An ode to our friends without kids

In the last 5 or so years of being a parent, my social life has changed a lot. Gone are the all-night booze sessions, lazy brunches and days of shopping til we dropped. These days, I catch up with friends at our kids’ parties and at the park. Very occasionally we manage to coordinate babysitters and have a night out without kids. It usually ends at 10pm, ragers.
I’ve been pretty lucky that most of my friends have become parents at around the same time as me. We have seamlessly moved into parenthood together which has made this transition so much easier to deal with.

However not everyone in my friendship circle has kids. Some of my friends are a bit younger and haven’t got to that stage in life yet. Others just aren’t interested in having kids. While sometimes it’s hard to coordinate schedules with friends whose lives feel radically different to my own, I think it’s so important to keep these friendships. Not only because I like them (duh) but they also provide a different perspective on life. So whether they’re your friends, sisters or other family members, here is an ode to why we love the kid-free ladies in our life.

1. They’re the best winetime partner

It’s day 3 of your partner’s business trip, you’ve been kid wrangling solo for what feels like weeks and all you want is to hang out with another adult. Except all your friends are also battling bedtimes with their own progeny. Enter – the kid-free friend. They turn up with chocolate, are happy to read the kids Hairy Maclary three times in a row and then have your wine waiting for you when you finally finish the bedtime battle.

2. They bring another perspective

Have you noticed that being a parent can be a little all consuming. We’re in our parenting bubble 24/7 and sometimes we simply can’t see the wood for the trees. We get caught up in things like Sally’s project not being chosen for the school fair or how Johnny got into the B soccer team when we all know that he’s much better than half the kids in the A team. But when you start to talk about these types of dilemmas with a kid-free friend, you realise how insignificant some of these issues really are. Having friends without kids helps you step out of your bubble for a moment and help you see what else is going on in the world.

3. They know all the fun things to do

With my mum friends, we tend to organise dinner at the local pizza joint and are home at 10pm. However with my non-mum friends, it’s a different story. I love getting frocked up, putting on proper heels and makeup and hitting the latest restaurant or bar in town. It’s always a late night but I’m guaranteed to have an awesome time and it’s a little reminder of what life was like before “Muuuuuuuuum.”

4. You can beg & bribe them to be another pair of hands

When you’re outnumbered by your kids, a day out can seem extremely daunting. See if a kid-free friend wants to join you. I did this recently, I wanted to take my kids to a museum in the city however I knew it would be completely overwhelming to do it on my own or with another mum. So, I asked a kid-free friend to come with me. It was perfect –she helped me wrangle the kids on and off the bus, stopped them pulling down the dinosaur bones and generally kept us all sane. In exchange, we could spend the day together doing something fun and I bribed her with a gourmet picnic lunch to keep her happy. Then when we got home we collapsed in the backyard with a well-earned glass of wine while the kids played. Win for all!

5. They love our kids like we do

If you’re having your kid’s birthday party at 10am on a Sunday and your kid-free friend turns up, then you know she’s smitten with your kids. She’s not there out of obligation but because she genuinely wants to be there. She spoils your kids with the fun (and not sensible) presents that they love like light up sneakers, a princess dress or the latest Paw Patrol action figure. She listens to all their stories, pushes them on the swing and follows them around the playground.

So to our kid-free friends, we say thank you. We love you for the perspective, sanity and fun you bring to our lives. Please never leave 😊🙏