I’m single but most of my friends are married. I often feel like the odd one out or the one they call to watch their kids. I want to remain friends with them, but also want to be seen as an equal. Any thoughts?
Big life transitions require friendships to shift. Marriage is a big transition and so is becoming a parent. Some of the best friendships are the ones who stick out those transitions and work through the changes together. However, some friendships aren’t able to ride the bumps and eventually fade out. My advice would be to sit down with your friend group, or whomever you feel the most comfortable sitting down with and explain how you are feeling. Be open about the sense that you are the odd one out. Share examples of when this has happened and be transparent about how it made you feel. Express that you honor their season of life, but that you also value the friendship enough to be honest. Be clear about what you need from the friendship and any necessary boundaries (such as, not being the babysitter). Remember that you are valuable to any relationship that you choose to invest in. But, friendships should go both ways. The goal is for both to feel that they are giving and receiving. And, sometimes what you receive may not be the same thing that you give. For example, a mom of toddlers can’t always get out of the house to meet for a quiet coffee date. It may require you to have coffee in her livingroom surrounded by toys and lots of noise. But, the fact that you both are giving what you can to the relationship is what matters. However you choose to move forward, make sure that you are giving and receiving.