To My Friends Who Don’t Have Children (The Huffington Post)

Before you feel like I’m attacking you simply because I have a child and you don’t, it’s honestly not my intention. I’m so happy that you like Squidge as much as you do and that you want to spent time playing with him and cuddling him; there was a time when I thought that very few of my friendships would survive the dramatic and unexpected turn my life had taken.

Please don’t take this the wrong way but there’s a few things that I’d really like to ask you

Please don’t tell me how broody you are and then go straight on to say how much you enjoy being able to go on last minute holidays/work extra hours for some spare cash/sleep. At the moment I can’t do any of those things and in the last few months it’s become apparent how much I miss them. At some time in your life you probably are going to want to give these things up to have a baby but right now that’s not what you want so please stop saying that it.

Equally, if I say how much I miss things such as being able to go out for a meal without having to make plans several weeks in advance please don’t tell me that because I have a child things ike that really don’t matter. I’m sure you’re only trying to be nice and trying to make me feel better but theyย do matter to me. There are times when I feel like I’ve given up a lot to have Squidge and it would be really helpful it you could appreciate this instead of expecting things not to matter to me anymore.

I’m well aware that it was my decision to have a child but please try to remember that Squidge wasn’t actually planned. One I found out I was pregnant I made the decision to continue with the pregnancy but it was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I in no way regret my decision but I also remember what my life was like before Squidge and there are days that I miss it so much that it actually hurts.

If I tell you I’m really tired because I’ve had a run of nights where Squidge hasn’t slept well, please don’t tell me how cute he is as though that somehow makes everything better. I’m well aware that he’s usually the most adorable creature on the planet but when he’s been awake between 0200 and 0400 for three nights on the trot, all the cuteness in the world doesn’t change the fact that I’m exhausted. If you tell me that you’re tired because your job is really demanding I don’t respond by telling you that your job is amazing, so please don’t do the same to me.

Please don’t tell me how much I ‘must’ do things; how much I ‘must’ love him and how much I ‘must’ enjoy being his mum. I love him to the ends of the earth but at the moment I’m finding being his mum very difficult and telling me that I ‘must’ feel certain things just makes me feel like a worse mum than I already do. I know that it’s not your fault that I’m having problems and I feel this way but equally it’s not up to you to dictate how I should feel.

If I tell him not to do something, please don’t tell me/him that it’s fine. It’s very tolerant of you, especially if it’s something of yours he’s trying to reach/explore/destroy but I’m trying to teach him that he can’t just do whatever he wants. There will come a day in the not too distant future where I ask him not to do something, you say it’s fine and he comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t have to do what boring mummy says.

I’m so pleased that you think Squidge is lovely and that you want to talk about him but please try and remember that he’s not the only thing in my life. I doย love taking about him; about the new things he’s learned to do and how he’s getting on at nursery but my life is more than just my son and being a mum. I have a job that I love, I blog, I’m writing a book; all things that I’d love to talk about if I get the opportunity but often I don’t. It’s one thing for my parents to only really be interested in Squidge but when you don’t want to talk about anything else either it’s actually quite hurtful.

If I tell you that I’m exhausted/sad/struggling please don’t try to brush things aside by telling me how wonderful Squidge is. If you don’t want to talk about how hard I’m finding things then that’s OK; I understand that it can be a difficult topic and not everyone feels comfortable with those type of conversations. But quite a lot of the time I find things difficult because I have a child and things like my career, my hobbies and even my mental health have to come second to the needs of my child.

Lastly, please try and remember that I’m still the same person I was before I became a mum. I am a mum in addition to,ย not instead of being myself. These days I spend a lot of time focused on Squidge; trying to bring him up to be a kind, tolerant, open minded person who knows who he is and what he wants to be.

There are days when I almost forget who I am because I’m concentrating so hard on trying to do everything right for him. There are times that I rely on you to remind me of who and what I used to be before the I fell into the almost all consuming role of being a mum. I love the fact that you want to be Auntie and Uncle to Squidge but I need you much more than he does.

Please try to remember that.

Picture12Picture11Picture8Picture6sundaystars.badge_

30 thoughts on “To My Friends Who Don’t Have Children (The Huffington Post)

  1. Ceri says:

    great post. I published a post for Huffingron post on things I had realised since becoming pregnant and they echo some of what you feel. I don’t have a baby yet but always seem to be warding off people telling me how lucky I am, how happy I should be at all times, how my life will monumentally change. I get it. I feel it. But like you. I’m also allowed my worries, my fears, my own legit feelings. Good on you for saying how you feel so elegantly xx

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      Many congratulations and all the best for your new arrival ๐Ÿ™‚ You are indeed entitled to your own feelings and emotions and although it can be easy to forget that once you become a parent, do try not to. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  2. Laura's Lovely Blog says:

    I think the problem is that most people who do not have children really don’t get it. How hard and exhausting some days can be even if you wouldn’t change it for the world. But for a lot of them their time will come ๐Ÿ™‚ #mbpw

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I wouldn’t change Squidge for the world but I know that and so I don’t need other people to remind me. What I (and lots of other parents) do need is recognition that our lives can be hard and not to have our issues brushed aside just because we’re parents. I wouldn’t dream of telling someone that they had no right to complain about being stressed because they had a demanding job and I expect the same courtesy returned. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  3. Nat / @diaryofuem says:

    Amen to this! I completely 100% relate. It’s really hard to find your feet as a mum and remembering there’s a real you underneath so when other people forget you aren’t ‘just a mum’ it’s difficult to really believe you are still the same person. I actually used to shout at R for only calling me ‘mummy’, I kept saying things like ‘im not your mummy’, and ‘I haven’t changed my name’, or ‘im still me ya know, I do have a name!’

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I am guilty of sometimes calling the Northern One ‘Daddy’ but only when Squidge is around. As soon as he goes to bed we turn back into ourselves again until the next morning when it starts all over again. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  4. stressymummy1 says:

    Such a great post and I completely understand. I sometimes think people speak for the sake of speaking and don’t understand that sometimes their comments can really grate (not all of course). I struggle sometimes and probably now more than ever, as my kids are all starting to grow up and I am trying to remember the person I was before I was ‘mum’ and it is hard. A little bit of understanding from other people goes a very long way. #MBPW

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I appreciate that it can be difficult to understand if you don’t have children of your own but even just someone saying ‘I’m sorry you’re having a hard time’ would be enough. Instead, when someone says ‘But look how cute he is’ it makes me feel as though my problems have ceased to be important since I became a mum. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  5. Twinmumanddad (@Twinmumanddad) says:

    Really good post and very honest too. I guess people are ultimately well intentioned, but they sometimes don’t see what affect their comments can have. When you say about people telling you how you ‘must’ feel, I can totally relate and I agree it does make me feel like a worse mum at times. You’re not alone. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I agree that just about all the comments are well intentioned and people are only trying to be nice. There’s just something about trying to explain that I’m having a hard time and being told that it’s worth it that makes me want to cry. I know that Squidge is worth every difficult day and sleepless night but that doesn’t make me any less stressed and exhausted. Thanks for reading.

      Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      Before Squidge was born I didn’t truly appreciate how long it could take to get out of the house. Even popping to the shops for a pint of milk requires military-level planning but that’s the side of being a parent that my friends don’t see. Thanks for reading.

      Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      It can be so hard, particularly when you’re having a difficult time and they don’t understand because they only ever see your child being entertaining and well behaved. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  6. Caz Stone says:

    I can relate to a lot of this, particularly the having other things going on that you’re engaged with and want to discuss. But I’m at a different point in life – my children are 20 and 14 – and it’s a phase where the friends I have who don’t have children are mourning that in a very real way (most of them – for some of course it’s been a decision they’ve made and are happy with). Your title made me think of them, and it was them on my mind as I read this. #PoCoLo

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I hadn’t considered that the title could be interpreted like that. All of my friends still have plenty of time to have children and most of them are still in the process of finding a partner and settling down but no one is in a hurry. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  7. internationalelfservice says:

    It is SO hard having a baby and I definitely found it harder going from 0-1. For me the lack of sleep completely floored me and affected my view on the world. It doesn’t last forever thankfully but it really does seem to and yes I missed my ‘old’ life too (not now because I have a newer better version of it). I hear you mama x

    Like

  8. Love From Clueless Mum says:

    Lovely and honest post. I can relate to many of these feelings, especially being told how lovely my baby is when I’m explaining how tough I find nights with little sleep! Now that I’m a mum, I realise I was probably guilty of saying a lot of the things that now irritate me or make me feel bad, even though I had the best intentions! #SundayStars

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      It is s difficult for people to understand what it’s like to be a parent until you are one. I didn’t know it was possible to be so tired but to have to get up and keep going because you had a tiny, helpless human relying on you for everything. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  9. Sara (@mumturnedmom) says:

    This is just brilliant, being a mum is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and while it’s also the most wonderful, that doesn’t make up entirely for it being the hardest. People who don’t have children don’t understand, I didn’t understand until I had kids of my own. But, I think that we don’t help ourselves by only talking about the good stuff. People need to know what the reality is like. Interestingly, my post for #thetruthabout is on a similar vein this week!

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I must admit, my friends only usually see Squidge when he’s being cute and entertaining. They know that he doesn’t behave like that all the time but they just don’t see it.

      Equally they don’t understand what it’s like to have been woken up several times a night for month at a time because you can’t until you’ve been through it. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  10. thenthefunbegan says:

    This is interesting. I don’t really have any pre-children friends who have become involved with my family situation and got to know my children well. This is partly because I don’t live nearby to any of them really, but also I get the feeling that they don’t really want to – they aren’t maternal kind of women. They want to talk to me about everything *but* children when I see them. It’s nice to be able to be reminded who you were before you became a mum but sometimes it would also be nice to feel like my friends want to have a relationship with my children too because they are so much a part of who I am now. Complicated. I understand you wanting to put the record straight though – there is nothing worse than people, however well-meaningly, telling you how you should (or ‘must’) be feeling. Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout Xx

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      It’s all about trying to find the right balance, isn’t it. Squidge is a huge part of my life and most decisions are based around how they will affect him but there are other things in my life to. I suppose I’m trying to tell them that although I’ve changed a lot I’m not a completely different person to the one I was before Squidge was born. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  11. twinkletwinklehereyouare says:

    I must admit I criticised people that had children before I had my daughter and now I take most of it back. You have to have children to understand. Great post. #BrilliantBlogPosts

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I do try not to tell people that they can’t properly understand unless they’ve had children because I’m aware it sounds quite condescending but there are some things that they just don’t get ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Everything Mummy says:

    Great post it’s easy for people to forget the person behind the mum if that makes sense I find when with friends that don’t have babies we have kinda drifted as we have different interests were still good friends but its not quite the same thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    Like

    • blopmamma2014 says:

      I love the fact that most of my friends are so interested in Squidge and have such a good relationship with him but I do sometimes feel as though I’ve lost my identity to him. I know that a lot of them will have read this post so hopefully it will remind them that I’m more than just Squidge’s mum. Thanks for reading.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s