If anyone had told me that having children would affect my friendships for the next 20 years, I would not have believed it. Well, 18 plus years after having my first child, I can look back and see that kids have had a huge influence on my social life - probably more than any other factor.
Face it, once the kids get into school and other activities, you start to spend a lot of time with their friend's parents. If the kids get along well, you try to get along with the parents. For me, this has led to a group of women that enjoy drinking wine together and talking up a storm - quite regularly. When I look at the group that we have assembled, I do wonder if some of us would ever have become friends if we did not have our group of 3rd grade girls in common. This is not a bad thing - it's just interesting to think about what we really have in common.
On the other side of the friendship equation are the old friends that you have had forever, but parent very differently than you do. We thought it would be great to all have kids and get together during this new phase of our lives. Suddenly, you can't stand to be around one or two of those kids. Maybe your friends can't handle your child's personality. You find that your best friend is not the person you choose to get together with any more. Calls are less frequent. You might wait a year and then try to get together again - hoping that the tantrums or freshness has passed. Nope. Some kids are just not as easy to be around as others, and this is just no fun.
So, we all know that children have a huge effect on our lives. Until we live through all the stages, we can never know just how much they will influence. One thing is certain, friendships will be affected. Hopefully, it's all recoverable in the end.
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