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Awesome Etiquette: Friends With Kids

Often there is a point in life when many of your friends are married and have children. If you also have kids this can be great and allow you to continue to spend time with your friends. But if you don't have kids, it can sometimes be difficult to keep those friendships strong. 

I'm at the age when many of my friends are starting to have children and I'm often receiving invitations to their kids' birthday parties. I don't wish to go to these parties for many reasons. The parties obviously and understandably cater towards the child guests not the adults. I have responded to recent invitations by sending my regrets in a timely manner and sent a card and small gift for the birthday boy or girl. I feel this is an appropriate way to handle the situation but my absence is starting to strain relationships with my friends. Is my response appropriate? Should I just set aside my feelings for a few hours and go and make the best of these parties?

All the best,

The answer:

When your life goes in very different directions than your friends, it can make it difficult to maintain the friendship. It doesn't mean that people who have kids and people who don't have kids can't have wonderfully  friendships but things do change.  

Regardless of what you do, when it comes to accepting or declining these children's birthday party invitations, make sure you are reaching out to your friends and trying to make time with them outside of these parties.

Here are two things to try: Keep declining the birthday parties; that is a totally appropriate thing to do. Then invite your friend to do things as just adults and also find things to do with them and their kids. It's great to find ways to both hang out with your friend while also recognizing your friend's new family. 

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