Remember that kid back in grade school whose parents made them bring their little sister every time they came out to play? The big kids would have to accommodate the sister who wasn't able to ride her bike as quickly or play the same sports. What happened to that kid? Eventually we stopped playing with them. Yes, looking back we can see how cruel it was, but when you are in the thick of it you don't want to carry around someone else's baggage.
The so call "parental tunnel vision" is the grown up equivalent of the tag-along sibling. As parents there is a tendency to focus our entire world onto our children, so when we talk to other people all we can think to discuss is our child's recent dinner table disaster, their successes and failures in the walking arena, and their babbling sounds. For our grown-up friends, especially those without children, child's developmental milestones are not as much of a paradigm shift as they are for us. If we dominate most of the conversation talking about baby stuff, our friends will end up bored, guaranteed. If they start to see us as nothing more but an extension of our children (which we are, in a lot of ways) we will start to find ourselves excluded from "grown-up" activities - whether our kids come along or not!
So how do you function as a social adult when your world has been taken over by your children? First, put yourself in your friends' shoes. If you were in their position would you want to be hearing about children all the time? I don't mean status updates and major milestones - would you want to spent hours talking about teething developments? Or would you be thinking "Ok, your kid is normal. Why are we talking about this?"
Naturally all bets are off when you're talking to other parents, especially ones whose children are roughly the same age as yours. Be careful! All those stories and comparisons can turn into a competition, so always be supportive and keep the conversation affirming and friendly.
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