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What To Expect When Your Friends Are Expecting (as a Childfree Queer)

feature image photo by Francesco Carta fotografo via Getty Images

On a snowy Sunday while my sister was in labor with her first baby, I was drinking Bloody Mary’s at drag brunch. I thought this was where I wanted to be: somewhere queer and childfree. In the name of celebration I took shots, a thing I never do. It felt like happiness was the only thing I was allowed to express, but it was hardly all I felt. An odd mixture of fear and grief overwhelmed me. Sweat and glitter reigned as the contrast between our roles in the world sharpened.

I’m not having kids. There are a lot of reasons why, but the most uncomplicated one is it’s never been my desire. I think a lot about desire and how I can live a life that honors my cravings. At twelve, I identified my first instinct that I was gay, but out of fear and spiritual abuse, I buried it for years. Now, I am committed to cultivating a life that has abundant room for my desires. And the longing to become a parent has never emerged.

But I’m at a point in life where many people I love are starting to raise children. With each friend who initiates parenthood, I feel the same complicated feelings. Where does that leave me? One of my absolute favorite writers, Melissa Faliveno, describes this perfectly in her book Tomboyland. She says, “As more of my friends become parents, like the majority of the people in my life eventually will, I’m reminded that it’s an experience I’ll likely never share. And when it’s someone with whom I’ve always felt a deep kinship — a fellow writer or musician; a person dedicated to their career; a queer person who once said they’d never have kids and who I felt, in this way, would forever be part of my childless tribe — there’s a feeling that I’ve lost someone like me…Each time another friend has children, I feel a little more alone” (188).

So how is a childfree lesbian supposed to cope with that loneliness? As my community transforms, I’ve developed a curiosity on how to transmute isolation into connection. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any queer elders who could guide me here, to the point where I could understand how to share community with friends across differing desires. I’m certainly not pretending to be that queer elder for anyone else. But I have a good therapist and a patient partner who have helped me learn how to stay connected. So I’m sharing a few things I’ve learned with the hope that another queer childfree person might find refuge and feel less alone.

First, when someone you love has a child, you should prepare to be the one putting more effort into the friendship. It won’t be like this forever, but when a new human is brought into a family it’s a huge adjustment. Whether your loved-one realizes it or not, they won’t have the space for friendship like they once did. That’s okay! Expect to stoke the fire of friendship for some time, and remember just because they aren’t able to give as much, it doesn’t mean they don’t love and care about you. It means their world has rearranged and honestly, you checking in with them probably feels soothing amongst the change.

Second, normalize your feelings, no matter how intricate they are. Joy, sadness, excitement, disappointment — all are okay to feel! This doesn’t lessen the happiness you feel for your friends, it only enriches the interconnected beauty of being in community. It’s natural to grieve when a relationship once built on mutual desires shifts. Share what you’re feeling with a trusted friend who can honor emotional nuance. Someone other than the new parent! They are processing their own adjustment to parenthood, so it won’t serve your friendship to immediately flood them with your feelings too. Be patient. A time will come when you both have the capacity to share, and you’ll be glad to have waited for the right conditions to truly connect.

Third, identify the role you want to play. This is so important because loneliness calcifies when we believe we don’t belong. But the truth is, you absolutely belong and have the agency to decide your involvement. Maybe your role is making your friend yummy food or cleaning their house, thereby showing you are invested in supporting their immediate domestic space. Maybe your role is taking them out for tea, going on long walks, or grocery shopping together — reconnecting them to the world outside the home. Maybe your role is making playlists, buying gay baby books, or sending memes — infusing their life with art, representation, and humor. Your role could be anything! As a childfree queer person you have the enchanted quality of understanding the world differently. The antidote to loneliness lies in allowing that enchantment to guide you in discovering the unique, community role you offer.

Personally, I find myself continually drawn to the role of nourishment. Providing food makes me feel like my own aunts, bringing family together over beautiful, live-giving meals. Cooking for people also satisfies my ancestral Jewish instinct for nourishing community. I make my sister’s family a meal every week. My sister’s favorite is roasted veggies. Each time I make it she texts me about how good they are. Once she even texted, “I think I could eat those veggies every day for the rest of my life.” I love hearing this 1) because I am a glutton for praise, and 2) because it affirms that my role has a meaningful impact and I do, in fact, belong.

At home, in our kitchen, my fiancée sears shrimp in a buttery sauce for tacos while I read at the breakfast nook. She pours me a glass of rosé and makes a heat pack for my back. Joy Oladokun plays softly from our speaker as we decompress from the day. Our space is peaceful, a lesbian sanctuary for plants and cats. I put down my book to watch her constellate the kitchen when she stops to ask, “What if we had to put a baby to bed right now?” I laugh because I’m obviously really glad we aren’t putting a baby to bed at this moment. She is too. I know what she means by the question though. She means, what if we didn’t have this every night? What if we couldn’t follow our desires? I get up to kiss her and help chop the vegetables. “I’m glad it’s just us, nourishing each other. Plus, I love being the fun gay auntie.” She agrees and we stay up late, doing whatever we want, content with the company of only each other.

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Molly Davidson is a Colorado based writer, artist, naturalist, and teacher. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have appeared in American Chordata, Rust & Moth, Nurture Literary, Superfroot, and The Hunger Journal. She loves teaching, evoking mystery, dabbling in tarot, and camping with her wife.

Molly has written 2 articles for us.


  1. Thank you so much for this article! It’s been something on my mind more and more recently, especially in the context of purpose. It felt really validating to read this and your suggestions felt both soothing and helpful.

  2. Thank you for this! I have a few pregnant friends and I am nervous about how their babies will change our relationships while simultaneously feeling so happy for them. Looking forward to figuring out my role in our community. Hoping for more childfree articles in the future!

    • Lila,

      Thank you for reading! I really honor that nervousness and joy you feel for your friends. I can relate. I’d love to write more childfree articles in the future and I’ll be thinking of you as I write them. :)

  3. Thank you for this! Three of my best friends (two of whom are a couple, and the third lives in a different city) had babies during the pandemic. Because of forced isolation, the standard isolation of new parenthood, and geographical distance, I’ve definitely felt disconnected from that for the past few years. I haven’t seen or talked with them as much and even when we do it seems our day to day lives have little in common anymore. This was helpful in reorienting my thoughts and giving me a new perspective.

    • Hi Arvan12,

      Thank you so much for reading! It’s a good reminder that there are different kinds of isolation, which can make things even more complicated. I really honor that you’ve felt disconnected from your friends. That can bring a lot of sadness. I’m glad the words met you and helped with your perspective! Sending you love on the journey.

  4. Okay CW for unpopular and somewhat harsh opinion around this.
    What do you do when your personal views on baby-making are pretty intensely negative and your friends have a kid? I.E. I feel morally squeamish at the idea of bringing new life into the world. I had a tough upbringing and considering climate change, financial implications, capitalism, etc, I just have pretty strong values around child bearing that I don’t totally know how to adjust for my friends.

    When my queer friends recently had a kid, I felt values dis-aligned with them in a way that feels hard to come back from. Do I just warm up my ice-cold heart somehow, blur the lines around my thoughts and feelings about this and just grieve our old friendship then support any way I can? I guess that’s the “right” answer, but it’s not easy. What do you do when you really have negative feelings about child-rearing both personally and generally? (From scratch, not adopting, please, adopt.)

    • I feel the same way. I mean I don’t have the answers, but I know what you mean. It’s difficult to be supportive of something you are so against, but is also so “normal”

    • Not judging your opinion, but I’m curious if it makes it better or worse to know that adoption can also be super complex and problematic? Like, when I was younger I thought I would adopt and it would be a great thing to do, but I’ve since learned a lot from adult adoptees and other sources about the ways that adoption, child protective services, and the foster care system can be really toxic, tied up with racism, classism, and religious complications and linked to abortion rights. And that doesn’t mean that people who want to adopt/do adopt are all horrible, but it is more complicated than it’s often portrayed. And tbh I know people who ended up adopting and I think I feel towards them the way you describe — I try to be positive and supportive and not judge them for it, but part of me does worry about their choices and their implications.

      Tbh I have a kid I gave birth to, and I have absolutely gone back and forth on the ethics of bringing a child into this world, which I felt brought up strongly again during our recent spout of unbreathable air from wild fires in which I realized I was telling my kid to wear a mask inside because of COVID and outside because of smoke and how messed up is that? *shrug*

      • Hi revedeshautbois,

        Thank you for sharing! You bring up a really important point about adoption. I definitely have to educate myself on this subject more before I can properly respond. But I appreciate you planting the seed in my mind.

        AND I respect the ethical reckoning you are doing as a parent. Even though the answers are muddy, and maybe not even there, we need more parents who are willing to think critically AND continue to bravely love and raise humans. Power to you. Sending love on the journey.

    • Agreeing with the idea that it might help to complicate your feelings on adoption a bit. My wife and I really thought we would adopt, but after doing a lot of research and listening to adoptee voices, we realized that adopting was not in the cards for us. Infant adoption has a LOT of ethical issues, not to mention is incredibly expensive. And after a lot of thought, I sadly believe my mental health (depression and anxiety) would make it incredibly difficult to parent an older child from foster care who would have a lot of trauma. There are better foster parents out there who are more capable of giving them what they need.

      So having a baby ourselves was the option we were left with. And while yes, the world is on fire with climate change and Covid and etc. it helps to realize that the world has ALWAYS been on fire. There has been racism and homophobia and transphobia and ableism etc as far back as we can measure. There have always been horrible diseases and plagues and earthquakes and violence and all the things that make life horrible. But there has also always been beauty, and kindness, and love, and everything that makes life worth living. And ultimately I believe that good outweighs the bad. You don’t have to agree. But ultimately I think having children (intentionally) reflects a sense of optimism that we can make the world a little better if we try. And even if you don’t share that optimism, hopefully you can feel happy (or at least neutral) towards those who do.

      • I was talking to a friend last night about this and this is basically verbatim what they said too. “The world has always been burning, but I believe there is good in the world too and that it is worth sharing with new life.”

        I appreciate the sentiment and while I don’t think it changes anything for me I really do appreciate the optimistic perspective.

        Re: Adoption, I hear ya. I sort of quickly added that to the end to acknowledge the sheer amount of people on this earth who need homes. Foster care, adoption, etc. is all nuanced and carries its own challenges. However, if the urge to nurture is strong enough why shouldn’t those options be considered first for those who wish to have kids? It’s expensive and complicated to have kids regardless of where/when they’re conceived.

        Yeesh! I have no answers but appreciate your thoughts and general optimism about people being generally good. FWIW the conversation with my friend ended with me basically saying I don’t believe humans living in capitalism can ever be expected to live selflessly enough to justify procreating….so pretty dark and perhaps an “and” and not an “or” but that’s where I’m at today.

      • Hi Ella,

        Thank you for sharing your story with us. I appreciate the view that you have. We need people who look at it this way. Brave people with heart. I think the choice to have children while knowing the backdrop of our times is a courageous act. Good for you for taking the leap. I hope you feel supported on the journey and are able to support others as well!

        Sending love!

    • I feel this. I also think having kids is unethical (because of climate change and all that, but also just philosophically.. You can’t ever ask that child for consent so it’s basically just people making a selfish choice that’s based on their own wants and assumptions that their kid will be happy with their choice.) I have a really hard time hanging out with people whose values don’t align with mine. Like I wouldn’t hang out with republicans, and I also don’t really want to hang out with parents. I know a couple people that I cared enough about to keep in contact with even though they had kids, but they’re far away so I never really had to be part of the kids life or anything. I think there’s a lot of pressure to be this fun gay aunt or uncle but I have zero interest in playing that role. Sometimes people just choose different life paths and their friendships end. It’s sad but that’s just life. I also don’t think it’s my responsibility to do most of the work in a friendship for years and make people food because they chose to have a baby. I’d rather just focus on my own life and move on than try to prop up unequal relationships that the other person doesn’t have time or energy for and chose different priorities around. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      • Hi and thank you for this “I wouldn’t hang out with republicans so I don’t really want to hang out with parents.”

        This is kind of where I am coming from because of how strongly I feel about it. I told my friend “I realize this sounds VERY judgemental and I really try not to be judgemental, but also there are some exceptions to this i.e. Republicans, billionaires, etc” But how awful is that? Do you know how upset my friends would be if I compared their choice to have kids to being republican?

        I found this article (after posting my comment and realizing how strongly I felt I decided to get researchin’) and thought it most clearly and compassionately laid out how I was feeling but couldn’t name:


        I would like to have this conversation with my friends. I would like to know how they feel about these questions. I don’t think I can without really offending them and also said baby has been born. Which maybe means we’re more values mis-aligned than I want to admit. But anyway, it’s really got me thinking!

        • Not at all saying you have to let his friendship go. I want to share that were I in your shoes, I would find a way to have a respectful conversation honoring the friendship and respectfully parting ways. The comment about not being friends with Republicans and the values mismatch felt resonant.
          I’m very happy for my friend who recently had a baby and I hope to be involved in the child’s life. I also recognize I don’t want a bunch of friends who have children. I don’t know what my limit is but I try to befriend and date other child free people who intend to stay child free

      • Hi R,

        Thank you for bringing these words to the thread. I really respect with what you are saying and was trying to articulate it myself but couldn’t find the words. If people becoming parents goes against your ethical beliefs and you don’t want to engage with people across differing values, you don’t have to! And it’s your right to choose. No one should be forced into a role they don’t want/a role that doesn’t serve them. Maybe the most supportive thing to do is drift apart. It is okay that friendships end. I agree. Not all friendships are meant to last forever. We can grieve them still, reflect on what they taught us, and make room for new people in our life who align with our current positions.

        Thanks again for sharing your insight!

    • Hi Ruh_Roh,

      Oof, I really hear you. I’ve been sitting with your words in my heart and trying to feel into a response that would do your inquiry justice. I won’t pretend to offer an answer to this question. I don’t think a single answer even exists. But I can share a few reflections. So take what feels good to you and leave the rest:

      First, I really respect that your personal views on childrearing at this time in history are negative. I can deeply relate to your skepticism. It sounds like your way of reckoning with the challenges we face is to exercise your right to choose NOT to bring children into the world. Hell yeah. I’m with you. We need people thinking like that. AND, we also need people who are brave, loving, and resourced enough to keep our species alive and hopefully, moving forward. Enter your friends. Hopefully they are loving, brave, and resourced. Because whether they realize it or not, they’ve chosen the role of keeping our humanity going (in the specific role of parents), and they have to reckon with that moral choice alone. Not you.

      But what do you do when your values aren’t aligned with your friends? What do you do when your ethical choices lead you down different roads? Well, I can’t answer that for you. I think it’s different for everyone. Maybe it means you decide to let the friendships dissolve. So the thing to do is grieve, and grieve hard. Maybe it means you get really honest and uncomfortable with your friends in naming your different beliefs. So you acknowledge your differences but choose to move forward as friends, in a new form. Maybe it’s something in between both of these options.

      I don’t know what it looks like for you and these particular friends! But I do know that I can’t support anyone if my own feelings haven’t been validated. It sounds like you deserve a few people in life who can normalize and honor your valid negative feelings around child rearing before you can jump into finding your role (if you even want a role!) I think some of those people are on this thread. We are here for you.

      Thanks for reading and offering such a thoughtful inquiry. It is really brave to share our feelings when they stray so far from the “cultural expectation/norm.” I honor the unique path you are carving for yourself.

      • Thank you for both the honest and thoughtful response and also for writing this article in the first place! It clearly dislodged something in me that had been hanging out waiting to be uncovered. That’s what great journalism does and I really appreciate AS providing a safe space to share uncomfortable and unpopular opinions around this and you for bringing this conversation to the table.

        I’m still grappling with what to do with this visceral response to childbearing (not rearing, once a kid is here, let’s go ahead and support the hell outta ’em). I am glad to hear others have some similar views. It certainly is unpopular. Well! I’ll do more research and keep grappling. Thank you, AS and Molly. Congrats on your first AS article!

    • I think you need to grow up a little bit. I agree that climate change and capitalism are exceedingly making the world a really tough place to live in – and are big reasons why I don’t want my own kids – but I’m failing to understand your recommendation: We all stop having kids until our species is extinct in a couple generations? We don’t try and fight this and work to improve the one world we have? Having kids is one of the most human experiences we can have. Even though I don’t want kids, I know it’s incredibly unfair and unreasonable to ask anyone else not to have them.

  5. Cannot pretend to speak for everyone, but for me, personally, it absolutely changed our friendships permanently from that point on. Sometimes your friends’ kids are jerks and you grin and bear your way through it bc you love your friends. But yeah, haven’t had a minute alone with them since they’ve married & had kids. The onus is often on the childfree one to just go along with it, when maybe you didn’t want to hang out with spouse + goblins, and would like to say some bad words now and then. Ex & I would come home from such parties, have a drink & a bath, and be like well thank goodness there are no kids here!

    • Hi Anna,

      Thank you for your words! I think you bring up a good point. The responsibility to “go along with it” often falls on the childfree person in a friendship. Whether that is good or bad, I can’t say. But it’s worth noting.

      For me, it has helped to acknowledge/name that friendships DO change permanently…with those friends who are having kids. That way, neither of us are searching for an old version of friendship that doesn’t exist anymore.

      It also helps to have friends who aren’t having kids too! People I can go to parties with, curse around, and don’t have to be distracted by the “goblins!”

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. I wish I’d had this article a couple of years ago! I feel like when my sibling had a baby our relationship changed so much. I went in all excited saying I’d bring them dinners to help out early on, would learn to change diapers so I could babysit, and have always looked forward to being the fun gay aunt. But it never transpired. I felt very worried from the off about overstepping being in their space as a new family, and didn’t know if I should communicate that, but equally my sibling has never done anything to calm that anxiety, and has seldom invited me to spend much time with them. I think my sibling resented me dealing with my own life stresses after their baby was born too which hasn’t helped, so they didn’t feel prioritised and this attitude has continued for a long time now. There’s other dynamics and issues at play, but as someone who has mostly queer friends without kids, I’ve also found it very hard to navigate the new dynamic and roles, and re-evaluating my new place in the family. Without my spouse I don’t know where I’d be.

    • Hi Cbee,

      Gosh, I feel ya. Thanks for reading! I hope some of the sentiment in this article can support you now. I think it’s exceptionally challenging with siblings. We can only define our roles as far as we are let in to a new family system, and there lies the extra tricky part. If you aren’t being let in to embody that new role, I would be gentle with yourself.

      One thing I wonder…I don’t know how old your nibling is now, but maybe the initial baby part of aunthood isn’t where your connection lies. Maybe it’s down the road. Middle school, high school, etc. That’s me wanting to be eternally optimistic. There are lots of stages of life to be the fun gay aunt.

      As for your sibling, I hope that you reach a place where both of you are able to have rich, complicated, lives with different needs, simultaneously.

      Sending love on the journey!

      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply, it made me a little bit emotional! I know I need to be kinder to myself, and it’s something I’m hoping to tackle now I’m therapy, on top of the family issues.

        It’s such an interesting topic of conversation being queer and navigating people in your life having children – as I wrote above, all of my gay community (male and female) are child free, which makes it all the more challenging I feel when confronted with heteronormative friends and family when it’s not what you’re used to. If you don’t conform it’s extra hard to not feel polarised. Like you said, hopefully things become clearer as the child grows.

        Thanks for giving food for thought in your article, and I’m enjoying reading all the comments about it!

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  8. Thank you for this!

    “It felt like happiness was the only thing I was allowed to express… An odd mixture of fear and grief overwhelmed me.” That was me with my sister’s first child. I fretted for her safety once I found out how dangerous birthing can still be (she’s fine and on to her 2nd pregnancy), worried about her needs and wants being deprioritized even *before* the child was born (they were of course) and feared for the life that child would face in this world. I grieved every time a friend had a child because I knew full well they’d be too busy for much outside the “nuclear family.” I felt alone for being one of the very rare people choosing not to breed. Now, most of the time, I accept it as a thing most people will choose or give into underst social pressure and do my best to maintain relationships. ♡ Best case scenario, their crotch goblins and I get along and I get to be that free and fun auntie!

    • Hi Zephr,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I respect the complicated mixture of worries and grief you had about your sister. And all of your other friends as they have children. It’s hard and helpful to know you’ll have to grieve each time. I think it gets easier. The first friend/family member to have kids is always the hardest, because it is all so new.

      I think a lot of us feel alone being people who choose not to breed, and it’s nice to feel this connection with each other. We are less alone than we believe. I also think you invented my new favorite term ever…”crotch goblin!” I LOVE IT.

  9. My wife and I have two kids and we are so lucky to have two single and childfree friends who are the best queer aunties to our kids. They really strive to have their own relationships with them and carve out time to play with them when we hangout. They also take us out when we need a break and even alternate babysitting so we can get a monthly date night. I feel so lucky that they shifted with us, and that our having kids has actually made us closer. Obviously this doesn’t work for everyone, but just wanted to share it as a possibility. They are an important part of our queer family.

    • Hi Annie,

      Thank you so much for bringing this perspective! It is so wonderful to hear that you have a friendship that shifted with you as your family grew. And I imagine that you are right alongside your childfree queer friends too, shifting with them as their lives evolve. Thats the beauty of reciprocity. I love this model. Sometimes, if it lines up right, we DO become closer when kids emerge. Not always and not for everyone. But it’s totally possible.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Stacey,

      Thank you so much for reading. I’m so glad that this could be applicable and helpful to where you are in life right now. Sending you love as you discover your role with your best friend!

  10. It was really interesting to read this because I went through the exact same process! It was definitely a relief when I finally accepted that I could feel grief for the friendship that inevitably changed while still being happy for my friend. I believe it was also good for my relationship with the mother that I had the help of other friends to deal with those complex feelings, since she had already so much on her plate. Very recently – 2 and a half years after her son was born – we had a moment when we shared how we both felt during the process and the (obviously) different difficulties each of us faced. While we both really miss how things were, we also know how much we wanna stay connected in this new configuration, but always respecting each other’s needs and limitations.

    • Hi Thays,

      Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad that something in the words reflected your experience! I can feel the duality of pain and relief when you were able to share your differences with your parent friend. It’s interesting to see how friendships evolve and how they change us. I hope you continue to find beautiful moments together in this new configuration.

      Sending love!

  11. “I also don’t think it’s my responsibility to do most of the work in a friendship for years and make people food because they chose to have a baby.” → → YES, yes, yes! I strongly agree to this.

    I remember there was an article on this site on how to support queer parents during the holiday season, with suggestions like going grocery shopping for them, offer card courier services, offering an overnight parenting break… And yay for everyone who is happily doing it! Yay for the kids, the parents and the friends when all parties like the arrangement. In my heart, I thought “But why though? The parent(s) chose this. Why do I ‘have to’ put in labor when the person wanted children?”

    Years ago, I was very involved in the life of one of my closest friends and her kid. Over many years, I devoted time, energy and money to be involved in her and the kids’ life (we lived in different cities) and watched her kid grow… Until she became a fundamentalist Christian in a church that was very anti-gay and she internalized a lot of the BS there. Our friendship ended and with that, my relationship with her child did as well. I feel sad that I was expected to be involved in her life until she changed her mind. Everything I put into bonding with her child – bam, gone in what seemed like an instant.

    I feel that this is a story that is not addressed very often – people who put a lot of work and support into a friend’s life with the kids etc. – and when the parents change their rules/values, or there is a friend-break-up, the bonds with the kids are gone, too.
    So I’m not advocating for anything like family friends having a legal right to the children, I just want to say how painful it can be when child-free people devote lots of time/energy into a relationship in which they do the majority of care work for years, the parents are happy to get support, yet can kick you out any time and for any reason.

    A different story that comes to my mind in this context is something Sarah Schulman writes about, how often after a break-up, lesbian birth mothers cut off contact between the non-birth-mother and the child(ren) when there was no acknowledgement by law that this was a family (before gay marriage).

    So what I guess I am saying is that I am not willing to put in so much time/energy/care work again.

    • Hi Morgan,

      Woah. What a story. I am so sorry that happened to you with your friend and her kid. What a uniquely painful loss.

      I really respect why you don’t want to put time and energy into nurturing those relationships again. It sounds like you had a really tumultuous experience that has shaken your heart. I also think you are right: this is probably a common story that isn’t addressed enough.

      I hope you can be gentle with yourself. Thank you so much for bringing this reflection and insight, I really appreciate your point of view. I’m sending you love on the journey!

  12. As someone quite new to parenthood I appreciate this article very much and just wanted to add: While I wouldn’t change the change in my life for anything I grief childfree me, too. And childfree me in my friendships, for what it’s worth. Those feelings exist simultaneously like so damn often in life. With parenthood, some friendships got closer that I didn’t expect to, one is getting loser that I was sure was forever and, boy, that hurts. I appreciate those friends so much that make themselves at home at our place like before and share what they wanna share like before and listen like they always did because, yes, they absolutely belong. It just got a bit crowdier and, yes, the topic of baby digestion got added to mix, but that’ll change again, too.

    • Hi ExceptForBunnies,

      Thank you so much for sharing those feelings. I completely honor the joy that becoming a parent has brought AND the grief for your old life. Two things can be true. I think it’s really courageous to share that truth because many parents feel similarly, but don’t necessarily talk about it.

      I’m sorry that not every friendship made it across the threshold. Unfortunately that hurts but I think is ok and normal. I’m glad you have friends who have stayed close and listened and I’m sure they are grateful you are there to listen to them too. Sending love!

  13. Absolutely love that someone wrote about this. It’s something I’ve been dreading and this made me feel a lot better about the possibilities of relationships and roles changing in a positive way! Also validating to hear that there’s nothing wrong with feeling weird about your place when friends have kids

  14. Great article and comments!

    Also… just keep inviting your friend to things you want to do with them. They didn’t move to an island or lose all their previous interests. Maybe they won’t be able to say yes as often or as spontaneously as before but don’t assume preemptively that they only want to do baby-focused things now.

    And the intensity of the newborn stage is really pretty short, so don’t assume that’s “the way things are now” and instead maybe think of it as though they got a cool gig in Spain for six months and then after that, they’ll travel back and forth regularly. Maybe you’re the friend who sends a care package or flies out to visit, or maybe you’re the friend who just texts to suggest some old favorite activities when they are in town? You know? Like it can also be chill

  15. Navigating the changing dynamics requires effort and understanding, but finding my unique role within their lives brings a sense of belonging and fulfillment. In my own sanctuary, I appreciate the freedom to nourish my partner and create a space where our desires can thrive, cherishing the joy of being the “fun gay auntie.”

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