To my childless friends, the ones who've grown distant since I've become a mother—I have some things I’d like to share, and I hope that you can read this with an open heart and open mind. 

Things haven't been the same since I've had my baby. Perhaps I should have seen this coming, from how detached you became ever since I announced my pregnancy. And part of me gets it—you’re my friends without kids. Child-free. Enjoying life without the responsibility of a little one. But a huge part of me wishes that you could see this version of who I’ve become. Because I have grown to love her, and I think that maybe you would too if you just gave her a chance. 

If you hadn't become so distant. If you would still ask me to hang out instead of assuming that I won’t be available. If you responded to my texts and calls more often. I didn't know what to expect for this friendship after having children, but I don't think I was prepared for your absence. Or the decrease of your check-ins.

Related: To my friends who had kids before me, I'm sorry I didn't know

I know that I have a kid now, but I am so much more than just a mom. Underneath my childbirth experience, my more-often-than-not messy house and the constant blaring of YouTube kid shows, I am still me.   

The goofy friend who will laugh at you so hard that she snorts—unfurling even more laughter.

The caring friend who will give you a shoulder to lean on through tough times and listen to all your problems.

The ambitious friend who will talk your ear off about all of her goals and dreams and aspirations—and who will encourage you to go after your own.

The loving friend—who will celebrate with you and remain by your side through life’s ups and downs, joys and sorrows. 

Related: Yes, I'm a wife and a mom, but I'm also still me

I may not completely be the same woman that you used to know, but can I tell you that now I am much more than I have ever been? 

I wish you didn’t have to miss out on who I have become. Because as I have grown to love her, I'm sure you would too.

That though I don’t care for nights out on the town as much as I used to, my 3 a.m. mornings have become filled with binge-watching our favorite show as I nurse my little one.

That I still like to talk a lot, but instead of talking about work or countless other things, I might ramble on and on about the heart that lives outside of me. 

That I’m still a fun woman who loves listening to all of our favorite songs, and now I even have a little partner to jam along with me to them. And that as much as you used to laugh at my aimless dance moves, you would lose your mind over his.

Related: Science confirms you are a different person after giving birth

I wish that you could see that even though my life has drastically changed, even though I am a mom and a wife and those two things are consuming—I'm still me. And I wish you could see that in my new role, there is still room for you. You're my childless friends, and a lot of my life has become centered around my kid. But that doesn't mean there is no longer room for you. Because I never stopped valuing our friendship. And you still matter to me.

I don’t know what it was that pushed you away. Maybe it was how I announced my pregnancy. Maybe it was my exhaustion that kept me from hanging out more than I used to. Maybe it was my change in priorities. Or the fact that now I always seem to have a little kid tethered to me.

But whatever the reason may be, I wish you didn’t have to miss out on who I have become. Because as I have grown to love her, I'm sure you would too.

But if nothing changes, I wish you well and want you to know that I still love you and am rooting for you—always.

From your dear friend,

XOXO