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Dear Friends With Kids, I'm Sorry I Thought You Were Full of It

Photograph by Twenty20

Dear Friends With Kids,

It has recently come to my attention that I was formerly a childless asshole. Having a child was the furthest thing from my mind for so many years. I was a free spirit traveling around the world, untethered by the constraints of partners and kids. I became annoyed if I saw a baby on an airplane for fear it would cry and disturb my in-flight film. When any of you would tell me you were expecting, I reacted poorly. Now that I have entered the insane wonderful world of parenthood, I wish to apologize for all of my transgressions.

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To my dear friend that was so wild and sexy and loved playing the field: I'm sorry that my reaction to your pregnancy announcement was, "I didn't even know you wanted kids!" That was rude of me. I should have understood since you had wed and settled down that you had new dreams. What I wish I would have said was, "Congratulations!'" I realize your kid is in school now, so sorry for the late well wishes!

To my old party buddies: When you said you were expecting twins, I couldn't help but think, are you kidding? You two crazy chicks are having twins? What a terrible idea! Obviously it wasn't, and I was merely judging you by my own standards of complete ineptitude to care for a plant, let alone two tiny humans. I'm amazed by you. Your kids are flourishing and you look so happy. But please stop posting that disgusting photo of one of them barfing into your cleavage on my Facebook feed.

But most of all, I'm sorry I thought all of your weird excuses for not hanging out or calling me back were bullshit.

To my friends with three or more kids: I'm sorry I thought you all belonged on the psychiatric ward or had joined a cult requiring you to have many children . You have beautiful families and I look forward to you forming bands with all of your kids. I can't wait to see your reality show where you host an entire carnival with just your children!

I'm also really sorry I thought your lives were over because you had succumbed to parenthood. But most of all, I'm sorry I thought all of your weird excuses for not hanging out or calling me back were bullshit. I'm a mother now and while I haven't been in the game for very long, I've learned so much and I really want to clear the air and let you know I SO get it now.

I understand why you can't talk on the phone. It's too hard, kids want your attention. All. The. Time. Answering the phone when your hands are covered in poop and/or spit up is simply not convenient. What about when the baby is sleeping, you say? Who wants to waste nap time chatting with friends and family when you could be working out or watching "The Walking Dead"? Plus, what is there to to talk about beyond teething, dirty diapers and how much one enjoys day drinking?

You're tired. You don't look so hot and don't feel like showing your post-baby body around town when it could be cuddled up on the couch.

I now know why you never wanted to leave your house. Babies need so much crap and you have to lug it around with you. Preparing to leave the house takes at least 20 minutes and as soon as you're ready to go one of three things will happen:

1. Your baby will fall asleep.

2. Baby will poop or spit up on themselves and you, necessitating clothing changes all around.

3. You'll decide it's not worth it to go out and will cancel.

I get why you flake all the time. You're tired. You don't look so hot and don't feel like showing your post-baby body around town when it could be cuddled up on the couch. Your baby is fussy or sick and you don't want to deal with other people. It's just so daunting to leave the house and you have so much laundry to put away.

I know why you don't answer texts. Yes, texting back is generally easy but a baby softened brain, sees the text and thinks that you have responded even if you have not, or it simply gets filed under, "Who cares"?

I know why you don't want to meet me for lunch or coffee. Sure, little babies that sleep all the time are fairly portable, but once they become a squirming, crawling shit show they are simply no fun in restaurants. No fun at all.

I comprehend why you don't want to make plans to go to concerts or shows. The future is so uncertain once you have a child. They may be sick, you may be sick or simply too tired from too many nights without sleep to go out. Long-term planning just feels too overwhelming, especially if it involves payment in advance.

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I know why you want me to come to your house. Staying home is just so convenient. The changing table, the washer and dryer, the fridge and most importantly, the stocked bar. No need to gather all of the baby gear, just sit back and relax while someone else holds your baby and you make yourself a martini. Bliss.

Nap time is sacred. I swore I wouldn't be rigid with schedules but I now understand why one wouldn't want to disrupt a baby's schedule. The crappier the nap, the worse they sleep at night. And nighttime sleep is the single most important thing in a parent's life. If your activity disturbs my baby's naptime, I will not be in attendance. Not sorry. I'll never recover my youthful dewy complexion if I don't get some damn sleep.

So to all of my fellow parents out there, I'm really sorry I didn't understand your pain or why you did some of the things you did. I get it now. Forgive me.

As for the childless friends, be kind and understanding when your friend with the new baby doesn't call you back or seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. She's fallen down a baby hole and needs you to come over and help her out. Bring wine. And cheese. And don't wear anything fancy, you need to hold the baby.

Respectfully,

A First-Time Mom

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