To My Friends Without Kids

Thursday, December 11, 2014

This year has been strange. I've loved being a mama, with it's struggles and frustrations and joys alike, but it's been a strange time of really defining myself and who I am. I often feel out of place-- I'm a young mom and most of our friends are childless, or not married. More often than not, Greg and I have to ask if the dinner/party/BBQ we were invited to is kid-friendly. And we've definitely been those people who bring their kid to said dinner/party/BBQ when clearly there are no other children in sight. The transition from no-kids to kids is kind of abrupt-- there's no "easing" into it. Boom. Kids. You're done.
I think most people assume that when you have babies, you are automatically entered into a world where everyone around you also has children. You make instant friends; the "family" friends. The kids play together on a daily basis, the parents are just the best of friends because they have something in common--a kid. But no, that's not the case. It's almost like a mad hunt to find the perfect match for these types of people. It's frustrating. And lonely at times. It's just not the same as being around your own friends.
But that can be difficult when your friends have their own stuff going on. They have freedom. Freedom to happy hours, road trips... The freedom to be hungover on a Sunday morning and not emerge from their beds until 2 p.m. I'm not saying I want that life back, I just want my friends. The "me" that I am with my friends. 
I get it-- people don't always want to hang around my kid, they don't always want to come to my house on a random afternoon to sit around and watch my son bang blocks together. I also get that most people probably assume that I can't go anywhere or do anything. But you know what? I need a break from my full-time gig sometimes. I need to go out and not discuss eating habits or sleep schedules. I need a night out, a girls weekend, a late lunch-- just as much as the next gal. It might be for different reasons. I may not have a stressful career to complain about or boyfriend problems that I want to escape, but I need that time, too.
To my friends without kids: don't forget that your friends were friends before kids. Call that friend who's been locked in her house for 3 days because it's been raining. Send a message to the friend who hasn't slept in months because of their teething baby. Invite the friend who hasn't been shopping without a stroller. They need you, the same as before. There may be a few more obstacles in the way when planning anything, you may have to endure a million "hold on a second" phrases when you're on the phone, they may only have a window of opportunity to hang out with you. Just reach out, that's all I'm sayin'. 

Trust me, if you're there for your friends during this time in their lives, they will most definitely be there when you are in the same boat; desperate for friends whom you can truly relate to when you have a screaming toddler at your feet and you haven't showered in a week. It's a weird transition for everybody-- but believe me, just be there. You'll be glad you did.

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