When You’re Not a Mom. A Letter to My Mom Friends

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Dear Mommy Friends,

It’s your weekend!  Mother’s Day weekend.  It’s your time for mimosas, brunch, handmade cards, breakfast in bed, jewelry with your children’s birthstones, dinner out with extended family, and all the fun things in between.  May your weekend allow you to be spoiled with much needed rest, silly gifts, and feeling so loved.

As I was thinking about Mother’s Day and the day I had yesterday, I thought I’d share some thoughts on behalf of all the women who are not a mom (or men who are not a dad) . . .

Yesterday, I took a half day off work and went to the school for the son (Coby) of one of my best friends (Jen).  He had “published” and illustrated nine books throughout the school year and was celebrating by inviting guests to hear him read his work, complete a craft (coloring a bookmark), eat cookies, and gush about his accomplishments.

It made sense that I would be one of his guests since I had just written a book (and Coby got to come to my book launch party), and this was all about his debut as an author.  When Jen called me and let me know the event was happening and that I was invited, I immediately opened my work email/calendar app, cleared all my meetings that afternoon, and requested a half day off.  I was so honored and excited I could hardly stand it.  By the time the day arrived, everyone in my office knew where I was going because I couldn’t stop talking about it.

Similarly, our neighbor girls popped over the other day asking me to help them with their gymnastics skills in the backyard.  I was so excited that not only did they actually know my name, but that they’d feel comfortable enough to come over and chat and would let me play a little part in helping with their gymnastics/dance.

See, when you’re not a mom (or a dad), getting invited to events for your friend’s kids is just about the most exciting and silly and fun thing you can experience.  We, the non-moms/non-dads, love being invited to play a part in our friends kid’s lives.  Chris wouldn’t have spent all day helping build a swing set for the neighbor boys a few years back if he didn’t; and I wouldn’t have declined any meeting, even if important to my career, to make sure I was at that school yesterday to hear Coby read “My Book about Myself.”

What happens in life is — girls grow up and get married.  And once they do, they end up hanging out primarily with their other married friends.  It’s like we forget about our single friends, unless our husbands are out-of-town and we need a single gal pal for shopping or seeing romantic comedies, and then we go on about our married lives.  It’s all about double-dates and we kind of forget about our single friends when we have plans with our spouse because we wouldn’t want them to feel like a third or fifth wheel, so we simply don’t invite them.  We don’t admit we do this, but we do it.  It’s a very couple-centric world once you get into your late twenties and beyond.

And then those same couples become parents.  And once they do, they end up hanging out primarily with their other friends who are parents.  When they have birthday parties for their kids, they only invite friends that have kids.  They don’t want the non-parent friends to feel put out or like it’s a chore to have to come watch their kid bounce on a trampoline for two hours and make a mess of their chocolate unicorn cake, so they don’t invite them (us).

But as a non-mom to a mom, I’m here to tell you, we want to watch your kid on the trampoline and we want to eat the unicorn cake.  We want to be invited to your kid’s games and your kid’s school plays (I’ve been trying to get on a Christmas school program invite list for years), we want to see their dance recitals, we want to go to the art show even if it’s downtown with inconvenient parking, we want to help with their cartwheel practice or batting practice, we want to be a big part of their lives even if we’re not toting a child of our own to the party.  I may go out on a limb and say we even want to be considered for babysitting (I mean, let’s not get too crazy, but, you know, we would babysit if you needed it <<wink>>).

So to all the mommy friends out there — you go live it up!  You enjoy this weekend like no other.  And even if it doesn’t really turn into a brunch and gift filled weekend and it’s just a normal day like all the others, don’t forget about us — the women (and men) who if even by choice don’t have kids of their own, they (we) are waiting in the wings to love on your kids.  Don’t forget about us when your kid graduates from pre-school.  Don’t forget about us when you host that awkward pool party this summer for their 6th birthday.  Don’t forget about us when you can’t make all the games because you have multiple kids and you need someone to go cheer one of them on.

We love your kids so much because we love you.

So add us to your lists — the birthday party invite list, the back-up babysitter list, the emergency contact list, the sporting event roster list, and the people who want a piece of the unicorn cake list.

 

Happy Mother’s Day,

Brooke