Being a mom is a beautiful thing, but when most of your friends become parents and you’re still single and childfree, you start to feel like the black sheep of the group. After feeling like my mom friends stopped being fully invested in our friendship, I decided I was done feeling inadequate and found other friends instead.
They were all about their kids. When I was growing up, it was hard to imagine a life without my best girlfriends. We went through similar things, had similar problems, and even liked doing the same stuff together. What I realized after some of my friends became parents is that “mom” became their entire identity in life and all they cared about anymore was their kids. This is great, but a lot of the time, I felt like there was no longer room for me in their lives.
You can be a mom and still have fun. What I found interesting about my ex-mom friends is that I felt like they didn’t have balance. Moms that I’ve met since then have time to be a mom and still be women/human beings. I don’t see them all the time, but when we meet up they’re fully present, have fun, and can just have girl time.
I have a more balanced view of motherhood. Personally, I would want to approach motherhood from a bit more of a stable and balanced place than my old mom friends did. I would hope that I’d still get to be there for my friends and support them despite investing my time and energy in raising my children as best I could. When my kids grow up, I don’t want to be that crappy friend who’s now calling around trying to reconnect with people after ignoring them for years.
I know where I stand in my friendships. It was hard losing my mom friends because I had grown up with most of them. We always imagined being friends for life. Starting over and realizing that I had to make new friends was challenging, but I appreciate now knowing where I stand in my relationships. I now consciously forge connections not only based on how much I click with someone but also based on where potential friends are in their lives and how our future goals align.
I now feel like my opinions matter. In connecting with new friends, I no longer have to feel like I’m walking on eggshells with things that I say. With my ex-mom friends, I felt judged when I shared my opinions, and it felt like my thoughts and feelings were inferior to theirs. Now, I feel like I can freely share my opinion and it is received with an equal amount of respect.
We’re on the same page. It has been comforting connecting with other women who are single and don’t have kids. Yes, getting married and having kids is something I look forward to, but for now, I’m happily single and happy with my life, career and how things are going. It’s nice not to made to feel inadequate just because I don’t have kids or a boyfriend. Finding my tribe has helped me find camaraderie and enabled me to stop comparing my life to moms. I’ve grown to appreciate my life for where it is and to embrace it.
I make time for myself. Before my ex-friends became moms, a lot of my free time was spent with them, doing stuff on the weekends, dissecting each other’s lives and trying out new things together. I realized that our lives were way too interconnected. In having time to myself after I decided to cut off my mom friends, I found that I got to re-discover myself on my own without the influences of others. That’s a necessary process if you want to have a strong personal identity and conviction about what you want out of life. I now make a point of having more ‘me time’ to check in with myself and recalibrate to make sure I’m on track with my life goals.
New beginnings are part of life. I lost my ex-mom friends but I gained better friends and an even better relationship with myself. If I didn’t have the courage to admit that my friendships with my ex-mom friends had run their course, I would never have discovered the friendships I have now that I’m so grateful for.
I now have friends I can count on. I know what to expect from the friends I have now. I no longer have to wonder if they’ll show up for me during the moments that matter most. I have the confidence that even if they have a lot going on, they value our friendship and will do their best to show up for me, support me, and be there for me—and I would do the same for them.
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