A mother has written an open letter to her “child-free friends” about why she’s struggling to maintain her relationship with them since have a baby – and after reading it, parents are all thinking the same thing…
It’s not them being child-free that’s the issue here, they’re just not very nice people.
The rightly-peeved mum took to Reddit to share seven points as to why she’s finding it difficult to stay friends with them.
In the first point, she explained how they dismiss her feelings. One example is that whenever she would mention something about parenting being hard, they would reply: “Well you chose to have a child.”
But if she were to mention something about how home ownership is hard, they would never say: “Well you chose to buy a house.”
The fuming parent also revealed her friends don’t respect her time. They’d ask to drop by at 4pm and would then turn up at 6pm which would be in the middle of her baby’s bath-bed routine. Her baby would then refuse to sleep.
“That sort of thing was fine (if a little rude) when we were single and responsibility free, but now it genuinely fucks up my night,” wrote the parent.
The mum said her friends also get annoyed when she checks with her husband before confirming plans and because her house is no longer “aesthetically pleasing” due to the baby stuff. And unfortunately it gets a lot worse.
The mum revealed her friends tell her she’s wasting her talents by staying home with her child. “I’ve always been clear that I wanted to be a stay-at-home parent if we could afford it. Just like you’ve always been clear that you are child-free. I don’t push for you to have kids, so why push me into the career you think I should have?” she wrote.
Lastly, she said her ‘friends’ – we’re now using the term very loosely – would refer to her child as a “parasite” and “crotch goblin” which she understandably found to be very insulting.
“I know and have always known you were childfree. I’m not pushing you [to] have kids, or spend time with mine if you don’t want to. Constantly talking negatively about my life and my child is not waving a flag for those who are childfree. You’re being a bad friend,” she concluded.
Her post, on the thread r/beyondthebump, has received hundreds of comments – all of which pretty much say the same thing. Her friends suck and there are plenty of child-free pals out there who do not act like this.
“I have two childfree friends,” one person commented. “They will definitely never ever have kids. They both visit at sensible times, coo over my toddler, invite me to adult only stuff but with loads of time to arrange care and with zero pressure to say yes. One of them hand knitted my kid a gorgeous blanket. They send my kid presents. I send them house plants and treats for their dog.
“The problem isn’t that your friends are childfree. The problem is that they are assholes.”
Another added: “Two of my very best friends are ‘child free’ by choice – but, both of them have been incredible friends to me through my pregnancies (and some devastating losses) and love my baby and respect what being a mother means to me. I also love them for who they are and understand their choice to be child free and we support each other.”
The thread did also prompt an insightful conversation about how difficult it can be to hang onto friendships after becoming a parent.
One person commented: “Truthfully most of my child-free friends have over time drifted away to the point we don’t really talk or hang out anymore. Not intentional and nothing definitive happened, but now with two kids and most of my time revolving around that, it’s hard to find anything [in] common with people who don’t have kids.”
But one parent added that “just because you can’t relate, doesn’t mean you can’t respect”.
“I have friends who don’t have kids,” they wrote. “When I talk about my day/my kid they listen. When they talk about a new boyfriend or girlfriend, [I] Iisten.”