If you have children, then you know that the world is practically divided into two categories. There are those who are parents, and there are those who have yet to belong to this category (no children yet). As a parent, you are constantly torn between other parents and your friends who do not have children. However, you have to remind yourself that each person has something different to offer; moreover, parenting is not a competition, so you should stop seeing it as such.
Parents Helping Parents
When you become a parent, your whole world changes. And one of the biggest changes is related to the fact that you now have to look after a tiny, yet beautiful human being. Soon, you will begin to realize how important it is to have other parents around, providing useful advice. This is especially valid for new mums, who are just beginning to enter into this role. They will often rely on more experienced mums, in order to get through the first months, without falling apart.
It is true that only other parents can understand the things related to raising a child. They will share your feelings about difficult moments, talk about their own experiences and, most importantly, they will help you celebrate moments or milestones. They will laugh at the same things, following the principle “been there, done that”. For example, they will understand how important it is to succeed establishing a routine for the baby, how difficult it can be to see life as before or how precious a moment like seeing your baby rolling actually is.
What about Those Who Do Not Have Children Yet?
As a new parent, you might be tempted to avoid too much contact with those who do not have children yet. This is actually a mistake, and you might be perceived as turning parenting into a competition, which is not something to be desired at all. The decision to become parents belongs to each couple in particular and, for some, it might be connected to medical problems, communication issues, etc. You have to respect a person’s decision not to have children and be upfront about your own issues, as a new parent.
When someone is your true friend, he/she will not shy away from seeing you, even if you have a little human being clinging to you all the time. Surely, your encounters might be centered around the baby, but this does not mean you cannot have fun. You just have to make the transition from your previous role to the new one, taking into consideration the feelings of your friends. Do not make everything about the baby and try to find subjects of conversation that are not related to this aspect; also, be sensitive to couples who do not have children yet. They might be trying but have difficulties conceiving, and you do not want to be the person asking them all the time: “when are you going to have a baby?”
Friends Without Children – Lessons To Be Learned
The greatest thing about these friends is that they will try to be there for you, even if they do not have a grasp of the parenting concept yet. They will bring gifts for the baby, cook for you and even offer to babysit, so that you can have a night out. Moreover, they will try to talk about other things, so that you are taken out of the “mum” state, at least for a couple of minutes. They are great, working really hard to make you feel included. And this is why you should try to see them more often.
However, at the same time, you cannot expect for everything to stay the same. On your part, things might be a little bit more difficult. Sleep deprivation is something all parents have to deal with; when sleep is all you need or want, seeing your friends and being a good host is not one of your main priorities. Apart from that, you might be tempted to talk only about your baby, which, let’s face it, has its limits. You have to be aware of such matters and try to tone things down. Last, but not least, do not treat your friends differently, just because they are not parents. Remember, the decision to become a parent belongs to each couple in particular.
Being a parent is one of the greatest experiences of your life, as you will create a small wonder and have the luck to see him/her develop into an amazing human being. However, parenting is never a competition, and you should never treat those who do not have children yet, or those who are not interested in becoming parents, with superiority. This is not a race to be won but rather a journey to be enjoyed by each couple, in their own time.