OPEN LETTER To my child-free friends

A shout-out to the non-parent friends who are part of my village – you are valuable and much appreciated!

Parents- OPEN LETTER To my child-free friends-1

Dearest friends without any kids,

It wasn’t too long ago when our weekends were spent whiling away at a beach club in Sentosa and our weeknights checking out new restaurants and bars.

We would meet impulsively and indulge ― usually over a cocktail or two ― in candid discussions about love, career and what we were passionate about. We went away for girls-only trips, belly laughed over our latest dating mishaps, and held each other’s hands in rough times.

Whether it was the dead of the night or in the middle of a busy work day, we were always there for each other always, no questions asked.

Then, things started to change ― our lives took different paths. Some of us got married and one of us got pregnant ― me.

If you look back now, you would probably agree that things started changing the minute I announced my pregnancy. For one, you had to deal with a friend who could no longer could enjoy a cocktail. I was also super grumpy and kept complaining about my multiple pregnancy-related aches ― I even refused to meet in the evenings because I wanted to turn in at 8pm.

I was a nightmare to deal with it, wasn’t I? We thought things would return to normal after the baby arrived, but, oh, how wrong were we.

To the only friend who knew I was in labour, you were coaching my husband and passing on good thoughts and wishes via text messages the entire time. You had absolutely no idea what was going on in that delivery suite that day, but you were there in spirit and holding tightly to my free hand.

At the point when I was ready to give up on us, you decided to not give up on me ― or my baby.

The day after I gave birth, you took turns barging into my hospital suite armed with gifts and kisses for my little bundle. Your experience with babies had been minimal up till then, but it didn’t stop you from slipping easily into “aunty” mode, cooing and cuddling my cutie.

I promised to meet up with you soon, but then I went MIA for a bit there, didn’t I? I stopped picking up your calls, I was silent in group chats and I took the longest time to answer private messages. Even when I did communicate, it was short and very often, snappy.

The challenges of motherhood put me off my stride for a while. I was literally knee-deep in baby poop and tearing my hair out trying to figure out why bubba was crying all day. My days and nights were one big blur and I was so exhausted to make adult conversation. I felt you guys might not understand because you “didn’t have kids”, so I sought refuge with my new mummy friends.

When I gave up my career to become a stay-at-home mum, I worried even more that you would not be able to relate to me. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, I thought at some point. Once I have a kid, I will have to give up my child-free friends, because let’s face it, we had fewer and fewer things in common.

Just when I had convinced myself of this thought, you all stepped up and taught me that nothing can stand in the way of true friendship. Not even motherhood. At the point when I was ready to give up on us, you refused to give up on me ― or my baby.

Three years later, I can finally write this letter with clarity. I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very long-winded way is, thank you.