I always look forward to going home to California. When I’m not visiting all the various members of my very large extended family, I get to catch up with many of my friends from college and high school over happy hours, dinners and brunches. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is certainly a fruitful time for me to reconnect and just relax. I see that week as my own personal vacation and other than visiting the set number of my aunts and newborn babies in the family, I see that time as my own, which is why I can be very territorial with it. As I prep for my trip, in fact, I’m already plotting to guard my private time carefully, and that’s going to involve hurting a friend’s feelings.
I realize that people grow up and have children. My friend April* is one of them. Most of my friends don’t have children and are happy to hang out during this week. April, on the other hand, always wants to make sure I visit her at her home with her children. (Mind you, she lives a solid 45 minute drive away). I can’t just have her meet me out anymore. Well, actually I can. She just doesn’t want to do that. Her parents live next door and are always happy to babysit.
What can I say? I’m not a kids person. In addition, I feel that when I see my friend, I want to actually connect with my friend. We rarely have time to talk during the year and I’d rather catch up with her at an adult outing rather than spend an evening making goo-goo ga-ga talk with her young children. Although I know she wants me to visit her kids and that it would give her some level of satisfaction for me to do so, I’m just too selfish. I know this is a situation I’ll have to deal with as I get older and as more of my friends settle down and have children, but I’d like to think that I’ll always capitalize on opportunities to have some real one on one time even when I become a mother.
To that end, I plan on circumventing the whole thing and inviting April to dinner. If she insists that I visit her children, I’ll have to tell her straight up that my time is limited but that would appreciate if she could meet me halfway. As a friend, who was once not a mom, I think she should understand.
How have your own friendships changed once kids came into the picture?
*name has been changed