DISCLAIMER: Written from a life experience of a childless woman at 40 who misses her friends from her youth who are now full time hands on mothers.
"I have news!," a good friend said.
"What's going on?", I asked with so much curiosity.
"Wow, that's great! Another baby on the way! So happy for you!!! Thanks for sharing this to me! Congratulations girl!", I exclaimed.
I put the phone down and the joy lingers all over me. Then slowly but truthfully, reality hits in my world. And I feel that pang of sadness creeping in.
Not because I'm jealous because motherhood has never been something that called to me. Or because I don't want my friend to be happy. Because I do. OF COURSE I DO. She's a super good person and is an amazing mother. I'm not sad because I want life milestones to happen to me and only me. She deserves to be celebrated for bringing forth life.
But because I know, I will somehow, lose another friend just like the rest of them who transition to the demanding mom life.
The truth is, when women become mothers, they change. They go so into deep in the parent state of mind (especially the great hands on mothers which is amazing) that us, childless friends can no longer keep up with.
Their world revolves around motherhood. The conversations become kinda’ one sided (FOR SOME, NOT ALL). The talk is about their kid. They can’t relate to topics that you used to share. They can't give you their time and attention anymore because they have a family now (especially if their kid is still a toddler), and they can no longer accommodate you like how they used to especially if there’s no nanny because, well, motherhood is super demanding.
And sometimes they end up treating you like their big kid when you talk because they’re on mother mode. Trying to fix your problems instead of just letting you vent or laugh at your silliness. Or you feel selfish for talking about your dreams and jam in the childless world. When indulging in self-care and exploring new things in life is what people with no kids would normally do to stay sane.
So where does that leave childless women in their 40s who are in need of a friend? A paid therapist? Or a support group of strangers? Or the tedious task of finding new childfree friends, which at midlife becomes really hard to find? Or the 24/7 depression hotline in America? Or just write it in a blog as therapeutic release?
If you're a mom reading this, you're probably already judging me by now thinking I don't and will never understand because I'm not a mother and I probably never will be because my eggs are now killed by chemotherapy. And believe me when I say, I GET IT. I really do.
I've always been vocal on my videos and blogs about motherhood and how I salute you because that shit's hard. And I super admire you for taking that route. I have lots of mother friends so I can see first hand how overwhelming it is. You really deserve the credits. Kudos to you!
But if you try, just try, to see it through me just now where I constantly have to give away a friend because they jump into the motherhood bandwagon, it does get lonely on my side. Because the reality is, friendships are no longer prioritized when families emerge. And that’s how it is.
And we have to understand, support and somehow let go of the friend we once had. The kid is now the priority. And it would be selfish for a childfree friend to keep demanding for time. Just like what a friend once said to me, it's like you're robbing the mothers time and attention they oughta' give to their kids when you do that especially if they’re still so young.
So even if you're on your own in a foreign land, with cancer and having post traumatic stress disorder, you just write out your sentiments to release. And you have to understand and accept that it is what it is. You have no choice. Even if it feels lost and isolating.
They don't mean to not be there for you. You know that they love you and they still care so much. But they have a different priority now. And the conversations are not the same because for some reason, their listening skill is shorter now because they're used to keeping up with their toddlers. It’s just different now.
You don't really demand 24/7 of their time. Just maybe once a month with pure undivided attention and exchange of conversation for 30 minutes. And yet, it feels like you're begging for it to happen. Because of course, their kids need them.
So in the end, you accept and adjust that they are in a different world than yours now. And you'll just have to look for new childfree friends, which eventually, will probably might turn into moms as well. Hence, the whole cycle repeats for you. And you're back in isolation. Breaking down dealing with abandonment issues with a paid therapist.
In the end, you still somehow seem selfish for thinking this way. Because they have kids. You will feel kinda' guilty for wanting their time because you're a grown ass woman. You're suppose to handle your own shit. They have dependents who can't fend on their own for Pete's sake. So grow up!!!
Even if you miss that friend you love so dearly, you gotta' get going. Because you can no longer relate to their talks on breastfeeding or diapers and you just don’t have that maternal instinct that they possess.
You want them happy and well and thriving in their motherhood path. Of course, you do. But you also miss that friend you knew before their kid came out. That friend you shared a history with over party days, late night conversations, and drunken nights in your youth. That friend that you can call and will show up at your doorsteps when you breakdown at hard times. That friend who you can share anything to without them trying to fix you or dismiss you because their mind is on what lunch to prepare for their kid. That friend who had an identity apart from being a mom.
But it's gone. At least for awhile. And as a friend, you accept and support because, well, that's just life. Not their fault. It's just the way it is. You have to let them evolve.
To all the mothers out there with childfree friends, please don't take them for granted. You will need them eventually when your kids grow up and get a life of their own, if your husbands ever cheat on you or if you go through a cancer diagnosis (hopefully all of this won't ever happen to you EVER). Find time for them once in a little while. And when you're with them, please switch off the mother mode and bring out that fun friend who they once knew. Not easy sometimes I know, but just try.
Because just like how you're going through your own parenting struggles, we childfree people have our loneliness and isolation issues too. And we do need you from time to time to remind us that we are still needed and loved by you. Not by a paid therapist or an operator from some mental health hotline or a stranger in a yoga class but YOU. Because we love you.
Yes we may come off bratty and annoying sometimes with our self-indulgent stories, but know that we are not competing with you like other moms do. In fact, we live vicariously through you in the motherland because we aren't there. And we super want to be that crazy cool aunt that spoils your kids if you let us. But please don't let go of us completely like we or our issues no longer matter just because you're a mom now. At the end of the day, we are loved ones too that still long for your friendship, love and care... from someone so familiar and close to us.
I wish the moms out there all the best as they tend to their families. You are doing amazing and should be celebrated for your hardwork, love and dedication! I hope you took this blog post with understanding and open-mind. I'm only sharing a childfree life sentiment and with no intent to offend any moms in any way. It just gets lonely in my corner sometimes, that's all. And to the childfree people who can somehow relate, I feel you. This one's for you. Let’s keep supporting our mom friends. They deserve it.
Tita Jaymee :)