When I had a baby, I was told that I could basically say goodbye to my childless friends, my “single” friends, if you will. My life would be too busy and it would be too different from theirs and we would obviously drift apart. I would have nothing but poo and teething to talk about and that just isn’t interesting to friends who don’t have kids of their own. I would be tied down by babysitters and naptimes and so I wouldn’t be able to go out on the town anymore. I would be too involved with playdates and other moms to keep up with my previous friendships.
Well that’s a load of crap.
I’m here to tell you that if your friends don’t want to be friends with you after you have a baby, maybe you’re better off without them. Such fickle people aren’t going to be there when you need them and maybe you should make friends with the moms of your kid’s friends.
But for real. Two of my bestest friends are kid free and they not only tolerate my woeful potty training tales but they also help me raise my ridiculously strong-willed daughter. They are willing to come to my house, a thirty-minute drive for them, so that we can hang out without my needing a babysitter all the time. (Don’t get me wrong though–sometimes I do get sitters and hang out with them sans daughter. I’m just glad I don’t have to do this every single time.) They even scoured their own neighborhoods for playgrounds with bucket swings for my baby girl when I couldn’t find swing sets near me on my side of the island. They get down on the ground to be silly with her and they aren’t afraid to reprimand her for standing in chairs or climbing on bookshelves.
I’m so ridiculously grateful to these two ladies. They are strong women and I’m glad my daughter will grow up with their guidance. They see me at my worst and my best and don’t blink their eyes. They love my daughter like she’s their own and do you even know what that means to me?
And don’t get me wrong. I have tons of “mom friends” too. I joined a whole club just for moms. I get wonderful support and advice and encouragement from all of my friends, not just the moms, and not just the non-moms. But my point in writing today is to put it out there that sometimes the stereotypes are wrong. Just because you’re having kids doesn’t mean you’re going to lose all of your kid-free friends. Sometimes, those kid-free friends will step up and become your kid-raising village and it’s the best feeling in the world.
But you can’t abandon your kid-free friends either. Don’t think that you can just take all of their love and support and not offer them anything either. Friendships aren’t one-way. It is very true that after having kids, you will have a different sort of day. Especially the stay-at-home mamas. You need to accommodate your new life and still make time for your friends. Change can be a good thing. Growing is a part of life. Try not to grow apart. Try to grow together! If you can’t get out for brunch anymore, find something else to do. Shoot them a message telling them you’re thinking of them; that goes a long way. Invite them to come to the playground with you and your kid. (I do this with my friends frequently. We choose a shady spot to sit and drink our coffee while my kid runs around like a loon.) We have a group text message chain going too, where we like to make plans and such, but I also shoot them funny pictures and memes now and then too. We often do events at my house so I can put Mademoiselle down for naptime or bedtime and then we can carry on and act silly ourselves downstairs. For example, we are planning a tea party at my house. I have lots of fancy teacups and saucers and we want to use them! Or if you’re used to going for walks with your kid in the stroller, bring your friends along with you. You’ll find ways to include your kid-free friends. You’ll find what works for you, but you have to be willing to look for it.
I’m a strong believer in making time for the things and people that are truly important to you. If it means a lot to you, you’ll find a way, you’ll find the time. It is important to me to show my friends that they’re important to me.
So shout out to the kid-free friends who still hang out with their mom friends. They’re really the best. High five!