Do friends change when you become a parent? I would have said no if you asked me a few years ago. However, since becoming a stepmum around 2 years ago, I’ve seen a massive shift in my friendship group. My old group was a very eclectic group, singles, couples, professionals, arty types. A real mixed bag of people with a varied set of interests but very few children. And then I became a stepmum.
The Great Friendship Decline
I wouldn’t say my mates ditched me but I think I could draw a pretty impressive graph of their decline over time as I became someone who stayed in lots and talked about children rather too much. In fact I think I will.
Don’t Laugh! OK, laugh, but I’m not ashamed of my love of all things spreadsheet, the geeks will inherit the earth after all.
Don’t worry this is not an accurate representation of my friendship group I have not sat at home ticking people off on a spreadsheet as they lose contact (honest). But it’s a good general gist. At first you don’t have a very sharp downtime, the kids are a novelty, people want to meet them and go with you to parks. And then the decline begins, there are only so many times you can be invited out and say no before people will stop asking. It’s not their fault, you just stop being part of the regular gang. And I am under no illusion that I have indeed become a baby bore. I need to remind myself that no one cares what scores my darling little ones got on their spelling tests or that cute thing they said.
The Rise of the Mum Buds
I’m aware I am painting a very depressing story here but something miraculous happened at the same time. Something which counteracted the great friendship decline and made the world a wonderful place. The rise of the mummy friends! (Time for another graph don’t you think?)
That’s right! The very few parent friends I had became a few more and a few more. These people also had to stay in, in fact they invited us round for sleepovers. They weren’t bored by my witty spelling test stories in fact they had equally engaging stories about their own little people. And when their little people and our little people are playing we sometimes sneak a glass of wine and put the world to rights. The rise of the kid friendly mates has been amazing and it’s not stopping. Every kids party we go to, every play date we meet more kid friendly buddies. We are the toast of the toddler town and it’s awesome.
The Golden Friends
It’s not that cut and dried though. We haven’t just lost our friends and found new ones, we’ve kept some. These pre-kids friends who have transitioned over to kid friendly mates are priceless. They are the ones awkwardly standing at your childs 4th birthday with no child of their own feeling a little uncomfortable but being there anyway because they are true golden friends (as highlighted by my highly artistic yellow highlighting).
Have a think about your friendship groups, have they changed since you became a parent? And can you identify your Golden friends?