What do they say, “Kids say the darnedest things?” I know this to be true; I’ve got three kids. They do say some hysterically funny things. (My daughter came home from preschool last year with an adorable craft for Mother’s Day. Her teachers had interviewed her asking her some questions about mommy, and recorded her answers for posterity. When they asked her what mommy liked to do for fun, she responded, “make babies.” In all fairness, I was pregnant at the time. I died. From laughter, of course.) Do you know who also says the darnedest things? My child-free friends.
You know what I’m talking about. You have them, too. Those child-free friends (either still single or married without children) who have an opinion about everything and aren’t afraid to speak it. No matter how many nasty, disbelieving looks you shoot their way.
They say ridiculous things like . . .
“Why don’t you ever hang out with me anymore? You used to be fun. Now you seem completely consumed by your husband and kids.”
Damn right, I am. Do you know how much time and energy keeping all of these people alive and happy takes? SO. MUCH. FREAKING. TIME. By the end of the day, I look like an extra from The Walking Dead. And I usually feel much, much worse. So, unless you are okay with coming to my house, ignoring my mess, and hanging with me on my couch while my tiny army of minions runs circles around us, hollering for snacks, milk, and diaper changes — we probably won’t be seeing each other anytime soon. I am sorry about this, but I am almost too tired to care. (Hey, I said almost.) If this sounds cool, please bring wine. And maybe something chocolate. Otherwise, you aren’t coming through my door. Any questions?
“I totally understand how you feel. I am wiped. My new puppy kept me up all night.”
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I don’t care how tired you are. Caring for a puppy is nowhere near the same thing as caring for an infant. Trust me on this. I’ve done both. You don’t have to breastfeed your puppy. You don’t have to change your puppy’s disgusting diapers in the middle of the night. And you didn’t push your ten-pound puppy through your lady bits. You do not know how I feel, so stop comparing your puppy to my baby. But I still love you! 😉
“Can’t you just get a babysitter?”
Do you know how much a decent babysitter costs nowadays? A mortgage. A babysitter costs a mortgage. Okay, not really. But it’s pretty ridiculous. I have a college degree, and some of these girls (high school and college-aged girls, mind you) have the nerve to ask me for more per hour than I make. You have got to be kidding me. Obviously, I have missed my calling. I don’t remember making anywhere near twenty freaking dollars an hour when I babysat. So no, I can’t just get a babysitter. Finding the right babysitter is almost as challenging as finding the right OBGYN. Can I get an amen, mamas?
“My child will never act like that in a public place.” (Usually, they are talking about someone else’s kid, but deep down, you know that they have probably said something very similar about your little monsters behind your back.)
Bless your sweet, ridiculously naive, child-free heart. I don’t want to crush your hopes and dreams here, but NEWSFLASH: your child is a human, not a robot. So trying to control the actions of any other human (especially a human under the age of three) is likely to send you screaming over the edge. I would know because I have tried and failed on countless occasions. Do you think I like it when my child has a meltdown in the grocery store checkout line because I won’t buy her gum, candy, and trashy magazines? Wrong. So wrong.
Parenting is full of surprises and compromises. One day you, too, will learn this. My best advice to my childless friends? Avoid saying “never” when it comes to parenting-related topics because you have no freaking clue. Otherwise, the chances are good that you will look like an idiot someday.
“You’re so lucky. You get to stay home and play with your baby all day. I hate my job. I can’t wait to become a mom so that I can stay home, too.”
This one just makes me laugh. My childless friends (and sometimes my husband) have no idea what I do all day. I WISH I were sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, catching up on all of my favorite television shows. That would be awesome. I would be jealous of this person, also. But this is not what my life looks like. Not one minute of my day is about me. I never stop. But I’m not complaining.
I realize I am so lucky. Many moms would LOVE to stay home with their babies, and that just isn’t an option for them. I am fortunate that I don’t have to miss out on any of the moments, no matter how big or small. I am thankful. But I work hard. Every single day, I work hard. Being a stay-at-home mom is not a vacation. So please do not try to tell me that it is.
What are some of the silliest things your child-free friends have said to you? How did you handle it? We want to hear it! Feel free to share in the comments. Or better yet, share this article on your Facebook page and see what kind of feedback you get! (Tagging your child-free friends might be pushing it. You know, if you want to maintain the friendship.) We see you, we hear you, we know your pain. Keep fighting the good fight, mommies and daddies! We are chuckling right alongside you 😉