To My Friends Without Children Yet, Thank You
I’m the mom of my friend group: and I don’t mean that I’m the one driving her drunk girlfriends around and making sure everyone’s had a snack (though I did my fair share of that in college too). 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 often 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 I 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 they 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 get the chance. 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. They 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, 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 and it makes my heart swell with pride: both at my blessings as a mother, but also in knowing these women who 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, and I can’t say enough about how vital they’ve been to my success as a mother. They 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, and I’m glad to have spared her from those who surely wouldn’t have worn their hats as honorary aunts quite as well. Becoming a mother with friends like these has reminded me I do not need to make time for those who would not make time or room for both me and my daughter. 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: where I would have spent time and energy chasing people down to be in my life before no longer makes sense to me now. I have a very special, very 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, and I was always told to count myself lucky to have even one good friend I carry with me throughout my life. These are my friends without children, but none of them have ever made me feel different for having my daughter. Childless women, whether by choice or by fate, are in my girl’s corner in a big way: and I couldn’t be more grateful for them.