In the last few years I have acquired numerous friends that don’t have children. These friends are amazing people and despite having kids they still want to be my friend. Some of them want children of their own, some don’t want children at all but no matter what they supported me as I raised a child and grew another. These friends are invaluable to me and sometimes I may not tell them the realities of becoming a mom and all that it entails because I either don’t want to scare them away from being my friend or scare them away from having children of their own.
With that said here are a few things I want my childless friends to know.
1. First and foremost: I appreciate you
I appreciate you being my friend and knowing that that means I may have to bring my children along with me to activities and lunches. It also means knowing that I may not always be available to hang out or may have to cancel because of a school function, a birthday parry or a sick child. My friendship comes with cute small attachments and I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, that you have not only embraced my children but include me even when you know I may not be able to go.
2. You may be lonely
Despite having friends and family members who are supportive and embrace your children, there will be many times when you feel alone. Countless hours at home with an infant who does nothing except for eat, sleep and crap can be isolating. Same goes for when you are at your child’s 1200th school function of the year and you aren’t the popular PTA parent. Another time is when co-workers discuss plans to go get drinks, dinner or hike and you already know you won’t be invited or can’t go because you have children. This is where mom friends are important but even then mom friends get busy with their own children and sometimes may not have time for play dates.
3. Your body will never be the same
The majority of us are not that woman with the perfect body that slims down immediately after having a baby. For most of us our body changes and those changes become permanent. I’m talking about saggy boobs, stretch marks and bigger hips. Somedays I look in the mirror and think “what the hell happened to my body” and long for days where I could wear skinny jeans and bikinis.
4. You will be tired
I’m not talking about party all night, hangover feeling tired even though having children brings a new all night party per say. I’m talking about the insomnia that accompanies the third trimester in pregnancy immediately followed by the infancy period where you have no idea what day it is. Even when the kids start sleeping in their own bed there will be many nights that produce nightmares, tears and vomit. There is nothing like being woken up out of a dead sleep with the sound of vomit splashing against your hard wood floor and a small human standing over it with tears in their eyes. The difference between now and when I lived in a sorority house in college is that now I’m responsible to clean the mess up and put the child back to bed.
5. You can’t just leave the house on a whim
Going anywhere is an ordeal. You either have to prepare fully the night before or plan to get up an extra hour early in the morning. With a baby it’s even harder. When I have to venture out not only do I have to yell at Hayden 3-4 times to put his shoes on and remind him to grab whatever items it is he needs for the day but I also have to get all the crap I need for a day out with a baby. By the time I’ve checked and double checked everything, got the baby in the car seat, take the baby out because she decided at that it was the perfect time to poop, put the baby back in the car seat, get the kids in the car, run back into the house to grab the diaper bag, run back into the house because I forget the keys, and finally after 20-30 minutes of back and forth we leave.
6. You will never be more proud of what your body can do
You will endure 9 months of pregnancy and all the changes that brings. morning sickness, expanding waist line, extreme exhaustion, insomnia, excessive peeing, and overwhelming hunger. This will be followed by weeks of Braxton-Hicks contractions, hours and sometimes days of labor, a possible c-section, recovery after delivery, and then weeks of bleeding and months of belly pain if you’ve had a c-section. Your body will endure more then you ever think that it could and you will be so damn proud of it.
7. You will never know a greater love
From those first kicks to seeing that little profile on the ultrasound to finally being able to hold your baby in your arms. You will never know a greater love then that you have for your child. Yes, your life will change but it will change for the better. Every time your child smiles at you or achieves a milestone your heart will explode with happiness. It’s a feeling you can’t explain until you’ve experienced it and I’m so excited for you when you do.
8. You will never get this time back
The saying the days are the long but the years are short is the truest statement I have ever heard. In the blink of an eye your baby will be walking, talking, riding a bike, and going off to their first day of school. You will wonder where all the time went and your heart will break at how fast your children are growing up. So when I say no to hanging out or going places it’s because I don’t want to miss these moments with my children. I already miss so much time working and sharing custody of Hayden that when given the opportunity between eating tacos and watching The Secret Life of Pets for the 200th time with my kids or grabbing dinner with friends I will chose the time with my kids more times then not. This doesn’t mean though that I won’t need a night out every once in a while so thank you for including me when that times comes.