Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Friends with Kids July 15, 2010

Sometimes it’s hard to spend time with friends who have children, especially if that’s all they want to talk about, but here’s an interesting twist that I read in an article recently. The author says:

Right after you have a baby, you avoid childless friends like the plague…at least I did. I’m not sure why. Maybe I feared that I’d feel jealous of their freedom or maybe I was afraid they couldn’t relate.

Interesting. Sound familiar? How many friends with new babies have you taken a wide berth around? She goes on:

That was a mistake because once I started reconnecting with those friends I realized that they are the best cure for parenting overload. And no, it’s not because they can drink more wine. My parent friends are actually heavier drinkers than my kidless friends (wonder why that is?). It’s because they know how to talk about things outside of kids. They actually read the “New York Times” beyond the homepage, see movies in theaters, listen to the latest music, and have travel plans beyond going to Hawaii and Tahoe.

Aha!! Could it be that the very reason we avoid people with children is the exact same reason, they crave our company? Could it be that your friend would love to talk about anything but her kids, but just can’t remember how? Maybe all she needs is a little nudge from you to remember that she still has something to say about politics/photography/gardening/travel?

Next time a friend with kids calls and you think how much you really don’t want to see her because all she’ll do is talk about her kids, consider taking her up on the offer anyway. Maybe that’s exactly what she doesn’t want to talk about, which is why she’s calling you.


5 Responses to “Friends with Kids”

  1. Stepherz Says:

    As a “friend with children” I resemble that remark…or this post!

  2. Daphne Says:

    I appreciate all of your thoughts here. If I may just share one thought of my own: please be careful with the word “childless”. Saying “childless” infers a lacking of some kind. Many of us are childfree by choice, and not LESS than anything.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Daphne, it’s a constant battle to get it right. Many women who are childless-not-by-choice don’t like “childfree” but it infers they escaped something unpleasant. Yet again, the labels get in the way of all the other things we childless/childfree/non-moms/whatever-we-need-to-call-ourselves have in common.

  3. lmanterfield Says:

    Stepherz, does this mean it’s time for lunch? 😉

  4. happynenes Says:

    You know, I like this post. I have a friend who recently had a baby. We usually see each other once a year or so. Since she had her baby, she keeps calling me to go to lunch… and I have been avoiding her, thinking, (really!) ‘why else could she want to go to lunch with me but to rub in my face the thing she has and I do not have?’ And I have not understood why she keeps pushing the issue, because she is not the kind of person who would do that at all! Through my adult life, she has been one of my dearest friends.

    Now I see that I am really thinking about this all wrong. I really need to put aside my grief issues and go to lunch with her. I miss her, in fact!

    Thank you for the thoughtful post.

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