I feel like I hear a lot of “my friend that doesn’t have kids just doesn’t ‘get’ me anymore!” And you’re right. There’s probably lots of stuff that they don’t understand about your life as a Mom. But do yourself a favor, and DO NOT push that friend away. It is easy to let those friends fall by the wayside, but four years into Motherhood, I am so absolutely grateful for my childfree BFF. Here’s why:
- She helps me be Christine, and not Mommy.
My BFF knew me before kids, and liked me before kids! She and I go back much farther than my husband and I do, and had way more child-free years together too. So when I’m feeling the weight of the title “Mom,” she’s the one that can give me a dose of Christine. We can laugh over memories of NSYNC concerts, high school hijinks, or our favorite soap opera of days gone by, Passions. It’s not that she doesn’t like Mommy-me (which I think is a common misconception about our friends), it’s just that she sees me as more than that – which is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
- She can have whole conversations with me and never bring up poop once.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I love talking about them. I love my friend’s kids and talking about them, too. But sometimes, I also enjoy talking about politics. Books. Reality television. Sure, I talk to my “Mom friends” about those things too, but there’s always the chance that in the middle of a chat about the new tax plan something is going to remind one of us about the crazy thing our kid did. Which is fine, but sometimes, it’s also fine to have zero point zero percent chance of that happening. So if I go out and say, “Hey, let’s spend a whole night NOT talking about kids,” my childfree BFF is always down. She’ll never look weepy over one too many cocktails and say, “I’m kinda missing the baby.” And she won’t let me either.
- She thinks my kids are the best kids on the planet.
Now, I’m sure my friends with kids dig my kids too, but let’s be honest: Their own kids are their #1 – as they should be. But my BFF? She doesn’t have a conflict of interest. She LOVES my kids – and my kids LOVE her back. She has built her own special relationship with them which is so much fun for me to watch. And I think it’s fun for her to have too – especially since she knows she can give them back when she’s done with them!
- She can provide me some unbiased perspective.
Let’s face it, us Moms can get a little out of touch. A little worked up over things that maybe aren’t that big a deal. And sometimes we have on our Mama Bear blinders on to the point where we start to get a little wacky. And your child-free BFF can keep you in check. You just have to make sure you’re cool to hear it without getting defensive. Like when you vent about how your kid is being treated unfairly – your Mom friends may give you a fist pump and say, “Oh hell no!” – your child-free BFF? She may point out that your kid was kind of in the wrong too. Because she’s your BFF and she’s been giving it to you straight your whole life. And she can keep doing it now – as long as you let her. (And please – let her!)
- She will still be your friend past whatever phase your kids are in.
We make friends with the parents of our kids schoolmates. Or the parents of their t-ball teammates. Or the parents in our neighborhood. But sometimes – not always, but sometimes – those friendships don’t last past preschool graduation, the last game of the season, or a move out of the neighborhood. But your friendship with your BFF may have already weathered a cross-country move, different colleges, no longer working together, relationships and break-ups and a dozen other life changes. She was there before kids, she can be there during kids, and she’ll be there with a shoulder for you to cry on when they go to college. Or kindergarten.
So cherish your child-free BFF. Because even when you feel like she just doesn’t “get” you right now, she’s still pretty awesome. And don’t we always want to surround ourselves with as much awesome as possible?
What do you love about your child-free BFF?