One of my friends told me once that she felt like once someone became a mom it was like they joined a club that only those who are moms can join. I didn’t think much of it, but now that I think about it, it’s pretty much true. In a way, it’s so very comforting to know that your friends with kids know what you’re going through. They get it. But what makes me sad is that once you “join” that club, you sometimes grow apart from those not in said club. It’s not intentional, it just sort-of happens. There are a variety of reasons for this, but it is nothing we should just accept. It takes making a choice, actively making a choice, to sustain friendships both with kid-having friends and those friends who are kid-less. Neither is superior to the other, and we need friends of all ages, shapes, sizes, and walks of life. Three of my very best friends don’t have babies and they are most my rock. They don’t have to have a baby to love me well and encourage me. All that being said, here’s a list of nine things that I always want my non-kiddo friends to know perhaps just to shed a little light on why those of us who are now parents are just so stinking crazy. I mean it- we’ve lost it…what were we thinking? (Just kidding, it’s awesome…most of the time…but don’t get in any rush)
Things aren’t instant anymore…yep, you just hopped right out of the car and you’re ready to walk into the store. Yeah, give me five minutes and I’ll be right there- let me unbuckle the car seat, take the grumpy baby out, oh yeah, the stroller, let me fight with that beast, grab all the junk it takes JUST to go to one store (why is there SO MUCH STUFF!?), buckle the baby in, annnnd we’re good to go. Sorry I don’t move as quickly as I once did. Trust me, I miss it.
I’m still me, well sort of…I still love doing all of the things I did pre-baby. I just don’t have as much time to do those things. I still like to laugh at stupid movies and stay up late talking. Sometimes, I’m just a little tired, that’s all. My likes and dislikes haven’t changed, I just have another life to tend to, and that takes a lot of brain cells. I would have given you a head’s up, but I didn’t know it was going to be like this.
Nope, I can’t go out at 7:30pm…I wish we had money for a babysitter all the time, but we don’t. I’ve got to be back at the house by 5:30 to get dinner and bedtime rolling. If not, this calm sea will turn into an ugly sea monster and we will all be real sad. My sanity is often dependent on a living being who has only inhabited the earth 9 months. She’s not real flexible, sorry about that.
I’m doing my best to listen…I apologize in advance for cutting you off mid-story. I’m sorry you might have to repeat what you just said because my girl’s new thing is to scream at the top of her lungs. I hear you and I truly do care…sometimes it just might not come across that way. Babies have a way of demanding your attention and getting pretttty upset if you don’t give it them. Selfish, good grief.
I truly forgot…I can’t remember what my name is some days. So, I’m sorry if I forgot to ask you how your meeting went. I’m sorry if I forgot to tell you thanks for that sweet text you sent or if it seemed like I ignored you when you texted me. Chances are my phone was confiscated or hidden because it is so bright and shiny and baby girl will eat it if I don’t hide it. When I remembered in that glorious moment of solitude that is the morning shower that I needed to text you back or whatever it might be, I forgot before I got a chance to do whatever it was.
It’s not as easy as you think…I admit it, I judged parents before I was one. Why on earth did she dress her in that to go out in PUBLIC? Can’t you just make that kid be quiet in church? My perspective on this changed the day I tried to baby girl in the cutest outfit in the world to come home from the hospital. I couldn’t get the stinkin thing on her, she was wailing, and I was like forget it- just wear the white onsie, it’s easier. Sometimes being a mom is real hard, its super great, but its hard. Just know that there’s more to what’s going on than what meets the eye.
Traveling with a baby is detestable, yes, detestable…before baby, we traveled all the time. We LOVE to travel. It’s horrid with a baby. I’m telling you the amount of things it requires to keep a small human alive for even for a day (and don’t get me started on overnight, oy!) is unreal. So, a lot of times we might turn you down for that weekend away, or we might seem like we don’t visit enough. It’s just easier to stay home. We have what we need. Baby sleeps better. Life is structured. Life is good- at home. It is always such a relief to hear, “can I come over?” or “can we come visit you?”. You have no idea how big of a YES that is. Hang in there with us the next few years, things will change.
Sometimes it’s lonely…so, thanks for those sweet texts I don’t return. Thanks for still asking me to go out after 7:30pm. Even though I forget and often can’t do things I want to, it makes me feel loved that you still ask. A lot of times, you feel like you’re on an island and no one know what you’re going through, so being remembered is nice.
I still love you…I need kid-less friends to keep me sane, young, and happy. We are so thankful for our friends that don’t have kids. We might not always come across as being so thankful, but we are. Nothing but love for you people, nothing but love. Don’t forget it…even if it seems like we have.