Friends With Kids

August 8th, 2012

It’s a strange, wonderful thing having old, dear friends with kids when you don’t have them yourself. I’m incredibly happy for these people I’ve known since we were all partying until dawn who found partners and achieved one of their most profound goals in life: to have a child, or two, and raise them as they continue to push forward with their own careers and goals in life. In some cases, it has taken heartache, time, and money to have these kids, and their arrival is truly a miracle. The choice to make babies has impacted all of my friends differently.

I love my friends’ kids deeply. I’ve known them all since they were born and watching them grow up continues to be one of the most fun, fascinating, profound experiences of my life. I can only imagine what it’s like for their parents.

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post for a while now, but this advice column in response to a post by an indignant mom on Facebook made me finally sit down and try to express my thoughts. What I really want to say is that those of us without children often quietly adjust our schedules, expectations, and feelings when our friends make the choice to have children. We travel further for a date because they have no time, we babysit for free, we learn to sit quietly at meals and listen to our friends with kids talk about being moms. We do this because we love our friends and their kids and we don’t want to be jerks, but it also would be nice for the automatic assumption that kidless means more flexible and less sensitive to be adjusted a bit.

Moms, next time you get together with your childless friend, offer to drive to her neighborhood instead of asking her to come to yours. If she babysits, give her a gift card.



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