I’m the mom of my friend group. And I don’t mean that I’m the one driving her drunk girlfriends around, making sure everyone’s okay. I have dreamed of becoming a parent after struggles and loss, and now I am the only one of my girlfriends that is a mother—a situation I feared would be lonely. I worried I would lose them while gaining something I had yearned for my whole life. But I have found the complete opposite to be true.
In becoming a mother, I did not lose my friends without children. I gained a village—women who rallied around me during my pregnancy, labor pains, and growing pains with a rambunctious toddler. My very best friends from high school and college have become my daughter’s aunts, godmother, and supporters, both near and far.
My best friend sat with me in the hospital as my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. She let me weep and scream for weeks afterward. And made sure I was well-supplied with pads, chocolate, and backrubs in the interim. She and her husband held up my husband and me in our time of mourning. And rather than moving away from a vulnerable and difficult situation, they entrenched themselves in it with us. They distracted us when we wanted it and discussed the future with us in hopeful, open ways. They cried with us when we announced I was pregnant with our daughter and have been in her corner since before she was born.
My sorority sisters became aunts to my girl, all actively participating in every venture of her life, large and small. From the first days at the hospital to bringing brownies, baked spaghetti, and sweet tea to our home as we settled in as a family, they let me know they were here for us. They check in on her, ask for pictures, and come to see her whenever they can. They’ll all be able to teach her something unique as she grows, and the sisters of my youth at once became aunts and heroes to my daughter.
They do not have children yet, but they all love one. And understand when plans get canceled because someone has a rash or someone else has a migraine so severe they can’t see straight. They offer to hold your baby so you can pee and eat a hot meal. Or just sit for a moment in weightless wonder at your good fortune. I’ve seen my daughter smiling and passed around amongst my friends without children yet. It makes my heart swell with pride. Both at my blessings as a mother and knowing these women will help shape my daughter’s world. They are altogether movers and shakers. Some have their family plans on hold. Another and her husband are holding out hope for a positive pregnancy test. Two are decidedly against having children at all and contentedly love on (and eventually give back) my sweet little girl.
They are my daughter’s village. I can’t say enough about how vital they’ve been to my success as a mother. My friends without children don’t often understand my worries or concerns when I text them late at night (when they’re up to it because they want to be and not because they HAVE to be), but that doesn’t stop them from trying to calm my spirits and lift them in love and positivity at the same time. They don’t balk when I can’t go on their bachelorette weekend, visit them in their new city, or go for a pedicure at the drop of a hat because of time or financial constraints.
They love and love and love, and their sacrificial form of love has reminded me that not only does my cup runneth over, but it flows back to my daughter. She will be the benefactor of a lifetime of friends made. I’m glad to have spared her from those who wouldn’t have worn their hats as honorary aunts quite as well.
Friends like these remind me I don’t need to make time for those who wouldn’t make time for my daughter and me. I will always need my tribe of friends but will never need those who do not see the importance of this new chapter in my life. Texts go unanswered, calls unreturned, and plans made flippantly with no real attempt to make them happen. These empty vessels no longer hold value to me. It no longer makes sense to spend time and energy chasing people down to be in my life. I have an extraordinary, small group of women who consider it an honor to be in my child’s life. And I am honored to know and love them.
Friends provide love and comfort in a way that many cannot. I was always told to count myself lucky to have even one good friend I carry throughout my life. These are my friends without children, but none of them have ever made me feel different for having my daughter. Whether by choice or by fate, childless women are in my girl’s corner in a big way. And I couldn’t be more grateful for them.