|Jack enjoys going out to eat|
The one part of life that takes the biggest hit though is time spent with friends who don't have kids. This is unfortunate, and at times the friends without kids may think we just don't want to hang out with them anymore, but that's not the case. Look at it this way: I'm a working parent. I wake up every morning around 6:45 and I'm out the door by 7:30. My son wakes up after I leave the house and when I get home from work around 5, I only have a couple hours to spend with him before he has to go to bed for the night. When the weekend comes around, I want to spend as much time as possible with him to maximize our time together. When I ask if kids are invited to your party, it's not because I want to be "that guy" who brings his noisy child, but rather I want to be around my child for the short amount of time we have together on the weekend. If given the choice between you and my son, Jack is going to win 100% of the time. That's why you see a lot of parents surrounding themselves with other parents with kids. They both get that they want to see their children as much as possible and the events we attend (the zoo, birthday parties, etc.) almost always allow children. When we decide to go solo and do a double dinner date, there is the expectation that dinner will end early enough for everyone to get home to put the kids to bed. It's not that we don't want to see our childless friends, it's just that we don't live the no child life anymore and new responsibilities have popped up where previously there were none. And you know what? That's OK. One day you may have children and you might understand. Maybe you won't though, and that's OK too.
|Target selfies FTW!|
So when you are feeling down about the lack of interaction with your old friends or the copious amounts of alcohol you are no longer consuming, take a good long look and what you have replaced it with. Do you find joy in spending time with your family? Is your life full of meaning and special moments doing the things you are your family enjoy doing on the weekend? If so, then you most definitely have a social life. It may not be the social life you envisioned, but it's a social life nonetheless and if you are happy doing it, then you are truly experiencing one of the greatest joys of life - enjoying the time you spend with your family.