Like it or not, friendships tend to change after babies. Spinoff Parents editor Emily Writes thanks her friends without kids who have stuck by her – even through conversations about poop.
Friendships change when people have kids. It’s inevitable. Becoming a parent is huge – and it changes every minute, every second, of your day. It changes your life.
When a friend moves overseas, we accept that our friendship will change. Having a baby can feel like you’ve taken up residence on another planet.
Before I had kids I ghosted a good friend of mine who was pregnant with her second baby because I couldn’t understand where her life was at. Before I had kids I thought her kid was just an asshole – but now I know that all kids are horrible (I AM JOKING STAND DOWN). I now know about reflux and being late and how kids have permanently snotty noses.
I have been lucky that my friends have stuck by me and been a better friend than I was. I do think some of us aren’t that easy to be mates with when we have young kids – at least, I know I’m not, and I’m hoping others are the same.
So, this post is to thank every single person without kids who puts up with their mum friend being hard work. And every mum who puts up with their friend without kids being hard work.
I am sorry for the times I have talked about my child for 45 minutes before I asked you how things are going. That was shitty. I have basically forgotten how to talk and I feel embarrassed that I have nothing else to talk about. When my kids were babies I couldn’t watch the news because my hormones were out of control and the slightest thing would make me cry. I couldn’t talk politics or current events because my whole world consisted of four walls and a bassinet. I was so brain dead tired I couldn’t form sentences.
I really love my kid. Like so much that I find it hard sometimes not to talk about them. I am that parent. And I am sorry. I am trying, but I tried forever to have a baby and now I live in this world where I pinch myself at how lucky I am. I want to be a cool mum who is so many other things than just a mother – but this is me and I’m OK with it. I’m grateful that you’re OK with it too. I am a baby obsessive who loves talking about her kids and any kids around. I’m just like that. But that’s no excuse for being a self-absorbed dickfritter so I’m sorry.
I am sorry for the times I have turned down hanging out. I am aware this is basically every time you ask to hang out. I am sorry. It’s because I’m scared to come to your house because it’s a child-free utopia. It’s beautiful. I want to live there. Sometimes I have dreams about sitting in your skin and living your life. But I can’t tell you that, because it’s fucking creepy. I love you, but your couch is white. I cannot come to your house with my monstrous albeit gorgeous and undeniably adorable children.
I’m sorry I can’t come to Logan Brown for dinner at 8pm. I mean I could, I could bring my kids and they could scream for 45 minutes while I shovel down food I can’t afford. But I would rather lick Gordon Ramsey’s taint than endure fine dining with a two-year-old who communicates by screaming. But please, please keep inviting me to things. I will be able to come one day – I promise.
I am sorry that when you come to my house we eat dinner at 6pm and you have to leave at 7pm. I swear I wanted to be one of those chill-as parents who has no bed time for her kids and they’re just bohemian rascals who go to bed whenever. I literally said “Our child will fit around us, not the other way around.” But my dear friend, I was full of shit. We cannot fuck with our child’s bedtime routine. We cannot. I could be told that all I need to do is delay their bedtime by 10 minutes and I’d be able to ride Chris Hemsworth like I was in a kangaroo rodeo and I’d still say: “tell him he’s dreamin’.”
I’m sorry that I’m not a great friend right now. I’m sorry that I fall asleep when you’re talking about something important. That I leave your birthday party because the baby woke up. I’m sorry I can’t get a babysitter or that when I do I get really hammered because I have no alcohol tolerance anymore. I’m sorry I have no money to do anything fun anymore. I miss our weekends away so much – hang in there, we will do it again one day.
Thank you for being my friend despite it all.
Thank you for loving my child. I know children take time to win over. Thank you for working so hard to be an aunty or an uncle to my kids. Thank you for nurturing your relationship with them so you can take them out and I can sleep. Thank you for treating them so well and spoiling them and listening to 38 minute stories about diggers and tractors.
Thank you for offering to take them to Jumperama. Jumperama is made for people who don’t have kids. You have the traits needed for that place, traits I don’t have: Energy and a strong pelvic floor.
Thank you for inviting me out to the best nights out ever where I get to pretend I don’t have kids and I’m 19 again. Thank you for not getting upset with me when I act like I don’t have kids and I’m 19 again. Thank you for sending me home before I’m arrested and reminding me I don’t want to look after the kids too hungover.
Thank you for sitting through kid birthday parties and actually enjoying them. Thanks for eating chicken nuggets at Chipmunks with us instead of going to a fancy brunch. Thanks for offering solidarity and support over my child’s constipation or glue ear. Thank you for waiting for me to emerge from the baby bubble and being there even when I was the shitty friend.
Thank you for taking me out to nice places where I get to dress up and get out of my ugly maternity leggings.
Thank you for covering your white couch and making cheerios for lunch.
Thank you for cuddling my babies and being an aunty or an uncle for them.
We need a village. And you could have stayed on the much nicer less spew filled and poo obsessed side of town but you chose to slum it with me. My children adore you. You’re an irreplaceable part of their lives and mine.
Thanks for letting me be hard work for a little while.
This content is entirely funded by Flick, New Zealand’s fairest power deal. In the past year, their customers saved $398 on average, which pays for a cheeky bottle of wine in the trolley almost every shop. Please support us by switching to them right now!
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning.