Sometimes people look at me a little funny when I tell them I work for the Bloomington Moms Blog. You see, I’m not a mom. I am happily married, have a dog that is awesome, have great brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, but we have no children of our own. So, working for a moms blog isn’t a natural fit, at least at first glance. But here’s the thing
I love moms. I love their kids.
Not being a mom doesn’t mean that I can’t love moms well. It does mean that I don’t always understand your particular struggles, but I can promise you this; I love you and I love your kids. I’m proud of the way you’re raising your family, whether you’ve got a “traditional” family, you’re rocking it as a single parent, you’ve inherited step-kids, adopted, or anything in-between. Your single/childless/other stage of life friends want to be a part of your life, they just don’t always know how. Me? I never want to be a burden to you, so chances are I wait for you to reach out to me. I’m working on that. Here are some other things to think about.
Reaching Out to Your Friends with Kids
I asked some of my BMB team what I could do to be a good friend to them in this season. Most of them have young families, are expecting new babies, or are so busy they can’t seem to find a free moment to bathe much less hang out. Here’s what they said:
- Keep inviting your friends with kids to do things. They may not always be able to go out, but being thought of reminds them that they are still important to you.
- Bring coffee and/or treats and drop them off when you know it’s a busy day.
- Understand that why they ask you to come to their house, it’s because that’s where the toys are, the kids nap, and where they feel most able to divide their time between you and the little ones.
- Love those kids. Take the time to play with them and interact. Not only does it give mom a little breathing room, but nothing makes a mom-heart grow two sizes like seeing someone they love love their kids well.
- Give time ranges instead of set times when you are meeting somewhere. Most moms hate being late, but getting kids out the door isn’t always easy.
- Text them just because you’re thinking of them.
- Invite them out to have “adult” time. Don’t forget that just because they’re a mom doesn’t mean they don’t have other interests.
- Be patient. Remind them that there will come a time when all the crazy days will be just a memory.
- Don’t give up. Chances are, plans will be canceled as often as they are met. Life happens and gets messy.
The Power of Friendship, Regardless
Friendship, with or without kids, goes both ways. While your kid-less friends are trying to understand your world, it’s also helpful if you try and fit in to theirs. No matter how much I love you and your kids, I don’t really understand things like potty training and sleep training. I appreciate both when I babysit, and I’m happy to listen to your struggles and successes, but please don’t get too frustrated if I don’t ask the right questions or say the wrong things. You speak a language I haven’t had to learn yet, and sometimes the glassy-eyed stare is because I have no idea what you’re saying.
I love having mom friends in my world. I love watching their kids grow and change and being a part of that. Nothing gives my heart more joy than when I hear that someone is excited to see “Miss Emily.” Moms are amazing women and supporting them is one of the joys of my life. I know we don’t always speak the same language, and I know I say the wrong things. I know I seem selfish sometimes because I miss hanging out with you. My life is crazy in different ways, but our common ground is always wanting to help each other be the best we can be.
So, Here’s my Promise
I promise to love you and your kids well. This tender, important season won’t last forever, and I will do my best to be flexible and available when you need me the most. Together, we will celebrate victories and challenges in our lives, whether it’s about kids, jobs, relationships, faith, or everything in between. I refuse to let the dividing line of with/without kids separate us. Give me a little grace, and I’ll do the same for you. Together, I think we can do something pretty special.