November 18, 2006

Friendships

This subject is a popular one among the childfree - how to maintain friendships when children start arriving and how to find other childfree folk to hang out with.

This has been an ongoing issue for me, especially over the last few years as I've entered my 30's and most people my age have young children. It's hard to maintain friendships once kids arrive as suddenly the attention is all on the child. Conversations become interrupted often with "don't touch that", "stop hitting your sister", or "what do you need honey". Email often allows the friendships to continue somewhat, but face-to-face time is difficult.

No Kidding! is an organization specifically for the childfree and is one way to make friends with others that don't have children. Another way to meet people is through local community clubs with common interests - such as book clubs or crafting clubs.

I have found it easier to keep my friendships with parents of young children on a more surface level in order not to be frustrated with the lack of quality time or ability to go out often.
Eventually the children will be old enough that we can have a closer friendship. I'm finding that my closer friendships at this time of my life are with people whose children are at least school-age or older. They are more able to do things and be available than those with babies or toddlers.

Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on November 25, 2006 by joguldi


Technorati Tag:

12 comments:

AlphaGirl said...

Great post!
My friendship bag is mixed; one of my friends has a well-behaved 7 year old who is fun to be around. Most of my friends are CF; to be honest, I wouldn't even bother cultivating a friendship with someone who has small kids; I find infants and small children irritating to be around, so it wouldn't make sense for me to cultivate a friendship with a parent of a small child.
I have an older friend is is a young grandmother to an emotionally needy, overly chatty, clingy, 10 year old grand-daughter. Normally, I don't mind 10-year old kids much at all. this young lady is an exception, and I find it really hard to be in her company for more than 10 minutes. Consequently, I don't spend as much time with G as I'd like; her grand-dauther is always in tow and manages to hi-jack every conversation. I've had to draw the line and say "I really love your company, but maybe we should get together when K is with her dad for the day." Fortunately, G understands this.

LauraS said...

In my thirties, my friends were ten years older than I, with kids in high school. I joined the ski club, the wine club, and hung out with the newly single (again). Suddenly, with shared custody, they rediscovered friends that had been there all along and had time to enjoy them every other weekend.
It takes a bit of time and energy but the friendships that result are worth the effort.

MotherPie said...

Isn't it a wonderful thing to have friends at different ages and stages...

It is much easier now when women do all sorts of things at different points in their lives...

Amber said...

Hey Purple Community!
I have been a voyeur of the site for some time now, but this is my first post. Just wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed reading through the posts and comments. It is amazing how much I can relate to many of these experiences. This site has helped me to realize that I am not alone in my thoughts on parenthood and to solidify my decision to be childfree without being afraid of the repercussions. Thank you so much for being here for confused gals like me.

Now, on to the actual comment about this topic . . . Like I said earlier, it is amazing how you guys are always right on the money when it comes to experiences that have happened to me. About two months ago, one of my best friends (I only have two, but that's another blog!) had her first born. And while I was excited for her (he is such a cutie pie), I still feel a sense of loss. Last weekend, we had a girls evening at her house to give her some time to hang out with adults. But the baby cried constantly. And she had to keep getting up to feed him, which took forever since she's doing the boob. And it was kind of wierd because some of us were drinking and getting obnoxious, but she couldn't because of the boob thing. It just wasn't very fun . . .

I hate to feel like I have to move on. She's such a great friend and I'm sure she'll make a wonderful mother. But I just feel like we are in two different places right now and it would just be too difficult to make our relationship work - the baby would always win!

Thanks for being here!

Anonymous said...

This post is really interesting, and thoughtful, please, please, keep sending posts like this to my email address. This is the best childfree website on the net I have found so far.

Anonymous said...

Hi loved the this post.

I am a new member, and I am nervous a as I am going to be sterilized. Wish me well, as anyone else done this.

Athena said...

I am currently quite busy! Almost too busy to have as much of a social life as I'd like. I just turned 33 less than a month ago and I work full time (well, as a teacher so 9 months in a year!) travel in some of the holidays with my husband and I've had to pass one work related course after the other to extend our visas. Plus my job can sometimes be busy. Plus I need a LOT of "me" time to just relax and chill at home. But

In addition to THAT I have a group of people I meet with about once a month, about every two months I see my ex flatmate who doesn't have kids. I have been to about 4 parties of a mum but they are FUN! and mainly focussed on the ADULTS, not the kids! However cos she's so busy with her kids and work I don't see her very often...

I have joined a child=free group (remember there ARE such things! No Kidding is one) but so far I haven't attended any meetings! When I finish the course I will though and maybe hubby will come too...

I go out with my husband sometimes e.g. for dinner, nice to have no kids with us...

I have two friends with small kids who are also family on his side but live in his home country and we are friends with a couple which includes a pregnant wife. I wonder how things will change for us and them - the husband is very spontaneous so I think he might find this HARD!! I am a bit annoyed the friends with kids who I emailed e-cards to re. "Get well" cards to the baby of one and a "Hi how are you?" kind of card to the other haven't emailed back. We used to email. I wonder if they are too busy with the kids.

I also have friends in my home country that I exchange emails with.

Athena said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Cool post.

Would like to correspond or meet childfree people, in their 30's or 40's were do I find them, everybody in london has kids, am I alone.?

Anonymous said...

Great.

Kids are hard, I have one, I totally understand childfree. Not all parents are against childfree people. All my friends are childfree. I don't like kids, only the one I have, won't be having anymore. Thats another thing, if you have one baby, family nag about breeding more. Its a weird thing. So keep being childfree. You have my support.

Teri said...

Hi all, hey, cool, we are a Purple Community! Wow! I had to delete a duplicate post...no worries.

I have made a change to the site and have implemented "comment moderation". Since I have been looking at posts less than my daily ususal due to a loss in the family, and the holiday, that translated into a delay in your comments posting.

I am sorry to have to do this, but we got our first cyber-stalker comment who left a rather nasty comment on the Childfree & Christian post currently featured in the sidebar. This person even went to my personal site and left another mean comment there, thus the change. I shall try to post your comments within 24 hours, whereas before it was almost immediate.

I am so happy that this site is meaningful to persons other than me!

I will respond to some of the questions with a front page post soon...

Blog on!

Robin said...

I'm starting to get to this age although my really close friends still don't have children but I know they will and one of them is recently pregnant.

I think I can deal with it as long as they don't ONLY talk about their children and are willing to get babysitters sometimes.