Truth #1: Friends drop on the priority list after you have a family.
Some stick around… and others get bored of you never showing up and drop off of the radar. It’s no one’s fault, but it is bound to happen. In between making sure all of your children (not to mention your marriage!) get the attention they deserve, there is little time for anything else. Sure, we can make time, but nowhere near the amount that we had before.
It is depressing when you lose touch with what used to be a great friend, but it’s all part of the growing up process. Maybe when they have children, they will pop back into your life.
Truth #2: (Some) Friends without children do not understand what you are going through.
Example Conversation #1
Mom: “We can’t find babysitters so we can’t make it this weekend.”
Childless Friend: “Why can’t you just bring the kids?”
Mom: “You want me to bring three kids under three to a restaurant for a dinner that starts at 8pm?”
Childless Friend: “Sure, why not?”
What each are really thinking:
Example Conversation #2
Childless Friend: “Hey, let’s grab a beer after work.”
Dad: “I can’t, gotta get home to the wife & kids.”
Childless Friend: “C’mon, what’s an extra hour?”
Dad: “Believe me, my wife has been home for 10 hours with three toddlers. If I’m gone for an extra hour to relax and have a beer, I’ll be sleeping on the couch for a week.”
What each are really thinking (Dads, you better be thinking this!):
Truth #3: We still need our friends.
We need a life outside of our families. Both sides should be responsible for attempting to keep a friendship alive post children. On one hand, parents should make an effort to reach out to friends when they can. Alternate “boy’s nights” and “ladies nights” and have your spouse watch the kiddos, for example. On the other hand, friends without children need to cut us some slack. Our life has drastically changed and while we would still like to keep you in it, you have to realize that we have new priorities now. We enjoy your company but we are raising the next generation as well as trying to find some one on one time to keep our marriage alive. It is extremely hard to achieve the right balance and in the end, it is impossible to keep everyone happy. We are trying and most likely hanging onto our sanity by a thread.
Just one favor to ask – keep inviting us to functions even if we are constantly declining. It really is the thought that counts… believe me, we miss you too!
Have you lost a lot of friends post baby? How do you deal? I can’t find any books that focus solely on maintaining friendships, but here are some that may help your personal life post baby:
- When Two Become Three: Nurturing Your Marriage After Baby Arrives
- Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz
- Life After Baby: From Professional Woman to Beginner Parent
My personal favorite: