March 12, 2006

Childfree Friendships

I find that I'm at an age where most women my age have young children (toddlers and babies). That has made it difficult for me to have close friendships with them. If I happen to know them before they had kids, often we at least had something in common, so the friendship continues. But it's not at the same level that it was before. As a mom, their interests change and they develop new friendships with other new moms who are going through similar situations. It's like there's this club that I'm not a part of and I'm left out.
It can be difficult to maintain friendships with moms, but it is also hard to find friends who don't have children. I know as I get older it will get easier as kids grow up and women will be able to focus more on socialization and not have to worry about babysitters all the time in order to go out. The Internet has made it possible to connect with others who are in similar situations and helps to ease the "I'm-the-only-one-out-there" feelings that occur.


Anonymous said...

I have experienced the same. I think it's a matter of focus. Adults who have children must focus on them. Adults who do not, can focus on other things -- and that can really vary! That's what makes us so interesting as a group. Other than being childfree, we are very hard to categorize.

Actively seeking the company of other childfree adults to socialize with has made a big difference for me/us when we moved to Toronto one year ago. We didn't know anyone outside of my husbands co-workers and they are not people we socialize with as it turns out.

We have made a few friends whose children are teenage and very responsible and independent. They are more available for planned social outings, which I don't mind initiating, than our friends younger children were.

You know I am all for the internet and it's ability to connect people, but for me it does not fulfill a need I have for the company of my peers, a social network and friends who have time for me, who can make me laugh or give me something to look forward to at the end of a tough week.

twiga92 said...

I agree. The Internet is not a substitute for physically getting together with others. For me it helps to fill a gap while looking for the local people to socialize with. We have made some friends at our church. It just seems that people's lives are so busy that it's hard to carve out time for getting together with friends.