Remember when you turned 21 and all your friends were the same age? Twenty-first birthday parties every other weekend. And then there was the big spate of engagement parties, then all the weddings and of course, the baby showers.

I'm over-generalising, obviously, but we do go through life stages, some of them shared, some not so much.

For example, when you become a parent, but your friend doesn't - is it possible to still be friends?

Yes, of course it is, but it does take some work.

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Even organising a catch up that doesn't revolve around kids is hard work. Friday night dinner sounds easy, right?

Hmmm... find a babysitter - if hiring one, pay through the nose so a dinner out already costs $100 and you haven't even eaten anything yet. Rush around trying to settle and reassure kids while simultaneously getting dressed in to something that resembles 'going out' clothes and safety-pin them together because they don't quite fit any more.

Yell instructions at the babysitter and jump into the car wishing you were having an early night because you've been surviving on around three hours sleep a night for the last two months.

Panic on the way to the restaurant because your baby is teething, or you're worried she won't take the bottle or that your carefully crafted routine is about to be obliterated.

Then, get to the dinner only to realise every conversation comes back to something to do with parenting. After all, it's what your life is about now.

You realise your world has been taken over by relentless, demanding little beings and it's really hard to find something other than nap times, nappy contents and daily routines to talk about.

Don't fret. We've all been there.

Hopefully, your friends understand life has changed and expect to hear about your little one and what your life is like now.

Although there are a few comments to avoid when talking to your kid-free friends. These are the gems I hated to hear when my friends were all getting pregnant before I did.

"When are you going to have a baby?"

In nine months, in a year, whenever I like, never, it's none of your damn business! A definite no no - don't ask anyone this. You don't know if someone is already pregnant, going through fertility problems, has just had a miscarriage, or doesn't want to ever have kids. It's their business and if they wanted you to know, they would've told you.

"You're so lucky you only have to think about yourself"

How rude! Don't call someone selfish because they are able to sleep-in til 10am or stay out until 4am. Having a child makes you a parent, not a saint.

"I bet hanging around my baby is the best contraception for you"

So you're trying to make light of the situation because you think your child's meltdown is driving your friend crazy. Most adults understand children can be fractious - your screaming kid won't be the decider for them.

Aw, your pet is your baby

Comparing being a pet owner to being a parent makes the pet seem like a consolation prize.

If your mates begin to glaze over when you bring up how difficult you found breastfeeding or how hard toilet-training is, don't stress too much.

They should understand nobody is perfect. They should know that catch-ups, staying out late and going away on a whim will have to take a backseat.

Honestly, you may drift apart from some of your mates. But, after a few months (or years) when things settle down and you realise you're an actual human, not just somebody's parent, there will be some friends who stick around. Those are the good ones.

Did you find your friendship circle changed after having children? What are the worst things to say to childless friends?