An Open Letter to New Moms. Love, Your Childless Friend
Dear new mother girlfriend of mine,
First, let me say I am so happy that your little bundle of joy is here! I can sense your elation as well, every time you remind me that I’m missing out on motherhood—right before you hang up the phone to change a diaper/put the baby to sleep/feed him/change your blouse because little man’s lunch ended up decorating it.
You may be right about me missing out on motherhood but guess what: you’re missing out on the life you used to love before Pooder came along. Remember? You had meaningful friendships, and we had wonderful conversations (and some foolishly hilarious ones as well, but who’s counting?) about current events, work, politics, and the like. Now, the only current event that you’re concerned with is how your Peanut recognizes your voice when you’re not in the room. Or better yet, how you’re glad you chose not to get implants because milk seems to be working quite well for you. This just in: the world is moving along, and if you don’t watch it you will be all alone as soon as Pookie is scooting in his Huggies Slip Ons because he won’t even have time for you.
Here are some tips to stay among the living while being a new mom:
1) Please find time for yourself. Before you tell me that I don’t understand what it’s like to be a mother, let me remind you that you used to be the woman who always headed for the door looking paparazzi-ready. If motherhood means I must trade in my Herve Leger dresses and Brian Atwood shoes to embrace the look I’ve coined “undead chic”, then I understand that it is not for me. If you refuse to buy anything because you’re a new size, you have a gym partner right here. If you just want me to be your Anna Wintour and critique everything you try on at the mall, I will do that, too. Just please, ignite the flame and let’s burn that spit-up speckled Snuggie together, ‘kay?
2) As your fabulous friend sans child, honestly, I speak for all of your girlfriends when I say that we do not want to spend our Saturday nights at your house watching “Dora the Explorer”. If it’s too soon for you to leave Cutie Patoodie at home, I’ll happily come visit you while we listen to music and drink the finest bottle of Cab that I can find—well, you can watch me drink because I know you’re too good to Pump and Dump. But if I leave your house saying “Oh mannnnn!” one too many times, we have a problem.
3) Although I can imagine you are still trying to adjust to the many changes in your life, always remember that you are not alone. You have girlfriends who may not have extra diapers or bottles sitting around their homes, but we want to assist in any way we can, be it a helping hand or a quick laugh on the phone.
Ultimately things haven’t changed too drastically, we just don’t want you to lose yourself during the first few sentences of a new chapter in your life. And check this out: one day we may be in your shoes so hopefully you will share some advice with us! But in the meantime—can I borrow those sparkly gold platform Louboutins since your foot is three sizes bigger after pregnancy?
Your childless best friend
Ciara J. Vincent has worked in book publishing for over eight years and has written articles for The Knot and the Star-Ledger.