The struggle to keep your friends is real
When you start having children, your priorities change, and your relationships with friends and family can change, too. You can’t go out because the kids have school in the morning; you have to get them ready. You can’t join the group for a drink at the bar because you have no one to watch the kids. You can’t attend the concert of your favorite band because the kids will wake you up early on Saturday morning. You don’t have nearly as much free time and are bound to do specific things and go places that are kid-friendly. You may feel as though some of your friends are just moving on without you, and it can cause a lot of emotional pain.
But not everyone will go away. Hopefully you’ve got at least one person who will be there for you when you’ve got to stay home with the kids and who doesn’t mind helping out with them when you need it. Blogger Constance Hall knows this new lifestyle well, and she had a few words for her friends that aren’t parents. She started off her heartfelt (and hilarious) letter to them, “Dear friends without children. There is something I need to say to you….. Thanks.”
Constance Hall is an inspirational parenthood blogger and author… when she’s not tending to her four children, that is. The Australian mom is popular because she talks about the trials and tribulations of motherhood in a very real and honest way. She has previously discussed the reality of childbirth, how unsatisfying it is to be intimate when kids’ music is playing in the background, and how your body changes after carrying children.
Her latest topic has gone viral because it’s about how your other relationships can change just because you have to bring your babies with you everywhere.
Moms and dads have lamented about the fact that some of their close friends will abandon them because they don’t like spending time around children, or because kids aren’t welcome at the places they normally hang out at. Parents released a handy guide on retaining your relationships with different kinds of people while you navigate this major transition. Writer Pamela Brill explained:
“Babies often create infectious excitement, but you can’t expect all of your friends to ooh and ahh about your pregnancy in anticipation of the first time they can hold your newborn’s little hand. Those changes can put a strain on prior relationships.”
Constance wanted to sincerely thank her friends that aren’t parents for sticking by her side while she gave birth to four little ones, got divorced, and found love again. She wrote to them on Facebook:
“Thanks for giving a f**k about my kids. You come to my kids parties, not because your kids have dragged you there but because you actually want to come. You laugh at stories about the kids with such authenticity, not just because you can relate but because you are actually interested.”
She acknowledged that people can find children exhausting and hard to deal with, yet these friends took all of the kids in stride. They came to restaurants with her when the kids were acting up, they told her about the good things going on in their own lives, and they they offered advice that was not whatsoever condescending.
She continued, “Some of you chose not to have kids, I admire that so much. Some of you desperately wanted them and instead of being jealous or bitter towards me for having so many you relish in mine and love them with your whole soul.”
It Takes a Village
Constance also revealed that she may not have acted the same way if she was put in her friends’ shoes. She said, “I never remember a time before I had kids that I was that gracious and cool enough to sacrifice a Saturday night at the pub so that I could sit on the kitchen floor playing Twister with a friend’s kid.”
Parents the world over reacted positively to her post, relating that they know how it feels to lose relationships over their kids, but they’ve got some friends who totally accepted them. Facebook user Zoe Tarjanyi said:
“Being a mother myself now, I still don’t quite understand it. When a childless friend wants to invest time in you, wants to be a part of yours and your kiddies lives, and who doesn’t care if you’re at a playground, that friend is golden; hold on to them!”
How do you keep your relationships with your friends going after becoming a parent? Let us know in the comments and SHARE this story!