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colorful life + style blogger | native nashvillian | wife and mom to two darling little ladies | bringing you all the happy you can handle

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mommy vs non-mommy friends


November 5, 2012

I was emailed the most interesting article from The Bump recently and I just had to share a high-level overview of what it said…it really made me stop and think if I am alienating my “non-mommy” friends with my mumbo jumbo ramblings all the time. I’m curious to see what yall think about this subject, too…

“10 Things You Do That Your Non-Mom Friends Hate”
1. Oversharing. You survived the marathon of pregnancy/delivery, and you’re proud of it. Still, lots of people who haven’t pushed another human being out of their most intimate of orifices would prefer never to hear terms like “mucus plug,” “episiotomy” or “placenta” in conversation. Save the clinical talk for your mommy group and stick to less-graphic terms when your friends ask about birth.
**If you ask, I am going to be honest…that’s just how I am. I don’t hold back unless I’m instructed to, and coming from someone who didn’t know a lot about birthing a child, I think people need to understand it’s not like it’s portrayed in the movies-it’s just not that glamorous. But, you get an AMAZING prize for all that hard work!

2. Abusing basic kindness. Here’s something that may be hard to hear: Not everyone who asks to hold the baby actually wants to hold the babyat least not for hours at a stretch. As desperate as you may be to get a break, if you take advantage of your friends’ offers to bounce the baby and sneak off to take a luxurious bubble bath or comb the mall, they eventually will stop offering.
**I don’t take bubble baths so maybe this doesn’t apply to me? You can pretty much tell who feels comfortable holding your baby and who may be a bit nervous. I was SO scared of holding newborns until I held my own that I can totally relate. As for offering to watch the baby while I shower, grab a bite to eat, etc…this is MUCH appreciated and the kindness will be returned one day.

3. Putting your baby on the phone. “Please don’t ask me to talk to your infant on the phone,” says Katie. “I can understand a toddler who can actually talk, but I doubt a two-week-old will have anything interesting to say.” It’s not that your friends aren’t interested in your offspring-they just aren’t quite as riveted by every gurgle and coo as you are.
**Putting a newborn on the phone…well, I did that with my Mom from time to time, but that was just so Caroline could hear her voice. Thank heavens for FaceTime though-great technology so people can SEE the baby making cute faces and such.

4. Making disgusting requests. “I was at a restaurant with a good friend and her baby,” recalls Kristin. “She handed him over and said, ‘I think he needs a bath. Do his neck rolls smell?’ Please don’t ask me to smell your baby.” Similarly, don’t ask her to analyze poop, wipe spit-up off your back or give your bottled breast milk the “whiff” test. If she’d like to help, she’ll let you know.
**GROSS…it’s clearly evident when something is lurking in a diaper I assure you and I would never pawn that off on anyone other than my immediate family for fear that would cause my close girlfriends to NEVER partake in having a baby.

5. Complaining constantly. Nobody’s saying that being a mom isn’t hard, but chances are you chose this diaper-lined path-and regularly lamenting how tough your new role is doesn’t just make you sound bratty, it can make you appear smug and superior. Also, “You don’t need to remind us every 10 minutes that girls’ nights, book club, camping trips and date nights are off-limits now because parenting is such an important responsibility.”
**True friends want to hear that it’s not a piece of cake, that there are good AND bad days, and they don’t mind listening to you ramble on about not sleeping….I thought that is why we had friends in the first place? I don’t tell strangers these random things, but I will open up tp my best girl friends-DUH. I try to be there for them and I expect to listen to them one day when they are going through this, too. And yes, unfortunately, some commitments have to take a backseat to motherhood. I miss out on fun things from time to time, but then I remember Jeff and I chose this path and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world…Caroline is EVERYTHING to us. If some people don’t understand that, then maybe you don’t have as much in common with them as you once thought.

6. Pretending to pay attention. All moms are guilty of it: trying to have a conversation and discipline a toddler at the same time. That scenario looks a lot like this: “’Yeah, that sucks that he dumped you, but EMILY, PUT YOUR BROTHER DOWN…I’m sorry, I’m listening. Being dumped sucks, but you know EMILY! STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER! But at least you’ve only been dating for five years EMILY, DON’T MAKE ME COME IN THERE…What? Oh, no-now’s a fine time!’ Just call me back for God’s sake. I don’t mind!”
**I am guilty of this…heck, I think we all are-not just moms. I think sometimes we all need to disengage from Facebook/Twitter/and all other forms of social media and really focus our attention on what someone is telling us. Let them know they are a priority and if you can’t listen then, tell them you’ll call them back when you can!

7. Turning Facebook into Babybook. The baby drank six whole ounces! Then she burped! Here’s her post-burp smile! Now she’s napping! While you might argue that your kid-free friends’ timelines are no less tedious, the truth is, nobody needs a minute-by-minute recap of your little bundle’s every breath. Post a few cute pictures and be done with it.
**I used to cringe when people would have babies, and EVERY SINGLE picture they posted on FB was of the peanut. Now, on the other hand, I totally get it. I don’t post pictures on FB as much as I used to, just because I’d rather put them here on the blog or only share with friends and family. I think that is totally a personal choice, but that’s how I choose to handle. Not to mention uploading takes forever and I am not tagging my child in pictures :).

8. Acting superior. Yes, you had a baby-which means statements like, “You’d understand if you were a parent,” might seem totally legit. Still, they can sting, especially if you use them out of context. And even after your best friend has kids of her own, maybe she won’t be the sort to bail on a girls’ night out because her baby has a 99-degree fever.
**I don’t think anyone is superior just because they have a baby…that is just strange.

9. Making assumptions. Quit asking your baby-free friends if they’re “trying” (to conceive, that is). We know, there’s probably not an ounce of malice in the question-after all, you just want them to experience the same joy that you have. But it could be considered pushy or presumptuous. “Not everyone is Fertile Myrtle,” says Trisha. As hard as it may be, assume that your buddy will share the glorious news when there’s glorious news to be shared, and until then, keep your mouth shut about it.
**I can understand this…as soon as you get married, people suddenly start asking when you’re going to have a baby. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to answer that question because it happened so quickly. Others close to me have had a harder time, and sometimes I long for them to be able to experience motherhood, too. That’s when I have to look to God and tell myself He has plans for all of us and I need to give my trust to Him. I think we have all been guilty of making these assumptions at some point, but just remember we all have different situations to deal with, and to be sensitive to that because you may not know the whole story.

10. Bringing the baby anywhere and everywhere. Of course you want to show off your stunning spawn-but not all events and activities are appropriate for little ones. Plus, you deserve some grown-up time. For sanity’s sake, every once in a while you need to hand baby to dad, hire a sitter or enlist grandma’s services and go be your old, fun, fabulous self. Your friendships need that too.
**1 night each month, I get a reprieve and have bunco with the ladies. Jeff and I also try to plan a date night at least 1 time a month (thanks to our fabulous babysitter Alex), and we are fortunate that my parents and grandparents are ALWAYS wanting to babysit Caroline so we can go do stuff just as husband and wife. I agree wholeheartedly that you need time together as a family, and time just as a couple… this is HUGE!

Any thoughts? Things you think I got wrong? I’m wondering what yall think of these things, whether you’re a mom or not…

  1. This post has so much truth to it!

  2. This was awesome! I love this little guide, and it was super helpful! And I loved your commentary, I feel like we're so similar!

  3. Katie says:

    I agree with everything you said! 🙂 It's important for us to be sensitive to our "non-mom" friends, but on the same token, it's important for them to understand how we feel as well. That's what friends do, right! Being a mom truly changes everything, and it's hard not to gush about our nuggets all the time, but I know everyone else doesn't want to talk about it constantly…except the grandparents, of course 😉

  4. Very interesting. As a single 30 year old who is not a big baby person, I think a lot of these are true. Birth stories make me gag. Maybe when I'm pregnant, I'll want to be prepared, but right now, please spare me the horrors. Even with my sister, I didn't want updates on softening cervixes, and I certainly don't want to ever hear the word episiotomy!! 🙂
    Overall, my sister and my friends with kids are very considerate on most all of these points, and I hope I return the favor. Being a mom looks like incredibly hard work, 24/7, and I have no problem with them venting about those struggles. I think the hardest thing for me is knowing how much extra time they have for friend things. Sometimes I think about having friends over for dinner, but I don't want to interrupt family time with husbands and kids. And I don't know if I ask, will they feel obligated or free to say no.
    I don't know. It's interesting to see the turns people's lives take. Marriage, kids, jobs, location can end friendships and create new ones, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But I think for those friends that you really want to stay connected with, you find a way.

  5. P!nky says:

    Very interesting article. I'm one of the 'without child' friends and have can relate to a few of the points.

    However, my friends are my friends and their baby is their world, why would I judge their world? As long as there is give and take in conversation, I'm 100% okay with baby talk.

    Does body function baby/prego talk give me the willies, heck yes! But, again that's their life.

    I know I'm gonna be a baby fever maniac when I have a child, so I allow my friends their time.

    I think you have a great balance, your baby is so stinkin'cute! xoxo

  6. Jenn says:

    Totally agree with #10!!!

  7. Kind of funny! But, a lot of it is common sense too. When I overhear someone ask a friend if they're "next" or when they will have one of their own, I cringe. It's not that easy for everyone. There are some things you just don't say!

    I also only have several friends who haven't had babies yet, it seems like everyone I know lately does have children, which makes it easier to chat 😉

  8. ginastorm says:

    As someone who has been on the receiving end of #8, I appreciate this post.

  9. Caroline says:

    I love your honesty. It's all so true.

  10. Dee Stephens says:

    I'm due in just a few weeks with our first and can relate to this post.
    I aim NOT to be one of those Moms who isolates non-mommie friends.
    Go about being your old self, baby stuff shouldn't dominate the conversation.
    The conceiving thing is a big one too. Giving that it took us 2years to finally give pregnant I too, aim to NEVER FORGET what infertility feels like.

  11. Brandi says:

    Interesting article! I do not have any kiddos myself yet, but I have many friends who do, and honestly I never think they overshare. Part of that though is because I work in a hospital am usually curious about what they go through. I think there is a happy medium that many people find where of course the babies are talked about but so are adult topics. Many mommies I know find themselves dying for adult conversation now and again! Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Megan says:

    I COMPLETELY agree with #10! A family friend told us while we were pregnant with Olivia that you have to remember it was you two first. We try to do a fun date night out and in whenever we can, I think it is SUPER important!

  13. Andee Layne says:

    such a great post girl~ Im going to put a link to this on my blog because our answers are pretty much the same to every point on here. I think I need to take the advice of not telling everyone every 10mins that being a mom is a lot of hard work lol. I still haven't adjusted to it yet and definitely am a work in progress 😉 but I'm sure people are tired of hearing about that.

  14. Shari says:

    This is a great post! And the thing I agree with you most is your closest girlfriends don't mind listening even if it is to complain. From the minute my best friend became a mom, I always am happy to listen to her for whatever she wants/needs to talk about. Even if it is to complain she's tired, etc. Doesn't matter to me. That's what friends are for!

  15. I am totally going to bookmark this post for the future. Some of these things may seem absurd to me now but I am sure having a baby changes everything! I LOVE this post!

  16. Gosh, so many true things here! NONE of my friends from home are moms…let alone married. So it's definitely been a challenge to relate in this new stage. But relationships evolve and we take joy in the new stages in our lives…whether it's marriage, buying a new home, pregnancy, parenthood, etc!

  17. Meredith says:

    This is great, I think I am guilty at times of over posting Millie on Facebook; great point, that the blog is for that.

  18. Sara says:

    I always wonder about these things – like if my friends are just absolutely sick of me talking about my baby and posting pictures of him. Before I had him I hated the "all things baby" mindset the my mom-friends would get into, but now I understand that it's SO hard not to! I feel like he's my whole life and if I can't talk about him, I've got nothing! And everyone knows I can't keep my mouth shut, so baby stuff it is! 🙂 Hopefully I've got some tact about it though – no neck roll smelling here. So.Gross.

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