We can argue as much as we want that having kids doesn’t change a person, but might I argue that if having kids hasn’t changed you at all then…maybe you’re doing parenting…wrong? Parenthood is a huge deal. It should change you a little bit. Caring for another life, and making all decisions with another little human in mind, is bound to change a person’s outlook on life. And parenthood can be wonderful—it can make people better, more patient, wiser, and gentler. There are experiences of parenthood that people without kids just can’t understand. Now, that being said, when you are wrapped up in mommy hood, it can also be easy to lose touch with how the other side (non-parents) live, and what their priorities are. Of course childless individuals and parents can be friends. I have wonderful mommy friends. But can the friendship sometimes be hard for some? Of course. We’d be in denial if we didn’t acknowledge that.
Kids don’t abide by a schedule
Kids don’t care what time it is. Tantrums don’t abide by schedules. A picky eater doesn’t care what time you’re supposed to be out the door. Kids live by their own schedule, and they pretty much control the schedule of their parents. That just makes them hard to plan with.
Professionals need strict schedules
Meanwhile, working professionals have to stick to strict schedules. They move meetings around and bend over backwards to carve out time for a one-hour lunch. If their mommy friend is running thirty minutes late to that lunch due to a tantrum, well, the career friend is sort of screwed.
Parenting emergencies come up
Parenting emergencies need to be attended to immediately. If someone has the stomach flu, or got a marble stuck up his nose, everything must be dropped so that can be addressed. It’s only natural, but it can be a problem for the other friend who spent $100 on tickets that won’t go to use now.
Moms go to bed at 9pm—and 8pm if they have their druthers. That is around the time working professionals with demanding careers just get around to sitting down to dinner.
Exposure to different worlds
When your world is just completely different from someone else’s, conversation can dry up quickly. A career woman with no kids doesn’t really know how to further the conversation about the new cloth being used in the cloth diapers or how this baby food changed its ingredients. And it can be nice for moms to hang with other moms who have these topics on the brain.
Professionals can see kids as a hindrance
Career professionals can see children as just a hindrance to work. Their whole world (or mostly) is their work and when they observe parenting, they just see the ways kids would get in the way of their work. For that reason, they’re always asking their mom friends if they can leave the kid with a babysitter—they assume their friend also feels the child is a hindrance.
Parents see kids as the whole point
To parents, kids are one of the main points of life. Family is a beautiful thing. Being with their kids, and witnessing their kids’ development, is important to them. They want to find a way to spend more time with their kids, not less.
Different kinds of exhaustion
Everyone’s exhausted. Moms are emotionally and physically exhausted. They’ve literally worried about keeping someone alive all day, and had kids and teens screaming at them. Career women are mentally exhausted, and can’t really take in any new information at the end of the day.
Kid-friendly events…or not
Parents prioritize finding venues and events that are kid-friendly. Working professionals often try to find venues that discourage families from bringing small kids. That’s a big conflict of interest.
Different financial priorities
When you’re a parent living on a shoestring budget so you can send your child to the private middle school or get him karate lessons, it can be hard to identify with someone who is upset that the lease on their luxury vehicle went up.
Double dates are especially hard
Making couples friends is already tough. Forming a couples’ friendship between a couple that doesn’t have kids and one that does is even harder. The parent friends need to find a babysitter any time they both want to do something fun.
Watching language around the kids
No matter how hard one works to edit their language and stories around kids, if you don’t have kids, you’re bound to slip up. It can be hard for parents to have non-parents around their kids since they might say something inappropriate.
Moms can’t have nice things
Sometimes people who don’t have kids don’t really…well…want to go to a house where little kids live. Everything is sticky. They feel out of place.
Career women work hard for nice things
Meanwhile, moms can’t always bring their kiddos to their childless friend’s house for fear that they’ll break something. Parents can also be a little judgmental as to why does their friend own a couch that cost $3,000 but…that’s also their friend’s prerogative.
It can be hard for someone without kids to realize just what a big deal it is when a child starts sleeping through the night or eating vegetables. Likewise, it can be hard for a stay-at-home mom to understand what it means when her working friend’s company poached this social media strategist from that other company.