One of the most challenging things I have found over the years is finding families that work well with your own. Oh sure, I have plenty of girlfriends for girls’ night out. That is not a problem. But when searching for the family that you want to come over, hang out, cook-out and let the kids play together, it is quite difficult. There are a great deal of requirements (in no specific order):
1. The husbands must have similar interests and get along
2. The wives must get along
3. A boy around my son’s age
4. A girl around my daughter’s age
5. The other child(ren) must not destroy my house (I am pretty laid back, but I must not fear the ceiling is coming through onto the main floor at any time!)
6. Oh, and the kids must get along
Wow! Is that even possible? Over the past few years our greatest friends have stemmed from the friendships my son built while at Primrose. There are four or five families that usually do very well together as a group, but only one family that I can truly say is a perfect fit for our family. The Martins meet all the above requirements, except there is one problem…the husband travels 4-5 days each week, and the wife travels a fair amount. So, when the weekend rolls around they are ready for some family time together, and that is certainly understandable. As a result of their traveling jobs, we only get to see them about once every three months. Being the social people we are, we have decided we need a clone of them to fill in the rest of the year. My husband has compared them to Land Rovers…you need two so you always have one when the other is in the shop.
I often wonder why it is so hard to find that perfect family. Of course the age and gender of the kids always plays a major role in this situation. We have some other friends that match the age requirement with the children, but they have two girls, and my son doesn’t really find it fun to play with three girls. I don’t blame him, do you? Dress-up, pretend house and school are not really up his alley at seven. How about some superheroes and Legos?
My husband gets frustrated with trying to find men with similar interests. I understand his frustration. Unlike women who can always make small talk about their children, men are not going to sit around drinking wine talking about how Billy Bob went potty for the first time. So they definitely must have more in common; running, beer making, something.
Now there is one small problem I sometimes find with wives…I don’t do high maintenance. I cannot deal with moody women. What mood will they show up in today? I also am not the best at softening my opinion. I certainly say it nicely, but we may disagree. Who cares? That is what makes life interesting. So women that are easily offended usually don’t work with me. As a result, I have found I often do best drinking a beer on the front porch with the guys, then I won’t get in trouble.
So maybe this is a challenge that continues during each stage of life. Does it change as your kids get older and make different friends? Or is this just the life of living in a major metropolitan area where things are constantly changing?