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YOUR FRIEND JUST HAD A BABY: NOW WHAT?

Kids change things, but do they really have to change my friendship?

“You’re so cute,” I cooed, while looking at the tiny 3-month-old in front me. As it was kicking around and snuggling up next to me, I thought, I want one just like it!

But, it was a puppy. Definitely not a baby. If you attempt to put a baby in my arms, I’ll vomit before the child does. Potentially from either nerves or pure disgust that this tiny thing has yet again shit itself and the smell has wafted from the confine of diaper layers strapped around its lower half.

No, I don’t like children and I don’t really have to. Even if it’s my best friend’s baby, it will still be hard for me to like it as much as others do. My nurturing side completely goes out the window when it comes to kids. They smell, they vomit, they cry, they keep you up at night, and you are constantly worrying if they are going to hit their head on something or ingest a random item from the floor. And, most of all, they’ve taken my friend away from me because of this whole “good parenting” notion. Makes sense, but still.

I was beginning to accept how most of my friends were coupling up and heading towards marriage (or were already married), until one friend went a step too far and procreated.

I heard for months (nine approximately) about this alien concept where my friend would push a creature out of her vagina and feel immediate joy, and now she’s gone ahead and done it without considering those around her – me, specifically. How will I survive with one less drinking buddy messaging me the next day seeing if I’m just as hungover as them?

Supposedly my wide hips were meant to help bear a child, but instead, I use them to barge into people who won’t get up on the train seat next to me when I try to sidle out. Let’s be real – who doesn’t?

What’s worse is that I’m pressured to express as much joy about a tiny human as other people do. Otherwise, there’s something wrong with me. How could a female not want to have kids or even talk about kids? No doubt I’ve been inundated with baby news, baby photos and baby names. And guess what, I just don’t care at all about any of that. Truth is, I probably talk about shit that most people don’t care about either.

On another note, if your friends are the type that draw eyebrows on their babies and scare them in those funny videos you see online, then I’m all for a friend having a kid! Nothing wrong with some entertainment, am I right?

But, usually this isn’t the case. I’ll have to endure hours of endless discussions centered around a child, their ailments and their achievements (which would not be a regular achievement in adult life). Parents soon become consumed in story-time books, gender specific toys and everything in between.

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For these reasons, my friend and I have been growing apart – and it’s normal. We’ve always had different interpretations on how our lives would turn out and now they’re coming to fruition. I can’t bring myself to pretend that I like listening to baby talk or conversations centered around small clothing a child will outgrow in a week because honestly, I don’t want to pretend at this point.

I imagine it’s especially hard to be bombarded by images of babies on various social media platforms when you can’t have kids or have had a miscarriage or have postpartum depression. Or seeing the countless stock-happy photos of parents and children, without seeing all the hard work and stress behind closed doors. In a way, it only emphasises the pressure placed on women to be perfect, joyful mothers.

Every day I’m told inadvertently – or by not at all subtle relatives – that my goals in life should include having children. If I do not, then what am I good for? Yes, having a child is a wonderful, natural and amazing experience, but for those who want a baby. I can’t stop my friends from having children and I wouldn’t want to if it brings them happiness, but where has that left me?

I’ve acknowledged that people grow apart, move away, and have different goals. That is a part of life. It’s hard to embrace the vast changes that occur between friends who have known each other for a long time, but despite my obvious differences that I have with my friends who have children, I try to remember this is what some people actually strive towards in life, and even though my goals are different, it does not make theirs less important. And if one day I change my mind about babies and want to have one myself,  that’s okay too. Who knows, I might even like parenting, and not to mention kids, as much as my friends do.

If you’re looking for like-minded friends to talk (or not talk about kids) get the Hey! VINA app now!

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