My two sisters (ages 35 and 43), who don’t have kids, entertain me with their married, yet childless perspectives. I wish to unveil a phenomenon discovered and probably only recognized by couples without children. I would have never zeroed in on it before, seeing as I'm personally wrapped up in my own life with kids. Both of their marriages have bumped into this friendship zapper many times as their couple friends ditched birth control and started popping out the pups. It boils down to a lifestyle change for the new parents that temporarily dissolves the couple's friendship for a long period time, hopefully not to exceed eighteen years. My sisters and their husbands have learned not to take it personally. They admit it is annoying, yet understand that it is life’s progression. They named it The Baby Blow Off.
My brother-in-law went out every Thursday night for six years with his good friend and co-worker for dinner and drinks. Whooping it up on Thursday nights was anticipated. It was a shoe-in of a fine time. This night solidified the man-love and simple joys of happy hour until the baby came along for his buddy and then PRESTO! SHAZAAM! Instantly, this new father dropped out of their date night and nobly poured himself into the world of colic and soiled diapers. Thursday night merriment came to a crashing halt after approximately three hundred gregarious memorable weeknights out.
“Couldn’t do that anymore. Damn kids.” My brother-in-law smirks with a smile.
The Baby Blow Off results in these couple-friends gravitating toward their other couple-friends with babies. When the chidless couple spends time with the new parents and baby, it understandably, is not as fun. Naturally, the new parents socialize with other people that have kids close in age. The kids entertain one another, the haggled parents commiserate together and the childless couple now feels left out -- The Baby Blow Off. My sister’s dear friend, husband and toddler have been invited to two family parties over the last year and both times the child was sick. Twice, her friend flaked on her at the last minute. Fallout from The Baby Blow Off.
The brunt of the Baby Blow Off is stronged the first two years of the child’s life and then slows, unless another baby is born and then the Blow Off timer clicks back to start. My sisters and brothers-in-law, over the years, have had to regroup with other people that don’t have children. My sister stated, after many years and instances of dealing with this reality, “If you hang in there they come around and they can do things with you again once their kids are in high school.”
My take on this life trend? Make a baby and avoid ever having to experience The Baby Blow Off. It worked for me!