay friends because there’s no bad blood or anything, I don’t need to be besties with her anymore. And that’s mostly because she’s not the same person she was at 21. That’s ok, and I’m probably not either, but I don’t have as much in common as the college version of her. It’s weird, and it took me a while to get used to it, but I’m OK with it.

      I have the added bonus of being in the middle of two high school friends who can’t stand each other, but pretend to be nice on the surface. None of our mutual friends will talk about it, so I get to mediate! It really makes celebrations like wedding super fun! /s

      • tan says:

        +1. same happened to me.
        I felt very abandoned and rejected when my closest friends started marrying and drifiting apart, from seeing every day it was one message in 6 months or so.i also moved to a new city due to job and I was really vulnerable and depressed for a long time. It drove me into a very unhealty toxic relationship just so I could join the gang and say hey I too am a part of couple group.
        Thankfully when that relationship broke off, in another serious of drama and misbehavior befitting that relationship, I got to see who really my friends are. Its an odd mix, mum, single lady younger than me, married lady, expectant mother and yet they have stuck through just like I have tried to be there for them .

        Life changing events are much necessary, you find the courage to remove those who drift apart, or those who never valued you, those fair weather friends and you end up having very few but very solid friends you can count on

      • tealily says:

        This resonates a lot with me, Sadezilla. I have a handful of friends whom I would consider my “soulmate” friends. I live thousands of miles away from all of them, now, and have for nearly a decade. I’ve made new friends, but nobody I have that same close connection with. It’s really hard, and it’s only getting harder as fewer and fewer folks in my age group remain childless. To add to that, my husband no longer drinks, so group meetups at the bar or even parties can sometimes be more than he’s up for. It is very isolating. I wish I had just one “bestie.”

  10. Thaisajs says:

    When I became a single mom in my early 40s, I lost most of my female friends — many who were professionals who had decided not to have kids or just never found the right guy. I also lost other friends who like to go to bars after work. I just couldn’t do it anymore with a kid at home and they never seemed interested in grabbing lunch instead. Incredibly painful at first, but I adjusted to my new reality and slowly began making other friends. I agree with PPers that that’s how life is, but I guess I wasn’t prepared for it. I’m glad Hayden is doing better now. Two year olds are hard.

  11. Locke Lamora says:

    I went trough a period in my life where, while I wasnt clinically depressed, I had a really rough period with my mental state. I lost some friends, but it was my fault. I didn’t want to go anywhere, do anything, I didn’t want to leave my house, so gradually people stopped inviting me. And I was too ashamed to tell anyone what was going on. I don’t blame them for not sticking around, but I do appreciate the ones who did.

  12. jerkface says:

    Congrats on living the way you want, CB. I hope it eventually makes you feel powerful. I am not being snarky I hope that for everyone 🙂

  13. KiddVicious says:

    I’ve realized that friends and family are always supportive of any lifestyle change as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them. When I was losing weight I had family and friends get mad at me because I wasn’t going to go off my diet just so I could go drinking with them. Or to a crappy restaurant with foods I couldn’t eat. My health is more important than their partying.

  14. Lalu says:

    I don’t think it’s anything to get your feelings hurt over or to o judge people as being bad friends. I agree with some of the other posters… Most friendships are based On what you have in common with others. We had our child younger than most of our friends… So we did the baby thing when they were out partying. Now they are doing the baby thing and we have a 14 year old. We are doing fun adventures with him and I am completely uninterested in hanging out with babies. I can’t help it. I get why people that have no children feel the way they do. Doesn’t make them bad people.

  15. Bridget says:

    Sometimes we outgrow friendships – we realize that priorities and life views are so different and out of alignment, that perhaps it’s time to move on. But I also think that people are often too quick to write off others. Yes, it’s inconvenient when someone makes a change and it affects the things you do – like have a baby, or choose to lead a healthier lifestyle – but so often we put the onus on the other person, instead of giving them a little grace. Huge life changes are a big deal, and yet we get mad at someone for having other things on their mind? If it’s someone that you really value, treat them that way even if it means having to take the extra effort for a while, especially since you don’t know when you’ll be the one that needs that same grace.

  16. Apples says:

    I’m sick of new mommys complaining that nobody calls or hangs out with them anymore – they are the ones who become unavailability. And instead of giving their friends credit for not severing friendship completely they complain about never seeing them! Several of my gdriends fell off the face of Earth when they had babies. All of them have husbands and family so it’s not like they are single struggling mothers. I still stay in touch and I’m the one who reaches out, calls and tries to set up a coffee date. I respect the fact that their lives have changed and their babies will always come first but please, stop bitching. When was the last time to picked up the phone and tried calling any of your friends?

    • Katherine says:


    • tealily says:

      I commented upthread, but this is similar to my experience. I call and call, but if you never answer the phone, I’m going to stop calling as frequently and trust that you’ll call me when you get a minute. My life hasn’t changed… you know what I’m up to. I don’t know your schedule, or what time the kid goes to school, or what time the bedtime routine starts. I don’t think that makes me a fairweather friend. Our lives just don’t really mesh anymore (at least for a little while here). It sucks for everybody involved, but that’s life.

      ETA: I also have friends with kids who do answer my calls and do call me back. I will come over as often as you invite me and play with your kid. I will keep toys for him/her to play with at my house, too.

    • Bridget says:

      Are you really saying that people should be given credit for not completely ditching their friends when they have kids?

  17. Tough Cookie says:

    I stopped drinking two years ago (752 days to be exact) and thank goodness….because I would have been smashed every day since the election.

  18. Izzy says:

    I can understand where she’s coming from, and where many of these posters are coming from. I’m single and childless – not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. Many of my closest longtime friends are married and have children. I made a point of reaching out as a friend, understanding that their schedules would be different. I’ve offered to be flexible to their new schedules. In all but a few cases, it made no difference, so I now have a few close friends locally that I know I can count on, and a few great friends long distance that I can call whenever I need to. And they have the same thing, plus their kids have a “bonus aunt” who spoils them lavishly.

    That feeling of desertion sucks, but it’s worth finding out who your friends really are. When my stepmom died a few years ago, I heard from my good long-distance friends. Three local friends showed up at her funeral to support me. One of them took my arm and helped me walk out behind her coffin, because she could see that I was having trouble just breathing. The fact that she had three small kids and another on the way didn’t stop her from being there for me when I needed her. On that day, I learned I needed no one but myself to survive. And I learned who my friends really are.

  19. Bread and Circuses says:

    Urgh. I support Hayden’s decision, but this stirs up a few bad feelings for me.

    I dropped out of a friend’s life while she was pregnant because I was struggling with an illness that didn’t really show and which I was trying to hide. It was just a coincidence, but I wasn’t there for her when she needed me, and she wasn’t there for me (not her fault, though) when I needed her, and the friendship never recovered.

    I still really miss her.

    • MrsBadBob says:

      I feel you, I was friend dumped by my closest friend while going through a secret cancer battle, it was brutal. I was going through this horrible ordeal, I had no one to confide in, and he broke my heart. And the same thing happened a second time with a friend of more than 30 years who “unfriended” me without explanation just when I discovered I had to have major heart surgery to repair a heart defect. I am so jaded about “friends” now, it’s depressing as hell.

  20. TQB says:

    Wow. This is a post about a person who struggled with PPD and childfree commenters are complaining about friends “abandoning” them when they had kids. Do you not see the connection here? How many of the friends you are criticizing for not being there for you were actually suffering from PPD? How many of them were desperately sad and struggling to figure out their identities now that they no longer had anything in common with their friends?

    I guess it perfectly illustrates Hayden (and Celebitchy’s) point.

    • Ange says:

      Not every woman has PPD and those that do will likely recover. I wonder how many phoned their old friends? And I wonder how many said something initially? I mean to be brutally logical nobody will know if you never pick up the phone or answer the door. But again, that is not every woman who has had a baby.

      • TQB says:

        Said what exactly? “I’m terrified to touch my child”? “I am an unfit parent and my kid would be better off without me”? If it was that simple, and if people “recovered” as easily as you suggest, it wouldn’t be a problem. It’s often difficult for a spouse to recognize it. I’m not saying someone’s best bud is going to be the one that gets them to seek help, I’m saying that if you have a friend who became a mom and you stopped hanging around with her because all she did was talk about the baby, or she never returned calls, or she wouldn’t “go see a show” and be the “adventurous woman” she was before, you’re a factor in her isolation and possibly deparession. That is the reality of being a parent. Don’t tell me “it cuts both ways” – you rejected her new life.

      • Bridget says:

        almost every single woman goes through at least “the baby blues” and PPD affects a high rate of new moms. Hayden’s was so bad she checked into a facility more than once. Not to mention, having a baby is basically a crisis period for a new mom for about a year and a half. So no, you’re not being ‘logical’.

        Chances are, at least some of these posters will have children of their own, and I have found it ironic that those who judge the most pre-kids are frequently the worst offenders after having children themselves. I just hope the people in your life have more patience.

    • Lipreng says:

      About 15% of women develop Postpartum Depression. I would hope that most of us are not referring to those suffering women. Many moms are truly in a bind..no supportive husband, tight finances, no nearby family or support system. But when you have friends who have all 3 of those but still can’t find the time for a cup of coffee or a phone call, that’s not okay.

      • Lee1 says:

        I have a 13 month old daughter. I didn’t have PPD, I do have a wonderfully supportive spouse, I live in Canada where we have 1 full year of maternity leave, money was tighter than when I was working but we were financially comfortable and yet I was still wholey unprepared for the exhastion, the all-consuming focus, the inability to do anything else of being a new parent.

        I had major depression in my early to mid 20s and lost most of my “fairweather” friends then if you want to use that phrase, so in a way I was very lucky that those who are left are true soulmates who stuck through everything with me. But I can’t even begin to explain the feeling of having a newborn to care for. Of having had 6 hours of broken sleep in 3 days. Of genuinely not remembering if you showered this Tuesday or the one before? Of literally not having a single minute in a day to yourself to the point that you’re pooping with a baby in your arms.

        I made the best effort I knew how, but life was still SO hard even though I had all of the support. I couldn’t have known until I lived it.

    • tealily says:

      I think it’s just rubbing people the wrong way that this is phrased as if the impetus is solely on the childless friend to maintain the relationship, and if they do not manage to do so they were a “fairweather friend” anyway. Obviously, it is the responsibility of both parties to maintain a friendship, and possibly even on the new mother more because it is up to her to communicate her needs and dictate the parameters the changing friendship will have to follow.

      Depression is a whole other ball game, but while we’re on the subject, yes. It is very hard to be a friend to someone who is depressed sometimes. And I’ve been on the other side of that, as the depressed person. It’s a bit unfair to dump the ending of a friendship completely on a person who may not know what’s going on with their friend and may not be equipped to handle it. To some extent, it IS up the depressed person to communicate to their friend what is happening and why they haven’t been a good friend lately, and to get back in touch when they feel more able to. It’s not easy for either party.

      • Lee1 says:

        Oh, it’s definitely not easy being on either side. I think I just disagree that anyone is saying the onus falls entirely on the child-free or healthy friend but rather that those friends need to be understanding about the situation (just as the new parent or depressed friend should do their best to express their needs or to reach back out once things pass).

        I think it’s a sensitive topic. Losing a friend is painful. So we all have experiences that are informing our perspectives and reactions, maybe making us sensitive to the comments of people on the other side.

        I will say that I was a terrible friend when I was depressed. I disappeared completely and I don’t blame anyone who didn’t stick around. But the friends I have now are people who have known me 12+ years (I am 30, so many have been friends for over half of my life). They are the ones who were willing to extend an olive branch and not hold a grudge when I crawled out of my depression. They are the ones who came to visit me when I had my baby and made me feel comfortable sitting in my pyjamas with a messy house and offered to watch my daughter for a few minutes so that I could jump in the shower. And I’d like to think I’ve done similar things for them over the years and will again when and if they have kids too.

    • MrsBadBob says:

      You can’t do anything if they don’t answer the phone or return calls, you are not in a postition to do anything, I speak from experience, you will get freezed out if you try to interfere with anyone’s baby, or suggest they need help. It’s easy to be virtuous on the Internet but people do not like interfering friends IRL.

  21. Vox says:

    I suffer from severe depression and I often withdraw from my friends for months at a time. I’ve learned that the really strong friends are the ones who understand what I’m going through and know not to be offended by it. They offer their support and don’t judge me when I’m unable to accept it. My friends are a small group but they’re amazing people. I don’t blame anyone who can’t deal with my depression, though.