5 Tips To Survive Parenting When None Of Your Friends Have Kids

When I had my son in my late twenties, I had exactly one friend who had a kid. And she lived 3,000 miles away. I grew up between LA and NYC and among my peer group, marriage and kids and all of that comes way later, like mid to late 30s later — if at all. I also became a single mom soon after having my son. So, I was navigating a lot of this alone. Sure, I made a few mom friends through yoga and life randomness, but for the most part I was a plus one in a sea of the child-free. BUT I’m here to say that even if none of your friends have kids, you can totally survive (and thrive in) this parenting game. Here are some tips, based on my experience:

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1. Get that baby out (and often.)

I knew that I needed to still be able to get out of the house and live life, so I took him out, to lunch, to dinner, shopping. Nap time happened wherever we were. I traveled with him, often solo, in trains, planes, and automobiles. As a result, I never had to run home so he could nap, I felt confident in being able to travel and get around without help, and I was able to socialize. He was adaptable. I know that every baby is different, but I believe that his adaptability to go anywhere was a direct result of taking him everywhere from the beginning.

2. Bring the party to you.

Although I got that baby out (and often), there were certain times that wouldn’t have been conducive to having an infant/toddler/child in tow. So, I started having gatherings at my place: small dinner parties, Scrabble and whiskey nights, impromptu dance parties. And it worked. It kept me social, with my son asleep in the other room. I didn’t have to suffer the astronomical cost of a babysitter every time I wanted to see my friends and I ended up feeling closer to my friends because we were spending time together in ways we might not have before.

3. Find your mom peeps.

It’s equally important to find some mom friends- some women who have similar interests and lifestyles, and also happen to be figuring this mom thing out too.  For me, postnatal yoga is where I ended up making the best connections. But I also met moms in random places like the park, Whole Foods, museums, etc. And there are plenty of sites that can connect you with other moms like you in your area. Hello Mamas is a good place to start, it’s like Tinder for making mom friends, with way less cringe.

4. Keep in touch even when you can’t see people in person (text when you can’t talk).

One of the biggest complaints that your child-free friends may have is that you can’t carry on a conversation, because you’re distracted by that little person who needs oh so much of your time. Texting will save your friend’s sanity (and yours). When multitasking as a mom, I may not have time right this minute to talk to you about your love life, but I sure as hell can text about it! It truly provides new moms a way to stay connected, even when they feel like they’ll never leave their house again with their hair washed.

5. It’s okay that things are different now.

Lastly, yes, things will change. It won’t be the same as before. And that’s okay. Because most of the sh*t that bothered you before you had a kid, will truly not matter now- and that is LIBERATING. You will sleep again, you will have sex again, you will have a social life again. I promise. In the meantime, use the aforementioned life hacks to make parenting a lot less lonely when you’re the first of your friends to go there.

Related-ish: How My Progressive Views Make Me A Way Better Mother

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