Ten things your childfree friends want you to know

Ever felt a little frustrated with the new mothers amongst your friends or colleagues? Heather Irvine likes to tell it like it is when it comes to modern motherhood, and offers ten things many childless people would like to say to new parents.

To keep things fair, she’ll also offer the ten things new mums would like to say to their childfree friends, on Women’s Agenda tomorrow

  1. I’m busy too:  It’s not the same kind of busy as a baby. But it is still busy.
  2. I still have a life: I know I’m not raising the next generation of humanity, but the things I do are important too.
  3. I have a brain: And I know you used to think it worked pretty well. Please don’t assume that without my own baby I don’t have any idea about your new parenting world.
  4. Your baby is special, but I don’t love him as much as you: That means I can’t celebrate his poo like you do. And if you talk for 30 minutes straight about his sleep patterns, please don’t be offended if I yawn…you would have too in your pre-baby world…
  5. Tell me how I can help: I love you, but I’m not a mind reader. It’s easy for me to pick up some frozen dinners or a loaf of bread on my way over, or hold baby while you take a shower.
  6. Don’t ask “Has she got any children?” every time a new name comes up in conversation. I feel like suddenly being a mother is the defining characteristic of a woman. And then I feel I’m inadequate in your eyes.
  7. Don’t ditch me from all your social events: If it all gets too baby-centred I can leave. I’m a big girl now.
  8. Don’t laugh when I try to relate to your parenting woes by talking about my interaction with my dog. I know it’s not the same, but I’m trying to somehow connect our worlds again.
  9. I KNOW you’re busy. But just one text a week would be cool. When you’re too busy for me but have time to post 50 photos on Facebook, I get hurt.
  10. I’m patient. I can wait. I am not another pressure. I believe our friendship can handle going off-course for a baby. We can find a new path over time. It’ll be different, but our friendship’s worth the wait.

This is an edited extract from Heather Irvine-Rundle’s new book, The Birth of the Modern Mum: A new mother’s no nonsense guide to looking after herself in baby’s first year. It’s available in good book stores at The READ Clinic and at Amazon.

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