An Open Letter to Moms from your Childless Friend

By Amy Williams

Dear Moms,

You and I have been friends for a long time. You were the friend I danced with at bars and ate nachos with at two am, after said bar closed. You were there for me during the breakup I didn’t think I’d survive, and you were the one that told me not to date him again, when I did, in fact, date him again. You were my middle of the night phone call and my favorite person to waste a Sunday with.

Remember those times? Those were good times.

Now you’re a mother, and I’m not. And it’s time to get real about how I feel about that.

1. Don’t take this as an insult, but your kids have allowed me to hit snooze on my biological clock. It’s a compliment, really, but my love for your children has made me think maybe I don’t need my own. Your children really are my miniature best friends, and nothing makes me happier than stealing them for an afternoon of playgrounds and frozen yogurt. I love that I now have a valid excuse to see animated movies in the theater and that occasionally, your kid tells me they love me, too. And I love that when I get tired, I can go home. Watching you work so hard to keep a tiny person healthy and happy has made me realize being the fun Auntie may be a better fit for me than full on motherhood. Moral of the story – don’t worry about my childbearing years passing me by. Your child is fulfilling me in ways you don’t quite understand and for the first time in my adult life, I’m completely happy and finally able to play with Barbies again.

2. I know you’re tired, but…this new relationship of mine is actually hard. I’m worried about it all the time. So on the off chance that I call, and you have time to talk to me, let me have a few minutes. I can hear the toddler screaming in the background, too, but, do you think that my guy’s going to commit to me? Do you think it’s significant that I cooked him dinner? I get it, you’re over it. You don’t plan to date again and that toddler is still yelling, but this is important to me, and I don’t yet know how to function in the world without you. You were my moral compass first.

3. My birthday is in two weeks. Even when I’m reminding you, I know you already know when my birthday is, but I’m reminding you now so you can arrange for babysitters and stock up on your sleep. I really don’t like it when my birthday party ends at 7 pm, and you’re already half asleep on the couch. I know you don’t want to parent hung over the next day, but that’s okay, I’ll drink for two. I just need you to laugh with me until a socially appropriate hour (when the bar closes), and remind me that you’re still the crazy college girl I used to dance with.

4. Sometimes I want Happy Meals with your kids, and sometimes I want sushi and wine. I know that’s unfair of me to have competing interests, and I’ll try to let you know in advance which way I’m leaning when I ask you to have dinner with me. I promise we can do both. Sometimes I pick sushi because that’s what I do want, and sometimes I pick it because I can tell you need a break.

5. You really are beautiful and inspiring. I remember the day your toddler vomited bananas on your suit jacket right before you had to leave for work, and I told you it looked fine, because it did. I’m not sugarcoating it for you, it’s a badge of honor and you wear it like a champ. So you’re a little curvier than you were before you had the baby. Maybe you’re just being polite to not mention that we’ve all gained a few pounds over the last few years. Your body is a fully functioning, life giving support system. Mine is just full of wine and sushi. So I don’t want to talk about losing the baby weight or your stretch marks or that you haven’t washed your hair in a week. I promise to tell you when there’s something you need to fix or wash if you promise to see that you are a beautiful, strong, happy mother, and that is the prettiest I’ve ever seen you.

6. Please don’t give up on me. I may still need to come to you with my sad breakup stories and my relationship insecurities. I may not have it all figured out yet. I’m just slower than you. Please don’t quit putting up with me, advising me and encouraging me. Even yelling at me if I start to talk about dating “that guy” again. I’m still listening. I still need you.

So cheers on your growing family! I know it’s been a hard adjustment for you, and trust me; it’s been hard on me, too. Fabulous aunties don’t just happen overnight. Fortunately for us, neither did our friendship, and we can get through this new chapter, too.

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    One Response to “An Open Letter to Moms from your Childless Friend”

    1. Linda O'Connell says:

      This was a great list. Half my friends are moaning that they will only have granddogs, and the other half are complaining about their kids’ parenting skills.
      Enjoy them and send them home is a true statement.

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