Dear Child-Free Friends,

I’m writing to let you know that motherhood can be pretty lonely, especially when your closest friends aren’t in the same boat as you. Just because I had a baby doesn’t mean the woman I was before completely faded away. Since the moment I announced my pregnancy, you’ve shut me out and it feels like you’ve labeled me as “no fun” because my new role and responsibilities are not important to you right now. But I need you to know, I still need you.

It’s understandable that maintaining friendships with friends who have kids can be tricky.  My priorities have shifted and scheduling time to meet up is chaotic. I admit it, the foundations that our relationship once thrived on are compromised. But this is temporary; I’m new at this mom role and I’m trying to figure it out and your support would be appreciated.

Include me

You’ve stopped inviting me to things, you just assume I can’t go. I had a child; I did not die. Don’t assume I can’t go- if anything, assume I may need a night off Mom Duty.  I can call a babysitter or ask my husband to take on solo duties for the night. But nothing hurts or makes me feel more alienated than seeing my childless friends all out and realize that not one single person thought to invite me. Call it envy, but it still hurts that I’ve been noticeably left out.  A simple invite cost you nothing, but goes a long way in saying “I still care about you and wanted to include you in my plans”.

Talk to me

Please know that I do want to talk to you and that I am thinking of you, but I don’t always have the time to pick up the phone and call right now. When it comes to effort, I know our friendship is a little lopsided right but have patience with me. It won’t be like this forever. Please don’t stop calling or texting.  If anything, I need your attention and support a little more these days. I also know that you may not love talking about babies 24/7 and that’s okay, I still want to talk non-baby things too. Honestly, if I don’t pick up a few times just stop by with a coffee and say hi for five minutes or even better send me a funny meme that reminds you of us.  I may not see it right now, but I will later, and I’ll probably need that little laugh.

Make An Effort

You don’t love kids, me either really. But we’re friends, right? Hopefully, that love we have in our friendship extends to my offspring in some capacity. I know being with a baby can be a bore for some, but I still want my kid to know who you are, know your face, and know you’re an important person in my life. You’re my friend. I’m not asking you to change a diaper or watch her for a week, but I am asking you to be a part of her life. It doesn’t actually take much. Be the funny friend, the friend that always brings something sweet to eat or the friend that loves to push the swing, just be something other than nonexistent in my daughter’s life.

We have different priorities now, and that’s okay.  But let’s be partners in this friendship and make time to recognize what’s new and important in each other’s lives. Most importantly, please understand that motherhood can be super isolating. Be the friend you hope to have if and when it’s your turn to be a mom.

Signed,

A New Mom

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Shannon Roberti
Shannon is a type a-event planner who loves organizing, ice vanilla coffees, and is never without a vacuum in hand. As a new mom, she never quite planned for the whirlwind of motherhood nor the copious amounts of laundry that came with it but is relishing in the new moments with her almost one-year-old baby girl Fira and is getting a little shut-eye whenever she can. As a New England native, Shannon grew up traveling the coast as well as internationally and started exploring the world from a young age with her family. This passion and tradition drove her to make her love of travel and organizing an everyday gig and currently plans corporate events all around the world. Currently, Shannon is managing her extensive work travel schedule (sometimes traveling with a baby in tow), the needs of a dance-loving, Elmo obsessed baby and marriage. When Outside of her 9 to 5, this working mama stays busy with reading, gardening, riding bikes, and hiking with her baby, husband, and two rescue Westie mixes, Clover and Ghost in Warwick, RI.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Friendship is a two-way street. Everyone goes through hard times and needs the support of friends, but it’s completely unreasonable to expect someone to keep texting/calling/drop by if you can’t even respond to a text message every few days. I understand not having the time to chat on the phone for 30 minutes, but responding “lol” to a text takes 10 seconds.

    The general premise that the child-free are out there with all of the time in the world to be your person – when it’s convenient for you – is ridiculous. Especially in a global pandemic.

    Just think, in the time it took you to write this article, you could have reached out to a few friends, scheduled a lunch, or done something other than put the blame for your failing friendships on someone else.

  2. Great post! I didn’t see any “blame” in this article. I see a new mom recognizing changes and trying to keep a part of her past intact because it means that much to her. Friends need to recognize those changes as well and sometimes it should go beyond just a call/text. Some people can consider it a two-way street, but it really should be a joy ride spent together. 🙂

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