A while ago I wrote a password protect post about how since having Gus we lost our best friends. I wrote about coming to the realization that we could not try or hope anymore and needing to move forward- I guess they felt that way too as one of them unfriended me on Facebook.

With all of this happening Lesley and I have both been feeling lonely. She’s been encouraging me to call and invite people when we go places and I feel like when we interact with others I linger extra long. 

I feel stuck- how do you make friends as a parent? Our friends without kids are basically gone and most of our friends with kids have toddlers as well. Coordinating two toddler’s nap schedules is hard but beyond that I’m not looking for play dates- we have those and that is currently how we see most of our friends. I’m looking for beers and board games and after bedtime. We don’t have (and cannot afford) evening/weekend childcare so it’s hard to be in a place where what we can do with people is confined to them coming to our house after bedtime. 

Our holidays were hard, our weekends are now feeling it to. Lesley and I struggled pretty bad after moving west and having no social outlet. We’re fine now but knowing that places makes it hard. Having a community is important to us both and here we are without one.

I don’t mean this to knock our friends. We have good people that we love dearly. But losing the prekid flexibility makes maintaining adult relationships near impossible- let alone build new ones. Especially when we’re kind of awkward people to start.

How do other people do it?


Posted on February 7, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. We haven’t really figured this out either. Sometimes we take turns going out after bedtime, and Ali does the occasional overnight at her grandparents. Would anyone be willing to come to your house after he goes to bed for very quiet board games and beer? We will come, but it’s kind of far to drink and drive 😉

  2. Making new parent friends (or any new friends as an adult) is soooo awkward. It’s like dating, all over again. I’ve met a few other new moms through some of Gus’ activities, and I’ve been very lucky one of them is very outgoing and keeps inviting us to things. I think, as you kids get older and get more involved in things and have school friends, it’s the way most people meet other parents. It sucks, that it could take that long, but the plus side is, they longer it takes, the more independent the kids get (and we eventually get most of that pre-baby independence back!)

  3. The ‘nap-dependent’ years are hard. There is less social interaction. But it does get better! We made some friends through parents of our kids’ daycare friends. The bonus was they were all on the same schedule for the most part. We let the kids play while the adults had a beer. It was brief at first but good. Every once in awhile, let your kid fall asleep while you are at a friend’s house or vice versa. They don’t sleep through the night anyhow, right? When you get home, they might wake up, but treat it like a middle of the night waking and then put yourself to bed.

  4. We haven’t figured it out either. We do take turns going out, but it would be nice to go out more frequently as a couple. We even have great childcare just up the street (my in-laws), but we don’t want to disrupt the kiddos nighttime routine too much, so hosting grown-up time at our house would be ideal.

  5. We’ve recently resumed board game nights after bedtime–it’s a mix of parent friends (who either find sitters or send one parent only) and our non-kid friends. My wife is part of a book club with fellow parents–it’s infrequent that we can go out with friends just the two of us, but we do make an effort to go out individually (and to schedule date nights when we can). Our main parenting circle organized a babysitting co-op a few years ago and we’ve been members for a while. That’s huge–sitting for each other’s kids using a points exchange rather than money–and I highly recommend if you can make it happen. I don’t think I’ve made many new friends who aren’t parents since kids arrived, but I’ve definitely found opportunities to connect with new parent friends outside of kid time. One couple, in particular, is now a regular at our game nights and it’s been just lovely, and there are definitely a few parents I can go to a movie or a play or really, just hang out with, sans kids. So… It’s lower key than it used to be, and socializing as a couple is less frequent, but I like to think of it as maintaining connections so that when the kids are more independent, we’ll have some basis to resume our more active social interactions. We do host parties–mostly open house style–so people can drop by and see us; as the kids have been older they do start to entertain themselves, leaving more time for grown-up conversation.

    That was pretty rambling–it’s hard, yes, but doable; I think you just have to adjust your expectations a bit about what socializing is all about at this point in your life. Or at least I did.

  6. Solidarity.

    Also, I agree with everyone above. Adult interaction seems even more important after you have kids to keep some level of sanity intact. I am not a social person and even I enjoy the few times we can get together with an adult, even with our children, so we can talk about things other than naming our colors and arguing about the quantity of goldfish one is allowed to consume.

    When they are very young, we try to keep our interaction to places where they can come but be generally entertained on their own. We have restaurants here with an outdoor playscape where we can eat and keep a watchful eye. Those are our go-tos other than parks and splash pads where they are corralled in a safe area.

    Gus is going to be very close to the age – if he’s not already – where he’ll roam a bit, play close, and then check in enough that you don’t feel you have to watch him 100% of the time. Maybe 70%. And that 30%, you can chat with friends. That’s what we did. Scarlett and Thatcher still check in every few minutes and keep themselves in the same confined area at 3 and 4.

    Hang in there. This part of toddlerhood is isolating.

  7. Everyone is awkward and weird in their own way. I am sure people think that about me all the time! 🙂


  8. Di an I were just talking about our friend situation and feeling isolated yesterday – so thanks for the timely post, it was great to read the comments, both for commiseration and pep-talk.

    We used to get together with friends pretty regularly to play board games, and it was so much fun. But we’re struggling to maintain our friendships post-baby, partly because we’re the only ones with a child (at least of our local friends – most of di’s NZ friends have babies) and things have been thrown things off balance by our priority shift (plus some major conflict with our closest friends about our birth plans). I think we’re more acutely aware of wanting more social interaction partly because we want a village for Junie’s sake, as well as for our own, and feel like now is the time that we should be building said village. I’m not super social and can usually go ages without feeling like I want to see friends, but lately I find myself talking to strangers all the time, which I never do. So… no advice, obviously, since I don’t know how to make friends or do anything in the evening besides eat and sleep, but I definitely commiserate and if we lived closer we’d love to play board games with you guys.

    • Yeah, the community thing is something I feel. I feel like we are fortunate that we have started to build a community of people with littles – even if some we are not super close to. But I also don’t only want people with kids the same age, you know? I don’t know… I don’t know what the right answer is or what it is I am searching for.

  9. No tips here. But if you make it out to MN, our go-to-grandma & grandpa will watch all of our kids and we’ll drink & play board games for as long as you want. In fact, we even have bars/restaurants designed for just such an occasion (Chatterbox, awesome). But free at home is great too. And don’t feel too jealous – our go-to-grandparents are only up for childcare about once a month (emergencies excepted). While it is glorious and we are very appreciative, it is not nearly enough to stay sane.

  10. I feel this. I have only a couple in person friends that I see regularly and that we do social things with. And by a couple I mean a friend and her husband, a couple. And they used to employ me. None of my other friends from when I lived here before have made plans to hang out. Well, I count my current employer as a friend and we get 30-60 minutes to chat while the kids run rampant and have witching hour meltdowns.

  11. Just stop. I unfriended you in response to reading your last blog post talking about us. Surely you cannot think that talking about people behind their back is how you maintain or build friendships

    • The only place I discussed it was in a password protected post so I could talk through some things that were hard for me with a supportive community. From what I can tell that’s the only place I discussed it.

      I am not actually a “behind their back” kind of person but it has been made abundantly clear that I could not talk to you about it with you. I talked to friends about a hard time I was having in my life.

    • Also, you are not really the point of this post. The point was that I don’t know how to make new friendships and that is feeling hard. I discuss a lot of things here because I have a close group of people who read. You are welcome to not read any longer.

  12. Making friends is so, so hard. So is keeping friends. Catch and I don’t have any pre-baby friends with kids. Well, I have one, but her kid is a teenager, and she moved 6 hours away. None of our friends have invited us to anything since Charlotte was born. We’ve extended a few invitations, but there’s been nothing reciprocated. I got to have a lunch/baby play date with a blog mom from LA on Saturday, and by the time I got in the car to drive home, I was practically skipping. It felt SO good to commiserate with another gay mom. In the 6 months since Charlotte was born, that was by far the most rewarding social interaction I’ve had. Sad. It made me realize that we need to try harder somehow. I don’t know how, but we need to find a way.

  13. Our childless friends have ended up babysitting for us occasionally so we can go out by ourselves, and when we do have them over after bedtime, our place is so small we can’t have too much fun or Geronimo wakes up! And then I end up spending the night trying to put him back to sleep. :/ But we maybe have slightly more free babysitter resources than it sounds like you do, and we would definitely be down for beer and games. I’ll let you know if the opportunity strikes because we would love to hang out with both of you more!

    • I think the reason this seems so frustrating is because it seems we’re so much closer to more independence but not quite there. Like we can have conversation with him around! but he still needs one of us hands on at all times. I remind myself we’re closing in on papa’s play place. He’s just reached a point where he’ll sleep through us having people over but now we have no one to have over, haha.

  14. I’d also totally be glad to trade after bedtime babysitting, if you’re interested in that!

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