When the 30s approach, it seems that our life takes a 180 degree turn. Suddenly, (almost) all of our friends are in a stable relationship, with their own apartment and are planning to get pregnant (or already are). Of course, perhaps it is not our desired lifestyle or we do not feel at this step of the road. The result of this change is an anomalous situation within our friendship relations.
Before, we would talk about our interests, where we were going on a trip this weekend or what problems were happening at work. Now, the talks revolve around changing diapers or which crib to choose so that the decoration of the baby’s room is worthy of a magazine. so we can feeling a bit left out of these types of conversations they are not our immediate reality.
The columnist Eleanor Gordon-Smith has written an interesting reflection on the matter in ‘The Guardian’. Under the title ‘I am struggling to maintain friendships with people who have children. How do I connect?’, the philosopher delves into the first person this phenomenon that many of us saw far away and that is now our daily bread.
Bluntly, he explains that “it’s understandable that they need to prioritize their children, but I find myself increasingly incapable of having conversations with them.” In addition, he adds that he understands “that friendships change” and that he is “happy for my friends who are following these stages of life.” A message with which we feel highly identified. Now, our friends have less time to dedicate to us and their worries are different.
When faced with this dynamic, it is normal for doubts and fears to appear. Previously, we have talked about what can cross our minds when most of our friends are pregnant, such as the fear of being alone or the panic at being judged by society for not wanting to be mothers (or not be for reasons beyond our control). It is understandable that these thoughts exist in an unknown situation.
When a friend becomes a mother, our bond with her often changes, especially during the first years of parenting, which require time and dedication. Especially if breastfeeding is practiced. The good, the little time you spend alone together will be worth gold for both of you And that is priceless. When you know something is unusual, you push it to the extreme.
“It’s about finding a new balance and continuing to have an interest in keeping the friendship alive, no matter how much lives change”
The editor Pepa López is at this crossroads and has offered us her interesting point of view: “The basis of friendship does not change, what changes is the time you can dedicate to yourself or the plans you can make together.”
To this, add that “if you are empathic with the situation, you can even enjoy the change in your friend’s life, because in the end it is to see her start a family and be happy. What I do is ask her about her hours, about her availability without pressing or making her feel guilty.. It’s about finding a new balance and still having an interest in keeping the friendship alive, no matter how much lives change.”
In the end, it is about communicating fluently, express our feelings delicately and to be aware that life moves forward and that we have to do our part to adapt to change. If you think that this situation is beyond you and affects your mental health, going to an expert is the best advice we can give you.
photographs | Unplash