To My Friends Who Became Mothers Before Me

mothers-firstMother and baby via Shutterstock

To my seasoned, knowledgeable, forgiving best friends who jumped off the cliff into motherhood long before I did:

I’m sorry I ever uttered the words “I’m so tired” in your presence; I had no idea what tired really means.

I’m sorry I bought you that book about making homemade organic baby food. REALLY sorry.

I’m sorry I thought it was fun for my boyfriend and I to be your house guests when you were a few days from giving birth. What was I thinking?

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I’m sorry I called you crying about my single girl drama when you had babies and toddlers and husbands needing you 24/7. I know now that talking on the phone when you have small children is pure torture;  I don’t know how or why you made time to listen.

I’m sorry for not shutting up when you were sleep deprived. I didn’t know what it does to your attention span. I should have sat with you in silence and rubbed your feet.

I’m sorry for not bringing you food. I should have done your dishes. Or taken out your garbage. Or folded your laundry. I remember the day you made me lunch while you fed your toddler and made a cake. Are you human?

I’m sorry for not coming over more. We could have watched TV in our sweats after the kids were in bed. Why did I think you would want to meet me downtown for margaritas?

I’m sorry about my baby envy and for letting it get in the way of my ability to be fully present for you.

I’m sorry for being totally oblivious to your kids’ meal and nap schedules.

Thank you for standing by me through my self-absorbed years while you wiped butts and scrubbed vomit and soothed screaming babies and forgot about yourself while I obsessed over totally meaningless things.

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I wish I would have told you what an amazing job you were doing every day.

I am so truly grateful to (still) be your friend.

Related post: What Matters In a Friendship

About the writer

Bonnie is a mostly single parent who works from home in order to avoid going back to the world of dress pants and real shoes. She is currently spending her 7 minutes of daily free-time trying to figure out how to get paid to go to yoga and shop at Target. She can be reached at


Victoria 2 months ago

“… it’s pretty much the definition of self absorbed to read a personal account and then act like it was written about you, take offense, and then attack the author.”

This! If it doesn’t apply to you then IT DOESN’T APPLY TO YOU. For the sake of common sense, stop being a f%$#ing martyr.

Maryanne 2 months ago

One of my best friends dumped my friendship after I couldn’t drive her to a doctors appointment because it as my infants nap time. I was so hurt and tired and I lashed out at her for it, but it was over already anyway. She would often invite me out only to leave me stranded while she and her single friends head to the club (no one ever asked if I’d like to go along), leaving me to walk home.

I miss her friendship, but not the midnight calls to pick her up because “she’s always home”, and I miss the late night laughter, but not her anger when my baby came first.

Maybe not everyone was like this pre-children, but some people are, and some are so selfish and self involved that they get angry at the tired mom for not being there for them instead of them ever being there for her. Thank you for writing this.

M 2 months ago

This momma of an infant says, YES, LORD! Sorry I’m faking interest in your new dress or art project because I’m sleepy from being hooked to a breast pump at 2am before my baby wakes up at sunrise. I’ll come back around one day.

Raegan 6 months ago

Love this! I was the first of my friends to have kids and it definitely changes your relationships. Something as easy as running to the store for a few things can turn into a two hour trip and by the time you make it home unload everything (including the kids) the last thing you want to do is have to listen to someone else tell you how tired they are.

Ruth 6 months ago

WTF? Are you saying women without kids have less important lives, problems etc than those who are mothers and should never complain? News flash: being a mother doesn’t make you better than others. This is appalling and if I were your best friends I would be so offended.

    Raegan 6 months ago

    I think that you read something into it that wasn’t there. I honestly don’t think that she meant any harm, I think she was just trying to say she was sorry and that she appreciates those friendships.

Holli 6 months ago

I find this article patronizing to childless people. I appreciate that raising a child is a huge responsibility. As a friend to many new moms, I have brought them food, arranged to drive to their place, arranged coffee around play times, naps, etc. above (without being asked and happily so) and I honestly can say I don’t feel like my life is spent “obsessing over meaningless things”….instead it is spent fundraising to build schools in Africa to educate children, starting recycling campaigns, and promoting women’s rights including the right to breastfeed in public.

My single childless life is no less important (and void of “single girl drama”) and instead of having children many of us focus on taking care of the earth for your children-so please be kind. We’re not all the selfish, inconsiderate people you make us out to be in this article.

Cher 6 months ago

For me personally I have many friends who have children and I get irritated when they complain about being tired, or about changing diapers, organic baby food etc.. because I want children and my husband and I have fertility issues. I don’t avoid them because I am annoyed.. I avoid them sometimes because I am upset, because I find it hard to see their sweet babies and hear them complain about sleep when I long for having a baby of my own and a sleep deprived life. It goes both ways, and I think the best solution is to keep in mind they are your friends and to listen to them, but to also be honest with them.. to tell them that you really don’t want to hear all the complaints, and for each person the reason for not wanting to hear them is going to be different… for me it is because it breaks my own heart.

Jill 6 months ago

To my friends who became mothers before me…don’t forget how you felt before you became a mother and don’t expect your childless friends to understand how you feel now.

Helen3 6 months ago

I was the nanny for my one and only female friend after she gave birth to her third.
Guilt free!

Keke 6 months ago

Even though I don’t have any children of my own, I understand everything that was said in this blog. I’m still close with my friends that are mothers and I don’t mind one bit having their children around when we hangout. The thing that bothers me the most about friends that are mothers, is that they expect me to be at all of their children’s birthday parties. I don’t have children of my own, why would I want to go to a kid’s party?

Bailey Gaddis 6 months ago

Yes yes yes yes yes! Man I was such an unintentional jerk before I had kids. Now I’m just a sleep deprived curmudgeon 😉

Michelle 6 months ago

The answer to that is none of your business actually. The article is about the author and her own life. She was not making a commentary about anyone else, just her own change in perspective. Why the hell is everyone taking this so personally?

    Michelle 6 months ago

    It was about her change in perspective when she became a mother. It was about her relationships with her friends. It was not a sweeping generalization or a criticism of anyone else. It was addressed to her friends. It was not called,”An Open Letter To All Women Who Don’t Want Children.” Is that clearer!? She shared a personal change in perspective. Why shouldn’t she? Because some people are so self-important that they are intent on twisting it into a personal attack?

      Leigh 6 months ago

      I agree. The irony of calling the author self absorbed is not lost on me either. I think it’s pretty much the definition of self absorbed to read a personal account and then act like it was written about you, take offense, and then attack the author.

Michelle 6 months ago

I think the entire point here is that the author’s perspective is now different. It is impossible to understand motherhood until you become a mother. There are a lot of things that I used to fret about before I had children that seem silly now. That is not to say that all my problems were trivial. However, so many of the things that seemed important before children just faded away in the mess of spit up and sleepless nights and a shattered personal identity. My sister became a mom a few years before me. When I had my first I did actually apologize to her for ever saying I was tired before my son was born! Because no, I did not know what that meant. I held down two jobs, a full-time university schedule while I had mono. New motherhood was much worse! I find it interesting that non-mothers are attacking the author of an article on a PARENTING site called SCARY MOMMY. I certainly wouldn’t attack the author of a piece about the beauty of staying child-free on a site intended for people who don’t want kids! This piece was about the author’s personal experience.

Nuru 6 months ago

I would add I am sorry for all the eye rolling I did as you prattled on and on and on about your baby, toddler, kids…I couldn’t relate and I did know that between fatigue, finding sitters and cash flow your child is the only entertainment you have and sometimes I was the only potty trained person you (SAHM) had spoke to for a week besides your husband.

Brooke 6 months ago

I really enjoyed this piece, but I wish I would have stayed away from the comments! I just completely disagree that this article should meant to be a generalization. It seems like a very simple letter showing a change in perspective the author had post- motherhood. I never once read it and assumed it was about EVERY childfree woman?

The bottom line for me is that if you haven’t both been a mother and not been a mother, there is no way you can see both sides in the same way, it’s simply because you haven’t had both experiences. relating is not the same thing as empathizing.

If it makes you feel better to take it personally and write a hateful comment to the author about it, do it I guess? But the author has no responsibility to feel sorry for writing about her own experiences publicly.

Megs 6 months ago

The thing is, there is just no real way to have the perspective and any real true understanding of what being a mother is like until you become one yourself. I was the last of my friends to have a baby, by a pretty significant margin, and I felt I was helpful and understanding with my mom friends and in many ways I was. But since becoming a mom myself I realize that I could have done so much more. However I just don’t think there is any way to really know that before you go through it youself. And that does not make you a selfish, self-absorbed person. People without kids have lives too.

a tired non-mother (whatt???) 6 months ago

Perfect. We all have our own “stuff”. No one’s stuff is more important than anyone else’s, and that was definitely how I (correctly or incorrectly) interpreted this article’s main point. Why can’t we all just encourage and support each other (on a real level, not on a “let me rub your feet” level)? Afterall, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

Amanda 6 months ago

I seriously want to put this article on my friend’s fridge. She’s a great friend and loves her “niece and nephew” but my god I’m so tired of hearing about her first world single girl problems. Great article!

Peppy Long 6 months ago

As someone who may not have the opportunity to produce offspring of my own I am saddened by this post. Ever since I saw it I’ve had an awful feeling of sadness in the pit of my stomach. Either 1. My friends who are mommies that liked and shared this must think childless friends like me don’t/can’t respect their life experience, and therefore the distance and separation I feel from my friends moving forward with this next step in their life that I can’t take is true separation ..and that is depressing. or 2. They actually just like/share this post because they are truly sorry for their once childless perspective.. But this is also depressing because them apparently I should be sorry for my perspective because the other things I concern myself with are “meaningless” as you say. It’s lose-lose for those of us childless by choice or circumstance and we will never relate to our child-having friends :( that is my takeaway.

    CDB 6 months ago

    Agreed, Peppy. This post totally demeans women who don’t have children (either by choice or not) as having purposeless lives and should worship the ground that mothers walk on.

      Brooke 6 months ago

      no, it doesn’t. It shows one mother’s look back at her own PERSONAL story. Its not about you so you don’t have to feel demeaned.

      Tasha 6 months ago

      Absolutely Peppy. I agree.

      I’m glad I don’t have friends like her who CHOSE to be a mother, and then decides that her childless friends are no longer worth her time and that their problems are meaningless and self absorbed.

    Anon 6 months ago

    I think a nicer article would’ve been to say to her childfree friends how she would still be there for them and try to always fit them in, not ignore them and not put them down. But, no… she went THERE!!!

Chris 6 months ago

love it. I used to be it. Now I am embarrassed lol. I am sure I am not alone though so it’s ok

Meg 6 months ago

I still have one friend that calls on Tuesday nights at 10pm begging me to go downtown for drinks. Every time I have to explain it. Bless her for continuing to call though!

Kimberlee 6 months ago

On my 3rd day home after a cesarean with my first child I called my best friend to apologize…I really did have no idea. It was the most well deserved “I told you so” that I have received to date. We are still best friends, she is wonderfully understanding.

Melissa 6 months ago

Also..sorry for visiting you in the hospital after you gave birth…I had no idea how painful those first few hours were…

Gail Hernandez 10 months ago

Yeah. What she said!

Margaret Haverland 10 months ago

To the teenage girls who loved my kids and thought they were so cute they were willing to help me with all of the above. Thank you.

Joanna Brown 10 months ago

This is a cute article

Clover Brodie 10 months ago

I definitely relate to this. Not as a put down to any others life stage but just outlines the one perspective. I hope that as my friends have babies and my kids are older, I remember many of these things and help them to be better moms

Jennifer Schepers 10 months ago

Oh my gosh yes.

Francesca Ferrari Nelson 10 months ago

Hahaha being a mum really is hard work! But thank you for being one of the only friends still here whilst I run around frantically being a mum!!

Danielle Fritz 10 months ago


Jenny Duscher 10 months ago

Love this article because its exactly how I felt when I had my babies and I still have friends who don’t have babies yet and are going to get a shock

Kendra Harris 10 months ago

Mmm. Hmm. There should be an “I’m sorry I ever compared my responsibilities of having a dog/cat to your responsibilities of raising a child,” as well.

Courtney Phinney 10 months ago

And I miss YOU!

Barbara Sampson Radasch 10 months ago

Life is different when you become a mother but it is the best job in the world. Wait until you become a grandmother, like me, you love them the same as your children

Kristy Pena 10 months ago

Well said lol

Laura Ainsworth 10 months ago

Wow. What insight.

Marnie Krouse 10 months ago

Love juice

Brandelyn Brandon Turner 10 months ago
Kara Kirk Story 10 months ago

Love this❤️

Rachel Huntley 10 months ago

what I like about this article is that I truly ENJOY my non-mommy friends when I have been in the midst of cuteness & chaos… Although sometimes they don’t fully understand the life of my toddler zone~ they keep me sane with their un-knowledge that life has changed so much. I think that being present in both worlds is what has kept my smile shining, when either world was full of stress!

Lucy Castillo-Williams 10 months ago

Love this! Good read for those who don’t have kids in understand what us as parents have to consider for every little thing even just to go to the store.. People think it’s just easy to get up and leave or set up a dinner date when we have school and schedules to consider it is hard to relate to those who don’t have kids.

Geraldine Asadi 10 months ago

Like this!

Jeri Matney 10 months ago

I did all those to my friends, now a mommy to be with twin boys, I am so incredibly sorry! Lol

Brigid Foley 10 months ago

Lol no need for apology!! I enjoyed all our time/conversations so glad you always made the effort to come over and call cause I’m bad at it and motherhood is probably why!!

Rose Costa 10 months ago

but you do are now an expert in no

Juliette LaBelle 10 months ago

My friends who became mothers before me weren’t even 20…

Robin Sadker Daugherty 10 months ago

So true!!!

Brittany Grant 10 months ago

I’m lucky that my best friend and I only had our first kids 7 months apart!

Nicole 10 months ago

I’ve never felt th need to comment before but I can’t believe the negative slack this author is taking. I have seen less harsh comments on some very controversial topics on this site. Maybe it’s that one person had such an issue and then it was really easy to jump on the bandwagon for all the others who are putting her down?

I can relate to some of the things she said and then others I can’t. I still love to go out to dinner or a bar with my childless friends and do so (even pregnant with # 2) but I’ll probably be home at 10pm. And there is no fatigue like chronic sleep deprivation so really I don’t think many people I know could relate to that unless they’ve gone through it.

But in reality this is for entertainment, this blog always is, and if I don’t like the article I read it and move on. No need to bash someone who is writing about her own experience

Michelle Jaffe 10 months ago

For all of us who went first….amen.

Jamie Corner 10 months ago

I had a gf who was oblivious, and would be like, “why are you going to bed at ten?” cos im exhausted! and she wanted to know why i wouldnt go out to the bars, etc etc… down the line a few years later, she has a child, calls me “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME!” .. wanted to say i did, but she was too busy talking about herself..

Melissa Schwinn 10 months ago


Katie Kostis 10 months ago

Oh wow, if I knew then what I know now…. my sympathies to friends while I had no clue.

Sherri Rabinovitch 10 months ago

What about the friend who had kids long before you, yet somehow forgets and still comes over with her entire brood 5 days after you’ve given birth?!!

Lanna 10 months ago

I like the sensitivity to this moment, I absolutely do. The ‘now’ mom realizing things she had no idea about when she was a ‘then’ not-yet-mom.

However, don’t be so hard on yourself! As a mother of 4, I APPRECIATED being able to step outside this overwhelming new role and be me. The old me.

The one who wasn’t forgotten and treated like an alien because I had children when others didn’t.

The one who was invited out for margaritas and got to go because husband rocks.

Yeah, don’t be so hard on yourself because the new mom doesn’t want to lose herself, lose being the shoulder a friend can cry on, lose the fun ways she used to be.

She can do both, because God created us to be that amazing! 😉

Sheri Clark 10 months ago


Jill Katz 10 months ago

Holy hell batman this is dead on.

Chelsea Hopson 10 months ago


Jennifer Kapler 10 months ago


Jocelyn MacDonald 10 months ago

So true :)

Megan Zoschg Canniere 10 months ago

I’m sorry I bought you those adorable baby outfits that closed with all buttons. Buttons?!? What was I thinking???

Michael Saia 10 months ago

Lets not forget the Dads

Abby Blanch 10 months ago

I love my friends without kids. And i’m thankful they still care enough to keep in touch! But i also CANNOT WAIT until they have kids…

Elsa 10 months ago

As my very closest girlfriend prepares to have her first baby, I’m eagerly reading all I can so I can support her on her next journey. And I’m so, so excited for her…I really get overwhelmed by how much emotion I feel when I feel the baby kick or get the nursery ready. We’re so close I know my life is about to change an enormous amount too, albeit not like hers is. And all that said is true, and it remains true that just because I’ve chosen not to have kids does not make my life trivial or meaningless. I’ve decided to take on different challenges. And while I find this advice useful in understanding what my friend is going to need for support, I’m sick of hearing that my life doesn’t count. It does. It’s just that her needs are going to take priority for now. It’s her turn. And I know that if I need her to help me with my life, I may need to pick my timing, and I may need to be patient, but I won’t need to apologize.

Erin Greely 10 months ago

Oh man.

Candice Tong Sanchez 10 months ago

I just never realized how hard things can be, and i do now and wish I had been more understanding and empathetic xxoo

Tammy Kusske-Hebeisen 10 months ago

If I could at my age of 51, I’d do it again. Best time of my Life!!! Love all 3 of my babies!! All grown up now and 1st Grandbaby due any day now!! No regrets!!

Joe Medler 10 months ago

The only apologies, and they aren’t even necessary, are for any snark I had about new parents no longer hangin out. With a new perspective that opinion was just silly.

Jennifer Conder 10 months ago

Hahaha love this page!

Tatiane Cipolli Kotaran 10 months ago

I love this! Just how I feel sometimes!

Billie Coriddi 10 months ago

Definitely over the top, but it was funny and almost completely realistic. Lol I cried too… For a couple ** reasons

Jackie Alexander 10 months ago

Lost some friends in the process. But then again the ones that have stood the test of time and motherhood are the ones I really always needed on my side.

Becca Stoy 10 months ago

14 yrs and 3 amazing daughters later. It’s all good.

Jolene Crain 10 months ago

I really like this!

Robin Munoz 10 months ago

These are the reasons we have these friends, to give us another perspective! We need to feel outside of our little cocoons sometimes.

Grace Sue 10 months ago

I love talking to and visiting with my friends. I don’t care how tired or busy I am. It’s nice to feel normal and have some interaction with grown ups. And i don’t want to talk about diapers or being tired or nap times or school. Nope.

Jessica McClellan 10 months ago

Yes ALL of this!

Natalibree Anastasia Sherman 10 months ago

Omgosh I LOVE this!

Casey Fehling 10 months ago



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