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Archive for September, 2013

They say having a baby changes your life. Oh really? passing an entire human being through my body that is 100% dependent on me for food, shelter and love will change my life? Nooooo. Tell me more, Mr. Science. Although I have to admit that there are some things I truly didn’t expect. I always thought that the way my relationships changed after baby  was solely up to me.

For one, my husband and I lead a seemingly boring life anyway. We don’t party (we can’t even be around more than 8 people at a time without being overwhelmed), we go to bed at 9, our idea of having fun is staying home watching a movie, and when we have company over we like to just sit around doing nothing but talking for 4 hours. Yeah, you don’t want to be our friends if that isn’t your thing. Most people want to wait to have kids until they are done partying and are absolutely positive they can survive without going to a movie theater, So of course we thought “we got this”.
For two, I thought that if I was aware of myself as a new mom then my friendships didn’t have to change. I have been around mothers who talk about “joining the mommy club” like they’ve just been given the gold medal, mother’s who don’t know how to have a conversation that doesn’t involve their baby somehow, and mother’s who only want to surround themselves around other mothers. To them I say, “get over yourself”. So of course I was determined to be that cool new mother who didn’t act any differently around her non-parent friends. But nobody ever told me that it would take me 5 months to feel like a normal human again (I need to eat, sleep and poop too?), that it would take 5 months for me to feel like my baby wouldn’t burn to death if he was in the sun for 10 seconds, or that driving in a car could possibly be the most stressful time of my life.

I get it. You don’t have a baby or you haven’t had a baby in your life for 20 years. You, my friend, are a well-adjusted individual. Good for you.
Here’s where relationships start changing:
-You need me to leave my baby (who is solely dependent on me for food) on a one day’s notice. Did I mention my baby needs to eat every two hours? Not happening.
-You really really want my baby to meet your friend who happens to lives “just right outside the city”. With traffic, driving time alone could be an hour. Have YOU ever been in a car where your child has to be fastened in so tightly he can’t move, the air doesn’t reach the back seat, and oh have I mentioned he has to eat every two hours? Cue meltdown so bad he can’t breathe because he is crying too hard. Not happening.
-You want to go out to eat with us and have been dying to try that new sit down restaurant down the street. Baby doesn’t fit in the highchair and just try putting that car seat or stroller next to the table. Then keep him strapped in, bored out of his mind, while the big people sit around moving their hands to their mouth every few seconds (for what seems like forever).  And then try to get that busy server’s attention for the check so you can go. Meanwhile baby is in a phase where he likes to scream just to see how you react and oh, he just pooped all over himself.  And did I mention baby has to eat every two hours? Not happening.
-You want me to hang around “just a while longer” because “so and so” is almost here, or dinner is almost ready (though you’ve said that for an hour now), or because it’s just too early to leave to be socially acceptable. Have you ever tried leaving past sun down after keeping baby out all day? And then strapped him in a car seat when bedtime is just around the corner (for both of you because God knows YOU don’t sleep) oh and did I mention baby has to eat every two hours? Not happening.
So yeah, I don’t go anywhere without my baby without 3 days notice, or drive more than 30 minutes away, or go to sit down restaurants, or stay out past 7:30.
Are my husband and I happy? More than we have been in our entire lives. They don’t call them “bundles of joy” for nothing.
So if you find yourself in a situation where your really good friend is having a baby, be gracious. Expect some things to change. And if you truly are a good friend it won’t matter to either of you if one of you is in school, has a boyfriend, and lives with your parents while the other one is married, has kids, a house, and full-time job.
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