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Old 09-09-2019, 02:26 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,281 posts, read 1,988,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriank7 View Post
Iíve been told by a few people that they canít relate to people that donít have kids. I notice my friends will go out with me as a couple when they have a babysitter but if a night with a just women they only invite moms, not me or other people without kids. And these arenít kid related events. Some people almost seem shocked if I tell them I donít have kids. It makes me feel worthless sometimes. I notice how they portray women in movies or tv that donít or canít have kids as crazy also.
You have two different issues here: One, you seem to be missing your friends who you don't see as often since they have had kids; and Two, you seem worried that you don't have kids, feel that society is judging you as lacking, and may not feel the need to become a parent.

As far as the first -- well, I don't understand the "not relating to people that don't have kids." That makes no sense to me. I had a life before I had kids. And through two kids, we still are friends with our friends who don't have kids. I'm 50 and have a 15 year old and a 10 year old. I have friends who had kids before me, and even have some friends who had kids after me. We have several friends who never had kids, have friends who have a kid or two but never got married, and some who never got married and never had kids. We have become friendly with people who we met through activities that were kid-related, but most of our social activities with friends are not kid-focused. It would be pretty awful to me if every single thing I did every minute of every day had to be focused on my kids. When we went out with friends, we enjoyed being with them.

There has always been some stigma associated with people who are childless by choice. It's becoming less, I think, as more people are embracing this choice, and it is a good choice for many people. I guess many people don't understand it, because, almost by definition, they grew up in a family that had kids. So that's what seems "normal."

Having kids is a lot of work. They require a ton of your energy and money. Unless you really want them, don't have them.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:27 PM
Status: "Fall is in the Air!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,377 posts, read 103,528,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
When my kids were young, we mainly, but not exclusively, socialized with other new parents. Singles and couples without kids weren't excluded, but they gradually faded away, and I understood why. We could no longer be spur of the moment people, and our nights ended a lot earlier than theirs did.

Once the kids hit their teens it was almost a non-issue between us and the child-free people we know. I went back to work, and the kid talk was a lot less. Until, at least, the grandkids started coming. Grandparents can be worse than new parents.
Isn't that the truth! I remember years ago, probably about 40 years in fact, my mom told me that she and her friends passed around pictures of their grandchildren at their Bible class. She said, "We used to all be young moms, and now we're grandmothers". Now that I've had my granddaughter, I do the same thing (though not at Bible class, LOL!).
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:44 PM
 
7,267 posts, read 2,628,366 times
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My kids are grown now but...


I don't recall ever purposely excluding anyone because they were child-free. OR, being excluded from things because at the time, I was child free.


My best friend in high school, and early 20's was pregnant on her wedding day. When they had their child, I always felt welcomed and comfortable to drop by whenever. We'd hang out, watch her child play, laugh at the funny stuff kids do, and it was all good.


When I had young kids and had the luxury of staying at home, most of my friends were at work. Sorry if weekends and evenings were family time. My bad.


When they got to preschool, SOMETIMES I hung out with some of the other moms from my kids' preschool. But mostly, I took the opportunity to get grocery shopping done. SOOO much easier without kids.


I think parents hang with other parents, because we all get each other on a certain level. If my 2 yr. old is pitching a banshee cry from hell, other moms know it's nap time, lunch time, or some other "time" and can sympathize. SOMETIMES non-parents just think "That kid's a brat and deserves a swat. My kid will never be that bad." When chances are...yeah, they might.


I'm always surprised how older people tend to forget what it was like when their kids were little. To hear some parents tell it, they were raising little marines that marched in lockstep behind their parents. (shrug shoulders.)
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Toronto
421 posts, read 93,815 times
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I find it funny to see these types of general questions but are also very specific in circumstances. In terms of group gatherings, it's natural to keep it separate, since family gatherings with young children are generally earlier. Childless ppl like to stay up later and do adult centric activities.

I totally get both sides, and it's best to keep it separate. I've been to my close friend's gatherings when they all ahd kids (these are my High school Boys too) when my wife was 8.9 months pregnant, and I wanted to get out and do my own thing as I felt very stuffed up. Also, ppl with young kids change for sure as they're in that pre-occupied state.

But as soon as I had the kid, I was more than glad to be around other families as it's actually more alleviating to be around other kids and families as you learn a lot from each other. Basically it's binary.

I have childless friends, but meet up on a separate basis.

Some obviously lose touch more than others, but that happens organically. And the ones that don't have kids, have been more than understanding, as they're experiencing the same reaction from their friends with kids.

But if you're a millennial, and one of the first of your friends to have kids.. yupp, be prepared to be treated like an outcast as those without kids will not understand at all. Don't 'end' the friendship, but just understand they'll understand once they're in it themselves. And you'll benefit from your friends being parents too.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:30 PM
 
8,232 posts, read 5,204,667 times
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The broader issue is that most adults, who are unrelated to each other, interact socially with other adults, through their respective kids' activities. The children are the social glue. So, those lacking children, simply won't have much of a venue for finding and forming friendships.

But this thread is about existing friendships, not new ones. My experience has been, that in prior generations, when men attended to a comparatively smaller portion of the child-rearing, that men without children could still relate to fathers. They could "hang out", go drinking, go fishing and so forth. Today, when parenthood is a full-time job for both genders, the fathers retreat into their family endeavors, no longer having time for "the guys". And when a man without children is invited to a family gathering, there is an inescapable (if unspoken) sense of aloofness and awkwardness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
Going on a model train forum and complaining about how all my friends have taken up modeling, and all they talk about is their H-O scale locomotives, and which track cleaner is best, and how they never invite me out for a drink with their model train-building buddies, and how the movies and TV show non-model-train-ers in a negative light, indicates I have a chip on my shoulder about model trains. I don't want to build a model train, so I should probably move on and find new friends who are less into trains.
The difference is that model-trains are a niche activity. The fraternity of model-train enthusiasts is a small one, and so, it makes sense for them to cleave together, to form close relations among each other. But parenthood is almost universal. Few people don't end up having children, and so, the property of having children, is not some niche property.

Your analogy would be more apt if it were reversed: it is the child-free who engage in the niche hobby, with their own jargon and aspirations and peculiar interests. The non-child-free would struggle to relate, finding the hobby to be quirky and eccentric.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,991 posts, read 3,669,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriank7 View Post
I notice how they portray women in movies or tv that donít or canít have kids as crazy also.

Stop watching the Lifetime Movie Channel.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:34 PM
 
7,228 posts, read 4,034,248 times
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Many singles complain that parents, especially mothers, talk too much about their kids. Maybe they think you would be bored or critical?
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:47 PM
 
826 posts, read 522,170 times
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My wife and I decided not to have children until after ten years of marriage. What we started noticing after a few years was that our friends were getting younger. Those that had kids kind of just dropped out of our lives. It was not on purpose, it just sort of happened. You would invite them to things, but they had babysitters and as their kids grew they started bonding with other parents that had kids the same age as theirs. Mommy groups, church nursery, pre-school meetups...and we sort of just dropped out of their picture. When we finally started having kids we realized most of our friends were now 7-19 years younger then we were and it stayed that way for 20 years now. Again nothing was on purpose from anyone, it just sorta happened and not malicious in any ways. To walk along with friendships just sometimes seeks commonality to problems and experiences I guess. One bonus might be that our friends being ten years our younger we are forced to stay young. :P
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:26 PM
 
96 posts, read 56,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriank7 View Post
I’ve been told by a few people that they can’t relate to people that don’t have kids. I notice my friends will go out with me as a couple when they have a babysitter but if a night with a just women they only invite moms, not me or other people without kids. And these aren’t kid related events. Some people almost seem shocked if I tell them I don’t have kids. It makes me feel worthless sometimes. I notice how they portray women in movies or tv that don’t or can’t have kids as crazy also.
Don't take it personal, but when they hang out with other mothers and their children after school it's because their kids have play dates with each other and while the kids are socializing so are the mothers while they watch the kids play so it's very convenient. Also, a lot of parents are very involved in their children's school therefore they make friends with a lot of other parents who have children in the same grade as they see each other very often. Don't take things so personal. When people have children their lives are just so hectic and they don't have very much time on their hands. There are many different friend groups that people have, I would feel honored to be separate from the mix.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:31 PM
 
363 posts, read 118,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriank7 View Post
Iíve been told by a few people that they canít relate to people that donít have kids. I notice my friends will go out with me as a couple when they have a babysitter but if a night with a just women they only invite moms, not me or other people without kids. And these arenít kid related events. Some people almost seem shocked if I tell them I donít have kids. It makes me feel worthless sometimes. I notice how they portray women in movies or tv that donít or canít have kids as crazy also.
I don't know but I won't go out with people who have kids and I don't want people with kids coming to my house.
People without kids are smarter than people with kids so they don't like us.
And people with kids hate the fact that us childless folks have more peace of mind and freedom than they do.
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