You're in pain because your friend no longer has time for you. That's really hard, and I'm sorry for your pain. It's possible you shouldn't be friends with these people right now; I'd step back wait until their kids are older, and they have more time. That's not a fun thing to hear—you have invested time an energy into this friendship, and you don't want to "put it on a shelf", but ultimately, that decision isn't up to you. Or, at least, it's not a unilateral one.

But you're making, I think, a logically flawed leap when you assume that because parents aren't taking time away from their kids to be with *you*, they must be too attached to, or co-dependent with, their kids. For me, when the stars align and I manage to get a babysitter that can handle both my kids at once—difficult, expensive, and rare—then I have to spend that time with my husband, or maybe with my sister. My family comes before my friends. It's not ideal, and it's not forever, but right now, there's just not a way around it. (Especially in the middle of a pandemic!)

Essayist. Parent. Unusual woman. BA in creative writing from Yale. Sign up here to be notified when I publish:

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