It's well known that people somewhat change their group of friends as they grow and change in their lives. We change friends throughout different stages like grade school, high school, college etc. Now I think this has a lot to do with convenience and proximity but we'll just set that aside for now. It's also common that friendships change as people have kids. Just like if you're single and all your friends are getting married or in long term relationships it makes hanging out a little different. The same applies when you have kids and some of your friends don't.
I was always of the mind that I did not want kids and really to be honest I think there's a huge problem with how people are parenting nowadays which results in a lot of really poorly behaved kids. I understand that mentality and really don't begrudge people when they tell me they don't like kids and will never have them. I have a few friends like that.
Now this isn't a rant complaining about how no one wants to hang out with me now that i have a kid because that 's lame and really not true. I have made friends with some amazing women since having my daughter was born and I wouldn't trade my friendships with them for anything. I'm really just wanting to express my theory on the reason behind why maintaining friendships after going through getting knocked up and having a kid is really difficult logistically speaking. Of course this is based on my own experience but I really don't think it's all that different from a majority of the population. This obviously doesn't include all my friends but there were quite a few I think were very affected by this big change in my life.
Look it's baby!
So there you are, young(ish), in a an amazing relationship and one thing leads to another and you're pregnant. Up until this point you're hanging out with friends, going out to parties, and socializing. You're free to go out at a moments notice and who cares if you're a little tired and hungover tomorrow you can just catch up on your sleep later. Once you realize you're pregnant you usually start feeling really crappy, at least I did. You're at that awkward point where you aren't telling people yet but you're exhausted and nauseated all the time and really don't want to do anything other then lie around and sleep. So people invite you out and you decline making up excuses.
Second trimester hits and it's time that you can start telling people. I liked this part other then when I told my boss but we'll get to that in another post. So now everyone knows and they're all politically correct and congratulatory. Then they realize why you haven't been coming out and you feel like they get it and now that you're feeling a bit better you can get back out there and have fun with your friends. That's where you're mistaken. No one wants to invite the pregnant girl who can't drink out to have a good time. Movies - yes, dinners - yes, but actual good old fashioned parties or drinking get together's you can just count yourself out. You won't know about them until you see the posts and photos on Facebook. People think the fact that you can't drink is a legit reason not to invite you. I'm sure they mean well and you can't really blame them too much since they have no idea what this whole having a baby thing is about. They figure why would you want to come out if you can't possibly have fun (you're pregnant remember?), plus they're still thinking you're in the first trimester and are sick and tired all the time. I get it.
Heading to the Foo Fighters concert at 4 months along.Then here comes the 3rd trimester you're so huge that you feel like you're gonna explode and no one is inviting you anywhere and honestly you don't care. I was so miserable at the end I wouldn't have gone to anything that required me to attempt to dress my gigantic belly and hang out with my less then blimp-like friends anyway so I really didn't take offence.
So up until now you've really not hung out and had fun with most of your friends for around 9 months. Then you have a baby. People want to see it and everyone comes to visit which is great and exhausting all at the same time. You officially can't really do much as far as parties and going out to events especially if your breastfeeding and in my case having great difficulty breastfeeding. (I'm going to do a whole other post on breastfeeding) Then you carry on in your little baby bubble and they continue on with their childfree lives being young(ish) and going to work and sleeping normal hours and having fun.
Time moves forward (at a much faster pace it seems) and you feel like you're getting this parenting thing down. Your baby gets older and more fun and also much more independent. You go back to work, baby gets used to daycare or going to grandma's house more and more. You find yourself mostly back to your normal young(ish) self, just with some extra work and of course joy in your life. Then you really notice that some of those friends have gone and moved on. It's like "oh yeah, remember so and so?" and it's kinda sad. I don't think it has to be that way. I have maintained enough of my really good friends that I know for a fact it doesn't have to happen. There is a trade off of course. You don't really care that much that you weren't invited to another get together when you're dancing around the living room with your toddler. There's a good chance you've deepened your relationship with family members. I'm closer to my mom now then I have been probably since I was very young. I have a great relationship with my cousin. I have always looked up to her but we up until the last few years had faded in and out of being close. You have probably made some new "mommy" friends. I was lucky enough to meet a great group of moms through a mom and baby yoga class. http://www.sweetyoga.co/about.html The class was a great way to get out with my daughter and socialize and get some much needed exercise. Our instructor Dea was amazing and great with the babies. It really helped to hear what all the other moms were all experiencing with their babies. Go figure we had a lot in common. We did a lot of swapping stories and still do!
Auryn and I at yoga in the park
So in closing I guess my point is that things change (I know shocking). Your life is different now. You're a walking cliché, just embrace it. They're clichés for a reason. It probably just took having a kid to really give you the proper perspective.