A Mom Who Gets Parent-Childfree Friendships
The childfree can’t help but love mother Nicki Salcedo. She understands how friendships can change when one person becomes a mom and the other not only does not have children, but plans to never have them. Here are her wise suggestions to parents:
Don’t act like having a baby makes you superior.” Or that somehow your childfree friend will never understand your parenthood experience. We all don’t experience the same things in life and talk about them with each other; treat children the same way.
Don’t give weird back-handed compliments to your child-free friends. Sure her parts are perky, un-top-of-the-muffiny, and stretch mark free. How about commending her tennis game or promotion at work? Those are true compliments.” I can speak for many childfree women on this one--our parts are not necessarily perky, un-top-of-the-muffiny or stretch mark free!
The adage “children should be seen and not heard” goes for parents, too. Don’t talk about your kids so much that you forget to connect with your friends. You should know if your friend has watched TV, seen a movie, read a book, volunteered somewhere, cooked a new recipe, exercised, or changed relationship status by the end of the conversation.” This is probably the most common and such an important thing that will keep childfree-parents friendships strong!
Keep up you pre-kid hobbies and volunteer commitments.” It may be harder, but sure is a way to stay connected to friends without children.
Don’t let the responsibilities of parenthood drain the life out of you.” This is advice out there from parents even outside the realm of maintaining friendships with those without children.
Not all child-free people are averse to kids. Invite your friends to a birthday party in the park. The ones who aren’t into kids will gracefully decline. The ones who love kids will appreciate the invite (and chance to throw water balloons)." The assumption that just because we don't have children does not mean we won't enjoy being around them is just not true--especially for children of friends who are dear to us.
This point wraps all the others up, and is the key: Being a good friend is about finding points of connection. This is true whether one friend is a parent or not. As we go through life, friends often go in different directions. To remain friends means always being curious about the other person, and being interested in their lives. If this remains two-way, parent-childfree friendships can last!