Once your first baby is born your world changes, at least temporarily. Your life is not just about you anymore. Going out with friends is not just a matter of finding the right outfit, slapping on some makeup and jumping in the car. Now, you have to find the right outfit that isn’t stained with baby food, find makeup that hasn’t been gouged out by little fingers and actually locate your car keys. And that’s only if you can find someone to watch your little ones for a few hours.
Finding friends with kids is easier because they understand that you’ll probably never be on time for a get-together again. And they are quite accustomed to telephone conversations being interrupted by random “I told you that your sister is not a dog. Take the leash off of her right this minute,” and “I’m on the phone. Can’t you see I have a phone in my hands?’
But just because having friends that are childless is harder, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. If you want to make sure your kid-less friends have a place in your piece of craziness, here are a few tips to make it work:
Make time: You need to make an effort. Yes, having kids is time consuming and sometimes the unexpected happens. Your kids might throw up right as you walk out to meet your girlfriend for lunch. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make plans. Take time to schedule adult time with your friends. Make an effort to find a sitter so you can have some real grown-up time with your bestie. Your friend will appreciate the effort and may be more willing to spend time with you, when the kids are in tow too.
Keep in contact: Set aside time to talk to your friends. Whether it’s a quick phone call when the kids are happily tearing apart the kitchen you just cleaned or while you wait in the car to pick your little ones up. Facebook and texting are great for quick and easy messages. But make sure to set aside real time for human contact.
Be realistic: If your friend truly wants to make your friendship work, she’ll understand you can’t just drop everything and meet for lunch. Instead of setting up plans for a time you know won’t work, plan ahead so you can find a sitter and choose a time that won’t stress you out. Know that you won’t be able to have uninterrupted grown-up time more than two or three times a month. For most mom’s even that is a stretch.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to be able to go out every weekend. Be clear about how often you can get together. You shouldn’t feel guilty when you ditch the kids for grownup time but you also should not feel guilty for being a mom either.
Do you still hang out with friends who don’t have kids? How have you made it work?”
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