Before I go any further, I want to share. I WAS THAT FRIEND. I'm 36 (almost 37) years old with a two and a half year old. My husband and I met when I was a couple years into my thirties. So, I was that friend. The single friend who watched her girlfriends get married and have children while I was still going to happy hour, telling horrible first date stories, and going to weddings without a date. I've tried to remember what that felt like as we expanded our family…..but I do look back, and wish my friends who had children before me had just said a few things directly.
I'm not trying to turn my back on you or our friendship. I do care, in fact…..I care more than ever. I'm just adjusting to a world where a human is totally dependent upon me. And my husband? I'm trying to not ignore him. And a shower? Hopefully those are happening. I promise, I have not forgotten you. I'm just trying to figure out what all my old relationships look like in the context of this new one.
This is awesome and awful at the same time. I need a safe place to vent. And I'm afraid to vent to you, because I don't want you to think I don't love my baby. So, I naturally gravitate towards other moms. They just get it.
You have a special place in my heart. You know ME. Just me. The me that drank too many margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. The me that cried after that asshat broke up with me (when I really should have dumped him). The me that moved to a new city, made new friends, and started a career. The reality is, you've seen me thrive in a million circumstances (probably more than my husband since I've known you longer)…..and while you may not totally get what I'm doing these days……you are the one who will remind me I can thrive in motherhood too.
I GET IT. It's not fair. The truth is, you're giving more than I am in this friendship right now. But I promise, this will shift. I will give as much as I can to you. And I'll remember how much you gave to me.
I still want to hear about your life. The first dates. Your engagement. Wedding plans. Career goals. I still want to know. It may seem like I'm not listening. But I am. And I care. A lot.
Please be gentle with me. And know that I'm moving mountains sometimes to just meet for dinner. Every family's dynamic is different. But for most new moms……getting out to see a friend is a BIG deal. It takes a lot of planning, and can be a little nerve racking. So, I know that I asked for us to have dinner at 6 pm when we normally met at 8. I know that I had one drink instead of my usual two. I know that I left my phone out on the table and glanced at it every thirty seconds. But I'm trying my BEST.
Thank you. Thank you for pretending that you're interested in my sleep training debates. Or my reports about how my kid is nursing. I know, I remember the listening. And thinking…..that I had absolutely nothing to say in return. So I know that you're listening because you care about me.To my friends who had children before me…..thank you. And I get it now. I get how huge it was that you came to my 30th birthday for the weekend. And my bachelorette party. And my wedding. And that you still called, even if it was less often. And to my friends who don't have children…….thank you for being patient with me. I promise, you are still my first call or text…..they just happen less often. And I promise, when you have children to be gentle with you (and to try to not say I told you so).