By Lyz Lenz
Right after we were married, my husband and I moved to a new town and were automatically faced with the challenge of finding new friends—friends we both liked—and that wasn’t easy. If I met a woman who seemed fun, it turned out her husband was a drag. And the reverse happened too. My husband would meet someone at work and we’d set up a couple date, only to realize that the spouse didn’t like us. The struggle to find new couple friends felt like a cruel dating game for Siamese twins.
Often, my husband and I found ourselves on a drive home analyzing how things went: “Is he a racist?” “She seemed uptight or was that just nerves?” “Is it normal for people to fight so much at a Chili’s?”
Eventually, we found friends and made a long-term commitment. But now we have a child and we’ve been thrust into a new phase of life and the new friendships that come with it. And honestly, kids are ruining everything.
I don’t believe that mom’s can’t be friends with non-moms. In fact, my non-mom friends are often more understanding with my new-found flakiness, exhaustion and endless emails that read: “OMG here is what my baby did today!” Bless them. I find that despite our differences, my non-married, childless friends are still close. I love hearing about life from their perspective and frankly, it gives me a chance to talk about something besides precisely what happens in a diaper when all you give your kid for dinner is black beans.
Actually, the problem with making friends while you have kids is the other kids.
Recently, I met a woman who has a daughter only a month older than my own. When we met, she and I laughed about hair bows and crazy, stupid girl outfits and set up a playdate. When the day for the playdate arrived, my daughter and I put on our fanciest hair bows and hit the down. We were dressed to impress. But before we had been five minutes in their house, the new baby (who can walk) had already hit my daughter, kicked and scratched her. I picked my daughter up and held her, but even then the other baby came over and tried to grab toys out of my child’s hands.
To be fair, my daughter is only nine-months old, so she is just beginning to really interact with other kids. I also understand that babies are kind of mean to each other—they are babies, they have poor social and motor skills. But what really irks me is that this friend made no attempt to intervene when her daughter was tipping mine over.
I’m sure her child is not horrible and maybe, just maybe, was having a bad day. Lord knows, we’ve all been there. But even when my daughter is sick and screaming “no, no, no”, I still intervene when she tries to slap my face. But it will be okay. We have a playdate with a new mom and baby and this baby can’t crawl yet.
Moms, what do you think? Would you refuse to be friends with someone because their baby was mean?
About the Author:
Lyz Lenz is a writer, a mom and a midwesterner. Although, not in that order. She lives in Iowa and on the web at LyzLenz.com