Okay, I get it. I need to be compassionate, and most days I am. I need to remember that people without children don’t know what it’s like to have them. After all, I was one of those people 16 short months ago. But, now my life is totally different.
I understand that when you don’t have kids you still care….you just don’t get it. There’s no way you can help someone who doesn’t want kids, or is yet to have them, understand this whole mom thing. I’m a different person now than I was before I had Gia.
Sometimes my wish is that those who are without children, especially those who know and love me, would pull up a chair, take a seat and let me explain a few things. I feel like it would benefit both parties. (No, this post was not prompted by anyone or any specific incident, and it’s certainly not meant to offend anyone.) So, here we go:
- Meeting up last minute doesn’t work for me. I used to be free spirited when it came to meeting up for an impromptu happy hour, or coffee date. These days, I need to bring my busy toddler with me, along with a full arsenal of her “things.” Basically, this kind of stuff takes a little planning, so I need a few hours notice to successfully meet up!
- It can take me hours to respond to text messages and days for voicemails. Don’t read into my lack of urgency in responding to you. It is what it is. I just haven’t been able to get back to you because I’m busy putting my child down for a nap, washing dishes, or actually taking a shower. Trust me, I care about you and want to give your text or message attention, but only when I can sit down and give it the thoughtfulness that it deserves.
- Let me show you what a real mess is. Spit-up, diapers, baby food, bottles, dishes, toys everywhere and a few unmentionables. If you want to feel better about the state of messiness that your home is in, just stop by my place after hurricane Gia has played all day.
- Do not tell me how exhausted you are, even though I know you’re allowed to be tired too. Okay, you’re tired, but I’m a walking zombie. Sleep regressions are real people! Teething babies, sick babies, you name it, it means less sleep. (All worth it of course!)
- Yes, I have to, and more importantly, want to bring my child with me. I’ve missed out on countless invites to things because people simply think I can’t come now that I have Gia. If you don’t ask me I certainly can’t join. Now, I can join, if it’s okay with you that I bring my child. This probably means interrupted conversation, food everywhere and if we’re lucky, maybe even a meltdown. No, I can’t just let her sit in her stroller while we sip on a glass of wine on the patio of the newest restaurant somewhere. She won’t just sit still and lay in the sun like your dog.
- I just don’t have time. I’m usually cleaning my child, feeding my child, or trying to prevent her from getting into something that she shouldn’t be getting into.
- Parenting ain’t easy. Insert comment from non-parent here: “I will never do _____ when I have children.” 😐
- No, I can’t just make my toddler stop crying when she’s having a meltdown. One year old children can’t use their words, because they simply don’t know enough of them! Even if they do, crying and getting upset tells me they need something.
- I constantly talk about my daughter, so you’ll have to get used to it. I just love her more than life, so in turn, I love talking about her.
- Raising a pet is not the same as raising a human. It’s just not. The end.
- I post lots of pictures of my child. I can’t help it! I just think she’s amazing in every way. It’s my prerogative. If you think I shouldn’t post her photo to social media, that’s fine. Feel free to unfollow me or roll your eyes in the privacy of your own home.
- I still need you. And I’m still here for you too, I just keep odd hours. My friends without kids shouldn’t feel like they can’t call me anytime. I just might not respond or answer right away. (See #2) My life won’t be this chaotic forever….well, it might be, but eventually my little girl is going to grow up. She will have friends, school and activities that keep her occupied and engaged. She won’t need me as much as she does now, which makes me sad, yet proud. By then I’m sure I’ll have a little more time to be the type of friend I want to be. Although, by then, you might have one of your own. At that time, I’ll just read this list I made to remind myself of what you might want me to understand.
This shot of Gia sums things up pretty well. Dirty face, getting into something, all while living her best life. I wouldn’t change a thing!