It’s no secret that I am not a fan of play groups, mums and play dates. I said it before and I’ll say it every day of my life. I am a loner and since having my daughter I became even more of that. I don’t consider it a bad thing. On the contrary. I love going out, walking around with my child, playing together, buying her toys and books and discovering them together. I love the fact that even if she is only two years old, I can stop for a coffee somewhere and she will happily play with Lego or “read” a book while I enjoy a conversation with an adult friend or just sip my coffee. She is easily entertained and loves being centre of attention.
Going out with a friend who has no children has its perks. I mean, who doesn’t love and cuddles and play time with a cute little baby for an hour or so? It’s ideal. You get those amazing cuddles and when you get tired you hand the baby back to the rightful owner. This is what happens when I meet my non children friends: have coffee, laugh, catch up on latest gossip, talk about everything and nothing apart from talking about children. I relax because I know that I don’t need to be full on mom mode. My friends are there to pick up Ruby, distract her, sing with her and read baby books, have a five minute walk with her and come back joyful and quiet. She will accept having a snack or lunch without making a fuss, she will actually like whatever I give her and behave like a proper good girl. She will love the attention and I will definitely manage to finish my coffee before it gets cold. So, yes, having friends with no children is a blessing.
Also, my no children friends remind me of who I was before becoming a mother, they keep my sanity and did not forget to have fun. They don’t judge because they got no clue what parenting is. They listen to my rambling and squeeze jokes about my child into the conversation and I am actually laughing and not being insulted. I remember our old jokes regarding kids and moms and I laugh at them. I will tell them about my shortcomings as a parent and they will just pat me on the back and tell me I am so lucky to have such an amazing child and family and they will definitely make me appreciate what I have more than any other parent out there.
On the other hand, going out with other moms turns into a stress day. My attention has to be on at all times, I need to be mindful of everything going on around us, make sure I have triple the amount of snacks as we all know kids love other peoples food, I will have to run around like a headless chicken because they do copy each other so they will scream, shout, run away towards the escalators, exit doors and any dangerous location possible. Also, they will decide on throwing tantrums so once a child starts, the others will follow like sheep.
We will all start conversations that will never be finished, we will only manage to talk about children – their sleep pattern, food aversions, recipes exchanges like you actually have time to bake or know how to, tantrums, nappies, clothes, shoes, favourite books, toys and nursery rhymes. We will silently judge each other and decide this was not such a good idea. We will hurt each other by saying things such as:
- “I hate parents who let their children run around with snot on their noses – and that particular day you know yours has a runny nose and you can’t keep up running after them with a wipe at all times;
- “I will never have children again. I hate this” – all the while you are struggling to get pregnant and nothing happens
- “I’ll never give my child a phone or tablet so early on” – the mom sitting next to you just calmed her toddler by giving him the phone so he can finally eat something and she is just quiet, swallowing her pain
- “We only eat home cooked meals now” – you struggle with giving your child any food possible as long as they eat something (this Susan of the group is always annoying with her organic shit)
After an hour of hell on Earth we will just be exhausted, we will crave a hot coffee or anything that gives us an energy boost, we will just dream of five minutes of peace and quiet and remember why the last time this happened we said we will never do it again.
So yes, I am a loner and yes I rather meet with my no children friends most of the times instead of getting more and more stressed out. And no, my child does not lack social skills, she can speak and she has no issues whatsoever when playing by herself. She actually loves it. No, she is not selfish. She will share toys or food with other kids when she is out and about and she will not complain about wanting things and not getting them. I can say that maybe my parenting ways saved me so much of the so called terrible twos tantrums. Might be this or just me being lucky.