I used to be a little annoyed when my friends started to drop off of the face of the planet because they had babies. In fact, the minute they announced pregnancy, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down. Like, “Another One Bites the Dust” was playing in the background of that conversation, every time I had it with someone. Because, you know, when someone has a baby, they are never quite the same. And, as you get older, one by one, your Happy Hour partners get picked off and start spending time researching carseats and holistic remedies and then there is no one to drink martinis with. And this lady doesn’t like to drink martinis alone.
When I got pregnant, I knew that things would change. And during the pregnancy I became a hermit. Partially because I felt so hideous that the thought of leaving the house made me cringe and partially because I had become “that pregnant friend” who can’t do any of the fun stuff. No Happy Hours. No martinis. No fun at all.
Once I had Baby L, I thought that, at least for the most part, I would go back to being the same person I was before I got pregnant. And I did. Mostly. Only now, I am less concerned with Happy Hour and more concerned with carseats and holistic cold remedies. And there is nothing wrong with that. But I do have an understanding now that I didn’t before. My friends have fallen off the face of the planet because raising kids requires, not only your undivided attention, but also a whole lot of persistence. And patience. And sacrifice. And I’m totally cool with that. At least…I am now.
And I see now, how difficult it can be to maintain friendships when the only time you get to make phone calls is in the middle of the night because that’s when the baby is sleeping. And you aren’t doing laundry. Or sucking snot out of someone’s nose. And I see some of my friends becoming a little resentful. Or distant. And, it isn’t that I don’t care. Its just that I have a lot more important things to think about now. I can’t attend every gathering. Or meet everyone for lunch with a sick, cranky baby. Or drink wine in the middle of the day. And I won’t apologize for that. And I say to those friends, “I ain’t mad atcha” for being a little distant. Because when you had your kids, I probably stayed away. You know, to avoid snot. And crying. And all that shit that mommies deal with. Because, you know, I wasn’t a mommy. And I didn’t want to deal with it.
What does surprise me, however, is that the friends of mine who HAVE kids are the ones who are seemingly the most impatient with me. Like, they are the ones who seem irritated when I can’t attend things because I can’t get a sitter. And that’s confusing. Because, excuse me friends with kids, but remember when sometimes you don’t have someone to watch your kid(s)? Or they are puking? Or your house is covered in slime because everyone has a cold? Remember? Yeah. That’s where I’m at. (Obviously, this isn’t directed at every one of my friends with kids, because some of you rock my face off, regardless of puking or colds or what have you…)
Friendships are hard. And now I understand that I might have been one of the people who made them harder for some of you guys with little ones…because I just really didn’t get it. But I got you now. Loud and clear, universe. LOUD. AND. CLEAR.