I am a self-professed child-free lady. A fellow child-free friend recently announced she was unexpectedly pregnant. I can tell she’s feeling pretty rattled and struggling with the sudden change in life plans.
She’s an elementary school teacher in a stable, hetero marriage with a steady double income… so naturally everyone around her is congratulating her and wanting to talk nursery decorations and baby names and daycares. The assumption is that she secretly wanted kids the whole time.
As a fellow child-freer in a similarly stable life situation, I want to empathize and be there for her and give her a break from all the squee-ing, but I don’t want to be a downer. What can I say to her? -Carlene
Here’s what I would want someone to say to me in that situation: “How are you feeling?”
Because I guarantee you, there would be a LOT of feels. Some good, some bad, some as-of-yet unnamed. That way it opens things up for your buddy to dictate where this conversation goes. If she wants to stay in the Squee Zone, she can say, “I feel great! Yay baby time!” If she wants to commiserate as a former child-free person, she can use this opportunity to open up to someone who will “get it.”
But definitely don’t join the auto-squee-crowd and don’t go full “hey, how much does this suck?” mode either. A simple “How are you feeling?” followed by “Any time you need someone to talk to about this new life change, I’m here for ya” is what I’d want.
Formerly child-free Homies and friends of the formerly child-free, how did YOU handle this situation?