12 Things You Do That Your Childless Friends Hate
Attention, fellow well-meaning moms: if you're anything like me, you've noticed that since becoming a parent, it's not always easy maintaining friendships with your nonmom pals.
Sure, we can blame our single girlfriends for always choosing a night out over being our plus-one to Saturday morning story time, and we can certainly fault our kids for putting an albeit-adorable damper on our social lives, but what if the real problem was . . . us? Because we're so engrossed in diaper duty and sleep schedules, we likely don't realize that we as parents might be doing things that drive the baby-free adults among us bonkers. So, before we get defriended on Facebook or — worse — in real life, let's take a moment to stop committing these obnoxious mommy acts.
It was bad enough when all of our own mothers joined the social networking site and started commenting on our feeds. But now – armed with the inability to edit down our gallery of 52 images of our baby rolling over for the first time – we're the ones behind the latest Facebook fallout and are probably the reason so many of our single friends are using SnapChat now.
Bringing our baby to the bar
We might think we're the cool mom who won’t let a baby stop us from having a good time, but in doing so, we’ve very likely stopped our single friends from having a good time as well. We’ve already taken over their favorite Sunday brunch spots – let's at least allow them to have bars to themselves.
Bringing our baby everywhere, uninvited
Just because we don’t think it’s a big deal to have our tots in tow doesn’t mean it’s not putting someone else out. If the dinner invitation doesn’t explicitly include our children, we need to suck it up and get a babysitter. And if we're meeting up with our friends for a casual day out, what's the harm in giving them a heads up that we’ll have a 6-month-old strapped to our chests so they at least know what to expect?
Asking them to hold, feed, or smell the baby
Of course we could use a hand now and then, but some people legitimately don't like babies (crazy, but true!) and are going beyond the call of duty for even agreeing to be in close proximity to one. Let's not push our limits by asking them to hold our little nugget. And for crying out loud, we all know what a poopy diaper smells like. We don't need a second opinion on that one.
Canceling plans at the last minute
In theory, snagging sold-out tickets to a hot concert is the highlight of the month for moms who've grown accustomed to rocking out to such jams as "The Wheels on the Bus" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." In practice, the idea of getting dressed for an evening that starts — not ends — at 10 p.m. is a waking nightmare. But the worst offense is how we consistently think we'll be up for it until the day of, when we inevitably back out ("the baby's got a bit of a temperature . . .") and leave our friend in the lurch.
Operating by "majority rules"
We're out to lunch with our girlfriends — all of whom are married with kids, except for one. She won’t mind if we ask one question to the other moms about our toddler’s upcoming doctor’s appointment, right? But like the opening bell at the stock exchange, what follows is an immediate and all-consuming onslaught of mommy chatter. By the time the check comes, we’ve been so engrossed in it that we haven’t noticed the one friend with her eyes glazed over, a fake smile frozen on her face.
Sure, they don’t know what it's like to have a colicky child or go through the painstaking preschool application process, and — between us — they probably don’t really, truly know the extent with which a human can be stressed, exhausted, and worried . . . oftentimes all at once. But, come on, let’s stop making assumptions about other people’s experiences. Otherwise, we should be comfortable with non-parents assuming we only talk about baby poop while wearing yoga pants.
Putting our kid on the phone
We're no fools: we're aware our kids don't have the best conversational skills, so we really shouldn't be surprised that someone might not want to pretend to understand their incoherent language on the other end of the phone.
Having zero attention span
Trying to have a conversation while simultaneously ensuring that our toddler doesn't stick his finger in an outlet is a near-impossible task: "I'm sorry you didn't get that promotion, especially since SWEETIE, PUT THAT DOWN . . . Sorry, what was I saying? Oh, right, so maybe you should talk to your boss about THAT CHAIR IS NOT FOR CLIMBING. If you make a strong case about DON'T MAKE ME COUNT TO THREE. And, you know, you could always ONE . . . TWO . . . Maybe you should get your résumé in TWO AND THREE QUARTERS . . . No, I can talk now! It's fine! I'm listening!"
Being all end-of-days defeatist
Whether we say it to be self-deprecating or because we generally mean it, constantly complaining that our lives are over now that we have kids is just a buzzkill.
Constantly interrogating them about when they're going to have kids
We don't poke, prod, and pry maliciously — we are constantly asking our childless friends about their pregnancy plans because we want to share in the experience of being a mom with them. As sweet as the sentiment is, asking our friends about the baby plans is inappropriate, especially if they've been trying to conceive for awhile. Unless they bring it up, we shouldn't.
Unless we've been asked to detail our labor experience, we shouldn't just smatter talk of mucus plugs over cocktails. That's why "mommy and me" playgroups exist.