Wedding Woes

Why can't it be both?

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I are unsure if we want children. If we do (and it is a big if), it is still several years away. It feels like all my friends are currently having children, and it is impacting our social life quite a bit. While I am happy to do kid-friendly items every once in a while, I prefer to keep my outings adults-only. How do I deal with this moving forward? Do I just need to find a whole new group of friends who are childless until we start our own family? I admit that now I’ve seen how much my friends have to give up to have families, I am not sure I want to.
—No Time for Toddlers
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Re: Why can't it be both?

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Well, probably. If you like to go out to bars and late night dinners frequently it’s not really compatible with people who have kids. Branching out to find another friend group doesn’t mean you stop being friends with this one. You can still hang out with both. They’re not mutually exclusive. 


    image
    STARMOON44charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    Unfortunately, it isn't practical for your friends with kids to join you for late-night get-togethers or at venues that don't admit kids. If you want to do those things, then you'll need to accept that you'll have to do them without this set of friends unless they tell you otherwise. So finding other friends without kids who are interested in doing these things would be a good idea.

    You can also agree to some kid-friendly activities with these friends.
  • Honestly, part of having kids meant adjusting what was "fun" for us.

    And in some cases that also seemed to coincide with just growing up.   My little brother also doesn't want to do some of the same things either.

    You need to figure out what your interests are but you also need to understand that sitters are expensive so a day out shopping is hard to manage for a sitter vs. concert tickets together.  

    Kids change the situation but some compromise is going to be key here.   Because some day if you're the couple who has kids late then the rest of the friends with older kids will now see YOU as the couple who can be such a drag.
    short+sassycharlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • I still tend to be a little bitter about this situation, b/c while I have done lots of kid friendly activities, the favor has almost never been returned.  I get babysitters are expensive and hard to come by, but I'd like a ratio of like 3 to 1 at least, not just "Varuna chillin' with toddlers."  It is nice that my friends are starting to have the older kids now, who have some more independence.  It's also nice that since the kids are getting older, not all of our conversations revolve around the kids too.

    Yeah, you'll have to find some new friends and make the allowances on a fairly long term basis if you want to keep the old ones.  
    STARMOON44
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    When you're a child-free couple, your social situations adjust. I don't see my friends that have kids as often. I tend to spend more time obviously with my other child-free friends, or with the couples that now have older kids. 

    STARMOON44charlotte989875
  • I was/am in a reverse situation.  I had children a few years before my friends.  I did have to make a new group of friends with similarly-aged children.  It’s super life altering and your social life takes a hit.  I’d recommend LW remain friendly with their current friends but branch out and look for new ones.  I’m happy I did.
    short+sassy
  • VarunaTT said:
    I still tend to be a little bitter about this situation, b/c while I have done lots of kid friendly activities, the favor has almost never been returned.  I get babysitters are expensive and hard to come by, but I'd like a ratio of like 3 to 1 at least, not just "Varuna chillin' with toddlers."  It is nice that my friends are starting to have the older kids now, who have some more independence.  It's also nice that since the kids are getting older, not all of our conversations revolve around the kids too.

    Yeah, you'll have to find some new friends and make the allowances on a fairly long term basis if you want to keep the old ones.  
    Agreed. I think the LW is being dramatically too inflexible and not engaging with the reality of her friend’s lives. I also do really appreciate and value and am closer to those friends who make an effort to find some adult time for me. Not looking for anything close to 50/50, but occasionally. I know which of my friends really struggle to find sitters and which ones frequently leave their kids with grandparents, and which ones are single and which ones are co-parenting, and I don’t expect much just an occasional effort to meet me where my life is. 
    short+sassyeileenrobcharlotte989875MyNameIsNot
  • I'm one of those people whose interests often end up being kid-friendly, so I've been fortunate not to run into this issue too much.  Medieval faires, hiking, camping, family friendly holiday events - I'm usually the one convincing the people with kids to go, so I guess so far so good? 
    imageimage
  • You adjust and hopefully your friends do as well. 

    What has worked in our circle is when friends know they  have sitters we make a big night of it; nice dinner, new fun place for cocktails, etc. when they don’t we go to their house and hang after kids go to bed, or plan an outdoor/bbq so kids can run around. 

    IDK, maybe were lucky that our friends with kids want to do adult things, and we also generally like our friends kids.

    But if we never went to their kid-friendly events why would I expect them to come to my adult-friendly events? 
    STARMOON44Jen4948eileenrobdowntondiva
  • You adjust and hopefully your friends do as well. 

    What has worked in our circle is when friends know they  have sitters we make a big night of it; nice dinner, new fun place for cocktails, etc. when they don’t we go to their house and hang after kids go to bed, or plan an outdoor/bbq so kids can run around. 

    IDK, maybe were lucky that our friends with kids want to do adult things, and we also generally like our friends kids.

    But if we never went to their kid-friendly events why would I expect them to come to my adult-friendly events? 


    As a "chosen to be child-free" person, this is an example of the kind of "blending" that makes sense to me.

    However, in my every day life, we don't really have any friends with children.  Just one couple who has older kids.  Nor did we, when we were more in the "age group" having babies/young children.

    If I still lived in or we moved to CA, I could see having to keep things a bit scaled back with one of my old friends.  She and her H won't go anywhere without their 9-year-old daughter.  She is a perfectly, lovely young lady and I like her.  But it would be a bit much for me to spend a lot of time with them and always have her there.  I naturally spend more time with my sister and her family when I go back home.  So me and my H do get to have more time to dish with her and my BIL on family gossip and other subjects not appropriate for little ears. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • You adjust and hopefully your friends do as well. 

    What has worked in our circle is when friends know they  have sitters we make a big night of it; nice dinner, new fun place for cocktails, etc. when they don’t we go to their house and hang after kids go to bed, or plan an outdoor/bbq so kids can run around. 

    IDK, maybe were lucky that our friends with kids want to do adult things, and we also generally like our friends kids.

    But if we never went to their kid-friendly events why would I expect them to come to my adult-friendly events? 
    That's what we try to do too.

    Also, the younger age for the kids was much harder on DH and me.   It's such a PITA when the babies are younger and you're nursing/pumping and so much easier when you can throw food at them and get out of the house.

    We try to have an annual event where those with and without kids come over.   The booze flows and the kids play.   Those who have older kids or are without hang out by things on fire.
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