Dear friends without kids,

There’s something that I need to say to you. It’s long overdue, but pretty simple: thank you.

In the midst of raising kids, talking about kids, and being with others who have kids, a lot of parents overlook just how much love and support you pour into us. There are thousands upon thousands of articles, blogs, and publications that praise the hard work of parents, but there is not enough acknowledgement of the role you play in forming the village it takes to raise a child.

Here are just a few reasons why parents could not do their job without you.

You remind us we are more than just parents

Perhaps our friendship started in the B.C.E (Before Children Era). Maybe we met in a realm outside the parenting world. Regardless of its origination, our relationship began because something about our unique interests and personalities clicked. Not only did they click, they’ve gotten better with time. Our bond has superseded a major identity difference, and our friendship is stronger for it.

In the midst of potty training and sleep deprivation, you still see in us people whose thoughts, hopes, and aspirations are worthwhile. Please know that we desperately need that reminder. It gives us hope when times get tough and provides perspective when we become blind sighted. And this makes us better parents.

You show fresh awe and wonder

You’re likely not spending your time familiarizing yourself with infant milestones and anecdotes of epic toddler meltdowns. The charm in seeing you interact with our children is that you’re so often amazed by the things we take for granted.

You revel in their quirks and are enthusiastic about how hard they work to learn and grow. When you play with our children, we see with fresh eyes just how awesome and wonderful they really are. Even when they’re not perfect, you often find humor when we’re tempted to quietly die from embarrassment.   

You acknowledge that parenting is HARD

You have no desire to haze us with tales of how it’s “only going to get harder.” You are not trying to hold us to the overwhelming standard of parenting perfection. You are living your life, while at the same time able to tell us that what we are doing is hard. Really hard.

We cannot tell you how grateful we are to hear our struggles legitimized. In a world that loves self-promotion, you selflessly take time to commend the job we are doing in raising our children.

You allow us to sleep better at night

Every parent wants their child to live in a safe and secure world. Our hope is that the little humans we are raising will grow up surrounded by people who support and encourage them. When we close our eyes at night (whether the kids permit it for eight hours or 15 minutes), we have more hope in the attainment of that world because of you.

Maybe it’s because you remind us that differences can make relationships stronger. Perhaps it’s because you chose to support people without expecting anything in return. It could even be the memory of that extra tender “good-bye” you said to our children, knowing better than anyone just how much they change from one meeting to the next.

For all these reasons and more, thank you.