I've noticed an interesting divider between my friends who have kids and those that don't, and I'm wondering if this is a coincidence or if I'm seeing a trend.
If I have plans with a friend who doesn't have children, a group that includes my husband, and someone has to cancel, the request to cancel usually sounds something like
"hey, I'm being flaky here and I'm really sorry. But is there any way we could not go with what we were going to do? I mean, we could do it next week, or something, It is really OK? I mean, if it's really important to you..."
while when a friend who has kids cancels, it's always something like
"Can't make it tonight, turns out my husband wants me to do X instead"
"Kids are sick, have to cancel."
Should the person who cancelled something on me today be reading this, I should emphasize that I'm not particularly annoyed about this one time and I get that sick kids happen, I've just observed that the last minute ditching is something that all of my friends with kids do and universally with a certain unapologetic efficiancy, and I'm trying to puzzle out why kids would be what makes the difference.
I've wondered in the past if maybe having kids turns the line between family and friends into a sort of barrier. I totally get how time with one's spouse or taking care of a sick child is really important. But from the childless person's perspective, we have important stuff too, but we don't generally present the issue with the implicit message "Of course you understand that you're less important than the central people in my life, and the minute one of them beckons, I must immediately cancel."
I'm also wondering if this is the social version of the oft-voiced work concern that people who have kids take a lot of time off for kid-related things and bosses are inclined to be cool with it. (FWIW, I have heard that, though my impression is that bosses AREN'T especially inclined to be cool with it.)
Anyway, that's what I'm wondering about today.
ducking and covering, because she rememebers the "little kids in church" fight she started a couple of years ago.