When it comes to major life milestones, I’ve found myself on a similar timeline to a number of my friends. I’m now pregnant with my second baby, and I have a mix of friends in various life stages; some of whom are done with growing their families, some who are still in the midst of it like me, some who’ve yet to start, and some who may not start families at all. I’ve been thinking about friends in the last two categories in particular lately, and I’ve discovered some things every pregnant woman needs her non-mom friends to know, whether they’re not currently child-free by choice or for any of a number of other reasons.
Please don’t be surprised if you notice a hint of sentimentality here, either. Not only am I currently pregnant and feeling all the damn feelings, but I’m fairly sensitive in general. So, thinking about some of my favorite lady friends makes me want to go on a binge of Parks and Rec scenes featuring Ann and Leslie and their glorious friendship. (After, of course, after I make up some excuses to text my BFFs and send them GIFs of ladies offering each other slow-motion high-fives and hugs, because that's what I want to do to them all day long.)
How women decide to live their lives varies, of course, and we all don't make the same life-decisions. That doesn't, of course, mean that we can only be friends with those who take the same paths we do. So, with that in mind and because female friendship is damn awesome, here are just a few things every pregnant woman wants her non-mom friends to know:
I Think About You Probably More Than You Think I Do
Not in a creepy way, of course, but in a going-about-my-day and noticing you in the wedding photos we have on display, or remembering a funny thing you said ages ago, or thinking about how you’ve supported me through various other milestones. You'd be surprised. (OK, maybe you wouldn't. But either way, it happens a lot.)
Sometimes I’m Nostalgic For “Old Times”
Those fleece pants we both got right after college? I’m wearing them constantly these days, despite the fact that they’re super thin and falling apart. Whenever I wear them, I wonder if you still have yours, and I remember what was important to us back when these pants were new. Getting settled in post-college lives, figuring out new jobs, managing relationships with boyfriends that became husbands. If only these pants could talk.
I Value Our Memories Even More Now
I think about when we were roommates and how I could wander into your room at all hours of the day or night and you’d share whatever snacks you had, and I hope my future daughter finds friendship like that, too.
I’m Still Me
It’s true, I’m slightly more distracted nowadays, I can admit that. I’m figuring out how to both parent a toddler and gestate a baby, while still managing work and other responsibilities and friendships. However, I didn’t automatically stop caring about things that have always mattered to me, nor have I stopped caring about things that probably shouldn’t matter to me, but do (like the whereabouts of former boyband members, or how much piano Ryan Gosling actually played in La La Land).
I Still Want To Talk About Non-Mom Things
Before I had kids of my own, I figured that my friends having kids before me automatically switched gears and became responsible and adult, and stopped paying attention to unimportant things. Perhaps they did, but I most definitely did not.
The next time we talk, I would like nothing more than to hear about things totally unrelated to my own uterus and my offspring (assuming I can still squeeze in, like, a 45 second update about both of them).
Your Support Matters
As I’m discovering, the important people in my life don’t stop being important just because I’m a mom now. In fact, in some ways I’m relying on them even more, because I’m able to offer less to the relationship than I’d like to. So, knowing that you’re in my corner (like you’ve always been), is a pretty huge deal.
I Completely Support Whatever Your Family Plans Might Be
I try not to pry when it comes to the family plans of even some of my closest friends because, now that I’m on the other side of pregnancy, I can understand the gamut of emotions some people may have when it comes to it, and how personal and private some of those emotions can feel. As much as I would love to be there for you and support whatever decision you’ve made or options you’re considering, I’m not going to ask. Instead, I’ll just be here whenever you’re ready.
I’m Excited For My Baby To Meet You
I mean, how could I not be? I fully intend to surround my kids with awesome people that's the definitions of you.
If You Have Kids, I’m Equally Excited About Plotting Their Future Marriages (To One Another)
Even if you don’t, I’m excited to think about the presence you’ll have in my kiddos’ lives. However, I’ve just got one thing to ask: please refrain from telling them any college stories until they’re at least old enough to apply to universities of their own. You know why.