Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week: What do you do when you resent your childfree friends because you’re jealous of them? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Scary Mommy,
I’m a 28-year-old mom to a super sweet one-year-old girl. I’m also the first one in my friend group to have a baby. I’m also a single mom and my parents live an hour away, so I don’t have a ton of babysitting options—especially during a pandemic. My friends are all still single and go out every weekend like single people do. I know they love me and they love my daughter, but seeing their Instagram photos and seeing how much fun they all have without me really sucks. Obviously there’s nothing I can do, I made the choice to become a mom and I wouldn’t change a thing. I just miss my old life, and having carefree fun with my friends. They also never invite me to tag along, which I get, but man…it hurts. How do I deal with this?
Learning how to be completely selfless for the first time is truly the hardest part of parenting, because it encompasses everything. It’s absolutely understandable and valid that you’re feeling left out and envious. Who wouldn’t? You’ve had to say goodbye to that part of your life, or at least you’ve had to put a pause on it. Adapting to a huge transition like the one you’ve undergone during the last year or two is incredibly challenging, and it only makes sense that you’d feel wistful for the time in your life when you weren’t solely responsible for sustaining and protecting a tiny human life.
While I do not think that motherhood does not equal instant martyrdom—we were all whole ass people with interests, hobbies, and relationships before we had children—your child is still very, very little and very, very dependent on you. People who aren’t parents can’t truly understand what that means, but your friends understand enough about your situation to know you can’t go out with them every weekend.
That being said, I’m a little bummed that you haven’t mentioned that any of your friends has offered to sit with your little one while you grab a drink or lunch with another friend. If you’re willing (and you trust it), I’d ask one of them to help. Chances are, they just haven’t considered it out of oblivion.
Aside from that, if there are any colleges or daycare centers nearby, check out the early childhood education majors/teachers in your area. I know that’s a babysitter goldmine in my town. There are websites out there that conduct background searches and require clearances, etc., before they allow people to care for kids. It’s also extremely within your bounds to require a sitter to be vaccinated.
You may not have a whole village, but we all need someone. I hope you find someone you can rely on so you can ease your FOMO and find some time for yourself.