6 Friendship Challenges All Adults Face
Unless you happen to have kids who suck up all your free time, in which case, good luck. Here, our complete guide to AFAC: Adult Friends After Children.
From preschool through college graduation, you were surrounded by your friends. There were play groups, carpools, and slumber parties. Day in and day out, you saw teammates, lab partners, sorority sisters, and roommates. That perpetual contact made it possible to develop deep friendships, create new memories, and grow together. But as adults, and particularly as parents, both consistency and proximity are much harder to come by. You are tethered to your children—sometimes literally—and understandably make them your first priority. “We fall in love with our babies, but they drain us emotionally and command our time and attention,” says Irene S. Levine, PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. The fallout: declining invitations, staying home more, and connecting less. Maintaining existing relationships, much less forging new ones, is overwhelming and at times unappealing. “Time with friends seems like a luxury, but nothing could be further from the truth,” says Levine. “Strong friendships enhance our health and well-being. They make us better mothers, partners, and workers.” In short, they’re worth fighting for. Let our experts help you overcome six common obstacles.