After a recent visit from my bestie that doesn’t have kids, I couldn’t help but feel like I had been on a vacation from thinking like a mom. It’s not like my children weren’t around. They were there the whole time, but hanging out with a friend whose life isn’t centered around kids always has a way of pulling me out of the mom fog and resetting my brain back to its original factory settings. Don’t get me wrong. I adore my time with friends that are moms, but it’s so nice to have a friendship that reminds me of who I used to be and, in a way, still am. That’s why I think every mom needs a non-mom friend.
I don’t feel the need to talk about kids (mine or anyone else’s).
As expected when moms get together, the conversation inevitably revolves around the kids. Motherhood takes up a good portion of our lives, so it’s hard not to talk about it. And while I do love a good commiseration session, it can become an endless discussion about developmental milestones and poop consistencies. Both of which are some of my favorite topics, but a phone call with my bestie reminds me that there is a world outside of baby shark (although, she will send me death metal versions of the song) and potty training. You know, a world full of scintillating topics like why my latest horoscope means that I will finally stop procrastinating this year and which real housewife is the worst but also the best.
I don’t get to play the mom card.
Momming is exhausting. But if you wait until you’re fully rested to have fun, you never will. My non-mom friends try to relate to my brand of tired, but it’s called the invisible workload of motherhood for a reason. At first, it can be frustrating when they don’t immediately take “I’m too tired” for an answer to why I can’t go out. But once I drag myself out of the house, I’m always glad I didn’t bail. Even as my children capitalize the next day on my tired and hungover state by eating all the snacks and watching hours of the Netflix show, Larva (which, I am convinced, is turning their brains into larva), I know that those three hours of not hearing the words “mom” or “hungry” were worth it.
Making plans is so much easier.
Have you ever tried to set up a girls’ night with another mom? It’s almost impossible. First, you have to have a conversation on the phone to try to set it up, which inevitably results in your children creating a fight club (minus the first rule, of course). Then, you have to plan it. Between dance classes, t-ball games, and husbands’ schedules, you might be able to find a Wednesday in two months that will work. You’re usually too exhausted to come up with a location, and honestly, you don’t even know what people do anymore. Then, you have to actually follow through, and you know someone’s kid will vomit before you even have a chance to cry in your closet because you have nothing to wear. With my non-mom friends, we only have to deal with half of these issues. Also, they have lives, so they know where to go. The chance that a night out will happen is much higher.
Bonus: It’s even more fun when they are single.
Nothing makes me get out of my mom-head more than a good dating story or a hilarious session of swiping through one of those dating apps. (Y’all, it’s crazy out there right now!) I’m immediately brought back to my college years of talking about boys and first dates. Getting the opportunity to play wing woman while we are out is even better. My jerk radar is still on-point. It seems wasteful to not share that talent with those who still need it.
They can spend more time getting to know your kids.
Play-dates with other moms and their kids are great, but we rarely get to spend one-on-one time with our friends’ children. I have my own kids to keep an eye on, and whatever extra time I have is spent chatting with my friend. When my non-mom friends are around, they really get to know my kids. Because of this, they tend to be my kids’ favorites. My girls will even draw my best friend into our family pictures. I love watching the special relationship that results from these quality interactions between my favorite people.
They remind me that I need to take care of myself.
Only a non-mom friend can really see when you are giving too much. When I’m overwhelmed from being a mom, other moms will be sympathetic but just shrug their shoulders like it’s the norm (because it is). My bestie spends an entire phone call trying to help me figure out how to take care of myself. Most of the time, all that comes of it is the knowledge that someone else thinks I deserve a break, and that is usually enough.
Friendships with other moms are essential when navigating motherhood. You get each other and have instant connections. It may seem like you don’t have much in common with a non-mom friend anymore when you become a mom, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You haven’t always been a mom, and you have to admit that you occasionally mourn those carefree single lady days. Not enough to go back, but just enough to appreciate the escape that a non-mom friendship provides.