Most of our friends don’t have kids. It’s just sort of happened that way. In the past week, I had two encounters with childless friends that have made me feel sort of lousy.
The first was mid-week last week. A friend and her husband were in town briefly and were able to spare a few hours to see Charlotte and eat some pizza with us. They’d been over for about an hour when the husband said, “So do you guys have anything going on other than the kid?”
It sort of felt like a slap to the face. Like, can we please talk about something other than life with your child? And to make matters worse, I couldn’t think of a single other thing to talk about. I need a solid bottle of wine if I’m going to have meaningful conversations about politics, the environment, or religion… and let’s face it, those conversations aren’t really great to have when you’re also trying to wrangle a one-year-old.
I sat there feeling like the kid at the table full of grownups. I wanted to stand up and shout, WAIT! I’M INTERESTING! I SWEAR!
Then on Saturday, a lot of our kid-free friends came to Charlotte’s party. It was SO nice to see them. I have missed spending time with our friends.
On Sunday, I was talking to Catch’s kid-free sister and I said something like, “We really need to try to spend more time with our friends.”
She jumped in really quick and said something like, “No, you really don’t have to. Trust me, the last thing they want is to be obligated to hang out with a kid.”
She went on to explain how she doesn’t really enjoy the evenings they have with their friends with kids. That the night ends too early and you don’t get to have adult conversation and then you leave at a time when most people’s night is just getting started and you feel sort of shortchanged by the evening.
Basically, she said that our non-parent friends feel like it’s a drag to hang out with us now that we’re moms.
There’s a part of me that wants to say, screw her, she’s wrong… but really, I think she’s probably right in a lot of ways.
Catch and I always had the party house. We were the ones who made elaborate meals and delighted in sharing food and copious amounts of liquor with our circle of friends. Now, people come over and I scramble to order a pizza and hope that the few beers I have in my fridge aren’t stale.
We aren’t just 30-somethings anymore. We’re parents. And we’re exhausted.
But we’re also kind of lonely. And how are we supposed to have interesting things to talk about if none of the interesting people in our life want to spend any time with us?