Life is full of seasons. You enjoy many of the same for a long while and then you hit your twenties and it starts to change. People get married. People buy houses. People have kids.

Me? I chose to run move away.
My friends? My Instagram feed is evidence enough: weddings + babies…or those delaying either/or = travel.

I had a bit of a crew through my late-teens and early 20s. I was innocent, overconfident and opinionated. They were good to me (read:patient). But most were Christians and so they married young…and then bought houses. We had a place to hang out. Win!

But two years ago, just before I was drawn in to the (sun)light, the first couple had an adorable baby. And in the two years I’ve been gone, the procreation has continued.

Last week I spent a few days with 6 married couples and 4 babies under 2 (+ few extras). I abandoned plans to travel to Scandinavia ($15k on travel in 12 months is probably a bit too much) and instead took annual leave to spend time with 15 adults + 4 children + 1 teenager under 1 roof. And it wasn’t that chaotic.

Although some things have changed. Because holidays (including those involving 2000km) = thinking time, and my friends love to feature in my little corner of the inter webs… here’s my not so comprehensive list of what happens when your friends have kids.

  • New titles. Everyone becomes an Aunty or Uncle.
  • You ignore your friends and greet their miniature humans first.
  • Detailed bowel movement discussions.
  • Birth stories.
  • “Is that yours or mine?” is not referring to a mobile phone but baby monitor.
  • You see the traits/personalities of your friends in minature form
  • Movies are turned off half way. Surprisingly even babies can discern Jurassic Park isn’t as rosy the Peppa Pig farmyard.
  • Noise travels. Noise matters.
  • Driveways are filled with soccer mum mini SUVs instead of mum’s old, hand-me-down dinged early 2000s hatchbacks
  • P plates parks are now pram park ups
  • An afternoon where all 4 children were asleep at once was like all the planets aligning in a once-in-century occasion
  • PDA is everpresent in kisses, hugs and sniffing nappies.
  • You see patience in practice. Discipline in action.
  • You get endless cuddles but freedom to hand them back when they poop, scream or fight you off.
  • You’re watching who’s drinking to see who’s preggers on the sly.
  • Baby line ups are mandatory. Along with ridiculous attempts to get all children looking remotely in the direction of the camera.
  • Time schedules are fluid. Departures can be timed to either keep the baby awake, but also to ensure the baby sleeps.
  • “How did you sleep?” will be answered as if this were the question: “how did <insert child’s name> sleep?”
  • Did you say Wiggles? Yep, kid tunes reign.

Of course they could most certainly comment on the child-less life too. I willingly woke early to exercise. I enjoy abs still joined at the centre. And my car was sans extensive miniature person paraphernalia.

Moving away isn’t the easiest. I’ve missed pretty much all the baby showers, first birthdays, dedications etc – often by only a week. And being the single, childless one is often the topic of discussion (It took a grand total of 3.5 hours before I was asked about my dating life). The above is a list of largely funny takeouts from a relaxing week away.

But really it’s a privilege to see my friends turn into parents. Life is best done together. I took joy recieving a face covered of saliva care of new raspberry blowing skills. And they enjoyed the extra set of hands. The village life.

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