Parental friendships

by Jessie K on January 18, 2013

IMG_0409My friend Colleen once said something to me that always stuck. She said that once you have kids, you end up hanging out with people who parent like you do. Other friendships take a backseat because you don’t want your kids to absorb values you don’t agree with — like the friend who used to be so cool and fun but now lets her kids run around the restaurant dumping salt on the floor while yours is confined to a booster seat nibbling a carrot.

What do you think? Do you hang out with like minded moms and dads? Have you inadvertently shed some friendships since becoming a parent?

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill Adams January 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I’ve found my friendships changed more between my single and married friends; meaning I hang out with my married friends now more than my single friends. All of our kids are different ages and just enjoy playing together. I do have parenting conflicts so to speak between my friends in that my friends are bit more strict than I, but so far the differences haven’t effected our friendships or our children.

Reply

Sara January 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm

My first child was happily confined to a high chair eating peas one by one while our friend’s kids were running under tables, climbing on top of tables, dumping salt and pepper and disturbing all the others in the restaurant!! Yes, I remember those days and those challenging moments but no, it did not effect our friendships. Luckily our good friends from before kids lived far and wide – from Hawaii to South Carolia and in between. So our ‘fun’ vacations together were not too often but did have many new challenges after kids. We didn’t agree with our friend’s parenting styles. We watched our kids extra close at the beach as some friends would leave their 8 year old in charge of their six year old, or others wouldn’t watch their kids at all and just hope they could find them at the end of the day – yikes! One friend insisted we get a few hours off on our own and she would watch our napping baby. Her four year old was still strapped to a high chair drinking milk from a bottle because she was tired of cleaning up the mess. Her two year old had every outfit from her drawers covering the floor as she tried to decide what to wear that day. We were hesitant but we took her up on her offer as we never got out just the two of us and she was a close friend after all , we were all great pre- children pals ….. Upon our return we learned she had tried to nurse our baby!! She said he woke up crying! Yikes! I freeked! We left Hawaii a bit wiser and a bit stunned that year. But it never effected our friendship. 28 years later we attended that four year old’s wedding and our three children have recently had a few beers and a few laughs with that two year old. And those crazy parents attended my husband’s funeral and recalled many old stories and brought back wonderful memories for us all. Nope, I wouldn’t trade those crazy child rearing years experiences with good old friends for anything!

Reply

Jessie K January 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm

A friend tried to nurse your baby!!!??!!! THat is some friend. WOW. That would freak me out in a big way! But glad to know your friendship endures.

Reply

Brad K. January 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I get the impression, though, that throughout history sharing like this was pretty common. Evidence the occasional references in historical novels to wet nurses (usually for the affluent, or if the mother didn’t survive child birth).

If both mothers are healthy and live reasonably equivalent life styles (re: drugs, chemical choices, food choices, sleep cycles, etc.), I fail to see a risk to any child. We are just so unaccustomed, via the mainstream media, to nursing and issues outside the immediate family, that we forget what was once a convenient social practice.

Reply

Marnie January 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I love this photo!!!!

Reply

Jessie K January 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

It is a good one, isn’t it?

Reply

Melanie January 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

Yep. Absolutely. My friends tend to parent the same way we do, and they are often like-minded in other ways as well, which makes it easier on me (I don’t have to worry what their kids are going to say/do around my kids) and more fun for my kids, as they don’t have to wonder what the heck these other kids are all about. As a result, my 10 yr old daughter (when left to her own devices) chooses friends who are also like minded. They usually don’t watch a lot of TV or movies or eat a lot of sugar, for example. I then, do not have to wonder what my child is going to get into when over at the friend’s place. Isn’t parenting stressful enough already without having to worry about friends’ (negative, in my mind) influences, especially during the younger years?

Reply

Paula January 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I have hung back and left the parents to discuss for a while, but I am surprised that no one has mentioned things that would have been of great concern to me.

I would have been uncomfortable with the presence of guns in the home unless I would trust the parents 200% about the gun storage 200% of the time.

I would not have wanted children in a home where they would pick up dirty language.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: