10 Things We Wish Non-Parents Knew About Parenting

Parenting changes your whole life and you don't realize how much until you're in it. Here's what our childless friends just don't understand.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Becoming a parent changes your entire life and there’s no way to see just how much until it happens. But the truth is, not everyone in our life will get it, so let’s cut our non-parent friends a little slack.

The next time you say no to a night out with friends or call your sibling to vent about your babe’s sleep regression, send them this article first. 

We tapped our community for all the things they wish their non-parent friends knew about parenting.

It’s hard.

Parenting is SO. MUCH. WORK. We’re not complaining, but it’s important you know the sheer gravity of this gig. The minute you have a baby, your life is never the same. We’re constantly trying to juggle (trying is the key word here) being a parent, partner, friend, colleague etc… and maybe still have time for ourselves.

Sleep deprivation is SO real.

If you thought you were functioning on little to no sleep in college, just wait until you have kids. You know that foggy feeling of sitting at your desk after a particularly bad night of sleep? Make that every day of your life the last 3 years, and yes, there is a cumulative effect. We’re tired like, all the time…so absolutely do not tell a parent how tired you are.

Our entire life is different.

We are the same, but we’re different. It’s like when you get a new job and your routine changes…every. single. day. It sounds obvious but parenting literally permeates into every aspect of our lives. We’re going to start talking about poop a lot and won’t always realize you’re not personally invested in our potty training woes—we’re sorry in advance. Also, we’re going to show you a lot of pictures of our kids. 

We’re not ignoring you.

An unanswered text or delayed response does not mean that we don’t like you or don’t want to hang out. We hate that you might think we’re no longer interested in pre-baby friendships, but it’s just an unfortunate side effect of the juggle bus of parenting. Sometimes it really can take a few days to “run something past” our partner or send back a resounding “YES” to a kid-free evening. 

We’re probably going to be late.

We promise it’s not on purpose. We don’t actively try to be late but sometimes it really does take HOURS to get out of the house with kids.

But we expect YOU to be on time.

We’re not trying to be difficult or annoying when we say we can or can’t do something at a specific time. We’re planning around our babe’s sleep schedule here (and our sanity) and your punctuality means everything when we have a ticking time bomb with us.

We can’t be spontaneous.

Last minute plans are a thing of the past. We can’t just “drop by” your house and we don’t always want to bring our kiddo with us. We are mourning this loss more than you, trust us. The reality is, if we are coming with baby in tow, we need to bring a lot of things..like toys, high chairs etc. 

Please keep inviting us.

We know we’re less predictable, less available and perhaps caught up in the whirlwind of parenting, but PLEASE know how deeply we want to be invited to non-children gatherings. Even if we can’t make it, keep inviting us, again and again…and again. We will definitely say yes sometime in the next 18 years. 

Parenthood is full of extremes. 

There are the social media perfect moments that we brag about and the “WTF happened to my life/body/house” days. Neither by itself is a complete representation of our lives. 

We simply cannot control our children’s crying.

Whether it’s a tantrum in the middle of our old brunch spot or a hungry baby the minute we finally sit down to catch up, we can’t control when or where (or frankly, why) our kids cry. And we certainly don’t need dirty looks when they do.

Non-parent friends, if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading this. And thank you for bearing with us as we navigate this crazy life stage and work to blend our pre and post-baby lives into one. We love you…and we promise to try to stop talking about poop.


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