Why It’s OK That Life Milestones Are Changing My Friendships

A few weeks ago, my friend announced that she’s pregnant. When she told me, I was happy for her, especially because she’s wanted a baby forever.

Just a year earlier, we were joking about those “psychic prediction” TikToks, and she said that a “pregnancy prediction” would help her feel like her time to raise a child is coming. Now the time is here, and she’s discussing her baby shower with me. Change really does happen quickly, especially when friends meet milestones.

The thing is, even though I’m happy for my friend, the thought of my friends having kids has always terrified me. This isn’t because I think they will be bad parents, though.

I know that our friendships will change, and that terrifies me.

Our friendships will change because I won’t be the mom who stuffs her minivan with gluten-free snacks and sensory toys. I won’t be the mom who’s sitting in the front row of the auditorium to watch her child in the 3rd grade play. I won’t be the mom who captures every back-to-school picture and saves every stuffed animal in the attic.

The truth is, I won’t be that mom because I won’t be a mom.

I remember the first time that a friend announced her pregnancy to me. I was really excited for her. Just two months later, I stood beside her at her wedding. But that night, I lay in bed and started bawling because I knew our friendship would end.

I knew that I put more effort into this friendship than my friend did, especially after we had a falling out after she gave birth. Our friendship ended there, and ever since, I’ve worried every time another of my friends makes a big life change. I always think I’ll lose my friends, especially when we’re in different stages of life.

When my friends meet milestones, I’m happy for them, but the thought of losing them terrifies me.

Now, I try to remind myself that my friends’ achievements don’t mean that I’ll lose them. Even if our lives aren’t exactly the same anymore, the friends who care will still be there for me. We may not see each other as often, but we can still have fun together, even if those good times look different than they once did. And if my friends and I drift apart, that’s OK too. Not every friendship will last forever, but no matter where my friendships end up, I’ll be happy about my friends’ accomplishments.

As my friends achieve life milestones, like marrying, having babies, or moving somewhere new, I know that first and foremost, I’m happy for them. I may not be the friend who can share “dirty diaper” stories. I may not be married or be vice president of a company. But I can still be a friend, and I know that many of my friendships are strong enough that life changes won’t affect us negatively. If they do break us, then those friends weren’t meant to stay in my life forever, and that’s OK. Our friends’ lives may not follow the same paths that ours do, but the best thing we can do is be happy for their successes, whether we’re part of their lives or not.

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