Do Babies Ruin Friendships?
Filed under: Opinions
Becoming a parent at a young age changed my life in many ways, not the least of which was losing the companionship of most of my friends. We were all so young and even though it hurt, I couldn't really blame them for going on with their child-free lives and leaving me behind. But while I chalked that experience up to youth, it would seem that dumping your new-parent friends is not exclusive to the immature.
Over at Cafe Mom, Emily writes about meeting a friend for lunch soon after giving birth:
"About three weeks after my son was born I went out to meet a friend for coffee. It took Herculean effort to get out the door-finding sweatpants that fit over my yo-yoing waist and a hat to cover my dirty hair, strapping my protesting infant into a carrier, packing diapers and blankets and pacifiers -- and by the time I got to the cafe I was a sweaty, anxious mess. My friend was wearing heels and looked sickeningly well rested.
'Oh!' she said, 'I didn't know you'd be bringing the baby!'
No, I thought I'd just leave him home alone, tended by our cats."
It seems that for many, the beginning of parenthood often spells the end of friendships. Former BFF's tend to drift away when you are no longer available at the drop of a hat to meet for drinks or other adult activities. The phone stops ringing and just when you probably need her most, your closest confidante is nowhere to be found.
As sad as that may be, it isn't the end of the world. Your new bundle of joy will also bring new adults into your life. Adults who will understand when you show up twenty minutes late for a lunch date with spit-up on your shirt. Or when you cancel that lunch date altogether because your potty training toddler refuses to put on pants. After all, that is why we try to make nice with other parents -- they get it.
People grow apart for all kinds of reasons, but nothing changes relationships quite like the addition of a child. What about you? Have you lost friends since becoming a parent?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.