Do you remember what your social life was like before kids? If I try hard enough I can but I’m not sure what is a memory and what is a dream in terms of my social life. I wasn’t exactly a flamboyant social butterfly fluttering to Bar Mitzvahs and gender reveal parties, but I remember going out at least occasionally and not having that bastard constant worry.
These days, before I even entertain the idea of going out I’ll go through “the checklist”:
- Check with the wife that it’s ok. She won’t say no without good reason but I just think it’s rude to state “I’m off out, good luck with the bedtime routine and the lonely evening, See ya!”.
- Check how much money we have left after splashing out on fucking LOL Surprises at a tenner a pop.
- Check with the wife again, I believed her at first but these 5 minutes have played with my head and it might be a trap.
- Find out who’s going and see if I be arsed with those catch-up “what have you been up to since last year?” talks.
I understand that this is just how some friendships go – you leave/move schools and you drift away from the people you see every day. You get a job and you don’t have as much time to see your friends – I get that.
I’ve felt the small drops in contact at each stage, but becoming a father was more of a cliff edge. Why the sudden “Ooh shit he’s a dad now, best not disturb/bother/invite him!”
Even most of friends we made along the pregnancy journey aren’t around now. You bond over being in a similar situation, you learn together and the expectation keeps it novel between you all. You’re GREAT friends. Fast forward to the babies being born and they hate you because you had to bottle feed and you can’t stand them because she chose hypnobirthing and is introducing her 2 week old to a vegan-friendly non-binary gluten-free lifestyle. Shit happens.
5 years on and things have settled, I have a handful of mates who I can go out with if I want, and they’re not arsed if I don’t – perfect, suits me down to the ground. Maybe it’s the natural way of things and I missed the memo/talk from my dad about it.
If you feel like your social life has taken a backseat recently then maybe think about meeting one of the many Dadsnet dads in a place near you for a beer, a coffee or a playdate.