From time to time I get Evites from my friends that make me laugh out loud when I open them. That’s because they say ridiculous things like “Come to my birthday party this Wednesday night!” or “Party starts at 10:00 p.m.” Now depending on whether you have kids or not you are either laughing with me or wondering, “What’s the problem?” That’s because once you become a parent you see the world very differently than your child-free friends.
When Heather and I first became parents we tried to continue living like our child-free friends. We did our best to at least make an “appearance” at the parties in the middle of the week (or night), and we even took Maddie to our local bar once for Happy Hour:
“You have a baby. In a bar.”
It wasn’t long though before we stopped doing that. Not only does it take a LOT of planning for parents to attend a party of the child-free variety, but it is no fun at all to have to get up with the baby in the middle of the night after staying out late. Within a few months Heather and I had fully transitioned into your typical couple with a kid, and we were fine with that, but many of our childless friends weren’t.
Our friends certainly weren’t alone in feeling this way – many childless people don’t know how to relate to parents. I’ve even heard them jokingly refer to parents as “scary breeders.” The jokes don’t stop there though. Stand up comedians do a lot of material about how parents no longer talk about anything but their kids, or how they pester their childless friends to come and see the baby. “When you gonna see the baby? You gotta see the baby!”
Some parents do their best to stay the same party people they were before kids, but to me that just comes off as sad. A guy (or gal) with a baby, in my opinion, shouldn’t regularly be out at the bars yucking it up with his or her childless friends in the middle of the week. I’m not saying you can’t have fun once you have kids, just not the same exact kind of fun you had before kids.
The thing is, even though I’m not exactly the same guy I was before Maddie and Annie, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to still see my old buddies. I do. I’m just not exactly sure how to do it now that our lives are so different.