6 In Motherhood

To My Friends Without Kids…

When you have kids, you realize how much your priorities change. Not because you want them to, but because they have to. No matter how much you value your friendships, your baby just always takes precedence. It is so, so hard to maintain friendships after you become a mom, especially friendships with friends who aren’t in the same boat as you. I remember feeling like such a terrible friend for months after I had Adeline because I felt like my world instantly revolved around all things baby, and I knew my friends without kids just wouldn’t “get it.” I never really understood that before I had kids, but now I totally understand. (I had no idea what I wasn’t “getting” before Adeline!) I remember feeling, and still do feel, like no matter how close you are with someone, having kids just puts you both in different chapters, no matter hard you try not to let it change things. It’s just a fact of life. And if having a baby taught me one thing, it’s that having other mom friends is so important! You’ll always be close with your lifelong friends, your college roomies, and your high school besties – you know, the types of friends you can get back together with after months apart and it somehow only feels like five minutes has passed. But no matter how close you are, it can still feel tough to feel like they really understand what you’re going through if they haven’t been there yet themselves.

{pic cred: The McElmurrys}

So to my friends without kids, I would want you to know…

  • When I say I’m tired, what I really mean is, I’m tired. Like bone crushingly tired. I promise it’s not a cop out or a lame excuse, but it’s the honest truth. Having a little one makes you really, really tired and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do much of anything, including picking up my phone to text you back. (Totally guilty of reading many a text messages, but not remembering to respond until three days later. Still working on that one!)
  • When you ask how I am, and I say “I’m fine” or “I’m good!”, what I really mean is, “I could use a hug, I’m overwhelmed, and worried about my baby’s XYZ but saying I’m fine or I’m good is just easier for us both.”
  • When you ask to hang out after bedtime, and I say I can’t, it’s not because I don’t want to. It’s because once you have kids, making it to bedtime is a miracle in itself and sometimes I just want to be by myself at the end of the day.
  • When you don’t ask us to hang out or invite us to events because we have kids, it does feel lonely. Even though we’ll probably say no (for what feels like the millionth time), it’s still nice to feel included. One day you will understand this feeling too.
  • When you ask to hang out with me on the weekend and I say I can’t, again, it’s not because I don’t want to see you and spend time with you. It’s because I either don’t have the energy to mess with taking the baby out in public, or I don’t have a babysitter. We don’t have family in town that can just drop everything and babysit for us on a whim. And taking a baby out in public, either to a restaurant or ANYWHERE other than our home, is honestly exhausting. Every time. It just is. When you have kids one day, you’ll understand how difficult it is just to get out of the house, let alone handling a fussy baby when you get to where you’re going. There are about 9843573 things you have to think about beforehand, during, and after.
  • When we come to town to visit, and we don’t have time to see you, I promise it’s not because we don’t want to. It’s because we’re usually there to spend time with family first and foremost, and weekend trips are super short. Between nap times, meal times, and bed time routines, it’s hard to even plan anything with just family members. When we go out of town, it’s kind of like a mini vacation, and now that we have kids, it’s honestly just nice to stay home and visit with family, and not spend all our energy going and doing.
  • When we finally do plan something with you, but at the last minute our kid gets sick, I promise we’re as disappointed as you are. It’s not a fake excuse, and we didn’t make our kid get sick.
  • When you offer to babysit, but we haven’t taken you up on it yet, it’s not because we don’t trust you. It’s either because we just haven’t found the time or energy to plan a date night, or I’m not ready to leave our baby for one reason or another.
  • When you make comments comparing our baby to another baby, please think twice. Once you have kids, you really become super sensitive paranoid mom and any little thing can make you a worry wart.
  • When you come over, and the baby is asleep or napping and we “shhh” you, we’re not trying to be rude or insult you in any way! We just probably spent way too long getting the baby to finally fall asleep and we can’t afford for them to not stay asleep! When you have kids, you will also become strangely sensitive to loud noises when your kids are trying to sleep!
  • When we go somewhere, and I have random stains all over my clothes, I promise my clothes are probably (maybe) clean but somehow having kids also means you become a landing pad for spit up, milk, and other TBD fluids. I always know my mom friends can relate, but I am sometimes a little embarrassed and feel like a hot mess around my non-mommy friends.
  • When you say something and I accidentally roll my eyes and say, “just wait ’till you have kids”, I’m not trying to sound sarcastic or obnoxious. I just didn’t realize how unprepared I was for the life changes that kids would bring and want to make sure you aren’t as blindsided as I was!
  • When we make plans but we have to work around my baby’s schedule, I know it must be annoying. But once you have kids, I promise you will understand why keeping them on a good schedule and routine is so important and how stressful it can be when that’s disrupted.
  • When you start talking about all the fun trips you’re taking, or fun things you’re doing and I sound less than excited, it’s probably because a small part of me is jealous of that freedom I gave up! Please do keep telling me ALL about your exciting adventures, I really do want to live vicariously through you and am so happy for you!
  • When we get together and all we talk about is my baby, it’s not because I don’t care about your life too. It’s just that once you have kids, they tend to occupy your every thought and it’s just hard not to talk about them.
  • When we make plans to meet up, but I’m always, always, always late, it’s not because I didn’t think ahead or wake up early enough or that I don’t respect your time. It’s probably because the baby spit up all over me on my way out the door, or she ran around the house throwing a temper tantrum and wouldn’t let me get her dressed. It literally takes 10 billion years to go anywhere with a baby.
  • When you question our choices in where we move, or buy a house, it’s probably got something to do with school zones, or something lame like that. When you have kids, you suddenly think 10 years down the road and worry about their future education.
  • When you start talking about how you don’t know if you want kids, or don’t want them for a long, long time, know I’m not judging you! Just because we chose to become parents doesn’t make us better than you, or mean that you have to too!

But in the end, I still want your friendship, and value my relationship with you probably more than you know! As important as mommy friends are, YOU are my lifeline and I could not survive with you!

What would you tell your friends without little ones? Or vice versa?

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Becca S.
    December 19, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Love you always, friend! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Live Half Full
    December 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Oh man, this post totally hit home! Friendships are hard after kids. I’m lucky that the majority of my friendships have stayed intact but there a few that were slightly hurt by the change.
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  • Reply
    Heather @Lunging Through Life
    December 19, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    This is so true. I hate feeling like I’m the worst friend but so many just don’t understand. Seriously I feel guilty about so much because it revolves around Annabelle but that’s life and it happens. It’s just a season of life!
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Weekend Before Christmas Fun + Our Christmas Card!My Profile

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food
    December 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I’m that kidless friend and I don’t judge or mind at all! I’ve happily met friends in the park while we push their kid on the swing or stopped over for a quick cup of coffee while they nap. I don’t expect my mom friends to be interested in some big girls-night-out and honestly I don’t think it’s fair to put that on them. Having a kid is a huge responsibility and true friends will definitely understand.
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Winter and spring all in one weekendMy Profile

  • Reply
    Melissa
    December 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Oh, wow, I can relate to this so much. It has been a lot different for me to maintain relationships post-baby since we moved twice since I became a mom. I don’t really have to maintain relationships any more than texts or stuff on Facebook for most people just because we are so far away from them now.

    I totally relate to the not wanting to hang out with people (or aka just not having the energy or time). It annoys me to be invited to things that are clearly not kid-friendly constantly from the same people and they’re response is always “just get a baby sitter” as if that’s always really easy to do (or cheap! hah). I do have to say that I had a LOT of people offer to watch Claire and the way you put it was a lot nicer. There were honestly just some people I wasn’t comfortable with watching her but I had no idea how to say that to them.

    I’m also so jealous of people saying they’re tired when they’ve stayed up partying until 4 AM or taking long kid-less vacations, going shopping alone, etc. It’s hard to be on the other side sometimes and realize that a lot of things in my life just aren’t happening anymore!
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    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 23, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Yes! It’s such a tough thing to balance, and it’s hard too to not accidentally push them away. I know true friends will always understand and be there, but it is still so hard! It’s amazing how much things change, and I don’t feel like people warn you of that before you have kids! Glad you can relate, sweet friend 🙂

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