I have a friend who is costantly inviting me to go out with her. I love spending time with her, but here’s my problem. I have a young daughter, and she wakes up pretty early in the morning. If I go out with my friend I am usually tired the next morning when my daughter wakes up. I’ve also grown out of “bar hopping”, and I don’t tend to drink at all anymore. Yet if I turn down my friend’s invitation she appears heart broken, then gives me a HUGE guilt trip later.
I’m not sure how to explain to her that I’ve just “grown up” a little more than she, and I’m just not interested in partying anymore.
“No Longer “Party Rockin’”
Dear “No Longer ‘Party Rockin’”,
This should be an open and shut case, but that rarely happens. It should be as simple as explaining to her that you just don’t want to go out anymore. You enjoy staying home, playing with your daughter, and feeling well rested when you wake up instead of hungover. But some friends just don’t understand this. You are expected to maintain the same level of energy even though you have a small child because your friend can’t comprehend the amount of attention a toddler requires. Children change things, or at least they should. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with going out once in a while once you become a parent, but bar hopping every night of every weekend is a bit much.
In addition to just communicating with your friend, try inviting her to come over for dinner more often. No one is saying you can’t have a couple of glasses of wine after dinner and have a fun night in. Perhaps if she spends more time with your daughter, she’ll at least understand your position a little more. Another perk to this is that she might wake up the next morning a little more well rested, and begin to like the feeling. But this isn’t intended to change your friend or her behavior, merely expand her understanding of your situation. Do NOT try to lecture her about her actions, as you are not her mother. Just show her what type of night you enjoy, so the two of you can still spend time together. There might need to be a compromise made, maybe you invite her over for dinner on a Friday night and in return you’ll go out with her Saturday night. It’s possible she’ll produce an appreciation for a more relaxed environment.
If this doesn’t work, it might be time to cut all weekend ties with this friend. Lunch dates, shopping trips, and visits to the movies might be better to plan with your friend. It’s important to continue to spend time with her, just avoid night time activities. If your friend doesn’t care to do anything else with you besides bar hopping, it might be time to cut those ties until she catches up to your level of “homebody”.
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Ashley Branch is a resident of Lee County. She is a wife, and mother of two boys. She enjoys photography, art, and crochet when she’s not writing for The Albany Journal.