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The Childless Friend’s Guide to Babyproofing Your Friendship.

Have you ever read a headline that hit you like a ton of bricks, making you think, “Wow, that’s so relatable it hurts”? 

I recently stumbled upon a gem in The Cut titled “Adorable Little Detonators: Our Friendship Survived Bad Dates, Illness, Marriage, Fights. Why Can’t It Survive Your Baby?” – and let me tell you, it’s the story of our lives.

In this article, one brave, childless soul confessed, “My whole photo reel is just pictures of me with different kids of my friends at the playground.” Her solution? Planning trips that scream “adults only” while leaving the door open for parents with sitters. She deadpanned, “Otherwise, sorry.” The verdict is in: parenthood is the death of adult friendships. 

The article also shared that parenthood is the ultimate game-changer, more than marriage, new jobs, or cross-country moves. It’s like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded. 

As someone who has navigated these choppy waters, I understand the complexities of balancing the joy and demands of parenthood with the need to preserve friendships. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who tried to keep me sane. That’s why I want to share some tips and tricks for childless individuals that I appreciated my friends most for. 

Tip 1: Be Flexible (Because 7:30 pm Is a Fantasy)

Your friend’s schedule now revolves around their little bundle of joy. Forget about that dinner reservation at 7:30 pm; it’s the baby’s bedtime hour! Instead, inquire about a day when they can manage an earlier dinner. Flexibility is your new superpower.

Tip 2: The Gift of Sanity (Not Another Onesie)

In the early days, babies may come with a mountain of adorable outfits, but guess what? Parents need more care than the tiny fashionista. Spare them from the 100th onesie by cooking a meal, or get them a food delivery gift card if culinary skills aren’t your thing. They’ll thank you for saving their sanity.

Tip 3: Let the Moms Take Center Stage

The baby’s here, but it didn’t arrive via stork. The mum’s Herculean effort brought that little one into the world, and she deserves recognition. If she’s itching to share her epic birthing saga, be all ears – or pretend convincingly.

Tip 4: Offer Help (Be the Hero They Need)

In the early days when you visit, remember you’re not just a guest; you’re here to save the day! Offer to tackle chores like taking out the trash or wielding the vacuum cleaner. Being the unsung hero behind the scenes is the best way to show your support.

Tip 5: Embrace Baby as Part of the Friendship Package

The article wisely points out that friendships take the biggest hit before age 3. Accept the reality that the baby is your plus-one for most outings. That swanky cocktail bar is probably a toddler death trap and doesn’t have high chairs. Let’s rendezvous at the park for pizza instead. Cheers to parenthood-friendly hangouts!

Tip 6: Be Flexible Again (Because Adulting Is a Circus Act)

Getting out of the house with a baby is a logistical labyrinth. When your parent pals ask you to meet closer to their place, don’t baulk – it’s easier for you to travel the extra bus stop than for them to wrangle a toddler and stick to a schedule. Be the understanding friend who values their sanity.

Parenthood may throw curveballs, but with a pinch of wit and a dollop of flexibility, your friendship can survive the wild ride. Remember, those adorable little detonators will grow up ( or so I heard). 

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