It seems like just yesterday when I was attending weddings, gatherings, and birthday parties without a plus one. I was never made to feel like a third wheel because I have such incredibly kickass friends who included me in on everything, but still my heart was heavy seeing couples all around me doing couple-y things.
Fast-forward three years and I find myself in an entirely new league: as a member of the Awesome Auntie Club. Sadly, there aren’t many among us left (at least not in my circle of friends), and so I find myself contending with very different social gatherings these days.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of reconnecting with old buddies from college, who have all since moved on to bigger and better things. The three guys I used to live across the street from now have a total of four children among them (two under just three months). Gone are the days of beer pong and toga parties; their lives now consist of joyful coos and bedtime stories. I’ll be honest, it made my ovaries hurt a lot.
Rather than sit on the sidelines and feel sorry for myself, however, I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to compile a list of how the baby-less among us can make it through and manage to have a great time at a kid’s birthday party.
- Make a beeline for the wine table. Every kid’s birthday has one, right? Always check in with the hosts of the party beforehand to see if you need to BYOB or not. You’ll be glad you asked. Just because you aren’t preggers, breastfeeding, and or pumping/dumping, doesn’t mean you can’t kick back a drink or two.
- Try to steer clear of baby/kid-centric conversations. Has this ever happened to you? You’re engaged in a lighthearted conversation with old friends when suddenly someone mentions something that’s inadvertently related to diaper changing habits and before you know it, you’re involved in a lively chat about cribs, getting poop off the walls, and the hippy who insists on using cloth diapers. I have, and after about 10 minutes or so, I try to find a way to politely excuse myself to go refill my wine glass (see what I did there? Already the wine is coming in handy).
- Don’t be that guy (girl) who awkwardly smiles on the sidelines and looks at children forlornly. Because creepy, dude.
- Leave the cute platform wedges at home. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea while getting ready on Saturday, but I clearly have not yet learned the act of stilt-walking while balancing a one-year old on my hip (while simultaneously walking on grass).
- Do genuinely show excitement. Regardless of where you are in life and whether or not you have renounced birthing your own children, this is an incredibly wonderful time in your friends’ lives. So when you tell them how happy you are, mean it from the bottom of your heart.
What would you add to this list?