To My Friends Without Kids
by: Hannah Dearth
As I’ve grown into adulthood I have been so blessed to have a circle of women that lead very different lives surrounding me to learn from and enjoy life with. Some of these women are pursuing career goals. One of them is an awesome boxer. Some have multiple children. Some are single. Some are 8 and 10 years older, while some are several years younger. Some are newly married. Some are Christian. Some are activists in their local communities. It goes on and on. Each bless my life differently, and I hope in turn, that I provide the same for them. To others, our life situations in many ways may seem very different from the outside looking in. But to me, each love me as a whole person. As all that I am, no matter where I am in life, and I feel the same for them.
One big change that I have faced in navigating adult friendship is balancing relationships out with my new role as mother the last several years. I have felt this and talked about this with friends who don’t have children, or maybe don’t have small children anymore, and have worked hard to keep our friendship going throughout this season of my life. You are a special kind of relationship. I recognize the different level of effort you put in to keep our relationship strong too. Instead of getting together out in the evening now, you come by after I put the kids to bed so that we can talk in actual quiet. Instead of meeting me for a long lunch, you meet me at the park and chase my kids with me. You don’t just show up for my birthday, but for their parties too. When we check-in, you want to know about my well-being...and theirs.
Becoming a parent changes more than just your own life as the parent. This change, is a big and life altering one in all areas. Friends, I know that the time we get to spend like we used to can feel further and further apart. Less and less often, you get to see me outside of “mom”. We still grab a quick coffee. We go for a run. But it’s fleeting and only after comparing schedules weeks ahead sometimes. I do a lot of canceling- kids are sick AGAIN. Because of this, each time we meet we mostly do a lot of catching up now. I am not as great at texting back, and forget trying to get a conversation out on the phone with me if the kids are in the background.
I have not overlooked you fellow mom friends, we do this for each other too, but my friends who don’t have kids, I want you to know I see those additional steps that it takes sometimes for you. I know our friendship in some ways is quite different now, but it’s a great friendship none the less, and I love and appreciate you just the same.
Please know how thankful I am for you. How proud I am of you when I don’t always get to say it or hear you in full sentences without “mom!” interrupting. How even in the madness of diaper changes, and snacks, and tantrums, and all of the other extras that come with our time now, that I am so lucky to call you my friend! I hope that you feel that, and you know that I see you! It may look different, but each season, no matter what changes it brings, I am here for you, just like you’ve been for me.
Love your [mom] friend,