If you are in a similar stage of life as my hubs and I right now, making plans on the weekend is an extremely complicated process involving the intersection of energy at the end of a long day with toddlers, extra money that is not earmarked for college and a high schooler's Saturday night availability. It requires a Herculean effort and by the time the big hour arrives, you'd rather just put on comfy pants and watch Netflix. Can I get an Amen?
Six long years ago, B Daddy and I were among the first of our set of friends to have kids. As such, we could fill our social calendar by inviting our kidless friends over for dinner after we put our kids in bed. We'd get to hang out and socialize without the trouble and cost of hiring a babysitter and we didn't even have to leave the house.
But once our friends started having children of their own, it felt weird to ask them to get a sitter just to come over to our house for dinner. (So that we wouldn't have to get a sitter...) I'm not going to knock my food (my kids do enough of that thankyouverymuch) but if I'm already going to the trouble of finding a sitter, I want food prepared by a professional and a waiter who is trying really hard to earn my tip.
Uncertain of how best to proceed with our old friends, and after spending too many Saturday nights watching Netflix marathons of Mad Men, we made a hard choice. We traded our old standbys in for some new friends. The kind without little kids. Of course we still love to hang out with our little kid-parent friends, but now it happens at the pool or in the hallways after church lets out.
Sidebar: How is it anyway that we end up socializing primarily with people in the EXACT same stage of life as we are? Could it be that our current educational system has set us up with this false societal expectation?! I love my people, but the vast majority of them are in the same boat as I am. Harried, hurried, women with lots of kids and little free time. Meanwhile I see women ten years my junior and ten years my senior with whom I LONG to hang out. They seem to have more independent children and/or more options with their time. Why couldn't they come over to play? We need to be friends!! But that's another post, for another day...
Our new friends tend to be young married couples or 20somethings who have more money than cooking knowledge and are as of yet unaware that bottle of wine they brought as a thank you is worth more than the entire meal I am serving them. We also have a few older couples we occasionally hang out with (who are well aware that the wine they bring costs more than the meal they are being served...) In either case, these no-kid friends have more energy, more disposable income (for that bottle of wine) and no need to consult a high schooler's schedule in order to come hang out with us.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, having friends who don't have young kids is SUPER AWESOME. We get to have social lives without booking a sitter and our guests never bring up potty training during dinner. These friends usually think children are a delightful novelty. They read to them, indulge their appetite for pre-dinner wrestling matches and have even offered to babysit on occasion. And if that isn't reason enough for you to invest in some similar relationships, I've got nothing for you.
So - friends without kids - do you have them? Do you need to find a few? Are you just now realizing you ARE them? (If so, know this post is dedicated to all of you, not just the bearded man pictured above. Thanks for enhancing our social life one home-cooked meal at a time.)
I highly recommend you go find a few today. Also, we are currently accepting friendship applications from non-little kid-parents and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.