Thursday, December 29, 2011

Socializing post-kid

Over the past few years, my social life has changed quite a bit, however gradually. When I got pregnant, I was still able to go to all the parties, concerts & other stuff, just minus the alcohol. Hey--instant designated driver for Oli. There were a few times where we left earlier because I was a bit tired, but really not a big change. Once baby arrived, we went out daytimes a lot in the beginning & after a short while, we were back at the house parties with baby, as he was such a night owl & went to bed fairly late anyway. I still didn't really drink at all until months later when Sprout wasn't nursing quite as often. But I still had champagne at our friends' place on New Years Eve last year. 

Fast forward another 12 months & our social life looks very different to pre-kid. I can't remember the last time we went to a house party. If we all go out, we need to get home by Sprout's bedtime, as he is well beyond the stage where he'd just sleep anywhere. If we leave him at home, it means that one of us misses out or we have to pay a babysitter--probably about $40-50 for an evening--on top of the cost of booking a car, beer, dinner, etc. We can't really afford that. Plus, it requires advance planning to find someone to take care of him. Sprout's naps also prevent me from getting places when he goes down later than usual. When we do manage to go out somewhere, usually in the day, we need to pack diapers, bib, toys, snacks, etc, factor in high chairs, baby-friendly food, space for the stroller & a place to run around & play if we're going to be there for more than an hour or so. 'Impromptu' or 'spur-of-the-moment' aren't really in our vocabulary these days.

So when I saw this blog post in my feed on Facebook, I started thinking. I realized that nearly all the socializing we do on a regular basis is our friends with kids. While it's been great to make new friends & deepen other friendships because we all have kids in common, but I miss our childless friends. After reading Jason's post, I really wondered if those friends who are kid-free really get how hard it can be for us to just go out for an evening. Though Jason prefaces his post with this:
Even though the title would suggest otherwise, this post is really meant to be read by other parents. Please keep that intention in mind if you chose to share it. 
I think it's worthwhile reading for anybody who has friends with kids & wonders why they never see them. 

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