I remember when you first told me you didn’t want children. I selfishly panicked because I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom, but I have always loved being your best friend. Time went on, and I thought you might change your mind.
I remember when I told you I was pregnant. Nonchalantly, I revealed my big secret hoping it might ease the sting of what could be a make-or-break, fork-in-the-road moment in our friendship.
You congratulated me wholeheartedly and reassured me I would figure it out. You calmed my fears and made me laugh when a fruit cup was all I could stomach.
Weeks went on, and my bump grew larger. We continued to discuss anything and everything, but one topic continuously popped up: our futures—baby showers, house hunting, puppies, vacations, engagements, weddings, and even retirement. Still, no kids in your plan, though.
I remember when we revisited that particular conversation a bit later once I was a mother. Things definitely had changed. We hadn’t hung out in a while, despite talking daily. I now talked about another person’s bowel movements, and restless nights left me with an attitude sourer than a lemon. You never seemed to mind, though. However, I still worried that our friendship might have an expiration date.
Had you been influenced since our last discussion? Had time changed your mind?
No, you had not, and no, it hadn’t.
You asked me not to judge you. You felt you were almost “too selfish” ever to have to care for another human being. You made your claim and supported it with exemplary evidence. But you know what friend? At that moment, my thoughts on it all changed.
I did judge you; I still do. Here, I’ll tell you why.
I have seen you make light of a bad situation. I have seen you tackle obstacles head-on that you never thought you could. I have seen you share a contagious smile when I knew all you wanted to do was cry. I have seen you pull yourself up at your lowest point and keep going.
Therefore, I believe you are strong and resilient.
I know you positively impact lives. I know you console others when they need it most. I know you love so hard it hurts. I know you push yourself personally and professionally daily to make this world a better place. I know your heart is in all the right places.
Therefore, I believe you are kind and passionate.
I watch you play with my baby. I watch you make her giggle and teach her new things. I watch you make her smile after she falls and cries. I watch you look at her with eyes that admire hers. I watch you watch her grow up all the time. I watch you proudly claim her as if she were your own flesh and blood. I watch you give a helping hand when mine are metaphorically (and sometimes literally) covered in some type of yogurt and peanut butter mixture while also carrying four half-filled sippy cups. I watch you support me as a mother, even on days when I am not entirely sure I deserve it.
Therefore, I believe you are loving and genuine.
So, yeah, I do judge you, but not in the way you thought I would, and certainly, not because you do not want to have babies. It does not matter what society thinks you are or what society says you should be.
I see you; I know you. Lastly, I thank you – for being you and for being my best friend.
(Another Indianapolis mom has some great insight on this topic here.)