Conversations with the Childless

Something happens to all of us when we become new parents. For a brief period of time (or, heck—maybe several years) we are so consumed by that new role, that it becomes all we really know how to talk about.

Suddenly, every conversation you have revolves around what your kid is up to. How late he or she is sleeping. What they’re eating. The cool new thing they just did.

And often… how tired you are.

Everything you post on social media is child related. Every other sentence out of your mouth has to do with your baby. And even within your own relationship, the focus is almost always on your little one.

Don’t feel too bad, every parent goes through this. And while, yes, it is probably something you should try to shift away from at some point (just because… even your friends with kids will eventually grow tired of hearing about yours) most people understand this initial obsession.

Still… it’s when talking to your childless friends and family that it probably becomes most important to start focusing on grownup topics that have nothing to do with your kids. Not because those people don’t love your kids (they probably do—very much!) but because they are the least likely to understand your complete and total preoccupation. And because, as a good friend, you should be interested in hearing about what they are up to as well.

So here are some rules for how to keep your kids from dominating your conversations with the childless friends and family in your life.

  1. Always Assume It’s Chocolate: That brown smudge you just discovered on your shirt? Yeah, there’s a good chance it’s poop—something all your friends with kids would understand and laugh at. But your childless friends? They don’t really want to know you’re walking around with poop on your shirt. So just assume it’s chocolate and move on.
  2. Caffeinate: Guaranteed, when you’re hanging out with the childless, you’re the most tired person in the room. And unlike your friends with kids, these people don’t really understand if you’re interacting in zombie mode. So before any social setting attended by your friends without kids, be sure to caffeinate—at least this way, you can feign excitement when talking about their latest endeavors.
  3. No Spoilers: As a new parent, it can be tempting to error to one side or the other when it comes to encouraging childless friends to procreate. You will likely either gush about how great it is, telling them they just have to do it. Or… You’ll yawn and bemoan the ability to sleep in and travel at will, telling them to hold off a little while if they can. The thing is, they’re going to have kids when they are ready—period. And just like you, when you first decided to add to your family, they don’t need your added pressure or warnings one way or the other. Instead, just smile and nod as they talk about their plans—and greedily look forward to the day they’ll be on the other side and you can tell them it was poop on your shirt all along!

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.