Complete Without Kids

Exploring all facets of childfree living.

5 Things Childfree Women Want Their Parent Friends to Know

Breaking the silence between moms and their childfree friends

When childfree women talk to their friends who are moms about the differences in their lives, it can be a touchy subject. The conversation can unfortunately lead to defensiveness on both sides. In a perfect world, it would be easy to share with one another openly. Here are a few things that many childfree women would say.

1. “My life truly doesn’t revolve around selfish indulgences such as shopping, vacations, and happy hour. I come home, just like you, and do chores, pay bills, and prepare meals. The main difference between us is that I have a lot more time to get these tasks done, and I don’t have to choose between sleep and keeping up with the to do list. I do, however, understand that raising a child can easily take up to eight hours a day, so if you complain of being exhausted or behind in getting stuff done, I won’t criticize you.”

2. “I don’t dislike children or families, although it’s true that the chaos of family life is something I’m not used to. Remember that my relationship is with you, and I appreciate it when you leave your child at home so that we can spend time alone together. And if I change the subject away from your child, please don’t take it personally. It is wonderful, though, to hear some about your child and to watch you doing such a great job in your role as a mom.”

3. “My marriage is just fine, despite the fact that my husband and I aren’t parenting together. We have other ways of bonding including sharing home projects, reading, and caring for our dogs. It’s also inspiring to watch you and your partner join together in raising your child.”

4. “Not being a mother does not leave me feeling empty; instead it has freed up space in my life for other kinds of giving. I’ve appreciated it when you’ve noticed the things that I do for others, and I don’t expect you to be able, at this busy time in your life, to be as involved as I am. It’s simply one of the differences in our lives at this time.”

5. “I understand when you put your child first. If you have to cancel a plan with me or hang up early during a phone call, I’m not going to be resentful or take it personally. I realize what a commitment being a mother is, and I respect you for taking this job so seriously. I wish all mothers were as dedicated as you.”

What are some of the things that you’d like to say to your parent friends? 

Ellen Walker, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the author of Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living By Choice Or By Chance.

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