Friday, October 15, 2010

Things They are a Changin

Mood: Calm
Listening to: Dora. Ugh.

Recently, my husband and I had a grown up play date (think lots of food, wine, and drunken laughing) with some friends.  They are very good friends of ours that we have known for quite some time, and overall it was a very nice weekend.  After they left, my husband and I got to talking about how people change when they add an addition to their family because we had noticed that our friends had indeed changed after an addition to their family. I’m not necessarily talking about a bad change per se, but something about adding another person or animal to a family can definitely change the dynamics of interactions with others.

When our family was young (read when I was young and we had just gotten married and then knocked up), we moved about quite a bit, so we didn’t have many friends that we had known for a long time. While my husband had his fair share of partying in his youth, I was never really into that.  I’m sure some of our rather new found friends noticed a little bit of a change after my first daughter came along, but you never seem to notice these things yourself. I tried very, very hard to not let this totally take over our lives, as I'm sure it did to a degree. Babies just do that, it's not really optional. As our kids got a little older, we got more into entertaining and having people over, but I still feel that we try to keep things pretty consistent.

I guess it just comes down to what you like and are comfortable about in the group dynamic. Attention shifts, what is important changes, and things just feel different.  You obviously can’t dump good friends for a stupid reason like normal life progression, so how exactly do you deal with the change? True, some friends do drift apart when they are different places in life and can’t relate anymore. This happened to my best friend and I when she went to college and I got married and had a baby, but we’ve since caught up with each other since we both now have multiple little beings in our houses. That is one of the ways to deal with it – giving it a little time for things to even out. Any time you have something so new and important and new, attention will shift, as it should.

I think the best option though, is changing your expectations of the people and interactions that you will have with them. If you both get back to the dynamic you once had, great. If not, you can always hang on to them as friends for a different purpose. Almost everyone has friends for different occasions (the party friends, the other couples with kids, the couple you go out with just to get out of the house,  the people you’ve known for just about forever, etc.), there’s no reasons why the type of friendship can’t change if it becomes obvious the dynamics won’t revert to what they were – and chances are good they won’t. Life goes one direction, and if one or both of you grows out of a situation (partying together for example) chances are you aren’t going to revert back to previous behavior.

So I guess we just treasure our friends for what they are and gracefully accept where they are in life. Friends are a blessing even if things do change.


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