Adult friendships and kids.

I’m a 31 year old single woman. And I live alone. Something I have no complaints about. I like my life. Most of my friends are married and with kids. In my twenties I didn’t know how to show up for my friends with kids. Or I knew how but just didn’t want to put in the effort. I’m not sure but my thirties have unfolded a new chapter for my friends with kids and I.

One of my closest friends moved to my neighbourhood last year. We didn’t see each other often before then but her moving closer together with her little family has done great things for our friendship. I am most grateful for her, her husband and her kids because they are all like family to me now. I now see them more often than I used to.

She knows I don’t want to have kids of my own (don’t be weird if I get pregnant. Life is strange). But I’m a good auntie to her kids. I like that a lot about my 31yr old self. The thought of being a hands on aunt to my friend’s kids is no longer daunting to me. I no longer feel ill equipped for the task and that is because my friend has trusted me with her kids, giving me room to prove myself mostly to myself.

I’m not a dick. Just cos you have kids doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends. I’m learning that the needs of a mother are different from those of my single, childless self so I try and be more accommodating of my friend. It’s not always let’s go out and drink, she’s got kids. So I’ve stepped up to also be someone she can call on if she needs help with the kids. And that oddly warms up my heart in a whole new way.

I love showing up for her in a way that she needs me to. There’s no point insisting on a friendship apart from our lived realities. I’m learning that we don’t have to be friends apart from our families but with them. I’m struggling articulating my point, bear with me. But it’s so heartwarming to know my presence makes her life as a mom a little bit easier. I say a little bit cos I can’t compare the few times I show up to full time parenting.

I used to think babies got in the way of friendships. My 31yr old self is here to say, they don’t have to! I’m an auntie to my friend’s kids. We just learn to love each other and accommodate each other with our different circumstances. This post is important to me cos at 25 I lived with a friend who had two kids. I just couldn’t be there for her the way she needed me to. She couldn’t even count on me to watch the kids if she wasn’t there. What she needed was my 31yr old self.

I am enjoying this chapter of my life. My best auntie years. And I am adjusting to my life not being all about me. I’m building a community. The old adage ‘it takes a village (to raise children)’ is true. This is me finding comfort and joy in being a part of the village and figuring out how to be of better service to my community.

I do not love my friends apart from their families. I love them and their families. Every time I visit my friend and cuddle with her youngest baby my heart swells with so much love and gratitude. It is a gift that I do not take for granted that I get to be a part of the makings of the kids’ lives. Something I shouldn’t deprive myself of. I have my own single person needs that my friend is able to meet without compromising her family life and I love that for us!