I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby. I was officially the second if you want to get technical, but friend number one lived about five hours away so I felt like the first, and only, one of my friends to have a baby. And in many ways that felt intimidating; I was so afraid I would be ostracized, left behind, and otherwise ignored because I had up and reproduced. Turns out, the exact opposite happened. My friends rallied around me and my baby like fierce warrior princesses, and I was able to enjoy the benefits that come with being the only person in your friend group with a kid.
That's not to say us moms can't stand to benefit from the presence and friendship of other moms. Simply put, there are things about my life that my kid-free friends absolutely can't understand, and while it's not their fault I very much, at times, need to speak with other moms who just get it on that fundamental level that helps remind me that I'm not alone. But there is also something so be said for being the first to do a thing, especially a Big Life Thing. When you're the pioneer you get the added benefit of having people rally around you, and their excitement can be intoxicating.
So while it can feel like you're on an island all by yourself — an island ruled by a tiny, needy baby — there are some unmistakable benefits to being the first one of your friends to have kids. Like, for example, the following:
Everyone Is Excited To Babysit
No need to pay for child care, my friend: your friends are going to be chomping at the bit to babysit. Because your friends don't have any children of their own, they're excited about the idea of watching your kid for a few hours. They get to be the cool aunt, get their baby fix, and then give your kid back so they can go home and enjoy a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
All The Baby Gifts
My child-free friends give me all the things, you guys! And not hand-me-down things (not that there's anything wrong with that and my second child is currently living in second-hand clothes), but new toys and books and clothes! They're always sending this "one thing they found" or this "little toy they saw" that made them think about my kid. It's kind of the best (as long as the toy in question isn't annoyingly loud or comes in a million stupid pieces.)
Everyone Thinks You're Wonder Woman...
Child-free people have no idea how hard it is to parent another human, which is why they're going to think you walk on literal water. You keep actual human babies alive? Whoa. You're a goddess. You're a Queen. You're a Saint.
... & Everyone Is Extremely Sympathetic
Having a bad parenting day? Just call your child-free friend. They won't be able to understand in a way another mom could, but because they don't really have a frame of reference they aren't going to compare your parenting day to their parenting day: an inevitability between parents that can, sometimes, keep us from really feeling empathetic towards one another. This kid-free friend of yours is going to feel horrible for you, and really listen to you, and won't think you need to suck it up because they've been there and done that. They'll be sympathetic in a way other parents can't be, simply because sooner or later all parents become jaded monsters.
Your Baby Is The Center Of Attention
Everyone is going to want to hold your baby and kiss your baby and look at your baby and take pictures with your baby. After all, they're the first baby of the group! Your baby is a real-life groundbreaker! A pioneer! A celebrity! And as such, your baby is going to feel the love on a regular basis... and so will you.
Everyone Will Buy Your Excuses
Remember, your child-free friends have no idea how hard parenting can be... or how easy it can (sometimes) be, too. So when you use your kids as an excuse to skip their tupperware party or housewarming party or whatever other social gathering you're just not feeling for a variety of reasons, they're going to buy it. Hook. Line. And sinker.