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.
With love from p says
Beautiful post and do extremely true. I always say the same things to my friends who don’t have kids.
Ugh all these things are so true. Especially that your body will never be the same! Haha something I think people know but don’t fully KNOW until you have been there.
Rianna Galvez says
This is such a sweet and meaningful post!! I definitely agree with you on appreciating our friends. I have a couple of great ones too that helped me a lot even before my baby was born! 🙂
All of these are so so so true. The greater love one for sure. I will never forget the feeling I felt when I saw my daughter for the first time. Loved this post. Thank you for sharing!!
I love this! So beautiful and so sooooo true!!
What a fantastic read, especially for someone who doesn’t have kids. It’s impossible to understand the fatigue, the brain fog, the worrying etc that comes with being a parent until you actually are a parent. I myself have 4 kids but didn’t come close to understanding the above until I had kids
Farmhouse Mama says
Great post! This is so true. Getting out of the house definitely takes WAY more planning and I think people don’t realize that sometimes.
Stefani K Rose says
This is spot on!! Great job! After 4 kids my body and my heart will never be the same. I lost a lot of friends when I first had kids – the baby days were hard for me and very lonely but then I connected to other moms and it was my saving grace. Each season the friendships change, grow and shift. Now while I am in the baby days with my 4th child I am seeing my friends from school having their first and I am like “see it’s hard” – you honestly don’t know what it is like until you go through it!!
Jenn Pohlman says
Being a new mom, I love all these thoughts and the encouragement you give them. They are all so very true – from the incredible, I am a Hero!, feelings to the ones where you don’t really even know who you are anymore! It is all so rewarding and completely inexplicable until experienced firsthand.
Janine Ella says
“You will never know a greater love” –> This is SOOOO TRUE! When I gave birth, I was feeling a mix of emotions but it was love that I felt most. Love for your own child is just so different I could not explain.
Aww, why wouldn’t they want you as a friend, your probably awesome. I gotten new friends to, and I don’t mind if they have kids. Your list was very cute, and I like it that your so honest about it and include the “up-sides and the down-sides” in a way. But in the end, it’s worth it of course. All parents I know seem very happy, like tired, but happy.
Super cute! looking forward to more!
I don’t have that many friends that don’t have children because I’m a stay-at-home mom so the only people I meet are people with kids. However, my sister has no children and it can be tough sometimes. Getting together is tough, especially since all three of my boys are under 10.
Awesome post. As a childless woman (for now) this is something I can see from both sides, because most of my friends do have children.
Such a lovely post and so true…. you will never know a greater love… I adore being a Mama so very much!
I do not have kids yet. But truth be told, reading posts about pregnancy and labour pains and how tough it is, in the beginning, makes me grateful at this point in my life that I am not there yet. Having said that, my mom had 4 kids and I must say she did an amazing job, raising all of us.
I can relate to each and every point you mentioned being a mom of a 10-year and a 10-month-old. The struggle, boredom and extreme exhaustion is there as are the proud, heart melting and love-beyond-words moments. Wonderful perspective on motherhood
I guess when you decide to have children you sign on for all of this. Enjoy your kids. 🙂
Being mom is a job that you cannot quit, so it is a life long thing. Nurturing a child is challenging but can be fun at the same time.
Elizabeth O says
You made so many great points. I am sure your childless friends will really appreciate your honesty here. Great post.