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May 16, 2012
Torn is a feeling most of us have experienced at some point as our friends bring their first child into the world. We’re happy for our friends who are sincerely excited about this new baby and this new life-stage, and we wish them a lifetime of happiness as a result.
But we’re also disappointed. We know it’s a permanent life-altering milestone in their lives, and that things will never be the same for them or in our relationship with them. It’s likely that the last minute spa days and happy hours, weekend road trips to the lake, and quiet dinners debating politics over a fine red are gone for good.
And yes, I mean for good. Many friendships don’t survive the “baby divide”. Like when your high school sweetheart decides on Stanford and you pick Texas Tech, you have the best of intentions but are simply going different paths.
Why is it so hard to maintain this cherished relationship? Marshall and Lilly illustrated this perfectly for us last night. Just days after the birth of their first child, when their best friend of the last 15+ years approached them with a simple question about calling a past girlfriend, they responded with determination, “we’re responsible for another human life now”; Ted’s inquiry was required to be an “8 out of 10” for them to hear it, communicating clearly their intention to ignore the needs of others unless it was sufficiently interesting or important to take their attention away from the baby.
For many of us this feels very similar to the real world. When the baby comes priorities shift, and friends, family and every other relationship is redefined overnight. “Juice” is now a sippy cup rather than a nice Pinot. A ziplock of Cheerios replaces foie gra on a shiny platter as “snacks”. “Discipline” now involves quieting a screaming child rather than…well, you see where I’m going.
Our parenting friends go on to create new social networks with other parents, and unless we quickly follow in their footsteps, the relationship is bound to fizzle in the interim. It seems almost an inevitability that we are left searching for new go-to friends, which is why we are so thrilled to have DINKlife to help us do that.
We do see some light at the end of the HIMYM tunnel, as the season finale ends with Robin turning to display her wedding gown, seemingly about to join in glorious DINK-hood with the ultimate eligible bachelor Barney. Will it happen? We’ll have to “wait for it...."
Can a relationship survive the baby divide? What are your thoughts?
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