The Mirror’s resident agony aunt, Coleen Nolan, helps a reader who was dumped by her career-focused friends after she decided to leave her job to spend more time with her young children
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I used to be good friends with a group of other mums I met a few years ago through my children’s nursery.
Back then, I had a good job working in the banking sector, but the pandemic made me rethink what I want out of life. I decided to leave my job to focus on my two young children and think about a new career path that fits around being a parent.
I’m lucky that my husband is able to support us while I figure things out.
The thing is, since I left my job, a couple of these friends have started leaving me out of get-togethers.
I know this sounds paranoid, but they’re all very career focused and all they talk about is their jobs, and I’m convinced they think of me in a different way now and don’t see me as one of them.
When I bump into them they’re full of, “Oh, we miss you” and “Haven’t seen you in ages. We must get together”, yet never invite me to anything!
I really valued these friends when my kids were younger, but do you think it’s time to move on?
What would you tell this reader to do? Have your say in the comment section
I think you know the answer is yes! Look, if they’re the type of people who are only friends with you because of the job you do, then they’re not real friends.
They sound very insincere and maybe they’re jealous because you’ve got out of the rat race and are exploring a different path in life. Maybe they don’t have the guts to do that.
I think you’ve done a brave thing, leaving a job that gave you financial security to find something that might not be as well paid. But it will give you more satisfaction and allow you to spend more time with your family.
I think making a big change can leave you feeling a bit scared and insecure, and perhaps if you were more confident you wouldn’t give these women a second thought, or at least you wouldn’t dwell on what they’ve said or done.
Sometimes we have friends who suit us at the time – like when your kids were younger, these women might have felt like a support network – but it’s natural to outgrow some friendships and move on as your life progresses.
Trust your gut and focus on what’s to come, which will hopefully include some new mates who won’t care what you do to earn a living.