Parenting

Published on October 14th, 2015 | by Raina J. Johnson

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Why I Really, Really Need My Non-Mom Friends

When my son started kindergarten this year, I set a goal to make more mom friends. Since he’ll be at his school for six years, I want to really grow with him and put down some roots in the school community. So far I feel like I’ve been somewhat successful. I’ve attended parent meetings and volunteer events, which is great because I keep seeing the same people and it feels like we’re laying the groundwork for friendship both in and outside school. As fulfilling as that feels, it’s also made me realize the importance of continuing to grow and build relationships with non-mom friends, too.
Last month I celebrated my 30th birthday and I spent the day with my son and my BFFs, neither of whom have children. And let me tell you, it was perfect. We went to the beach, rented a cabana and just chilled. We brought food, wine and books to keep us busy. We took selfies, and celebrated another year of life and friendship. I watched as my son built castles, wet his feet in the water and and threw sand in the air. I knew he was having a good time too. Single mom, child, and single girlfriends – we weren’t your average birthday celebration gang, but it was heaven.
I need my non-mom friends just as much (if not more than) as mom friends from the bake sale committee. Let me count the reasons why:

1. Even though it scares the shit out of them, non-mom friends don’t mind babysitting.

Like the cool, child-free aunt, my best girlfriend has babysat for me on a number of occasions when I have to work. Each and every time, she comments about how she “doesn’t know what to do with a kid,” and I gently remind her that most days, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing either. Turns out we both know way more than we give ourselves credit for.

Non-mom friends find the best, cheapest fun stuff to do for just us girls.

When I’ve got a kid-free weekend, I know I rely on my friends for a really good time. First off, they’re way more flexible time-wise and can rejigger their schedules to fit with mine. And they come prepared! They always dig up the best Groupon deals and scour reviews for the best new restaurant. We go to art shows, free concerts in the park, bookstores or just sit in coffee shops talking and catching up. We can hang out all day and stay up all night, since nobody has a curfew or has to put the kids to bed.

Non-mom friends help you to remember to take care of yourself.

This is so, so important. As a mom it’s so easy to get wrapped up in parenting the little ones that you forget you need some care and feeding too. And that time off from your kids makes you better parent when you’re with them. My non-mom friends remind of this fact often, and I am grateful for that. They also have stories of the days that seem so distant, when we were undergrads with no other responsibility except getting to class on time, or whip out an old photo of us at a college bar. They’ll call me out when I’ve worn my yoga pants too many times on our nights out, or remind me how beautiful my eyes are when I wear eyeliner.

Non-mom friends give you a different point of view.

My non-mom bestie is the one I turn too when I need someone who can really listen or give me a shoulder to lean on. I mean, can anyone have a conversation when you’re both yelling at your kids or trying to break up a fight between siblings? Just because my friend doesn’t have children doesn’t mean that she can’t give good advice. She draws from her own experience with her mom, her friends’ moms, and the moms she know. Because they’re not in the trenches, my non-mom friends can look at things from a different point of view, which is often refreshingly honest and practical.

 

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About the Author

Profile photo of Raina J. Johnson

Raina J. Johnson is a freelance writer determined to find her way in the world with the help of her superhero son. She details her hilarious experiences in coparenting on I SAID YES!, her blog via Metroparent magazine, and her work has recently been featured on MyBrownBaby.com. She lives in Milwaukee, WI and tweets @RainaWrites.



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