Non-mom friends get a bad rap among us moms sometimes.
They can walk out of the door without a diaper bag and the only pair of shoes they need to put on are their own. They can go to nice restaurants with zero fear. They can read a book end to end or binge watch a show if they so choose. They can go places without having to unhook people from car seats. Their lives aren’t dictated by nap schedules, and there is no way they are as tired as we are… right?
As an exhausted first-time mom, I was shocked at how I quickly got jealous and resentful of non-mom friends. I felt they had no clue what my new life was like. I didn’t have many mom friends and was just dying to find some; I was in the trenches of babyhood and desperately longed for a comrade or two.
It didn’t happen overnight, but I found like-minded moms with whom I could vent, ask advice, commiserate, and in turn encourage. These women were and remain invaluable to my survival as a mother, and I am daily thankful for their support, love, and friendship.
HOWEVER. Lately, I have realized the true worth of the non-mom friend, and moms, we aren’t being fair to them.
Non-mom friends are gifts, and here’s why:
1. Non-mom friends have more margin than I do. When they come over to visit, they are not visibly wincing because they have been listening to a teething baby whiiiiiiine since 6am. My children are happy to see them, and these non-mom friends can respond with an enthusiasm that I can’t muster on a 24/7 basis. They are a good reminder to seek that margin for myself, through whatever self-care avenues are necessary, so I can be that enthusiastic for my children as well.
2. My non-mom friends offer a perspective I won’t stumble into and don’t actively seek out in this season of life. My clothes, taste in music, and general knowledge of pop culture ends abruptly in 2015. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding ever since, with no time or strength to be part of anything “on trend.” While I am swathed in sweet potato puree, they are swathed in non-kid knowledge – something that, after untold hours being steeped in Dr. Google and worrying about how to parent a toddler, feels like a breath of fresh air. They take cooking classes, read books, and have opinions about current events. They do stuff. They expand my mind, are a little window into a world without a Daniel Tiger soundtrack playing in the background, and I cherish them for that.
3. Finally, my non-mom friends inspire me. I still have dreams, even if lately they involve me going to bed at 9pm. I have non-kid goals and aspirations. My non-mom friends are living their dreams and achieving their goals so beautifully, they inspire me to GO AFTER MINE. They remind me that I’m not only a mom, I’m still me, still a worthy woman underneath it all. They are able to push me in ways that mom friends cannot. For instance, one of my best non-mom friends has always encouraged me in my literary goals, and without her continued influence in my life, I would likely not have been motivated to become a part of this blog.
To those non-mom friends, thank you! If you want to become a mom someday I pray it happens, but for now, in this stage, you enrich my life with your contrast, and I am terribly grateful.
Do you have a non-mom friend who inspires you? Leave a comment below!