Even if you’re the type of person who has deep friendships seeded from grade school, keeping friends once you become a parent can be tricky. If you’re pregnant or trying to have kids right now you might see a hint of this already, but here are a few specific reasons this happens.
1. They’re Still Partying
Ready to put away the tight skirts and heels for some baby shoes and comfy jam-jams? Of course you are . . . those PJs are snugly soft! But often times friends can have different timelines from one another, and if you’re not careful to keep a balance in your friendship then the differences that used to make you a fun duo can turn into what drives you apart.
2. The Kiddos Are Different Ages
It’s so great to share the beauty of birth and child rearing with another friend (moms need someone to ooh and ah with or rant to!), but it can often backfire when your kiddos aren’t the same age. If your kid is 2 and your friend’s is like 6 months, be careful how much kind and helpful advice you give, thinking you’re just one mom sharing with another. This one backfires into you being a know-it-all (though there are those who seriously point things out because they think they know the best about everything). Another huge misfire that happens is when you try to get together for a play date but the kids are under 4 years old and anywhere from 6 months to a year apart in age — That’s a significant developmental age gap until things like that don’t matter (closer to preschool age).
3. Kid-Free is How They Like to Be
Some adults live to be world travelers, untied to anything — especially kids — and can’t imagine it any other way. For some, this may change as they get older and they’re OK with visiting you and your kids but would prefer adult-only wine time. Others, cringe at the idea of being around your kids and their rambunctious behavior.
4. Different Parenting Styles
It sounds crazy, but once you’re a parent and have decided that you’re going to parent a certain way, it can be tough to hang out with another parent who is totally different. Maybe they’re OK with spanking or have a bratty kid they let get away with anything. No one wants their kid to start copying the other kid who is doing everything you tell your kid not to do — like being totally inconsiderate of others. For this and all the many more reasons (breastfed vs. formula, carry vs. stroller and extended breastfeeding vs. 6 months), not all parents are in the same tribe so to speak, and though their kids are OK with each other the parents may start to despise one another.
5. Distance Makes the Friendship Harder
Whether you move across the state, or even just 30 minutes away, friendships become like long distance relationships — You hang on for as long as you can, but then it evolves into something less personal and you’re more like Facebook acquaintances. This doesn’t always happen of course, but it’s far more likely than not. Parents are so busy juggling around daily activities that getting on the phone to call in a reservation is hard, there’s no way a 30-minute friend-to-friend phone chat is in the cards. Days sometimes go by in a sleepy haze without seeing a text from last week, so a friendship could go 6 months to a year before you get a moment to check in and catch up, which may be totally random and too late for that other friend.
What are some reasons you couldn’t stay friends after having kiddos?