My husband came home one day and told me about this podcast he listened to that essentially explained why men (dads) need to have friends and maintain those friendships. Dad friendships can lead to a more fulfilling, happier life and help prevent loneliness and depression down the road. I can’t find the actual podcast to backup my commentary, so this is my interpretation of what I think is a spot-on topic. The story basically goes like this:
A boy and girl both start off with groups of friends. They meet, start dating and fall in love. During that time they’re no longer just hanging out with their own friends. They’re hanging out with each other and each other’s friends. Add in some additional life milestones – marriage, house, baby… and maybe a couple more. There’s a lot going on, a lot to keep up with, and in stereotypical fashion, the wife/mom/girl ends up being the manager of the social calendar. We go here, here, here, etc. This isn’t a negative, per se, it just is what it is, and the husband/dad/boy goes along.
What happens in that time, though, is that the mom is left to do all the planning, and the dad’s friend time naturally, unintentionally isn’t getting scheduled. Dad needs to take charge of that. The guys are no longer hanging out and their friendship(s) slowly start to drift. If those friends are in the same adult boat – life, baby, wife – the process compounds without anyone realizing it.
Fast forward. Life gets busy, like really busy, and when kids are involved, especially multiple kids, kids become your life. This impacts mom a little differently than it does dad. Mom still schedules wine nights, brunches or even play dates with other moms – her own life, her own friends. Dad, however, lets his kids and family fill the friend void. Not too bad until one day, the kids grow up and move out, later get married and then have babies of their own. The house is empty and parents who once had every waking moment full are left with newfound downtime. Well guess what? Mom is going to hang out with her friends and dad is going to…
Catch my drift?
As soon as my husband told me about this podcast I immediately thought of multiple males in my life who could probably relate to this exact situation. I don’t want that to be my husband. Neither does he. He has great friends – that now all know about this – and he deserves to have time out too, not scheduled by his wife.
Let the dads have their guy time. Let them go and keep some friends!