I took a minute to scan the party. It was a surprisingly warm winter night, and we were all outside around the fire, anxiously anticipating the arrival of our friends who had, just hours before, gotten engaged. Dear friends surrounded me, there was good food and music, and the string lights seemed to twinkle perfectly when suddenly a crushing realization settled in.
I was the only single girl at the party.
Beyoncé would’ve had a challenging time rounding up all the single ladies because seriously out of the 60+ people there, I was the only one.
And then I scanned the circle of friends I was standing with. Once again, I was outnumbered. But this time, their forces doubled. Everyone around me had more than just engagement cake in their bellies. I managed to find myself in the group of pregnant people, some of them about to pop at any minute, others hiding their secret under flowing shirts, waiting for the right time to break the news.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m ecstatic for my pregnant friends. Contrary to my steely exterior I really do love kids. Do I want to change their poopy diapers? Hell no. But I do think they’re squishy and adorable, and you’ve never met a better bedtime storyteller than yours truly.
But as I enter this new season of life, a season where people are bringing new life into the world, I have to be careful not to get swept away. Or, better yet, I have to be careful not to feel as though everyone else is getting swept away and I’m standing there left behind, wondering if and when it will ever be my turn to join the party too.
Maybe you’re like me, feeling a little left out or left behind. Maybe you’re still in college, and no one is pregnant, and you all get to stay up until 4 am watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and eat cereal. Maybe you’re the pregnant one wishing you could stay up until 4 am without a baby punching you in the stomach. No matter where you are here are some tips for staying sane when it feels like everyone’s pregnant:
We need people who are different than us to offer up wisdom, perspective, and advice. Don’t be so selfish as to only surround yourself with people who are just like you whether that be your socioeconomic status, your skin color, or your season of life. Your friendship will certainly change and even be more difficult, but it’s worth pursuing and pushing through the extra effort of those moments when the other person has no idea how it could feel to be single, pregnant, married, fill-in-the-blank.
Talk About Something Else
Sometimes it can feel as though all you’re talking about these days is breast pumps and pacifiers and if people even use those anymore. It’s tempting to talk babies and birthing all the time because it’s new, exciting and even a little scary. Pregnant people- be mindful of your non-pregnant friends and try to steer the conversation towards some more inclusive topics occasionally. Non-pregnant people- I guarantee your pregnant friends would love a break from talking about their nursery and what’s happening to their bodies and would love to hear some good old fashioned girl talk instead. Everyone can and should be brave enough to find commonalities to connect on. Plus, this is great practice for when these babies are born because, contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t revolve around babies and moms get pretty lonely from time to time.
You’re Not Alone
It’s tempting to descend into a shame spiral and think you’re seriously the only person who isn’t pregnant. That’s not true. Go outside, bump into a human being, get off Facebook. You’re not the only single person in your community, and you’re definitely not the only person who isn’t picking out names. Be sure to maintain or at least seek out some friendships with those in a similar season of life to keep you from shame city. You’re never alone. There’s someone who eternally has your back. Even in those most anxious moments of wondering why your life isn’t going according to plan, there’s great comfort in the fact that there’s someone who cares for you more than a husband, more than a baby, and more than your friends.