Every time I meet a new mom somehow we get on the topic of finding mom friends and how our non-mom friends don’t get us anymore. I understand that you need people around you who get you. I’m all about it – and have written on that topic here many, many, many times.
But, I’m not suggesting we neglect those people who knew you back when or those who are childless – I highly suggest you work on keeping your non-mom friends. Some of my girlfriends from college who haven’t had children are some of my closest friends and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They were in my life when I was more carefree, only had to think about myself and only did what I truly wanted to do.
Then, I’ve met some amazing women who don’t have, can’t have, or don’t want children through work, church, and other clubs, and they are just adding to my life in ways I never would have guessed – before and now being a mother.
Your village can be a combination of older mothers, younger mothers, and non-mothers. Honestly, for me at this point, my village has to be a mixture. I don’t live near most of my best friends so I’ve gathered a crew that continues to grow and look more and more diverse.
Keeping my non-mom and childless friends in my life benefits me personally in various ways:
- I can go back and remember the young girl I was bouncing about my college campus when we reminiscence on the silly things we did together. I mean, if you didn’t do dumb stuff with a friend, did you even have friends? Now that I’m a full grown adult with a mortgage, full time job, kids, and other boring stuff, I don’t have the luxury of doing that as much, so those memories keep my younger self alive.
- They know the true me and have seen me flourish! I don’t have to explain anything to them when I talk, they just know what I mean. We obviously have plenty in common and as we mature and start to figure out life, we’re doing it together. This is nice when you’re not having to start fresh on everything, it’s just comfortable.
- I know they won’t judge me. This is not to say that mom friends are judgmental, but sometimes it feels like new friends can be – because we don’t really know them either. My friends without kids do get that I may be busy because of my boys and they get that my husband might come along because we tend to roll like that. They are more understanding than we give them credit for and I know that sometimes they like to be around a family – they don’t have that all the time, so my friends love to play with my kids – they just don’t want to come to their birthday parties. And, I don’t blame them.
The benefits are really on both ends of the friendship coin. As a mother you are sharing a lifestyle with them they aren’t always privy to.
There is no right way or wrong way to build your circle of friends. We need a variety. Sometimes, that childless friend will be the one to snap you out of losing yourself in motherhood and reminding you that you need to make yourself a priority too.
That childless friend might also remind you of how blessed you are to be a mother as not everyone who wants to be is. And that friend who doesn’t want children, might just be the best babysitter you have!
I say all of this to suggest that you don’t count out your childless friends and keep your non-mom friends close.