6 Things All Childfree People Want Their Parent Friends To Understand
Catch-ups at play areas are okay. Baby photo spamming is not.
About a year ago, more than half of my close girlfriends had babies.
Despite the fact I’m childfree by choice, I beamed with excitement and pride for each of them as I watched them take on motherhood and step into a new chapter of their lives.
That was, until I was assaulted with more photos of the same babies from ever so slightly different angles than anyone should ever receive in a lifetime (where is the option on Facebook that lets you mark relentless baby pic posters as spammers?). And on that note, here are six things every childfree person wishes their parent friends would understand…
1. We love your baby, but we will discreetly unfollow you if you spam our news feed with him/her
Just like most people, I enjoy looking at cute babies, and they’re all the more cute when they’re the result my friends’ DNA. But posting a baby photo every single day, or worse still, multiple times a day, is a social media crime of epic proportions that is most definitely not cute. No one, not even your fellow parent friends, thinks it is.
2. We miss your personality
Okay, so your Instagram feed has morphed into 1001 pics of your baby, all with the exact same caption (‘Isn’t he/she CUUUUTE?’). But remember when your profile picture was actually of you, and you could go a whole entire breath without talking about breastfeeding and play dates? We miss that.
3. We still expect give and take
When it comes to seeing my single parent friends, or parent friends with full-time working SOs, I always suggest meeting at their place. But if I know they have someone at home who can babysit or help get the stroller out of the house, it starts feeling pretty one-sided if they don’t at least offer to meet me somewhere.
4. We still don’t want kids
If I had a dollar for every time a newly beaming parent friend turned to me as I gushed over their baby and said, “See, now doesn’t this make you want one of your own?” I’d be able to buy that Hermes I’ve been eyeing off. Childfree people don’t hate kids, we just don’t want any of our own, and relentlessly questioning that measured life choice is insulting.
5. We wish you’d give us credit
Just because we’ve never had kids doesn’t mean we have absolutely no concept of what caring for one entails, or that we wouldn’t be happy to babysit. Please avoid sighing, eye-rolling and talking in a sing-songy voice when explaining kid stuff to us. Ditto for not inviting us to your kids’ birthdays because we don’t have kids of our own.
6. It means the world when you show up
Childfree people see how busy, exhausted and downright overwhelmed you are between midnight breastfeeding and trying to get your fussy toddlers to just eat the damn pumpkin puree so you can steal a second of shut eye. So when you unexpectedly show up to lunch or call to ask how we’ve been, even pack up the stroller and your bub and haul-ass it over to see us while juggling diaper bags as a good friend recently did, it means the world.
More than that, it reminds us that while you’ve taken on one of the most important and all-consuming jobs in the world, you haven’t forgotten how to be yourself in the process, or how to be a friend.
Images via youtube.com, tumblr.com and giphy.com.
Comment: What do you wish your parent friends – or childfree friends – better understood?
Nadia is a journalist, media commentator and editor with a penchant for hoarding makeup and an opinion on just about everything. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Cosmopolitan, and many more. She's a passionate advocate for destroying mental health stigma and sexually empowering women, and has absolutely no concept of TMI. Follow Nadia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.