An Open Letter to My Friends without Children -- Yet

Syndicated

It's okay if you don't want to have kids. I mean, really. Just because I have one doesn't mean I think you should have one. Well, maybe, but that's only because I want to make you an awesome mom friend.

About sleep. Please be patient with our preoccupation with our child's sleep. Imagine being a scientist with a tiny test subject. Your goal every night is to maximize the test subject's sleep. You test your hypothesis (earlier nap, room's too hot, room's too cold, earlier bedtime, etc etc) and await your results. If your hypothesis is proven wrong, you have to function the next day while sleep deprived. Now imagine doing an experiment after not sleeping. It's not fun. And you start to feel a little like you are a bad scientist and have no idea what you are doing. It gets better. Way better. And we'll stop talking so much about sleep eventually.

A few notes on being an awesome friend to a new mom: we're sort of scared. Come and visit us. Bring cupcakes. And Starbucks gift cards. And a hug. Nothing has changed between us as friends; there is just a new baby in the picture. We'll return the favor someday. Ask us how the birth went, if you're not too scared. New moms are processing a whole lot of stuff that happened in a very short time. Love our baby even when it looks like an alien-slash-raisin. It means so much when you are excited to see our child.

It's worth it. If you think you might want to become a parent but are worried about how it would affect your marriage, if you want to become a parent but the idea terrifies you, if you are scared of pregnancy and sleepless nights -- let me tell you that being a parent is freaking awesome. Yeah, there are some diapers to change. And sometimes you don't get enough sleep. But when your son tells you "Wub you Mama" for the first time? Or your newborn baby smiles at you for the first time? It's like a joy you've never known was possible. (And you are capable of saying incredibly cheesy-but-true things like that.)

Love,
Your Friend Who Has a Toddler and Likes to Give Unsolicited Advice

PS: This is all true of having one child, but I make no claims about having two or more. Having a second child changes things, I imagine.

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