I’m currently at an age where pregnancy is just what kind of happens as part of the natural progression of things. My friends are all getting married, having babies, you know, the whole spiel. I’m childfree by choice, and frankly, I like that lifestyle. That being said, I’m happy for friends who are having kids. I just wish they’d realize not all of us are thrilled.
Having kids changes people, and that’s unsettling.
Whether we want to admit it or not, having kids will change you. Even the laxest parents end up seeing options restricted due to the fact that they have two people to take care of. With the last friend I had who ended up having a kid, I no longer can recognize her from the person she used to be. This alone tends to be unsettling because after seeing the change happen quite a few times, you start hearing “we’re having a baby” as “we’re going to turn into two people you won’t really know anymore.”
At the same time, I know that the person I know is still in there somewhere.
There’s this weird thing in society where people stop being allowed to be themselves once they’re parents, especially if they’re moms. That being said, it’s obvious we can still joke about Star Wars and other stuff with our new mom friends… if they’ll let us bring the old them out.
I’m also legitimately worried I might get dropped as a friend.
This is a trend I’ve noticed with a lot of new parents. Once they have a baby, they no longer seem to be that interested in having friends who are childless. Their entire lives become centered around mom friends, school teachers, and playdates. Childfree people like me typically find ourselves slowly being ousted from plans until it’s clear that we’re being told we don’t belong. It hurts and it’s a legitimate worry.
I don’t want to become a de facto babysitter rather than an actual friend.
Look, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t be OK with watching over the kids once in an emergency, but I don’t want to be the friend who’s used for free babysitting every single week. I’ve also seen a lot of friendships end over the fact that the childless friends just ended up being babysitters without actually being part of the group. It’s really demeaning and that says volumes about where we stand with our former friends.
If people are sometimes a little resentful, don’t hold it against me.
I’m not in this boat, but I know a lot of people who don’t have children that can’t stand pregnancy announcements. Why? Because there are a lot of people who have been quietly trying to conceive for years but have had no luck. Hearing announcements and getting baby shower invites feels like a knife in the gut for them. If you’re preggers, please use tact around childless friends, particularly if they miscarried.
I want to be there for her but I just don’t know when I’m being overbearing.
It’s really hard to judge how much help you should be giving to a person who just had a baby or is about to have a baby. On one hand, it could be an insult to do every little thing for them. On the other hand, it could be seen as lazy if I don’t pitch in a little. It’s hard.
There’s too much potential for misunderstandings.
A lot of society seems to think that it’s everyone’s job to judge what moms do, even before the baby is born. That’s why a lot of people end up offending pregnant women without realizing it; they don’t actually realize how judgmental they’re being.
I’m hoping she’ll still be down for the occasional hangout without the kid tagging along because I’ll really miss her.
Selfish? Possibly. However, most people who have friends who are expecting tend to realize that meetups without the little ones are probably not going to happen too frequently anymore. Anyone who says that they won’t miss being able to drink tequila at 5 am on a Saturday with their now-preggo bestie is lying, though. I know I will.
If you can’t tell, my biggest fear is that she’ll become one of those parents who quickly become enmeshed in their kid’s life.
Too often, parents start to view their kids as an extension of themselves in the worst possible way. Their kid is all they talk about. They bring their kids to places they shouldn’t bring kids to. They get that weird, aggressive tension where they start to act like they’re better than others just because they had kids. By all means be a parent, but please, for all that is holy, don’t be one of those parents!
But seriously, I AM happy for her that she’s expecting.
This is such a huge time of change for the mom to be, and everyone tends to be happy for her. She’s overcome the dating scene, found Mr. Right, and she’s now having a kid. As her friend, I’ll be there for her and be happy for her even if I miss who she used to be.
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