What it’s like to be the only friend with a child.

     It’s no shocker that more and more millennials aren’t having children in their 20’s. In 2014, a survey found that 49.6% of women between the ages of 25-29 were childless. If you’re a millennial this number probably makes a whole lot of sense, of course trying to explain this to your grandchild hungry mother isn’t as easy. Why would this age group be so inclined to have children when they are covered in student loan debt, can barely afford to live on their own, and are working on their careers? This was my thinking until my fiance and I woke up one day to an OB visit six weeks into our unexpected pregnancy. And here we are almost three years later still trying to figure it all out. We are the only parents in our group of friends. My fiance is two years older than me and most of his friends are still dating or starting to get married. Most of my friends are well, not even close to having a child. We are “those friends” and honestly, it’s been a lonely two years for us. We often make excuses for crappy friendships, and try to make things easier on everyone around us. We have some friends who have never even met our daughter and she turns two in May. It’s not ideal but we’ve learned to roll with the changes because that’s just life. But to make things light I’ve listed a few things that have changed for us since having A. Some are funny, and some are just the reality of our lives.

1.) You will lose friends. Probably most of them. As much as I hate to say this, it’s completely true. Those friends you partied hard with in college, or made during the first few years of working will become another photo you like on instagram. But no, everyone loves babies and cute Christmas photos. Apparently not enough to deal with you always being late, poop diapers, and having to deal with someone else’s schedule. They’ll attend your baby shower and talk about all the kid-friendly things you’ll do together now that you have a little one. Heck, they might even offer to babysit…but the truth is, not everyone is a kid person, and that’s OK. You will make new friends and the best part is, you’ll find who those lifelong friends are. There will always be exceptions to the rule of course. I have a friend from college who is one of my bridesmaids, and she’s not a kid person. In fact we were the ones in college talking about how we would never have children and party it up in the city instead. She has now become the friend I have girls night with. A stays home with Tyler and this mom gets a night out to laugh about all the crazy things we did in college. To be honest, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a friend because these relationships will be tested.

2.) You will become a shitty friend, but not on purpose. I can’t tell you how many times someone texts me and I don’t respond for days. My sister-in-law can attest to this! It’s not that I’m ignoring that person, I just have a tiny human sucking up every part of my day and well, I get distracted. You won’t have time to just “meet the girls” out for drinks. In fact, going to happy hour will become an event! I attended a friends birthday party a few weeks ago and it was like a mini vacation, just kidding…kind of. There will be times you’ll have to cancel last minute, and this is when you might lose friends. Some of your friends won’t be understanding, and others will probably just be nice about it to your face. The people that will truly understand are other parents who also have tiny beings dictating the days schedule, and know that if a kid falls asleep you better not leave that damn house!

3.) Children have schedules that are more important than your plans. With that being said, not everyone will understand you can’t bring a baby to a bar at 7pm. This makes me laugh now, but when we first had A most of our friends didn’t realize we couldn’t just get-up-and-go. We often received invites last minute and the little pre-parent versions of ourselves always tried to make it work. But now we simply have to say no and move on. Sure a night out would be great, but a cranky toddler is not worth that $6 beer with your friends, trust me.

4.) You will be referred to as mom…not only by your child. This might not piss people off, but I cringe every time someone other than my child calls me mom. In the fall I attended a friends birthday party and almost everyone who walked through the door said “Hey mom!” To be fair, this was the first time a lot of them had seen me since having my daughter, but there’s just something weird about a bunch of adults calling you mom.

5.) The parents you become friends with might not be the same age as you. Of course, this depends on your geographic location, but most of the mothers I have met are 5-10 years older than me. At first I struggled with this, and I let it stop me from developing relationships with people. I constantly worried that these women would judge me because they were a bit more cultured or had this abundant amount of knowledge that comes with age. What I learned is that it doesn’t matter what age you are, we all don’t know what the heck we are doing. But each of us brings something to the table. These friendships will make you a stronger mother & woman…I literally can’t say that enough! I have two “mom friends” and honestly I don’t think I’ve met two people who just GET IT more than these two lovely women.

So at the end of the day, don’t stress this chapter of your life. Friends will come and go but your child won’t be living with you forever. But at the rate things are going, maybe?

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