An Open Letter To People Who Have ‘No Children Allowed’ Events
There’s a hypothetical letter from a mom who has just received a “no children allowed” invite by one of her childless friends floating around the internet. It’s an open letter on steroids. It’s very melodramatic and the gist is: this mom cannot be your friend until you have kids.
When I received the invitation to your baby shower, your wedding, your engagement celebration, your birthday, my heart swelled with love for you. It swelled with excitement, with yearning to go. With wanting to be there for you. Then it cracked into a thousand pieces and fell to the floor when I learned that my children couldn’t come.
Wow, really? Where are all of these ‘no children allowed’ events? I’ve always wanted to be invited to one. They sound awesome. The mom goes on to detail how she basically has no time in her life to be supportive of her childless friends, but the minute a baby emerges from their vaginas, poof! She’ll magically find the time again:
I wanted to tell you that I’m so sorry that I’m not able to be that kind of friend for you right now. That I’m sorry that I’m putting my children ahead of our friendship…
But I bit my lip and sent you my regrets and love and hoped that you would understand the unspoken.
I’m not that kind of friend right now. I’m a different kind of friend, now. I’ll be there for you in all the ways that I can.
“All the ways that she can” basically translates to, “I can’t be there for you at all until you have kids because I find your childless existence banal.” But as soon as you have kids she’ll find your life important enough to care about again, so yay!
I’ll be there to chat at 1AM when you’re a new mama and scared. I’ll figure out how to come to see you when you’re having a hard time getting your baby to latch on, and I’ll show you everything that I know… I’ll come to the ultrasound that your husband can’t make it to, and I’ll hold your hand if something’s up and you are scared. I’ll tell you that the choices you make as a mama are excellent ones, even if they’re different from my own. I’ll come and watch your kids for you so that you can take a shower.
I’m that kind of friend now.
So, did you get that? When you are childless, she won’t be able find a babysitter for three hours to come be there for you on one of the most important days of your life, but once you have kids she will run to your bedside in the middle of the night if you have problems breastfeeding. Because, that makes sense.
What happens if her friends never have kids? Do their lives just become not worthy of her attention anymore? If once you become a mother, you can’t be bothered to be around anyone who doesn’t share the commonality of having given birth — you’ve got some self-examining to do.
Also, you’re a terrible friend. I wouldn’t bother reaching out to all the people whose lives you ignored before they had children in them. I doubt they’ll want you running to their bedsides.