Friends Divided by Kids v No Kids??


why bother
Jun 27, 2006
I am curious as to your thoughts on dividing lines betweens friends, relative to children.

Do you think that two women can continue to be best friends when one has kids and the other does not? :confused1:

Are kids so elemental to a woman's existence that she simply can not relate at a deep level to those women without children??? :shrugs:

Inquiring minds...


Aug 27, 2006
One of my closest friends has 2 kids. When we hang out it is usually at her house instead of someplace that is harder to bring the kids. It is a little harder to keep in touch, but we put in our effort since we live in different states. We relate and have things in common outside of kids, and I think the key thing is that she tries to nourish the parts of her life outside of motherhood. I think it helps her feel more complete as a person, and thereby a better mother. Any friendship that can weather time and changes including kids are definetely the ones to cherish.


Oct 12, 2006
It depends on a lot of factors. Every woman's motherhood experience is unique, as is she, as are her children. Some people appear to slide easily into parenthood and do it effortlessly, for others it takes everything they have, and I don't think there is a way to predict which way this or that friend will go.

Some children are easier to care for than others, and this is true whether they are babies or teenagers, so if you have friends who become parents of a baby that keeps them up all night, you will be seeing less of those friends than the ones whose baby adapts naturally to mom and dad's schedule!

Over the years, I have had friends who disappeared into parenthood, and what social life they maintained drifted to other people with kids in the same age group, so that all activities could be planned and centered around the children and their care, and I have friends who just sort of took it in stride, made little pillow forts around the baby on a bed or even the floor, and it slept through all kinds of noise, and grew into a toddler who was kept quiet and happy with a box of crayolas and some paper, or sidewalk chalk and a driveway to decorate.

And we have all seen people valiantly try to bring their kids along, with varying degrees of disastrous results.

Whatever the case, it is not that the new parents don't love their old friends anymore, and while you may not see them as often, you can get together with other friends and give the gift of a babysitter or have mothers take turns taking all the kids to provide the overwhelmed mother with an unencumbered day at the salon, the mall, or just sitting around gossiping like you have always done!


Nov 1, 2006
My friend has been my best friend for 22 years. She's seen me through boyfriends, marriage, breakups, and sat with me through labor. She's single, no kids.

We haven't seen each other for 4 years, she is in england and am in US. AT&T ensures that we remain as close as we always were!


why bother
Jun 27, 2006
Very interesting takes, thank you!!

How do you overcome those, "You could never understand xyz" moments?

ie, "You can't possibly understand [some/any] experience because you do/don't have a child"

In my expereince friendship lines seem pretty divided along kids v. no kids camps for a variety of socio-economic reasons (kids cost money v. DINKs with lots of cash, babysitters and events, etc).

I was just wondering is it purely external pressure that drives the divide, if any?

or is it a life changing effect of the child bearing experience/lack thereof?

or is it a complete readjustment of priorities?


Mar 1, 2006
For me (2 kids) there is not a problem to be friends with people without kids, its just one aspect of life. I have many friends I love dearly with other lifestyles. For me, it's interesting to be friends with people who are not always like me - I get other opinions and ideas from those who have a different lifestyle.

It is, for practical reasons, easier to invite another family/friend either with kids that your own kids get along well with, or with no kids at all. So I guess, for me the only friends I rarely see nowdays, are those with noisy kids with bad manners, that my own kids do not get along with at all.

I don't think kids necessarily change you that much as a person. I believe I'm the same person as before, just with a larger family. But kids surely do affect your lifestyle, so the life as a parent is different because you have other responsibilities.


Up On My Toes!
Jun 6, 2006
We do not have kids, never thought they fit into my life. I do not have any close friends that have kids either. It just worked out that way. It's wonderful that people have families and invest their love and time in raising children, but it's not for me. I guess that's why I have never gravitated toward women who do. I am not at all interested in talking about schools, kids' problems, their playmates, etc.
Jan 18, 2006
My (x-best) friend and I were friends for maybe 7 years before I had my child. She had three! It worked out fine for us. We even took a couples (both hubby's went) vacation together along with her then two year old daughter. Had a blast!

Sure, she had other friends that had kids and they did things together with their children. But it was funny. She always invited me along, knowing I had no kids. Sometimes I went, sometimes I didn't. But I loved her, her kids and other peoples kids too so it wasn't a big deal nor anything I sat around and analyzed. Now that I think about it, her having children when I didn't had absolutely no effect on our friendship. I've been to school plays, ballet recitals and such and really had a nice time!

The friendship is over now and has been for maybe 4 years. It really had nothing to do with the kids, though.


Feb 11, 2006
I have a few really close friends w/ no children and we remain close, so I believe it's possible. As a mom, I spend a lot of time w/ kids and their moms, so I love going out w/ my childless friends to have wonderful conversations that don't involve kid sports, schools, or PTA!!!!


Feb 23, 2006
I don't have friends who have children (yet), but I do have friends that are divided between in a serious relationship/not in a serious relationship. It's always this buy one get one free offer where you invite one person and you get her bf as well.... I like their SOs but sometimes I just want to hang out with my friend....

So, it's not about children being so elemental to a woman's existance. I think once people are in serious relationships/married (which turn even more "serious" once children are born), they just spend more time with their families, and prefer to have their families involved in their friendships. That's why children can "make or break" a friendship. When two women have children, they bond over that (since it takes such a large time and emotional commitment).


Dec 13, 2005
I have friends with children and friends without. (I have one stepson who is an adult.) My friends who have young children can't seem to find the time to see their friends much because of their obligations to their families. Most of the kids have activities they need to be driven to and things like that. My friends without young children have more time for friends.


why bother
Jun 27, 2006
I have friends with and without kids.

My query is less about time than an about a shift in the *tenor* of the relationship.

For example, when my friends that have kids talk about their children, there seems to be an under current of "I know 'you' can't possible relate to motherhood".

To be clear, this isn't a complain or anything like that.

Just an honest wondering if those of you without kids feel like that.

Or if those with kids feel like there is something to their childless friends not being able to relate/understand/full appreciate their mommy-selves.