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  1. #1
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    balancing friends and children and how?

    This is inspired by the childfree thread but I figured I should make it a whole new topic because it's one of constant irk to me.

    I never see my friends. Ever. I have to call and call and then usually they end up coming over to my house because of a lack of baby sitter.

    None of my close friends have children. I have one friend who does have a child but for some reason we never make plans to do anything.

    My friends keep saying they would like to get together for a craft night but so far no one has clued me in on anything.

    I know I am sounding very onesided here, I could call them and make the plans, but it seems that for the past 6 years I have been the one making the effort.

    So...how do you deal? Do all of your friends have kids around your kids age? Is it just easier that way?

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  3. #2
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    I have no friends without children. Not by choice but circumstance. I will never be able to go out without the baby and not taking the three year is only slightly ever an option. I had childless/free friends in the U.S. because I had more support but haven't had the opportunity to meet and go out with anyone here without children.

    A friend of my husband's used to come over when we didn't have our second baby, but he said a while ago that he felt like he was intruding on our "family time" and nothing we said could convince him otherwise, so he doesn't come over anymore.

  4. #3
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    Dec 2004
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    My Monkey Boys are 11yo and 8.5yo. I do socialize without them, but try to make it during their time at school, or with other folks who have kids. Did an Indian luncheon, yesterday, with gal pal and she brought her well behaved 9yo son with her; last time, she brought her 6yo daughter. I've been home with mine for 2 straight weeks...so Dh stayed with them.

    Lunches or coffee/tea are good quick options. I work at least (2) 72hr weekends/mo, so I try not to do much outside the family on weekends- Sacred Time, if you will.

    Spouse is really good about handling the kids if I want to do something in evenings, after he gets home from work.

    When your kids are older, you will gradually develop relationships with more folks who have kids. Sort of a Natural Order, via school, activities, etc. Bring your knitting along to Story Hour at the library, and other parents will flock to you! Better yet, volunteer to teach a kid craft at the library!

  5. #4
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    Apr 2005
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    56
    I am on the opposite end--my dh and I do not have kids and all my friends have them. It seems like we are doing all the calling; because there is always kid related activities going on for the families with kids, but I figure keeping up with my friends is worth it.

    My suggestions is to say a specific plan like "hey can you meet at blah (place) blah (day) blah (time)." And if they can't ask them when works for them. Set up a craft night and keep sending them invites. I know your still doing all the work--but once everyone gets in the rythem of it then it should work out. I agree it's good sometimes to just meet for coffee or something short.

  6. #5
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    Re: balancing friends and children and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slinkster
    I know I am sounding very onesided here, I could call them and make the plans, but it seems that for the past 6 years I have been the one making the effort.
    i don't think you're sounding one-sided at all. i've had a lot of friendships where i felt that i was the only one making the effort for a long time. i gave up and left the ball in their court after feeling like a needy, clingy schmuck (yeah, emailing or calling them once every few months or so... what a psycho bitch i was! but when they weren't replying or calling back in a even remotely timely manner, if at all.....) after a while, some of them eventually came around and contacted me. the ones that didn't, well, too bad. guess those friendships weren't worth keeping. guess i feng shui-ed the friendship department!

  7. #6
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2005
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    Toronto
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    Hey all! I just joined this group and this thread sung to me!

    My DH and I dont have kiddies (yet) but almost couple/person we have socialized with have kids. And most of these people are no longer in our lives!

    It's not that I dont like kids...I just got fed up with having to do all the work. I used to hear things like "Blossom, *I* have kids...it's easier for you to come to my house". Etc etc etc!

    Not one single parent we knew could manage to get a babysitter - even with 4 weeks notice. And if they did get a babysitter, inevitably the kid would get sick 30 mins before our social event and they couldnt come cuz they didnt want to leave the kid with the baby sitter.

    I think one of the worst was an evening hubby and I sat here for hours while another couple tried to get their kid to sleep - the babysitter was sitting there waiting for them to leave and the kid refused to go to sleep. This went on for 3 hours (including both of them getting in bed with the kid hoping that would help!). The last call had me being told the kid wouldnt stop crying - I told the mother she prolly wouldnt hear the kid crying from our house!

    Needless to say that was the end of that!

    For me having a friend with kids wouldnt be a problem...but having a friend who is constantly letting me down...well that is a problem.

    I liked the fung shui comment lol....i bascially cleaned my frienship closet in 2005 and I am determined that 2006 is going to be a fresh friendship start for me :) Kids or no kids!

    To the original poster....dont give up! Maybe your friends just need to see that you can be the fun girl you were before kids as well as a parent! Why dont you try to make a girls night with no kids? I would have loved some time alone with any of my friends but with unhelpful husbands etc it just never happened :(

  8. #7
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    Nov 2005
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    los angeles county, CA
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    Please try to understand, child-free people: babysitters are EXPENSIVE!!! Where I live in So CA a babysitter can run between $5 and $10 an hour, more if you have more than 2 kids. My first husband and I figured out that a casual evening out - like a simple dinner plus movie plus coffee - could run us over $100 when we included the babysitter fees. When there's only one income that's a sizeable chunk o' change. Even just a three-hour girl's night out can be 15 or 20 bucks, and sometimes that's hard to come up with, especially if you're also trying to budget in diapers and formula.

    What my now-husband and I do for a social life is befriend parents in our little girl's classroom and exchange dinners at each other's houses, everyone brings the whole damfamily, and the kids play while the adults socialize. We had a regular Sunday night pot luck at another couple's house for several years until the momentum sort of collapsed.

    I feel very lucky and a bit of a cheat, since I have a 16YO boy and an 8YO girl. When hubby and I have a grown-ups only date, I can throw my son a twenty and he babysits. On the days or evenings he's not home, we either don't go out, or one of us stays home or we bring our daughter with us if it's appropriate. (Fortunately the kid is a social dream, and handles herself with the aplomb of a salon hostess.)

  9. #8
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2005
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    Toronto
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    I can appreciate the cost of a babysitter...but I found most people totally unwilling to even try to get a babysitter...they wouldnt trade babysitting with a neighbour or classroom friend. Refused to ask family - or how bout family refused to babysit.

    My personal experience has been that the parents we have know seem utterly unwilling to make any effort and want everyone to cater to them because they have kids.

    I know this isnt every parent - just the ones I have known so far.

    I am starting to think I attract selfish people :( but thats another story!

  10. #9
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    Perhaps it's just as well I don't have friends without children.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AyeBlossom
    I can appreciate the cost of a babysitter...but I found most people totally unwilling to even try to get a babysitter...they wouldnt trade babysitting with a neighbour or classroom friend. Refused to ask family - or how bout family refused to babysit.
    how old are the kids in question? personally, i have a three-year old and a one and a half year-old. it's quite a big deal to ask my family to watch them. i almost never do unless they are already asleep. my kids are more than a handful at this point..... especially when i LEAVE them. it's traumatic on kids when they're not used to being left, therefore traumatic for the sitter! and it can be pretty hard to leave the kids when they're having such a hard time. the whole sitting trade thing.... i dunno. other people's kids bug! and if you already have a couple/few, adding more is ROUGH! i think i'd really only be willing to do that if it's my niece or my close friend's kids. and there's really no way that i could afford to PAY someone to do it. pretty much, i only get sitters if they OFFER instead of me asking. i'm sure most parents would LOVE to get out kid-free. i know i do. and i take every chance i get.... but every little thing that entails... well, sometimes, it's just not worth the effort.

    when it comes to my house vs. a friends..... honestly, it can be really hard to lug your kids to someone else's house. depending on the kid's age, there's various things you have to lug along like extra clothes, food/bottles, equipment, toys. then you have to keep a vigilant eye on the kid at your friend's house. it can take like an hour or so to get ready for just a little visit, whereas the kidless can just hop in the car and go. stop at the store on the way unhindered.... then the issue of naps/going to bed. mine won't nap or go to bed at a decent hour unless they're at home. everything can be so freaking complicated! i find it can be really hard to enjoy myself when i have my kids with me for a visit to a kid-free household. no matter how childproofed they *think* they got it before your arrival...... and then they get bored. i suppose it might be selfish... but it tends to be a lot easier to just have your kids in their own environment to make for a more relaxed visit.

    so pretty much, i tend to hang out with the kid-free more often when the kids are with the ex, or sleeping at home with a family member present. or else we meet up in the afternoons out in public. otherwise, we stick to hanging with the friends with kids. i'm sure things will get easier when i don't have toddlers.

    didn't mean to barrage you with that, but until a few years ago, i really had no idea just how much of a pain in the ass kids can be! i, too, got irritated that we always had to go over there....


 
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