Relating to Friends Who Don't Have Children
Many parents notice a drastic change in the way they see their lives before and after the birth of a child. The difference is often dramatic and can affect every area of their lives. People with children often find their perspectives on many things, like the way they view their prioritieseven the way they experience books and movies—different after they have become parents.
Sometimes friendships are strong enough to overcome this life-experience gap—especially if the new parent in the friendship does not take a judgmental view, realizing that there are many possible attitudes toward when, how and even whether to have children. Friendships change, but they can survive and even thrive if not overcome by judgments.
Unfortunately, sometimes friendships do change when one friend becomes a parent. Whatever connection existed between two friends may now seem overshadowed by the experience of becoming a parent. Sometimes the need for parents to interact with people who understand them and understand the struggles and rewards of parenting every day is very strong. There is nothing wrong with that.
If you feel you need to connect with people who understand your life better, you may find that you need to spend the majority of your social time with those friends who also have kids. But don't forget that you had relationships with your friends who don't have children for a reason, presumably because you had some special connection with them. That connection does not need to change because you've become a parent. It may just be harder to see and feel with all of the changes that have come with having a child.