I am in my hometown and I am enjoying spending time with old friends. One of them is so amazing. Although she is busy, she always makes time to see me. Since I have kids, she makes time to see me while doing things my kids will enjoy.
She is single, doesn’t have kids and doesn’t particularly like them either, but she wants to see me and knows that here I don’t have anyone to leave my kids with, so she makes the effort and meets me at the park, has lunch with me and my kids and one time endured my son crying on and off for 45 minutes during a road trip. (On the way back from our day trip she sat with him so he wouldn’t cry)
Being with her last week reminded me of how important it is to keep good friends, even when it is hard because you are at different places in life.
Here are a few ways that friends without children have been amazing to me (and my kids). I must say I wish I knew about these when my friends and sister had kids and I didn’t. I could have been a much better friend.
1- Understand that sometimes I am late and give (real) excuses for it, such as a blow out or an extended nap
2- Meet at the park or a zoo so my kids are happy and we can have a decent conversation
3- Come see me, order food in, then wait to have dinner as my daughter refuses to go to sleep
4- Allow me to over share about how cute my kids are– too many photos included– how tired I am, and parenting details that no one without children should know about
5- Be flexible when scheduling phone dates–I have a lot of friends who live far– and understand that after bed time is not always a set–in–stone time
6- Then, once we are finally talking, take interruptions with grace
7- Know that although I wish I could go to dinner to one of those fancy restaurants with you, there is a better chance to see each other if we have a quick coffee or lunch
8- Never question my decision to stay home to raise my children, even though only a few years ago we talked about my big career goals
9- Genuinely ask how my kids are doing, and play with them when they see them
10- ( ) I’ll let you fill out number 10. What has a friend without kids done for your friendship?
Because friendship is a two way street, I will be writing about how women with children can maintain relationships with friends who don’t have children.