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How To Really Stay Close With Your Child-Free Friends

You used to climb mountains together. Now you can't seem to climb over the mountain of diapers to answer the phone when she calls.

There comes a time in most parents’ lives when they realize some of their oldest and dearest friendships have taken a bit of a beating via the adjustment to parenthood. Most at risk are your friendships with your friends who don’t have kids, because they probably can’t quite understand what you’re going through and might be, frankly, a little tired of hearing you explain it.

While it might seem like your child-free friend’s life is nothing but a booze-soaked free-for-all, think back to your life before children: there’s a lot more to it than partying, yes? And of course there’s a lot more to you than poop, though your friend won’t know that if it’s all you talk about.

A while back I asked for input from child-free women and moms alike on Twitter, asking them: “What do you want women on the other side of the fence to know?” I got some great, thoughtful responses that showed me one simple thing: both child-free women and mothers want to feel like their friends respect them, are trying to understand them (even when they sometimes can’t), and want to be a priority in their friends’ lives.

If both of you are willing to try, it is possible to bridge your differences and re-create the closeness you once had – or strike up friendships with new, kid-free friends after you’ve had children. But it takes thoughtfulness and effort on both sides. Read on to find out what child-free women and moms want one another to know.

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