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Even as parents, we all need some me-time. Isn't it wonderful to have friends who have children around the same age as your kids, so they can play together while you drink coffee and chat with your friend? It is... if the deal works out like that. But what happens if your friend's kids don't get on with yours? How do you handle that situation without it affecting your friendship?

I was really happy when a good friend of mine conceived especially because I was months pregnant myself at the time, and we both made a pact that our children would be best mates. My son was born a small, quiet little fellow. He was perfect as a newborn, didn't fuss much and was content almost all of the time. My friend's "little" boy came along a few months later. He was twice the size of my son, and the poor thing was colicky. My friend regularly commented that my two kids were no match for her one in terms of the needs they had. She had a baby who was difficult to care for.

The little guy turned into a lovely, boisterous toddler with great manners. He was very social and generally got along great with other kids. Except mine. Whenever he would see my son, he would hit, pinch, or launch himself upon him this child who was a few months younger, but still twice the size. Predictably, the fact that our kids didn't get on at all did put a strain on my relationship with my friend.

I avoided seeing her because I was sure that her kid would hurt mine, and I was also not all that happy with the way she disciplined him, or rather didn't. My friend also avoided me and the kids because she felt guilty and dreaded having to act like a police officer, instead of enjoying a coffee and a chat. We did resolve our issues in the end... and perhaps you can, too, if you have run into the same problem. How?

It helps to remember that two children don't have to get on because their moms are friends. These friendships are wonderful and extremely convenient when they happen, but kids do have a will of their own :). Try getting together without the kids, or at least having only one friend's kid(s) there. Don't judge each other's parenting decisions negatively on the basis of how your kids would react to certain actions. See if your quarreling kids will like each other in a month, or six, or a year... and if not, cut your losses and be glad that you have a nice friend even if getting together may be hard at times, because your children can't stand each other.

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