The holidays are rapidly approaching and with them a barrage of commercials with adorable, beaming kids. While planning gifts, dinners, and parties, and all the effort involved therein- I began thinking about my Mom friends and all of the time and effort they exert every day. I realized that I have no idea about the ins and outs of motherhood and pregnancy. Although I know that my Mom friends can relate to my fairly uncomplicated life, there are several things about their lives that I take for granted and shouldn’t.
Some of my favorite women are moms or soon-to-be moms. I’m at the age where pregnancy for many of the women in my life has stopped being a “haha, oops” and has started being an “It’s time and we’re ready.” Now, before we go any further, I have to state for the record that I am not, in fact, a mom. There is a possibility that I may never be a Mom. I am, however, a very proud Auntie K, and a role model of sorts for friends’ children in my social group.
Because I come from a place of un-motherhood, there are so many things I don’t understand; but I’d like to fix that.
In the quest to become a better friend, and a better person in general, I present to you: five questions for all my mom (and soon-to-be mom) friends, and three requests of my own.
- Be honest, how bad does giving birth really hurt?
Let me state for the record that giving actual birth out of my body sound like the worst experience of all time, ever. Somehow, though, I have had friends tell me (non-masochist, fairly normal friends) that “it’s not that bad” and that “you forget the pain.” Please set the record straight. Is it really not that bad, or do you just want it to seem not that bad so that maybe I’ll consider pushing a watermelon out of a place I’d rather not have any sort of fruit come out of?
- As a non-mom, what are some things that I say to you that are kind of dumb or insensitive?
I’ll be the first to admit, I am kind of dumb and insensitive sometimes with most of my friends. I’m sure there are things I’ve said in the past that should have warranted some light maiming, but my Mom friends are pious and benevolent goddesses of goodwill and have only laughed and given me undeservedly gentle correction.
- What is the best way to celebrate your pregnancy/births/milestones with you?
With my non-mom friends, celebration would usually entail cocktails and some booty shaking. Sometimes, though, that type of celebration isn’t appropriate for all venues and age groups. How can I be sure to recognize big moments while staying within the lines of decency?
- In that same vein, how can I help?
This is especially applicable for my single-mom friends, but it can apply to the paired-up mamas, too. As your friend and as a fellow female, what is the best way I can make your day to day easier? I know Moms do the hardest and sometimes most thankless job there is. As someone who sees your dedication and struggle, how can I show you I care?
- How can I be a better community member for you and your kids?
When I see a kid on an airplane, or in line at Target, what are some ground rules that can make both of our experiences pleasant? I know that taking children out in public can be a struggle sometimes, and I know that even when your tiny person isn’t being the most reasonable or quiet, you’re still doing the best you can.
And now, a few requests, from your non-mom friend:
- Please stop asking me when I’ll have kids.
I know that this is actually a covert mom compliment, because you like me so much that you’d like to have more than one me running around, but it’s actually kind of frustrating. I feel pressure to have kids from my family, advertising, and even my own body. While I love you and think your children are beautiful, I’m not completely sure having some of my own would be the right choice for me.
- I just don’t get Mom shaming.
Look, even I can see that being a mom is incredibly hard. So why do some moms make it even harder by shaming other moms around them? You’re all doing what you’re doing from a place of love. You’re all making judgment calls without an instruction manual. You’re all trying to do what’s right and give your child everything they need. Even if one mom is doing things a different way than you do them, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your respect and the benefit of the doubt.
- Stop worrying about your post-baby body.
Some women put on weight after they give birth. Some women’s body shape changes completely. Some women’s skin or hair or shoe size changes. Either way, you’re beautiful. I know that it’s jarring to look different than you used to, but you’re a hot mama and although it’s a different hot than you used to be, I still think you got it going on. And did I mention your boobs look amazing?
In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to recognize each other’s struggles and triumphs. While I haven’t experienced the joys and pains of motherhood, I would like to by an ally, and more than anything, a better friend. If you have any answers to my questions, or would like to set the record straight on something dumb I’ve said here (see question 2), please comment below.
And in case no one has told you today: you’re awesome. You’re doing the best you can. Your boobs look great. Now go parent the *bleep* outta those kids!
Born and raised in Reno, NV, Kaitlyn Reeves questions her life choices every winter she spends in the Sierras. She’s not a mom, but is a very proud Auntie K and the oldest of many sibling– so she sympathizes with the brave women who choose to have kids. When she’s not doing her own version of car karaoke, you can find Kaitlyn expanding her professional career in communications and PR, or acting as a freelance digital writer. A rabid reader, and a passionate pun-maker, Kaitlyn loves words, words, words! (You might say word-play is her foreplay.) She firmly believes that the best way to get to know a new city is by visiting it’s used bookstore. Although she hates flying, Kaitlyn loves to travel, and is always dreaming of an exotic location to get into trouble in. When all else fails, the way to win her heart is through strong black coffee, Broadway musicals, film noir, loud clothing, and the occasional glass of whiskey.