To my friends who don’t have kids, I have something honest and real that I need to share with you:
Sometimes it’s really hard to be your friend because I’m envious of your childfree life.
When you get to sleep in on weekends and take 2-hour naps during the day, I envy you.
When you get to leave the house and it only takes you 30 seconds to grab your bag and get in the car, I envy you.
When you and your husband get to go on spontaneous dates, deciding, “Yeah, Olive Garden does sound good, lets go out to eat,” I envy you.
When you get to travel the world, choosing to spend your money that doesn’t go into savings on life experiences instead of future braces or college (or even just new tennis shoes for the growing toddler’s feet), I envy you.
When the only butt you have to wipe each day is your own, I envy you.
When you tell me how busy you are with work to consume your life, I envy you. As I run my kids to play dates, school, activities, errands, doctor appointments, and more, I hate that your mind isn’t pulled in twenty different directions like mine has to be.
When both you and your spouse work so you have the money to buy pretty much anything you’d like to have in that moment, I envy you as I stretch my grocery budget so I can get one thing of Tic Tac’s.
When you want to get together for lunch or go away on a girl’s retreat, I envy you. I can’t always “just hire a babysitter” and join you, especially not last minute. Sometimes it seems like you forget this or take it for granted.
But I want you to know that I also understand something important about our friendship:
Sometimes it’s hard for you to be friends with me and it’s because I have kids.
Maybe you’ve been trying to have a child and it hasn’t worked out, so you envy my life.
Maybe you see how one little smile from my kid can brighten my day, so you envy me.
Maybe you ache for the scribbled drawings, the sloppy kisses, and the cuddles, so you envy me.
Maybe you admire my organization skills as my mind is pulled in twenty different directions, so you envy me.
Maybe you don’t care when I always have to bring my kids along or when they distract me because you understand my priorities.
Maybe you sometimes wish we could swap, too?
I value our friendship and recognize that we have chosen, or were given, different paths in life. Neither of us would give up our own life to trade but that doesn’t stop us from feeling jealous of each other’s circumstances sometimes. Perhaps this understanding will help our friendship grow stronger as we try to work on recognizing when to hold back our humble bragging and when to give each other more slack. Then, maybe, if we are lucky, our jealousy will fade someday.