Ah, those beautiful babies of ours. They bring so many moments of joy to our lives. And… not so joyful moments. One thing mine definitely did: ruin my social life!
When your child is little, it’s easy. You just bring them along and they play nicely. Right? Sure. Then you add in one more that walks and talks and they play together, just a little louder. Then all of a sudden; you have 3 kids and your best friends have 2 kids each and they’re like a little gang running the back yard! Kids can really change things when it comes to your social life. Here are some differences I’ve observed:
1. “Wait, YOU LEAVE YOUR HOUSE?!?”
I asked some friends how having kids changed their social life and one said, “Social life?? What social life??” Her daughter is 6-months, and both she and her man work and raise their family. They have regular family gatherings, but she said since having her daughter, she doesn’t do much with her friends. “We have the time, its just committed to the cute squishy one, that just pooped in her pants and laughed at the noise.”
2. Family Friendly Gathering
Back to that tiny gang running the back yard/playroom… You don’t just get to sit down and eat, drink, and laugh with your friends. At least once, you have to venture out into the fray to break up a fight about whos turn it was to play with the real life baby doll (you know, the one you refuse to get at your house because it’s obnoxious and your kids are just going to fight over it anyway and you don’t want to deal with it). Feed them. Make sure to clean up any spills that may have happened. And that’s all after losing the argument with your spouse about whos “turn” it is to drink at this outing. Even if you don’t drink, taking turns with watching and corralling the kids takes away from the adult time. Also, this does not include the morning after deal where the kids don’t sleep in from their late night, which means you don’t either!
3. The Judge and Jury
Say you and your friends do gather pretty regularly because none of your kids are total jerks (most of the time); so you decide to hit up your local brewery (Denver has some AMAZING family-friendly ones) and the looks/comments begin (“You have a baby… in a bar…” -Sweet Home Alabama). “Well no, we brought our toddler to a brewery and they’re cool. Thanks.” Or to the movie that is “late and they should be in bed” or the same for a restaurant. Whatever you’re doing with your kids, well, you’re doing it wrong. One friend of mine said, while she didn’t really feel like their social life changed with kids, she did acknowledge that the people she goes out with did.
4. You FINALLY get a night out…
Either alone with your best girlfriends or with your sweetie, and what do you talk about? The kids. One friend said sometimes she feels like she has nothing else to talk about because her life is so wrapped up in what is happening with her kids, their school, activities, doctor visits, or whatever silly thing they did that week. Even if you say you’re not going to talk about the kids, somehow those little people work their way into the conversation. E.g. You’re friend tells you they are thinking of selling their house, so they can be closer to the kid’s school, and with Lizzie in soccer it would be nice for her to be able to play with her friends. Then, it’s all about the new soccer coach and how the school year is going.
5. The Friendship Circle is shrinking
Whether by choice, or not; it happens. Once you have kids, your friend circle changes. You don’t often have the energy to go out, or bring the baby, or you only got 4 hours of sleep, or you just don’t want to (and that’s okay!). I found that my friend circle is ever-changing. Some are moms that are the moms of my kids’ friends, some are friends that I have had forever, and some don’t even have kids, but still love mine. Whatever your #momtribe looks like, treasure it. They are the ones that understand that you’ll make plans for “one day,” and 6-years-later you’re still trying to put it together. They’re the ones that will take the 30-minute coffee catch-up date on a Tuesday; or will make your girls night happen and listen to your stories and laugh and cry with you about every great and terrible moment that is motherhood.