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Gettyimages.com/Black businesswoman video chatting with daughter

There is a lot of talk about the phases of parenthood. There are the infant years, the toddler years, those first years in school, the pre-teen years, the teenage years, the empty nest years—each of which brings its own struggles, joys, terrors, and obstacles. But just because women who don’t have children aren’t experiencing all of those phases, firsthand, doesn’t mean that they don’t still go through certain phases alongside their mom friends. If you are a mother, believe it or not, everything you go through has a ripple effect on your friends who decided not to have kids. If they care deeply about you and work hard to maintain the friendship, how could they not be affected by those years when your child is a teenager and turning your home into a living hell? Or your empty nest years? Here are life phases that women who don’t have children go through (that nobody really talks about).

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Babies trump career advancements

When we are young, and our friends are just starting to have babies, we’re making some of our biggest career moves. But no career advancement ever seems to get as much attention as a baby’s first words or a toddler’s cute Instagram photo. It seems our career pales in comparison to the miracle of life.

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