Hello baby, goodbye friends

The late 20s to mid-30s are a time where most of my friends have kids but some of them don’t have any “yet”. One friend complained that when we get together as friends we talk about our kids all the time. She said that we are no longer as fun as we used to be and she often feels left out as the conversation is dominated by our kids. Yes, she is quite right, as soon as we get together as friends it’s about our kids and most of us are first time mothers. We might have been insensitive to her but the reality is that our lives have changed, we are mothers now.

Our fun has changed, going to the play areas in the new fun; it’s no longer about clubs. To evolve is part of life but she didn’t seem to quite get it. I know that this is a situation not unique to us and we unfortunately drifted apart because our priorities were not the same and it looked like we were boring her.
Of course I am no longer spontaneous, if we need to go out for coffee I need to arrange with my helper first, if the get-together is during the week I need to think about his homework first. This is the reality of most parents.

The path of parenthood can change you because your interests at some point will differ. When I come over, it is no longer me alone but me and my child. And yes, we are proud of our children excuse us if we talk about them all the time, it happens naturally. Having a baby gives you something other than yourself to truly care about and love. It’s the most unconditional and pure love. When someone asks me how my son is, its highlyunlikelyto be “he is fine”, I might tell you a few things about him which excite me or concern me as his mother.

With younger children it is really difficult to be in touch with friends as you used to, things get better when they are a little older. Maybe as parents we can also be insensitive with some of the comments we make such as “wazintoniwenangabantwana” (what do you know about kids), because they don’t have any. No side should be made to feel guilty about their situation.

I know of ladies who have immersed themselves with their friends that have kids. Sometimes you get great babysitters out of these friends, best Godmothers and they can really be a great resource.

I tried very hard not to say this statement but hey “when you have children of your own one day you will understand”. Your children are not there to replace your friends, but maybe with some maturity from both sides we can make things work.

Did your friendships survive you having children?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read more by Masanda Peter
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