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I have lots of non-parent friends. They’re great! I love spending time with them, although sometimes it seems that I don’t get to as often as I’d like. So, non-parents, here’s to you!
1. I still want to hang out. Yes, it might mean you come to me more often than I come to you. Yes, it might mean that I come with one or two little stowaways. Yes, it might take a little more planning. Yes, it might even mean that it’s cut short or cried out by a kid (with me or with someone else). But I still value our relationship. It looks different, but I don’t want it to end.
2. I can still be spontaneous. There’s the odd night that my kids are in bed early, and I am not tired. Yeah, I said it. Sometimes, I want to leave the house at 8:00pm and watch tv with you or catch a late dinner. Give me a break and meet me for a drink, already!
3. I didn’t stop being cool. I still like listening to good music, seeing good movies and eating good food. Why do you assume I only eat chicken nuggets while listening to Raffi?
4. I’m still a woman. Yes, “mommy” is one of my number one defining attributes. However, I’m a wife. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. Most of all, (GASP!) I’m a woman. I love wearing mascara, shopping for shoes, sipping lattes and (insert any other cliche about females here).
5. I don’t think less of you because you aren’t in my shoes. Just because you decided not to have kids, or haven’t found your soul mate doesn’t mean I think any less of you. I have friends in every stage of life; I haven’t limited my hangout group to “parents of young kids”.
6. I like to stay up late! I’m still a night owl; I can function on less sleep sometimes. I’m productive and happy at night after my kids go to bed, so call me up or come over for a chat! Don’t assume I crash at 7:30pm when my kids do, because that’s only sometimes true.
7. I love my kids, but I don’t mind leaving them sometimes. In fact, I think it’s healthy for me to have conversations with other adults, have a meal I don’t have to share, and to peepee in the potty without an audience.
8. I would love it if you hung out with my kids. They’re hilarious. I’m proud of them. I want to show them off in their best light, and I also want you to see their off days, so you have a real picture of who I am through these little lives I have created, shaped, loved and let go. Yeah, it might not be for you right now. It might not be for you ever. But being a parent is fun, crazy, hard and rewarding. It’s who I am. It’s the greatest gift God has ever given me, and I do my best to relish it and share it. Get to know my kids, and you get to know me.