7 Ways I'd Like To Live Vicariously Through My Childless Friends

by Erin Parsons
motherhood before kids childless friends
Eva Katalin Kondoros / iStock

Some of my friends don’t have children. It’s a lifestyle decision for a few of them, and for others it’s not by choice—it’s just the way it is. I’ve often found myself considering the things I would do if I didn’t have kids 24/7. And then I realized that I could ask my friends for some help in this area, since there is no way I can come close to doing these things ever again, or at least not for a long, long time. So, dear friends, I have a list for you. These are some very fulfilling activities that aren’t compatible with motherhood.

1. Drink

I’m fueled by wine. But don’t be fooled. It’s a ritual that’s relaxing and special, but it’s not actual drinking. I’m asking you to drink actual drinks. Drinks with fun names. Shots that taste like popsicles. Drink until you’re a good dancer, and then keep going. This is something I can no longer experience. Nights like this bring on a hangover that begins at the same time my kids wake up. Sleep it off the next day, and when you finally wake up, come over for a glass of wine to tell me all about it.

2. Wear High Heels

Last week, I tried on my old heels. The last time I wore them was a week before I found out I was expecting my first—that was five years ago. My feet screamed at me. I can already feel my calf muscles cramping up just at the thought of wearing heels. But I miss how long they make my legs look and the skirts and dresses that accompany them. Wear heels to the store midday. Wear them for a night out. Wear them to bed. Just wear them for me and tell me about the heads you turn. Heels are the epitome of female glamour.

3. Swear

My husband calls me “Flanders,” and he doesn’t mean it to be a compliment. Motherhood has impeded my freedom of speech. My vocabulary has gone downhill since my kids entered the “sponge age.” This phase really hit home when my 4-year-old muttered, “Are you fucking kidding me?” at a red light one day. Yup, I have to watch my mouth. I know it’s still a bad habit, but the need to exclaim still exists in my world. Except now I say things like “shucks” and “darn.” They just don’t have the same satisfaction as using the appropriate adult words. Do it for me. Call the driver in front of you a shithead. Say “fuck it” when you’re pissed off. Call the chick who stole your parking place a bitch. You’ll feel better and so will I.

4. Stay Up Late

I try to do this. I really want to stay up. I’ve had many daydreams where I stay up all night long. I’m drinking wine, eating chocolate, and watching TV. I’m caught up on all of my TV shows that are taking up half of our DVR space. But this is a daydream. I try to stay up—many times I have full intentions well into the evening. But once 10 p.m. hits, I’m falling asleep. Candy, wine, even coffee don’t help. I wish to experience the quiet and kidless hours offered each night, but I just can’t physically do it. You can stay up watching late night TV shows or get a glimpse of the latest infomercials so we can laugh about them together the next day.

5. Try on Clothes in a Dressing Room

Anywhere. Target customer service should know me by name now. If I want to try on clothes from Target, I buy the items I like and try them on at home, which typically leaves me with a ton of returns and exchanges. And despite the back and forth, this is still way better than attempting the dressing room with the kids. Bring in loads of outfits. Spin around to see yourself in the eight-way mirror, and buy only what you actually want.

6. Sit at the Bar

Those high-top stools and bar top are off-limits for kids. And from the table in the main dining room, it looks like Heaven. I’m surrounded by the chaos that exists at my table. But up at the bar, there’s a drink for everyone, quiet adult conversation, and often TVs showing some kind of game. The only spill is lovingly labeled a “party foul.” Sit at the bar for me. Order a few drinks. Let the quirky guy hit on you. Enjoy it.

7. Use a Public Bathroom

I know this sounds horrible. But until it’s taken away, you don’t realize how nice these places are. With a 2-year-old and 4-year-old in tow, this is just not an option. My unfortunate (only) option is to pray to the “bladder gods” for a few extra minutes to get home. I’ve had countless trips home where I find myself hoping to get pulled over so I can get a police escort the rest of the way.

Silly as this all might seem, if you could help me out with this I’d really appreciate it. Please don’t misunderstand. I know your life is full and busy. You’ve got your own chaos to handle. Motherhood isn’t the only job with stress and busy schedules. But we’re friends, and I can enjoy these items through your experience. Later, when it’s your turn, you can tell me about the things you miss, and maybe I can return the favor.