Things Motherhood Taught Me No. 4: Friends Without Kids Will Forget You Exist
They don’t mean to hurt you, really they don’t. I did the same thing before I was a mother and I can tell you it’s not something you do consciously. Just like we forget about that friend who hates sushi when we’re planning to go to the Japanese, we forget about our friends with kids when we’re planning to go to a club until six in the morning. It’s perfectly reasonable behaviour.
But there are other reasons too. The first is that people who don’t have kids don’t have routines. They can either have dinner at eight or eleven, go to the beach at midday or midnight, walk in the sun or in the rain: and they’ve no time for organizing their life around the routines of parents of young children.
Second reason is that, since they no longer see us in the usual places (favourite restaurant, café, rock concerts), they assume we’ll never accept any invitation. I’ve had conversations of this kind myself. ‘We should invite so-and-so.’ – ‘Forget it, she’s got the baby, no way she’ll be able to come.’ And the truth is that eight out of ten invites will be refused, especially for unexpected reasons such as not finding a babysitter in time, the baby having a fever since it woke up that morning or the baby having kept parents up all night and not even five coffees will give them the energy they need. But there are all those other times when the new parents not only can come out, but actually crave an evening without watching BabyFirst Channel.
And then there are “the Lamer Mums” and the bad reputation they’ve earned for us all. Lamer Mums are a very common species of women who used to be normal until they had a kid and now they think life should revolve around said kid. Every conversation is dominated by nappies and tips on how to find the perfect school. Now, for someone without kids neither of these subjects could be less interesting. And even people who do have kids usually appreciate a night out with friends where they don’t have to talk about children. So, friends with no kids have already endured so many boring conversations just because they asked a Lamer Mum how the little one was doing, that they took fright and now run a mile from any couple that announces a pregnancy.
So, to all of you mothers or fathers who are feeling neglected by your friends: don’t be sad or offended. Your friends still love you very much and they’ll call you again in a few years’ time. Even if it’s only to know what’s the best stroller brand in the market. And then it’s going to be just like in old days (but now with heaps of little people across the table).
And to you, my young and unattached friends: make the most of it. Sleep till midday whenever you can, go out to dinner at eleven at night, take off on last-minute weekends away, above all be spontaneous. In a few months or a few years, going out for a drink at ten o’clock at night will no longer be an option. Unless it’s a glass of milk.
I was born on a shinny day of June 1979 in Lisbon, Portugal. I talked a lot, including with my imaginary friends, and pretended to read books at age 4.
When I finally learned how to read and write I decided I wanted to become a writer. My parents still hold my first books, handwritten and illustrated by myself. During adolescence I got interested in journalism so I took a degree on Communication (UCP Lisbon). Then I got interested in advertising and became a copywriter.
Still, it couldn’t spend all my creativity on the job so I began to dedicate all my spare time to writing stuff for myself untill one day I realized I had a whole book in my head! Thirty Something (nothing’s how we dreamed it would be) my debut novel.
My dream is to become a fulltime writer. But until that day comes (and I know it will!) I live happily in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Lisbon) with my husband, baby and Gucci, the cat.