Lost Contact with Work Friends

Updated on January 30, 2009
T.M. asks from Midland, TX
7 answers

Has this happened to any of you guys? During my maternity leave I kept in contact with my "work friends." We texted and e-mailed and they came over some to see the baby and kept me up on the office gossip, etc. I decided to resign and stay at home with my new daughter toward the end of my leave and within a month or so I was completely cut off. It's like I just don't exist anymore. I'm still interested in the people there and there were a few that I did count as good friends. In fact, I've noticed that I don't see much of anyone that I used to hang out with. I had a late in life baby so I don't know any women my age that have young children, but I have family here and good neighbors so I don't feel lonely. I just wonder what happened. Are they busy? Do they think I'm busy? Is this just what happens when you have kids or when you stay at home? I love staying at home with my daughter and wouldn't trade it for anything, but I think any of us that worked before have those moments where we wonder what everybody is doing. I do text these ladies occasionally and I get responses, but it is all one-sided now and it wasn't before. They contacted me. Others I never hear from. Anyway, is it just time to move on?

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answers from Killeen on

This is a tricky one...people who work together often feel a comraderie and in some cases keep in contact even during their off time. This keeps the office time pleasant and fun.

Most of these relationships fizzle out and end once you have moved on to another position, job or stop working all together. The very few who are actually your friends outside of work may feel that if you decided to be an SAHM then you want to spend these first months immersed in her, plus you may be spending a lot of time catching naps when she does to make up for night time interruptions.

Most people will call and visit in the first month and then slowly peter off to nothing or not much by the end of the second month in respect for your bonding time with your child. They figure when you wish to go out and do things you'll let them know and it takes a few of these before they realize you really are ready for regular outings and resumed relations. However, expect even this to be few and far between with and friends who are not parents or even are single and not parents. They often find it harder to hang out with you because they have teh ability to be far more spontaneous than you and havign to schedule all of your fun around a kid and a family can be a downer on the whole spontanaity thing...

Move on with your other friends and family but leave a door open for those few work buds who you felt you were particularly close to by texting them occasionally and asking them along on your fun times. Don't be too hurt if they don't say yes too often at first or at all for that matter. Just remember not all friends are meant to be permanent fixtures in our life. And you willalways have fond memories of the times you spent with them before now..

Good Luck!!! ;-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

The same thing kind of happened to me- but I try my best to stay in touch because my former coworkers are really wonderful people. I have one manager that I may only talk to once a YEAR but when we call it is like we don't miss a beat. She understands as do I that we are busy- but we just try our best. I do work from home - and sometimes miss the fun I had at work- I always had someone to Gab with- and I guess when you no longer work with them you may lose a little of that connection. Alot of times people leave you alone because they know you have a little one and are probably busy- and that is most likely it. What I would do if you really want to connect is invite them to lunch every so often. I have another former boss that we go to lunch at least every other month.

HTH :)



1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

Hi T., I've been through something similar. I think it's kind of out of sight out of mind thing. I don't think they mean to, it's just if you aren't around them, they get busy, you're busy. I think the best thing you could do if you want to be friends, keep trying to contact them, stay in touch, but if they really don't respond, there's not a whole lot you can do. I understand what you're going through, it sucks I know. But, we can only do so much to stay in touch with someone. Hope everything works out for you.



answers from Los Angeles on

this is the sad- but honest truth - they are WORK friends, not real friends, if they were real lifelong friends they would keep in touch. you need to branch out now and find SAHM's (stay at home moms) who will have the same interests and goals as you. yes i think its time to move on, you are no longer the same person you were when you were working, and they know and sense that.
I had exactly the same problem, i worked for the same company for 13 years, and had lots of friends there. when i left i hardly heard from anyone - strangely enough, its the people i hardly had anything to do with when i worked there who keep in touch with me, not the people i worked for 8 hours a day 5 days a week for 13 years. its hurtful, and made me mad in the beginning, but its been 2 years now and im over it!



answers from San Antonio on

It doesn't have to be this way. Work friends can be life-long friends.

When I first quit my job, I would bring them dinner, or just treats and sit and talk with them. I would go see them in the hospital and keep up with birthdays and holiday cards. We would still go out together. I had to try harder for a while because they didn't know how to relate, but after I showed them that I was still the same person, they began reciprocating. It didn't take long at all. I began the organizing, and still do a lot of that, but I was that person when I worked there too.

I quit my job 2.5 yrs ago and moved 1100miles away and I still have weekly contact with 5 of them, daily contact with 2 and those two have tickets to come stay with me in a couple of months.

Their team is stronger at work now and when I go home, I still come in and sit with them just like the old times. My daughter is almost 4 and she calls them aunts and uncles.
(We are 911 dispatchers)

There are not always happy-endings; one of the girls won't talk to me to this day because she was a single mother and thinks that every child should be raised like she raised her daughter. I don't. She can pout in the corner when I'm there because those aren't my issues, they are hers, and I'm not going to feel bad. You could face some of that as well, so don't take it personally; they were not people that you need in your life anyway. Surround yourself with love, and get the poison out.

Many people don't know what it is like to have friends as adults, but it is work, just like any other relationship and goes through cycles just like any other relationship. Be there for them and they will learn how to be there for you.

Congrats, on staying home with your daughter, it really is a great opportunity.


answers from Austin on

Not sure what line of work you were in or what department your friends predominantly work in... However, I work in corporate finance. Year-end is an incredibly busy time. I put my head down and friends might not hear a response to their emails for a month or so. It isn't intentional... In fact, my busiest season starts in October and lasts through February. So, timing of when you resigned in the context of what deadlines might be up against them could also play a huge factor.

I have managed to stay in touch with a few good friends from a former employer. Rule of thumb is that you typically will not stay in touch with more than 3. Perhaps you can identify who you miss the most and make a concerted effort to meet with 1 for lunch; then another; maybe the next time, you can suggest a group lunch with both or see if anyone else can come from the wider group. Or suggest a girls night out (or movie night). You might have to do more of the organizing... best bet is to choose a lunch spot near their job so they can get away easier...

I don't think its intentional though, especially at this time of year.


answers from Austin on

Hi T.~
I'm not exactly in the same boat, as I still work part time and still see my work friends. But I know how you feel as far as not having friends who have small children, I'm 43 with a 6-yr old and my friends in that age range either have no children or they have older children.
What I try to do is make it to 'girls night' once a month, thats dinner someplace after work for couple of hours. Sometimes it will be with friends at my current job and other times its with friends from my previous job. I know 2 hours a month isn't much, but I have found that its all I really need. Since every body is so busy with their lives, its still a way for us to stay connected.
I would say try to keep communications open with the ones who still do the same, but as for the ones who don't- there's really nothing you can do. Move on. Good luck ~

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