Mom & Non-Mom Friends
Four Reasons Why A Mom Should Keep Non-Mom Friends
Dear April Masini,
I have two children and find it difficult to find things to talk about with a friend who doesn’t have any children. Is it good for moms to maintain friendships with non-moms, in spite of the fact that our priorities and interests are so different, or should I try to let this friendship go and build more friendships with moms like me?"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Non-Mom Friend,
Mom and non-mom, or civilians, as mothers snidely refer to those women without children, can be friends, but sometimes it's not that different from Democrats and Republicans -- you don't talk about abortion, politics or religion if you want to keep the blood off the walls.
Assets of Civilian/Non-mom Friendships:
Get out of your own head! The truth is that it's important to keep a balanced cadre of friends: including those who are moms and those who are not. It's easy to become myopic in your own world. People with different lifestyles help open your eyes and your perspectives and make you aware of all your choices in life.
Here are 4 assets of civilians/non-mom friendships:
- Childcare! If you're married with children, non-parents are great babysitters. Especially in a pinch. And they are great references on those school emergency cards.
- "I don't want to see a pacifier, or anything that vaguely resembles one for the next three hours!!" Non-moms are also great for rejuvenating yourself when you need to have dinner (or a pitcher of strawberry margaritas) without children around. It's refreshing to have dinner with people who are sleep deprived because they're actually having sex!
- Lose holiday empty house syndrome. It's equally nice for non-moms to have mom friends who will fill your house with family at holidays -- whether it's Halloween or Christmas -- and then go home again!
- Children and family are precious. Whether you want them, or have them, or don't want them. Appreciate where your friends are in their own lives, whether they want kids or not. And appreciate those who decide not to have them -- not everyone should be a mom. Some are smart enough to know themselves that well!
Roadblocks To Mom/Non-Mom Friendships
Some of the roadblocks that keep moms and non-moms from being friends is summed up by the phrase, "They just don't know what it's like."
- Try to empathize with what the others' lives are like. Non moms with strong opinions on child rearing are treading on dangerous ground. If you haven't been there, don't start lecturing about how to raise kids.
- On the other hand, if you're a "smug married," as Bridget Jones called them, don't start lecturing on dating habits. Ask questions and listen. Remember, it's tough out there.
Get A Different View
Ask for opinions and help from your non mom or mom friends. Whether you're a mom or a non-mom, the other may have a fresh perspective on in laws, boyfriends, kid birthday parties, etc. And it may be fun to trade advice.
Finally, mom, remember to ask your non-mom friend about important things in her life too, it's not all about first steps and baby pictures.