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CAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHILDREN BE FRIENDS WITH THOSE WHO CHOSE TO LIVE CHILD-FREE LIVES?


Throughout this blog’s life span, we’ve been talking a lot about leaving the old-school traditions and value behind us. My latest blog post was just about that. It was about my friend who chose not settle for anyone who attempted to take away her success by their outdated beliefs and views on relationships. Usually, in a blog post, I’d mention a friend here and there, but never write an entire blog post for them as there’s never a need to. This time, I did, and I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to her because of the admiration I have for her. Her level of creativity is mind blowing.

It’s a big topic of discussion; the choice to live the non-traditional lifestyle. In hindsight, the non-traditional way of life is the new traditional way of life in 2023. There are more and more women in the workforce and/or starting their own businesses, and there are many women out there who do so while juggling family and children. There are also more and more women choosing to live child-free lives with their partners. I personally know several women and their partners who chose that route, and honestly, I think it’s great. Now that I have a child myself, I can understand why people choose not to have their own kids.

Again, I have numerous friends who decided to live their best child-free lives. In no way do I think any less of them for the choices they make for themselves on how to live their lives. I’d hoped that people around me, specifically my closest friends, would see that. I thought they did until very recently And by ‘they’, I actually just mean one now-former friend. To really understand my take on the matter I’m about to embark, you really need to understand the background of it all.

Up until very recently, and when I say recently I mean literally a few weeks ago, I had a friend that I’d known since our college years. We were never too close throughout the years. We were fairly close throughout the semesters when we had classes together, but after college, we drifted apart. We’d see each other a couple of times a year. Nonetheless, it’d be just like old times when we were in each other’s company, and it’d be as if we were never apart. I appreciated her presence in my life, even if it was limited. We always had a mixture of fun and seriousness during our time together.

My (former) friend and I were both on the same stages in life in college and afterwards. We were different, and yet had a lot in common. When we were in school together, we connected through our shared views we had on school, our classes, our classmates, as well all the silly and fun moments we shared together as classmates and friends. Once we were out of college, we had our respective lives with our husbands in common. Even when my husband and I started family planning, our friendship only became stronger than ever. She supported me immensely throughout my epilepsy struggles, and she even bought my autobiographical book, ’12 YEARS A WOMAN: MY JOURNEY TO HAPPINESS’, the day I published it on Amazon.

The reason why I’m saying that our friendship blossomed once we started family planning is because that was when our lifestyles became very different from one another. I became pregnant after 5 years of infertility, and my life and priorities shifted very fast. The next 9 months were all about my health and the health of my unborn child. Nothing else mattered anymore. But despite my shift in priorities, my former classmate and I’s friendship didn’t change by one bit. I felt like after so long, I finally had my sh*t together when it came to my friendships.

When I was 8 months pregnant and practically ready to pop, my husband and I hung out with my former classmate and her husband one last time before I gave birth. They were gracious enough to get us a gift, which I really appreciated and didn’t expect. Throughout our outing, we heavily discussed the main reasons why some people choose to have children and why others choose not to have them. I understood where they were coming from, and I actually agreed with them. Some people have children for all the wrong reasons. And now, more then ever, I find that more and more people who don’t deserve to have children are the ones that end up having them. Maybe that’s why most of our society is so dumb these days. For my former friend and classmate and her husband to realize for themselves that they’re not fit to be responsible enough to be parents is, I find, the most selfless thing they could do for society.

My son came into the world, and suddenly, my life really changed. My life wasn’t about me anymore, nor was it about my husband, the father of my child. My life revolved around my child. I barely spoke to anyone outside of my family when my son was born. I only managed to get out of the house and leave my newborn with my parents 2.5 months after he was born, and it was only because it was my closest friend’s 35th birthday celebration. I was really pushing myself to have a good time that evening, but it was hard. I was anxious and worries about my newborn. I was a mess, but understandably so. I was a new mom. I still AM a new mom.

When my son was 4 months old, I was finally ready to introduce him to our close circle of family and friends. My husband and I planned a baby shower-like gathering with about 20 or so people in attendance. Two of those people were my former classmate and her husband. They were sitting beside me. My husband and I hadn’t seen them or even talked to them in 6 months. But it was just like old times. Absolutely nothing changed in our friendship except for the fact that my husband and I had baby. I even defended their decision to not have children when another friend of mine said that having children was a beautiful thing and everyone should experience the journey of parenthood. My former classmate didn’t have time to open her mouth before I opened mine to defend her and her husband’s life choices.

I didn’t see my former classmate after the meet-and-greet for my son until July, nor did we really talk much in between during those months. I was busy still navigating my life through motherhood. She was busy with work. Life got busy. Nothing dramatic. But we finally made plans to see each other in July right before my birthday. The outing went well. It wasn’t easy because the baby was a handful. Nonetheless, it was great to see them and catch up. So the next day, I got an idea to write a blog post on whether or not people with kids can be friends who don’t have kids. Because I’m just one person, I decided to post that question as a market research on social media.

The next morning, my former classmate and I texted back and forth. Everything was fine; better than ever. Then evening came around, and it was the eve of my birthday. Just as we’ve always done, my husband and I had a little pre-celebration with just us. Usually we’d go out to dinner for a date night. This time, though, we had a dinner and a movie night at home while the baby was asleep. It was very chill, and it was exactly what I needed. I was happy and content. All of a sudden, I see a text message from my friend that read, ‘You Too?!’

I was completely taken aback by her text message. It was random and so out of the blue. And just like that, our friendship was suddenly over. She saw the post I made as an attack towards her for she didn’t want to have children. Mainly, she saw my post as an attack towards her as we saw each other the day before. She saw my post as me shaming her for her choices. No matter how much I tried to defend my post, she wouldn’t take anything for an answer. I was very hurt by the entire ordeal. It was uncalled for. It was childish. Her entire reaction was childish. Of course she had every right to feel attacked, but there’s always a better way to resolve our issues and differences. She practically called me a liar and a fake. I thought that after 10 years, she’d know me better by now. I thought I knew her, but I guess not. I thought she was better than that, but I guess not. I’d expect that type of behaviour from myself when I was at my absolute worst health wise; when my brain took over my body and I didn’t know right from wrong and when literally everything was a big deal.

After going back and forth and her getting angrier and angrier each type I attempted to defend myself, she blocked me. I couldn’t contact her anymore and say what I needed to say. She robbed me of that opportunity because she wanted to be in control of the situation at hand. Luckily, though, I still had her husband’s contact information. And so, early in the morning, practically as soon as I woke up on my birthday, I sent a message over to her husband for him to send over to his wife. Just as a nice of a guy that he is, he let me know that she got the message. I said what I needed to say. I didn’t expect a response or forgiveness. She blocked me before I could end my thoughts, and I simply voiced them to her. In the end, I also wrote that if she was ever ready to talk, I’d always be there, and that if I never hear from her ever again, I wish her nothing but the best.

That was all that I could do. I only apologized for her seeing my post as an attack towards her. But I wasn’t ever going to apologize for making the post in the first place. I’d never apologize to someone just to make someone happy. I was very disappointed that a 10 year friendship was tossed in the garbage over my social media activity. I thought I meant something more to her, but that just made me realize that I maybe never meant that much in the first place. But the question still remains, can people with kids be friends with people who choose to live a child-free life?

My answer to that is plain and simple: Absolutely they can. That’s if each person respects the other’s ways of living. I have numerous friends who chose to live child-free lives for one reason another. Each couple I know had their own reasons for choosing not to have them. Some couples wanted to have children, but just couldn’t because science wouldn’t let them. Nonetheless, it’s beautiful for me to witness my friends love my own child and be our cheerleaders throughout my own journey of being a mother; a disabled mother. The more love my son has in his life, and the more respect my son witnesses in his life, the merrier. A child could never have enough love.

I realize now that my former classmate ended our friendship because she felt attacked and disrespected by my social media activity for her choices on how to live her life. That’s why I previously stated she had every right to be angry with me. What saddened me was the way she went about in confronting me. She could’ve called me rather than using text and she could’ve called me AFTER my birthday. Nevertheless, I miss my friendship with her. We had some amazing memories together, both in college and in the real world. I hope that one day she’ll not only get to see her views on the matter, but mine as well. This was our first and only fight, and it happened due to a misunderstanding and a miscommunication. I hope she sees that one day.

I’d always been open with her about my views on people deciding to live child-free lives. We talked about it so many times. I have an enormous amount of respect for those people who decide to live child-free lives. It takes a certain amount of courage and self-awareness to go against society’s norms. In fact, I wish more people would realize that they, as well as society as a whole, would be better off if they didn’t bring new lives into the world.


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