I often contemplated what my life would be like as a parent. My questions included:
Would anything remain as it was before, or would every aspect of my life experience a change post fatherhood?
How would this affect my general state of contentment?
Would I be happy spending more time at home and going out less?
Will I still make time for friends?
Will friends who are still bachelors or childless couples start to slowly distance themselves when the lack of common ground begins to widen between us?
You can hold your ground and tell yourself that you’ll still make time for nights out with your mates, for quick drinks after work or the occasional weekend outing. What you may not anticipate are the changes to your own mindset post-fatherhood.
A night out with your buddies?
Guilt-trip. It’s bad enough that I barely see my child during the working week, but to also miss their bedtime for a familiar night out with the gang seizes to be the carefree get-together I once enjoyed. For my night would always end on a somber note if I were to find my little rascal fast asleep on my return to home.
As for weekends, these are often reserved for quality time with my other half and our little man.
In short, I may not have lost friends since becoming a dad, but I have lost touch with many. Interactions are less frequent now, as are outings. Especially with those where our paths are no longer aligned. It feels similar to leaving high school, and you begin to evolve as a person — the same happens in this case — it's a natural progression, but you aren't exactly 'missing out.'
The change in priorities and duties is certainly a factor, but in part, it’s also a choice.
If my partner and child are not the factors keeping me from spending time with my mates, then symptoms of early fatherhood exhaustion are to blame. On the plus side, I now enjoy the company of other friends with kids!
Written by Alex Sheldon Savva, a first time dad nearing 40
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