Friendships have always been a big deal to me. As an only child my friends are the closest I’ll ever come to having siblings.
Here are some ways that having a child has affected my friendships:
- I don’t see my friends as much as I’d like to.
- I used to keep in touch by talking on the phone, but making a call with kids around is difficult and by the time the kids are asleep I just want to vege out or go to sleep myself.
- The best way to see people and actually get an extended time to talk is to have them over or, even better, have them to stay.
- Going out at night isn’t as easy as it used to because I’m permanently tired and Clem is still breastfeeding. I also feel guilty about leaving Jeff to get the kids to bed by himself.
- I am am both emotionally fulfilled and exhausted by my children. There is a powerful pull to spend time as a family and it’s easy to just stay home.
- It takes forever to organise something with a friend because everyone is so busy. If the friend I’m going to catch up with has kids too, then you often have to postpone a date several times before actually going out because someone is always sick or there’s some other family drama.
- My childrens’ social engagements and activities dominate the calendar much more than my own.
- When I do go out I feel boring and like I don’t have anything interesting to talk about because I’m in Kid Land.
- It’s amazing to get to know my friends’ kids, and it warms my heart to see our adult friends playing with our kids. When your kid loves your friend’s kid/s then it’s happy days!
- When I do get to have a proper catch up with a friend I don’t take it for granted like I once did. I spent a few happy hours with two girlfriends recently (hello Karmen and Gabby!) and I came home afterwards on cloud nine, feeling so restored.
The best friends are the ones that you can not see for a while and then when you do it’s like not a day has passed.
A dinner out with a friend, or friends, is like a shining star in my calendar. My (often truncated) chats with friends on the phone are a highlight of my week. Tabitha and I rock the 2 minute (e.g. I’m just walking from the carpark into the office) conversation and it’s better than nothing. In fact, a large percentage of my chats with friends are when one of us is in transit somewhere (hello Eszy!)
Some of my pre-kid friendships have fallen by the wayside – but a lot remain, stronger than ever. I am so grateful for them, and also for the new friends I’ve made through having kids.
Let’s raise a cup of cold tea in a toast to friendship. Surely one of the most wonderful things in life.