Dear Friends Without Kids,
First of all, I apologize for seemingly vanishing from the real world.
I promise you this isn’t a reflection of my feelings towards you and our friendship, I value and adore you.
Most of the time this is actually a reflection of my inability to manage the chaos of motherhood and my inability to function on what little precious sleep I manage to fit in.
Society likes to feed us the lie that motherhood will divide us.
Mothers vs non-mothers, and mothers against different types of mothers.
We are all set-up to believe that those who aren’t of “our kind” are against us and judging us.
This simply isn’t the case.
Of course, there are exceptions to this, however for every mother forcing the “motherhood is the only way to be truly happy” agenda, there are hundreds who admire you for living your life based on what is important to you.
I understand that questions like “when will you settle down & have children?” & statements like “everything that has happened in my life before having babies pales into comparison to the joys of motherhood” are not okay and can make you feel like your value is diminished as a childless woman.
For these statements, I apologize that you have been subjected to such thoughtless words.
These words carry weight and cause harm.
For some, it intensifies an overwhelming desire to have something that life and circumstances have caused to evade you.
I can not even begin to imagine how hard it must be to have these desires go unfulfilled in a world where motherhood seems inescapable.
I may not know the right words to say or the right things to do, but please don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts to me & to let me know how I can support you & be your friend.
I love you, and your happiness matters to me.
For others, words like these send the message that all mothers believe that the choice to not have children is selfish and that your lives are unfulfilled.
I know this is untrue, in fact, I think few things are less selfish than refusing to bring a child into the world just to appease society, and I know that your fulfillment in life comes in other forms.
I enjoy hearing about the things that drive you and make you feel complete, please share them with me.
I have absolutely changed and grown as a result of becoming a mother, and I want to learn about the things that have changed you and that connect you with your truest self.
We often feel judged by the world too.
Sometimes we feel like our childless friends view us as boring, as talking about our kids too much, as “just a mom”, and as people who have no other interests; while your worlds seem so glamorous, interesting and free.
And you know what, sometimes we are bored and talk about our kids too much.
At times motherhood is all consuming and that is the new world we live in and are absorbed by.
I apologize, I’ll try to keep the talk about sleepless nights, endless firsts and nappy changes to a minimum, but please forgive me if I relapse into these topics from time to time, sometimes that is all that is happening in my world.
Please allow me these moments to be “boring”, and then ask me about my thoughts on anything else.
Sorry if I no longer instigate plans.
Again, this isn’t because I don’t want to see you or I don’t care about you.
Most of the time it’s because I am struggling to just make it through the day and am drowning in the chaos of motherhood.
When I get to the end of the day I am often longing for nothing more than a glass of wine & a soft bed.
I will, however, do my best to make it to anything you invite me to, and when I do I will cherish these times so deeply.
Also, if I “ignore” your texts or messages, I apologize. Personally, I often receive these while “mumming” hard and make a mental note to reply when the kids go to bed.
However, my mind isn’t as resilient as it once was and these mental notes can be long lost in my mind within minutes of making them.
If I’m late replying, please forgive me, and if I don’t reply at all, please remind me…sometimes more than once. Please don’t take this personally and remember that I love you and my world is just crazy right now.
I promise I will emerge from this world any day, month, a year now & I hope that you’ll still have a place for me in your world.
No matter what, please remember I love you, value you our friendship and think your life choices are every bit as worthy as my own.
Love your long, lost friend…