Childless Friends

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I have some friends that have no interest in having children now or in the future. No problem say I – we can still be friends. But can we?

Turns out it’s not as easy to remain friends when you have such a huge difference between you. On the surface, this just means that you don’t talk to each other about children, you just go out to dinner and act out your old life, prechild right? Sure. It’s possible to not talk about the one thing that occupies 50% of your brain at any given moment, the thing that keeps you awake at night, the things that runs your schedule. At least for a couple hours. Except, you have to get a babysitter to go out. So, scheduling that dinner is not as easy as it used to be. But they’re understanding right?

Well… not as much as you might have thought. One friend told me when I was pregnant he was quite sure I wasn’t going to be “one of those people that posted about my baby on Facebook.” This was a relief to him. Apparently the info I share on Facebook should pertain to the mass audience. So, I made a “no baby updates group” on Facebook, but it rubbed me the wrong way that he wouldn’t want to know about this part of my life.

After I had Little Man, I was surprised at the lack of interest of another friend. First time we ran into him at an event, he didn’t mention the child strapped via
Baby Bjorn to my front. Acted like he wasn’t even there. In the last four months that same friend has continued his strange comments and lack of regard for our child. Today he referred to my son as an “expelled parasite.”

I know that folks that choose to not have children hear a lot of complaints from friends and family hoping to persuade them, which is annoying. If you don’t want children, don’t have ’em. Having children is like getting a tattoo on your face – you’ll never be able to go back so you’d better be committed. I have learned that you should never tell someone how to raise their child, your opinion on having a child when they don’t ask for my opinion, or that they shouldn’t have cut their hair off once it’s done. But on the flip side, if you aren’t having kids,
try to think of the most important thing in your life – something that relies entirely on you for survival – your dog, your business, your hamster, whatever. Multiply your thoughts and feelings, fears and hopes for this thing by a million and that’s close to how a parent feels about their child. It’s a completely unconditional love, the strongest feeling you will ever experience. I would give
up my life for my child.

When my husband and I were planning to get pregnant we would talk a lot about how our child wouldn’t rule our life. We vowed that we would stay close with friends that had no children now or in their hopeful future. We never considered the fact that those friends may not be having the same
conversation.

 

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