Shock shock horror!! It happened to me. I’m still in slight shock about it but that’s the world we live in and an unfortunate symptom of our times. To be unfriended on Facebook is to lose a friend without knowing when, how or why.
We met at an NCT course and even though we didn’t have much contact at first, we soon got chatting and so did our spouses. When our babies were born 5 days apart, we got in touch via Facebook and supported one another through the new mummy phase. It helped to know someone else going through the sleepless nights and the general haze of newly found parenthood.
At a couple of months old, our babies met and we chilled together sharing stories about all the fun times we’d already had and what was to come. We talked about the tough parts of recovering from labour, all the things you won’t ever find in a pregnancy book and most mothers will never tell you. I was given some great tips on sleep training as my Pumpkinella was developing an unhealthy habit of sleeping on my chest all day and all night.
Another few of months went by and we continued to support one another via Facebook, sharing both the good and bad bits of this new stage in our lives. We agreed to meet at a local park and caught up again. It all seemed to be going well and apart from my sense that I was making her feel a little uncomfortable at my more laid back approach to parenting. I didn’t feel as though I was passing any judgements and really just being myself and trying not to worry if my best didn’t happen to be good enough.
Then it happened. I went on Facebook one evening just to say hi and ask how things were. I looked for her name on Facebook messenger and couldn’t find it. So I thought I’d post a message on her wall only to find I no longer had her name listed on my friends list. I was taken aback at first but then thought about it for a second and assumed I was doing something silly and had maybe messed up my Facebook account. I sent a text message as we had exchanged mobile numbers and then waited for a response. Alas, the penny finally dropped. I looked for pictures of our two babies which she had posted and linked me to; all earlier posts and comments she had made on my wall in the past had completely vanished. There were just empty spaces where they used to be.
I can’t say I wasn’t upset because I was. I really thought we had made a connection and although we were very different people I thought that we had very similar values. We both moved to Wales from London, came from the same area in London, and were experiencing one of the most life changing experience of our lives at the same time.
What l will take away from this experience is not bitterness or sadness but instead hope; hope that I meet someone again who just gets it, gets that its OK for a new mum to struggle a little and its OK to be there for someone else even when things might be tough at home. I miss her and wish her well, she was a lovely, caring and happy soul, and I’m sure our paths will cross again at some point, given we only live a few miles away from each other and do similar journeys.
I also won’t lose hope that I can make new friends. Most of the friends I thought I had disappeared after I had Pumpkinella, no contact at all, I was sad at first but I understand I’m not as available any longer and it does take more effort maintaining a friendship when one party has a new baby in the mix. Although it takes more effort, I always maintain it’s still possible and worth it. In fact, I posted a notice on Netmums to see whether there were any other parents out there locally that would like to meet up and start a new friendship. I’ve had 3 lovely ladies reply and have met the cutest little baby boy and his fab mum and we’ve already planned the next meet.
I hope all is well with all my old friends and if our paths do cross again I will offer my love and support because you just never know what people might be going through so you can’t ever take people’s actions too personally.
One of the very first ‘friends’ I made after giving birth to my little Pumpkinella, is now lost but never forgotten, miss you chick!