As a mum there is a certain sense of selfishness in the excitement of a friend announcing their first pregnancy. Of course I am genuinely happy that they are creating a family with the person they love, that part is a given. But then there is the other congratulations that is not said and that is “I’m so happy that you are going to be a mum, too“.
I’m so happy because now you will ‘get’ what this whole thing is about. You will ‘get’ the endless sleepless nights. And the heart-aching love. You will ‘get’ the obsession over why a toddler won’t eat his dinner. And the overwhelming responsibility of raising a child. And when I tell you that I’m struggling to know how best to discipline, you just ‘get it’. Because you are there too, or have been, or will be. Our friendship finds a new level of commonality because we are now both in the thick of motherhood, with all its challenges and triumphs.
I love my childless friends just as much as those who are mums. Their company is often a welcome break from the all-consuming world of motherhood. A chance to revert back to just being me, to talk about everything else that makes up life. And there is so much of it. Careers, travel, relationships, adventures. And if I’m truly honest, sometimes I like to live vicariously through these friends, and their careers and travels and adventures. Because frankly it’s a bit more exciting than changing endless nappies and wiping half-eaten food off the floor.
The truth of it is, however, our lives are very different now. Where we shared the highs and lows of school and university, first relationships and travel, suddenly our paths have taken vastly divergent directions. So, when a non-mum friend announces her impending mamma-hood, internally I get excited that we will again be on the same page of life. That I will be able to empathise with the “I’m-so-freaking-over-being-pregnant-get-this-baby-out-of-me” feeling. The “I-have-no-idea-why-this-baby-won’t-stop-crying” breakdown. And the “I-love-this-little-person-so-much-my-heart-my-just-explode” moments. I will nod my head and ‘get it’ because I am there, or have been, or will be.
So to my beautiful non-mamma friends, know that if and when you decide to go down the motherhood path I will be absolutely elated for you but also, selfishly, quietly, happy for myself.
image source unknown but found here