An Open Letter to My Single, Childless Friends

Being a Mom 50

I'm the first one to admit that I had kids and settled down pretty early.

My first was born when I was 21 and my second when I was 25. I got married before my friends, did the baby thing before my friends, and I never thought it would change our relationship.

It did.

Here's what I wish I'd told them.

Dear Single, Childless (By Choice) Friends:

It's not you, it's me.

Well, actually it's both of us, but let's pretend I'm the one to blame here. It seems to work best that way.

When we speak on the phone, please don't tell me that "kids are loud," or "kids are annoying," or "ugh, they're just so ... loud, can't you stop them?" I'm aware that kids are loud, obnoxious, and annoying, but I love the shit out of them.

When I agree with you that "kids are loud, obnoxious, and annoying," I don't mean that to be an open invitation for you to tell me why you don't want to have children. I get it -- you don't want kids. You don't like kids. I respect that. So please, show me an ounce of respect for my choice TO have kids.

When I ask how things are going by you, I do want an answer -- I'd love some contact with the outside world, which, with three kids, I don't often get. It's interesting to me to hear about the things you do. When I ask this, I am actually looking for an answer. I am not:

  1. Trying to tell you to get married
  2. Trying to tell you to pop out kids
  3. Begging you to tell me why your life is better than mine

While we're on the topic, I need to reinforce that I do not actually care if you have kids. I do not care if you do not like children and I do not care if you get married, buy a house, get fat, and pop out a couple kids. I appreciate and respect that you like the single life.

In return, however, I'd like to ask that you show some respect for my choices. Certainly (as I am told time and again), you do not wish to go down the road I am traveling -- that is fine. But, I have also chosen to not complain about the road you're on. I've not once implied that you should have kids, that marriage is (always) awesome, or that living in the suburbs is all that one can ever dream to achieve.

Marriage is hard work, sometimes so hard I can barely form the words to explain it. Raising children, while they are the tiny loves of my life, isn't always particularly rewarding. And the suburbs may have oodles of parking, but it's also boring here. I think it's something in the water.

Actually, I would like to be able to tell you about all that I do. I'm a writer now (far cry from the medical student I was, eh?) and I run a non-profit organization to reduce the stigmas of rape, trauma, mental illness, child loss, and other dark things. I'm pretty proud of what I do, even if the results of my efforts involve sweet kind emails rather than raises and company parties.

When I tell you that I "can't meet you at the bar in the city -- an hour away -- at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night," it's not because I don't want to see you. In fact, it has so little to do with you that it's almost absurd. By 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, even if I've managed a power nap and haven't done any major house chores, I'm tired. No, that's not right -- I'm EXHAUSTED.

There will come a day when this isn't the case, but I have three kids, 10 and under, who require a lot of, well, work. Trust me, I'd love more than anything to see you and hang out. I just ... I can't.

Until then,


Aunt Becky (your boring breeder friend)

a mom's life


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Boobo... Boobookittt74

I have 3 girls 5 & under and I've lost two EX longtime friends because 1. Both (brother & sister) didn't like my husband and 2. Because I "didn't ever come out anymore" . It sux when someone is that selfish.

Lowry... LowryCuisine

I need something like this for friends with kids who seem to think I don't do anything all day. Or the ones who's kids are older and therefore don't need sitters.

nonmember avatar Heather

As a woman with friends with children, but not yet any of my own...I don't need to hear "try having kids" tacked on to any comment one more frigging time. Mom's aren't the only busy women in the world.

nonmember avatar Heather

Your friends sound like awful people to be dissing on your children. actually what kind of awful person are you in the first place to even have the kind of friends who would diss your kids? I had my first at 21 and none of my childless friends would have ever complained about my child.

MeAnd... MeAndTommyLee

Are you in my head Aunt Becky?

After 30 years of friendship, respecting my best friends choices not to have kids, I realized she had zero respect for me..  I was fed up with her sighing over the phone line when one of my little ones tugged on me to say, "hello," to her, or to tell me he just went potty by himself...etc.  I instead I had to hear about how they should sit quietly over on the couch like she did when her mom was busy.  How she never interrupted adult conversation.  How she was reading books by age two..  How I waste my time and money by buying them brand new clothes when I could be shopping at thrift stores because they'll wreck them anyway.  (by the way I have nothing against thrift stores and do occassion them from time to time.)  How boys are the worst people on earth that grow into men and that is just terrible. Or how her cats where so well "mannered," and knew their place in her household.

What the hell?!  Did I mention that she also hates/ed my husband?  He is one of those boy babies that grew up to be a man, after all. LOL   (continued.........)

MeAnd... MeAndTommyLee


I'd had it. I was tired of respecting her and ignoring her ignorant quips for toooooo long and I dropped her like a bad habit. She'd trampled my feelings over and over again by steadily bashing my kids for their mere existance and my decision to be "trapped." In addition, she told me they would all be on drugs in high school, my only girl would get "herself "pregnant" and I'd have "another brat to raise."

I could go on and on, but I won't. Some people just hate kids, but they still can never change the fact that they, too, were once kids! Get over yourselves and go set the table for you and your, "well behaved" cat and I will love the hell out of my kids and clean up mac and cheese on the floor every damn day with a huge smile on my face.

Daniella Ivette Mendoza

I'm one of those "childfree by choice" people, heh.

More often than not, people berate me when I say I don't want kids EVER. I do like them, but not for me. It seems like most of my "mommy/child-loving" gal pals see as an insult the fact that I don't want to be a "breeder", even though I do respect their choice of having kids. So this letter of yours is quite a breath of fresh air to me, thanks for giving me a good look at a mommy's opinion about this matter.

nonmember avatar me

I have 2 kids and one on the way. I havent lost a single friend and I did everything before them (married and kids). My friends have alway been great and supportive. Sounds to me that it is not the fact your friend doesnt understand being a mother, sounds like it is your choice in friends. Why do you communicate with someone who says rotten things about your children?! It is beyond me why anyone would allow that in their life or childrens lives. Either you needed something to write about, or you are bitter.

douxm... douxmusique

you just said breeder. seriously.

the4m... the4mutts

I have somewhat opposit problem. All my friends are OLDER than me, and have older kids. I still have 1 in diapers. All my kids are 8yrs and younger. My friends "did their duty" with little kids, and are done with the "nose wiping" phase.

I have 1 awesome neighbor with older kids, who is awesome to my kids. But most of my friends have resumed work, kids are in school longer, can be left alone, etc, and they seem to have forgotten what its like with smaller kids.

Its suckish.

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