Night With A Non-Mom

I’m a Mr. Mom,” says the driver. I’m loading my two small sons into a complimentary shuttle after leaving our minivan at the car dealership for some work.

“How old are your kids?” I ask. “We’re not sure how old she is,” he says. “My wife rescued her after she got hit by a car outside our house.”

“What?” “Yeah,” he continues. “We even have her using the cat’s litter box.”

After further questioning, the driver proceeds to tell me how he and his wife saved a raccoon and now consider her their daughter.

The sad thing is I just had a better conversation with “Mr. Mom” than I have had with one of my closest friends lately. The problem? She is everything I used to be: single, carefree, fun, interesting, and most of all, kidless.

Why is it that once a woman has a baby, it becomes virtually impossible to maintain close friendships with non-mommies—regardless of how close the relationship was before?

First of all, my kidless friend does not include “showering” on her to-do list. Her clothes are clean, wrinkle-free and do not smell like spit-up. She enjoys going to the bathroom in privacy and does not consider a trip to Target the highlight of a day.

When she invites me to go out with her, I find myself saying things I never imagined would come out of my mouth: “I can only meet you for lunch if the baby takes a good morning nap, but not if he sleeps too long because then it will be too late for the afternoon nap, and if they fall asleep in the car, I’m toast. Plus I’ll need to nurse before I leave, so basically, never mind.”

She has been so patient with me. I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those crazy-annoying moms who only blabs about her kids. Guess what? I’ve morphed. When I’m not bragging about them (“He’s pooping on the potty!”) I’m complaining about them (“He’s flipping over in his sleep and crying until I turn him back over!”). Who could blame my friend for getting off the phone as quickly as possible? For calling less and less?

When I share my dilemma with my husband, he offers a heroic suggestion. “Go out with her tonight,” he says as he catches our 3-year-old diving from the stairs. “I’ll stay with the boys.” But how can I leave the boys (wild), him (hungry), the house (disaster)? Maybe the thing that scares me the most, though, is that I don’t know how my friend and I will connect anymore.

“Scan the paper quick so you have something to talk about besides the boys,” my husband suggests. So I do. I shower, put on a non-nursing bra, get dressed and meet her at our favorite restaurant.

Tragically, I manage to turn every tidbit of news I read into something about my boys. Gas prices are up means I really need to get comfortable nursing in public because driving home every two hours is a waste. Or, forget about the presidential candidates’ platforms—I want to know how their wives managed to keep it together when their kids were little?

After eating, we make our way to the bar. My friend orders two dirty martinis on the rocks. “Your favorite, remember?” she asks as we clink glasses. I take a sip and almost spit it out. “No,” I shiver. “I don’t remember.” She laughs.

When we ask for our check, the bartender smiles and says, “The gentlemen across the bar offered to buy your drinks.”

My cheeks burn. “Let’s just say ‘Hi,’” my friend says, pulling me toward them. She introduces us and starts to chitchat. “What do you do?” one guy asks. “I’m a mom,” I blurt.

Imagine my shock when my friend tells the men, “She’s the best mom, too—I’m so proud of her.”

I hug her goodnight and promise to see her again soon. When I get back home, I can almost ignore the crusty mac-n-cheese pot in the sink, the smell of burnt popcorn and diaper pail as I tiptoe up the steps. Receiving a rave job review has lifted me. And guess what? At playgroup the next morning, I actually have something to talk about besides the boys.

Kate Dopirak (katedopirak.com) is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two sons.

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Extreme STEAM Science Kids at Park Shore

<p>If your child has a passion for science and technology, our unique educational summer program is tailor-made for them! Immerse your young scientist in a world of robotics, mechanical and electrical engineering, coding, science, art, and mathematics, all while ensuring a fun and engaging learning experience. Housed in our state-of-the-art three-story STEAM Science Center and Hydroponics Grow Lab on our expansive 15-acre campus, the program goes beyond the ordinary.</p> <p>Our thematic 2-week sessions, designed for grades 1-5, are carefully crafted to stimulate curiosity in science and foster the development of essential 21st Century Skills. From hands-on experiments to exciting projects, your child will explore the wonders of STEAM subjects in a dynamic and supportive environment.</p> <p>The learning experience extends beyond the classroom with scientific field trips that enhance the understanding of real-world applications. These excursions provide a valuable opportunity for students to witness the practical implications of the concepts they learn in the program.</p> <p>The morning program is just the beginning; we offer the flexibility to extend the day, allowing your child to delve into all the amazing activities Park Shore has to offer. From engaging in outdoor adventures to participating in creative arts and athletic activities, the options are vast, ensuring a well-rounded and enriching summer experience.</p> <p>Enrolling now for the Summer of 2024 comes with the added benefit of Early Rates, making this educational journey not only enriching but also affordable. Don't miss out on the opportunity to spark your child's love for learning and exploration. Join us for a summer filled with discovery, creativity, and endless possibilities!</p>

Broadway Dance Center Children and Teens

<p dir="ltr">With more than 35 years of experience, Broadway Dance Center Children & Teens provides young movers ages 3-18 with exceptional training. BDC delivers the finest all-around dance experience for students by offering a wide variety of styles and levels, performance opportunities, and the highest caliber dance instruction that only New York City and BDC Children & Teens can provide.</p> <p dir="ltr">This studio is so much more than a training course for young dancers; it is a diverse, family-friendly community for budding creatives. It has an exemplary faculty who follow the vision to not only develop a dancer’s love and ability in dance, but to do so in a nurturing and supportive way.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-16583089-7fff-d8a9-61c2-8f689f7348b2"></span></p>

LIU Summer Sports Camps

<p>This July and August, young athletes will have the chance to participate in week-long athletic camps at Long Island University designed to connect them with NCAA Division I coaches to learn fundamentals and help improve their skills -- all while having fun and making lifelong friends. Camps are open to children entering grades 2-8 at any skill level. Select from 18 camps at one of our two campus locations in Brooklyn or Long Island.</p> <p> </p> <p> Sports include: Baseball, Basketball, Cheer, Dance, Esports, Fencing, Field Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Marching Band, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball and Wrestling.</p>