Hey Moms! Did You Lose Your FWOKs {Friends Without Kids}?

When you become a couple your social circle pushes out the singles and becomes one filled with ‘couple friends’ – people you have games night with, go to dinner with, have wine with. Then one day your best couple friends tell you their expecting….EERRRRCCCHHHHH! Start the countdown to the day you are replaced by ‘parent friends’!

Meet the FWOK
I’ve been the ‘childless friend’, aka FWOK: Friend Without Kids, though not by choice. We were trying to get pregnant but it was taking a while, meanwhile we were surrounded by friends with babies and toddlers.  I knew our day was coming so I knew it was a matter of my own patience, but I did notice some things along the way of the types of FWOKs there are:

The ‘Fun Aunt’
Kids are nowhere in her near future and she is soaking up life.  She shows up randomly for a visit and sneaks your kid sweets, over stimulates them before naptime and buys ridiculous toys. She tells you to loosen up and thinks she’s gonna be such a fun mom cause she has no rules and her pockets are lined with chocolate. Yeah, her heart is in the right place but you know when the day comes that she has kids you will have your payback (insert evil laugh here).

The ‘Mom-In-Waiting’
She is trying to have kids, or trying to convince her partner to have them. She is probably feeling left out as her friends move on to the new stage in life, so she makes up for it in doting on friend’s babies. She is desperate for a little cuddly bundle of her own and will lovingly (maybe even in a creepy way) take baby from you and hold them and sing to them until her visit is over. This friend can be a great help or a huge annoyance.

The ‘One-Step-At-A-Timer’
This friend is probably in a new relationship or just married. She is enjoying her ‘childless’ time and has a schedule in mind for popping out bambinos – which is still a while away.  She has a genuine interest in you and your kidlet but she also expects you to talk about ‘non-kid’ things for the majority of the conversation. She will hold baby while they are cute and cooing but shuttles them right back to mom when its diaper changing time.  She is happy for you and your new family but might feel a little abandoned and sad that your friendship has changed.

The ‘Ambivalent-Seize-The-Dayer’
Single or not, she is not interested in kids. At the beginning of the conversation she asks how ‘the baby’ is, just to get the baby-talk out of the way. However she is already cutting you off mid-sentence when she gets bored hearing about sleep schedules and crawling.  She has big dreams and feels that babies will hold you back – she might even think a little less of you now that your life seems to be on hold so you can be a mom.

It’s just easier to have ‘Mom-Friends’
When you hear your FWOKs talk about their hair appointments and drinks with the girls
and sleeping in you want to Charlie Horse them in the thigh.  Instead we turn to our
Mom-Friends and gush about our kids. We all underestimate what it will be like to be a parent – the lack of sleep, the demands, and the frustration.  We think our friendships will never change and maybe look forward to having childless friends a reminder of the ‘outside world’.

The fact is it is EASIER to have Mom-Friends. They are there for advice. They understand when your conversations are only by text message between naps and feedings; when you can’t even force a smile on your face cause you are so tired; your mindset when you’ve spent the day consoling a teething baby; when you can’t go out with the girls cause you can’t find childcare; when there are toys in your sink and towels protecting your furniture. They also share in your pride with you when you describe milestones like how your child is learning to crawl or saying their first word. They have been ‘there’ and they become your allies.  

Making The FWOK Friendships Work
The onus seems to be on the FWOK to ‘understand’ and be ‘supportive’ to the new mom. We could go on a humorous tirade about our new difficulties in motherhood and why our FWOKs are out of line and don’t know how Cialis vs Viagra – The most popular ED Drugs and Guaranteed Solution! hard we have it. However, we are BOTH going through a transition. They are losing a friendship and you are losing your mind (and body).  If there is any onus on our FWOKs to be there for us, we need to do the same.
Think of all the things (before kids) that you would know about your FWOK on a regular basis –a good recipe they tried; a book they read; the fight they got in with their partner; what their crazy sister is up to; their career aspirations. When someone isn’t that close to you anymore you mourn the loss of an intimate relationship. 
MOMS! We need to remember that life isn’t all about how little sleep we get, how teething is going, or how cute our kids are (and YES mine is DARN CUTE!).  We have to invest in our relationships with our FWOKs. Whenever possible, make time for a phone chat, a coffee without kids. It will help with our sanity and show our FWOKs that we value them and care about them.  Things may be different, but we don’t have to lose the closeness we’ve spent years to build.

How did your FWOKs react when you told them you were pregnant? Did you lose some of your close friendships? Maybe you were even surprised by the friends who stepped up to the plate and became a huge support for you.  

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