Recently, a friend from church (we’ll call her Sarah) was struggling to figure out what to talk to me about. We had exhausted my job and my parents and I could tell that Sarah was trying very hard not to wax poetic about her adorable brood of three the entire time. I would ask Sarah about her little one’s school or soccer team and she would gush with pleasure but then reel herself in as she felt obligated to ask me something in return. But it was glaringly obvious that we just did not have that much in common. It was also glaringly obvious that where we had been pretty close prior to the arrival of Sarah’s little ones, we are no longer. She doesn’t have the time to remember details about my job and I just don’t have the life experience to compare parenting styles or family-friendly vacation destinations. Relating funny things my nephew says just isn’t the same. As you can imagine, there were a lot of awkward pauses in that conversation.
It is a bit of a struggle fitting in with friends with young kids and it seems like we’re just at that point in the timeline. Just about all my friends who are around my age have at least one kid under the age of six. While it is totally understandable that their lives would be consumed by potty training, first days of school, and finding babysitters, I still can’t help but feel like a misfit; the sore thumb or redheaded stepchild of the group.
So, the funny thing is that I have been temporarily foisted from my age group only to “fit in” with two, totally different demographics: Adults with adult children or the single, college-age (and slightly older than college-age) variety. And when I mean “fit in,” it’s more like the older adults don’t mind talking to me because it’s like talking to one of their children. The college-age crowd tends to be at that stage where they really like to talk about themselves so it’s not difficult to get along with them if you’re a listener. These days my closest friends are either in their 50’s or in their mid 20’s.
Have you noticed that you don’t fit in as much with friends with kids?