5 Things You Feel When You Are The Childless Friend

5 Things You Feel When You Are The Childless Friend

I started to wonder if I was doing things wrong...

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Logging into Facebook again, for what's probably the fifth time today, because I have nothing else to do on the weekends, I scroll passed graduation pictures, wedding ring photos, but most of all, baby announcements. I am 22, a ripe age still but full of decisions or no decisions at all and its a scary time for a lot of reasons. It's a scary time because it involves a lot of feelings, and feelings are well, scary. I had a few close friends up until the end of high school, but over the course of life up until the end of high school, I had 5 best friends. All five of these girls now either have a kid or have a kid on the way and it brings up a lot of feelings for me. Maybe being the childless friend brings up a lot of feelings for you too, and maybe I can help you put it into words.

Disclaimer: This is going to get real.

1. Happy

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When my best friend recently told me she was pregnant I was so excited for her and it took everything in me to keep it a secret because I was just so happy for her. I knew that my friend was going to be a great mom and that this is something she's always wanted for herself. Two other friends that I had lost touch with I found out over Facebook. To know that the friends that I spent my childhood with are growing up and are excited about their future definitely makes me feel so happy for them. I'm even already planning a blanket to make for the little one on the way.

2. Scared

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Two of my other friends had their little ones when we were a little bit younger and unfortunately not everything in life is perfect. I remember being scared for my friend who was in a different city and I couldn't be with her through her pregnancy and the birth of her little girl. I also remember being scared when I was in the delivery room with my best friend since first grade when she delivered her baby girl. I've seen my friend go through surgery as a kid, break bones, be hit in the face, but seeing her in labor, was SCARY. I remember also being scared that things were going to change, as much as I wanted them to stay the same. I loved having sleepovers, parties, indulging in an adult lifestyle, but my friends were now parents, and I was scared that the dynamic of our relationship would change.

3. Left Out

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We've all grown up doing the same things all at the same time. We all moved from school to school at the same time, started dating around the same time, graduated together, went to prom, homecoming, football games together, and then all of a sudden, things changed. I started to wonder if I was doing things wrong and started feeling inadequate. As someone with depression, I tend to compare myself to others all of the time and of course, its easy to compare yourself to the people you know best, your best friends. I see them getting and taking care of a whole different person other than themselves and I compare it to me, who can barely take care of myself, and it's easy to feel not enough and behind the pack. I just have to focus on that we all chose different routes in life and just because one of us is doing one thing and the other one is doing another doesn't mean that anyone is less than anyone else.

4. Sad

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Of course, I'm happy for my friends, but I'm kind of sad for me. I've always wanted to be a mom and I'm working on finishing my degree and eventually will find a job that will give me the stability to have kids, but it's not my time. It has, however, been my friends times and continues being their times. It's not jealousy because it's not something I want or could ever handle now, but it's sad because this is one of those things we won't be doing together. By the time I finish my degree and get a house and feel stable enough to have kids, my friends will be long done having them. So our kids won't play together, they won't go to school together and it will never be a reincarnation of our friend group, at least not with my kids, which makes me a little sad.

5. Proud

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Every time a birthday rolls around and one of my "nieces and nephews" say Happy Birthday I am filled with so much joy and feel so proud of my friends. They reached a landmark with their baby! When I hear my best friends daughter talk or watch her go down her slide in her front yard it makes me proud to know these people and excited to see them grow and what they can do next. I'm thankful to be a part of their lives. I'm most proud of them for doing it so well and moving into that phase of life that just hasn't come around for me yet.

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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