To My Childless Friends
There’s a lot of truth to the saying
“Having a baby changes everything”
After I gave birth, I expected lots of changes. Changes to my routine, changes with my partner, and many changes to my sleep pattern. The change I didn’t expect, the one I vowed so deeply to avoid, was the change to my friendships.
I often struggle to find glimpses of my former self. I know I am more than a mom. I am a woman. I am a partner. I am still a person who loves to meet you for Saturday brunch. When the new season premiers I am also the person that just wants to binge watch Orange is the New Black or Scandal with you while we eat pizza until we’re stuffed. And I totally miss being the person that gets all dressed up with you for happy hour and talk about the latest chisme (gossip) at work.
As much as I yearn for adult conversation, I can’t seem to not talk about my kids and their funny antics, like that time the 3-year-old decided to put on my underwear…Borat style. And I know that talking about their achievements, like when they started rolling over, took their first bites of banana, and pooped on the potty for the first time, seem trivial to you. Just know that they aren’t trivial to me. When someone takes up so much room in your heart, every new thing they do is a reminder of all the accomplishments they will one day achieve. It’s a reminder that I might actually be doing something right while keeping a whole other human being alive and that is one of my best accomplishments to date. I hope you can just be proud of me as my friend. Of all people, you knew me when the responsibility of a child seemed like a far off and daunting task.
Also, know that there is still a space in my heart for you. If there is one thing becoming a mother has taught me, it is that filling up your heart can never reach the top. You’re still there and I still need you.
My problem is time, as in I have none. Every day is a struggle to complete the endless routine I’ve set for myself. Between working, the many mouths to feed, and sleep routines that take entirely too long (kids act like they’ve never gone to bed before), nothing I do feels like I can give it 100%. Trust me when I say, our friendship is another thing I feel like I can’t give my all right now and I hate that.
I hope, my child-less friends, you understand that the relationships with my partner and my children are like flowers. They need to be watered, nurtured, and cared for every day. They require so much of my attention and emotional energy to continue to bloom and stay alive (not just figuratively). And I need them for just the same.
I know that our friendship is deeply rooted. Our foundation is so strong that it doesn’t require daily nurturing but rather our friendship is one that every time we revisit it, not much has changed. Our tree stands the same as it did. We can pick up where we left off. I also know that sometimes a missed promise of a call back or text back hurts and some small branches may break. But I’m also confident the roots, tightly wound together helping us stand tall, can weather the strongest of storms.
What I ask of you is to be gracious with me. Continue to invite me to places. I want to be that friend again but when I’m falling short, it’s not because I don’t value us, I’m watering my flowers and I need to be there to watch them bloom.
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