How Does Being A Parent Change Your Friendships?

Maintaining friendships with kids

There were some things I never understood about my married friends with kids until I was married with my own children. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

  • Single friends don’t get it when you need to get off the phone.
  • Single friends think you have gone to fashion hell for wearing Crocs while pregnant and converting to flats. In my 20’s, I wore heels to work and a backup pair of flats. Now, who has time for all that extra stuff?
  • You try to discuss things other than your family to stay relevant, but your family is now you’re life.
  • Some single friends eventually get married and the relationship doesn’t evolve, but fizzles. This is heartbreaking, but thankfully you can make new friends who understands.

Here’s how I see the breakdown of friendships:

Single:

Single friends keep you from being boring. They make the best shopping partners! The downside is you can’t just hit the road and hang out like in the old days. You have to find a babysitter first, or clear it with the hubby. You text more than talk so you won’t have to deal with the constant interruptions. When you do get to talk on the phone, you rush off the phone when you get home. Your friend may not understand, or they may become annoyed at you yelling at your kids in the background. Oh, and they make great Godparents and babysitters.

single friends as godparents

Married with no kids:

Your married friends understand the balance of friendship and marriage. They don’t take offense when you need to check with your boo before a girl’s night out. You can vent about your hubby, and they understand that your world isn’t coming to an end. However, they do look nervous when your kids are running around the living room, and you have to rearrange things in their living room because it isn’t baby proof. They ask you lots of questions about pregnancy and babies.

Married with kids:

This group of friends is great for play dates. You can take turns fussing at the kids, sharing funny stories and commiserating about the embarrassing ones. You swap tips about baby products and what to bring to class parties. They don’t get offended if you text more than talk or if you have to scream mid sentence. They also don’t look at you like someone died if you are having an off day and only wore one earring. They validate that you don’t have to be superwoman and kids will be kids.

No matter the category your friend falls into, it’s nice to have them. I’ve found that as I get older, maintaining friendships get more difficult as seasons in life change. I’m learning to be okay with change. I’m also learning to be okay with friendships that don’t weather the seasons in life.

What do you think is the most challenging part about maintaining friendships after having children?

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19 thoughts on “How Does Being A Parent Change Your Friendships?

  1. valorey says:

    So true! Single friends don’t understand, but one day they will. We can maintain that friendship via text and social media when the kids are down for a nap. But they also need to understand we can’t drop everything when they need retail therapy.

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  2. diana Brown says:

    There are many seasons of friendship. There is the after the kids get gone and tons of changes come type of mature friendship-The grandparent and the non-grandparent combo, the divorced and still married combo, the I never married have kids and the been married and still hanging in there, the empty nest and the they wont leave the nest, the fit and don’t have time to do anything but survive combo… my point is that women go through so many phases and we need to understand that some friendships will last and others are simply there for a season. It is not a bad thing, although it make cause some discomfort. Enjoy them when you have them and embrace the new ones because they may be the ones that stay.

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  3. ruthmeaney says:

    My relationship with my best friend really struggled after my first baby. I couldn’t carry out a normal conversation while bub was awake but my bestie had so much going on in our lives. Now I have two kids and she has one and our friendship has never been better. True friendships can weather tough times and come out stronger!

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  4. mummy do it says:

    Great read! I moved town when my eldest was a baby and have only made friends with other mothers. It would be nice to have friends who are in the other categories to broaden my outlook on life – but it’s also nice to have friends who understand and can share the same experiences!

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    • dacounsel says:

      Sometimes being a mom makes you feel like you are in an alternate universe-you miss those moments you had before kids. But after talking with other moms, you get to share the woes and joys and it puts things in perspective as a parent. Thanks for sharing-glad you enjoyed it!

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