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The Friendship Divide: Childfree Friends & You


There’s no doubt that the moment you become a parent for the first time, the friendships in your life tend to change. That’s inevitable. After all, you have a different set of priorities now – and not a soul could blame you for how your worldview has shifted.

Some new parents, however, tend to find themselves worrying they have gone too far. This concern tends to be confirmed as a genuine worry, especially with STFU Parents constantly showcasing examples where parents have crossed the line. When you have child-free or childless friends (there’s a difference!), you can feel like you’re walking on eggshells trying to maintain the friendship. You don’t want to be that Mom can’t talk about anything else, but at the same time… there’s not a lot else that interests you now.

Parenting is consuming. It becomes the focus of our day, much to the bafflement of our child-free and childless friends. For one thing, we’re constantly on the alert for new information. Someone has some new advice, tips, or research? We’re more than happy to set aside our other worldly concerns so we can check this out immediately and see if there’s something new for us to learn. Then there’s the fact that if someone asks if we’ve had a good day, our answer might depend heavily on how our child – rather than us as an individual – are doing. We see them as one and the same thing; child-free and childless friends, however, do not.

Nevertheless, maintaining strong friendships is an essential component of getting yourself through the early stages of being a new parent. There’s also the fact that spending time with friends is a vital component of the “me time” that every Mom needs every now and again. So how can you keep these friendships alive when your baby arrives?


1) Be Careful With Your Choice Of Words

One of the main things that your childfree/less friends want to know when you have a child is that you’re still you. As a new parent, it’s easy to fall into the habit of using “we” instead of “I” – so: “we went to the park” or “we went to the grocery store”. This can feel alienating to friends who don’t get how that feels, so try and be careful to use “I” instead of “we”. It’s such a small thing, but it’s basically making it clear that you’re still you, just now with a child in tow.

2) Keep Your Expectations In Check

Sometimes, you’ll hear a story about how a Mom has become angered by her childless/free friends not coming to her child’s birthday party. It’s usually an overreaction, which is why maintaining your expectations is important. Your friends care about you and your baby, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to want to be involved in what are conventionally “Mommy” type things – so give them a break every once in awhile.

3) Shed Toxic Friendships

The above are good ideas for maintaining friendships, but try and remember that it works both ways. If you have friends who never show an interest in your baby and fake yawns any time you mention the trials and tribulations of being a parent, then maybe they’re not such good friends. If you’re going to make the effort to find a neutral space where you and your friends can just be “you”, then it’s not unreasonable to expect them to occasionally show an interest in your life-changing experience. It’s all about balance, and you’re not the only one who needs to be willing to do it!

Childfree v Childless: Actresses Kim Cattrall & Gabrielle Union reignite old debate

Two Hollywood actresses who do not have children have raised again in the press the age-old debate regarding childlessness and Child-freeness, and the controversy involving both.

Sex and the City alum Kim Cattrall told BBC radio recently that she has issues with the term “childless”.

It is a sensitive topic that seems to irk the vet stage actress.

“Child-less. It sounds like you’re less, because you haven’t had a child,” she said. “I think for a lot of women from my generation it wasn’t actually a conscious choice. It was a feeling of, ‘I’m on this road and things are going really well, and I’m very happy, and I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it in two years. I’ll do it in five years.'”

Cattrall added that though she is not a “biological” parent, she does consider herself a parent, nonetheless because of mothering she has done to young relatives.

“The thing that I find questionable about being childless or childfree is, are you really?” she asked. “There is a way to become a mother, in this day and age, that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate.”

Meanwhile Being Mary Jane star has been trying to get pregnant with husband NBA star Dwayne Wade but has been struggling and judged all the while by others for putting her career ahead of starting a family.

Union said being an older married woman without child is like having a “Scarlett letter” on your chest.

“There’s a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger,” the Bring It On star told Redbook mag. “The penance for being a career woman is barrenness.”

Both recent comments speak towards societal expectations of women of child-bearing age and

Many people assume that they have the right to walk up to a woman and ask about her fertility, her family plans and many, casually, make assumptions about a very sensitive topic.

Often times, well-meaning adults will ask a couple in child-bearing age or who are newly weds when they will have a child. Many times, that couple may very well may be trying but have been unsuccessful and the incessant query from family and friends can serve to make a stressful situation even more difficult.

Other times, they may be among the hundreds and thousands of couples and women who have decided purposefully to not have children.

They could be treated as alien or as foreign beings for their personal choice.

It’s best to stay mum.

I had an awkward situation recently when I asked a mom at my kids school about her baby not knowing she lost the baby due to developmental and birth complications.

Although it was an innocent mistake, I would have preferred to avoid the awkwardness of the situation.

Instead, I joined the dozens of folks who she had to tell that she lost her baby. She will have to relive the loss over and over again with each unknowing person.

That is the additional thing with miscarriage, neonatal loss and infertility and why it’s best to tread carefully and minimize questioning women about their fertility and parenting choices.