Here’s Why It’s OK If Your Friend Changes After Having Kids

After I had kids, a lot of things were different. One of the biggest changes was in my social life. It’s a lot harder to maintain friendships, especially with my friends that don’t have kids. Here’s what I want those friends to know.

I’ve been in your shoes before.

Please don’t assume that I have no idea what it’s like to be you. I really do get it. My best friend from high school had kids really young while I was in college. We were in different places in our lives, but I still made an effort to be her friend. Sure, things were different because she couldn’t go out and do whatever she wanted anymore, but I accepted that and it didn’t bother me. My wish is that you can be understanding like I was.

I still want to be friends even if it doesn’t seem like I do.

However, it’s going to be a little different like it was with my high school best friend. Our friendship changed after she had kids because we spent more time at her house hanging out with her kids or we waited until after they went to bed to have a couple of drinks instead of going out to parties. It was still fun though even if it wasn’t the same. I hope you can keep an open mind and do the same with me now that I’m the one with kids.

I swear that I’m still me.

I’m sorry that I’m not able to do everything I used to do and that I probably constantly talk about my kids. It’s basically all I do now, so I can’t help it sometimes. I might seem distracted a lot, but I still care about you and want to hear about what’s going on in your life. I’m still the same person I used to be and we can still joke around and have fun like we used to.

I’m not ignoring you, I’m just tired.

I’m so consumed with taking care of my kids that there’s not much time for anything else. And once they’re in bed, I need a little time to myself to unwind a little before passing out and doing it again the next day. I’m truly sorry that I don’t make more of an effort. I’m just so exhausted.

It’s really hard to talk on the phone.

There’s always a kid in the background asking for something or screaming at the top of their lungs, so I’m constantly getting interrupted. And I can’t ignore them because they’ll just get louder. I apologize if it seems like I’m avoiding you because I don’t answer or I act like I’m not paying attention. Texting works better, although I can’t promise I’ll answer right away because I’m probably changing another diaper or getting a snack for the tenth time that day. I wish I could enjoy a normal phone conversation, trust me.

I can still go out and have fun, but it’s not as simple. 

I’m still allowed to go out, but the process isn’t as easy as it once was, and therefore it happens less often. It takes much more planning, and sometimes it may not work out no matter how hard I try. Also, paying a babysitter is ridiculously expensive, so I’d rather only do it for special occasions. When I do get the chance to party, I might act as excited as if I’ve just won the lottery. Don’t judge me. I love my kids, but child-free time is very rare.

I can’t leave my kids with just anyone.

I used to think it was no big deal for my friend to hire some random teenager to watch her kids. When I had my own, I realized how silly that assumption was. I need to be able to trust a person completely when watching my children because they mean everything to me. The sitter also needs to be readily available, responsible, and knowledgeable about kids. It’s much harder than you might think to find someone like this.

I appreciate you.

If you stick around after I’ve had children, I know what a blessing it is because many of my friends have disappeared on me. If you’ve been understanding about the changes in my life, I value your friendship. And I do my best to be there for you too because friends like you are hard to find.

My priorities have just changed.

I want to have friends, but my priorities have changed because they’ve had to. Instead of planning my next night out, I’m now planning my kids’ future. I have small children that are dependent on me, and they’ll always come first. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t still love you. Bear with me and I promise my friendship will be worth it because I’m still awesome.

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