4 Aug

Dear LetterBalm: I’m in my early 30s. I’m not married and don’t have any kids, but a lot of my friends have children. I love kids, but the trouble is, that every time we get together it’s either a child-centered activity (park outing, birthday party, kids’ movie, etc.) or the kids come along to lunch or I’m invited to visit their home. I can’t remember the last time my friends and I had an adult evening together. It’s not as though they can’t afford babysitters, and I try to give them plenty of notice so they can plan their time. I’m beginning to feel like I’m being imposed on. What can I do to change this?

–The Fun Godmother

What you can do is speak up. You love kids, when you’re with them you have a good time and give them a good time. As far as their parents are concerned, you’re a gift from the gods. You make it easy for them to have their kids and their friend, too. They think you’re O.K. with this. Aim for a happy medium. Half the time go for the kid stuff, the other half celebrate grown-up activities. If you’re clear about your wishes, your friends can say either yes or no. If the answer is no, you must weigh how much their friendship means to you. If the only way you can see them is with their kids in tow … well, only you know if this is a dealbreaker. Ms. L.B. wants you to remember, though, that kids grow up and empty-nest parents will welcome steadfast friends who hang in there. Try these on your friends:

  • How about some grown-up time? Can we have dinner, just the adults this time?
  • I love being with Andy and Lotte, you know that. But can we have a girls’ Sunday brunch and see that new Woody Allen movie? We need a big catch-up.
  • I miss our good gabfests. How about letting Jason take the kids and we take one of our Saturday afternoon spa dates?
  • Girlfriend, we need some time together. Get a babysitter and we’ll have dinner in the next two weeks at that new Spanish restaurant. What works for you?
  • I want to introduce you and Richard to this new man I’ve been seeing. It’s nothing serious, but I just want to have a casual evening with my two good friends so you can meet him. What works for you? When can you get a babysitter?

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