Married and a Mom: Can you still be close with your single and kidless friends?

6 Apr

This is a picture of my firstborn son.  He was almost ten pounds at birth…a little linebacker who could very well have been three months old!!lol…  Read here on how having kids can change, (or strengthen,) existing friendships!

First of all, let me just say that some of my best friends are single and kidless, (and some are that way by choice.)  🙂  However; I recently had a new mom who was married confess to me that she felt like she was growing distant from her friends who didn’t have kids…they just didn’t seem to have as much in common anymore.  I told her that they haven’t changed – she did.  🙂  This isn’t a bad thing.  Having kids can bring about situations you’d never have to face if you weren’t a parent.

I remember once working in a daycare environment with kids.  I was married, but had no kids of my own.  As the moms shared stories about teething, (I had to pull a co-worker aside and ask what that was..lol,) and breastfeeding, it took everything in me not to roll my eyes and become bored.  I just couldn’t relate.  I knew all the right questions to ask the moms about their kids, but I was really just making small talk so that I wouldn’t seem “stand-offish.”  I wasn’t trying to be a jerk…I just couldn’t relate to their stories of first steps, stroller types, and how many hours they were in labor.  It seemed like an exclusive club at the time, and I just didn’t have enough in common with them to become a member!!lol..

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I began reading (some) literature on parenthood.  To my shock, it still was boring.  Somehow the advertisers always find out when you’re pregnant, and you begin getting these maternity magazines in the mail.  🙂  I would try and read through them, but I’d quickly toss them and reach for something that I found “more interesting.”  After I had my first child, I grew a little more interested in the topics of parenting and motherhood, but after I had my second, I found myself having the same conversations about kids and breastfeeding that I once rolled my eyes at. 🙂  And this time, I was actually interested, (and not just faking it!lol..)

One thing I remember reading in one of the “motherhood magazines” was that once you had kids, don’t ONLY talk about your kids to your single friends.  Sure, you can mention your kids, but if that’s the only thing you want to talk about, it might cause distance.  It doesn’t make them uninterested friends or you better because you’re a mom and they’re not, but the point is to remember what drew you to them in the first place.  Maybe you both love music, travel, or eating out together.  Talk about the things you used to talk about.  After all, if they started dating a new guy, you would be interested to hear about the relationship, but you would want to talk about something other than their new boyfriend.  It would be pretty annoying if that’s all they wanted to talk about.  🙂  It’s all about balance.

Some single people, on the other hand, know more about kids than some moms do.  One of my children’s babysitters, (who has no children of her own,) grew up in a large family and was always taking care of kids. She is 10 years younger than me, but can put both my kids to sleep when sometimes even I can’t.  🙂  She knows the in’s and out’s of parenting, and even at her young age, knows what she wants out of life, how many kids she wants, and how she plans on raising them.

Some people are just naturally empathetic, single or not.  One of my best single friends, (when I became pregnant,) was right there with me throughout the whole pregnancy.  She supported me, listened to me, and was even willing to have some “mommy talk” with me despite not being a parent herself.  Some friends are just that amazing.  Despite the changes in your life, you will always be close to them.  You just “get” each other.

On the other hand, some people may not be able to make that journey with you.  One friend of mine, once I became married and had kids, simply could not deal with the changes.  She refused to talk to me about my kids, and almost seemed resentful that she did not have a significant other.  Yes, we should love our friends, but if they can no longer journey with us throughout life without being mean or jealous, it may be time to move on.  Keep praying for them, and realize that for a season, you may need to pull back.  Maybe once they are married or have kids, you can be friends again.  Or maybe once they come to terms with your differences, (and don’t seem resentful anymore,) you can continue the friendship again.

And then there’s also the fact that some friendships are just stronger than others.  Sometimes, within the first five minutes of meeting someone, you know that you’ll be close.  That happened to me a few months ago.  I met someone at a fast food place standing in line, we struck off a conversation, and now if you saw us together, you’d think we’d known each other since we were in diapers.

Some friends are forever.  Some friends are in your life for a season.  Some friends will leave and come back.  Some friends you may not talk to much, but once you see them again, you pick back up where you left off without hard feelings.

When friendships do go through changes, (such as one person gets married, has kids, or both,) remember that it doesn’t mean the end.  If both people are willing to see from the other side, the friendship can still withstand the differences!! 🙂

~I am so excited to say that the book is done.  I’m doing little proofreads until May when I had it over to the editor, then 3 mos for production, and it’s here! 🙂

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