Parenting is hard enough as it is. Gone are the carefree days of sleeping in as late you want, dancing the night away wearing gorgeous clothes that have been washed in fragrant fabric softener and delicately perfumed clothes without baby food and mysterious stains.
The last thing that we need when we find ourselves plunged into the completely new world of motherhood is to lose touch with the dear friends who were such a big part of our pre-baby lives. Unfortunately, things change and the glue that once held your friendship together can suddenly dissolve, leaving the awkward silence of experiences no longer shared.
Now, there are some things that us moms want our nearest and dearest friends to know. We miss you, and we are also suffering under the vast change in our circumstances. Just like friendships are formed on common ground, they can often get lost in the translation of the not-so-common ground of a new life of motherhood. That’s why, on behalf of me (and mothers everywhere), we’ve compiled a list of all of the things that we want our child-free friends to know:
We still love you. And we miss you!
Just because we’re in the throes of nappies and baby food, it doesn’t mean that we don’t miss you desperately! We haven’t stopped caring about you, or wanting to see you. Our schedules are now just a little bit less lenient, and any meet-ups or girls’ nights out need to be planned way in advance. We’re simply adjusting to the new addition to our family, so please don’t mistake any silence for a lack of care, because we do still love you!
Once things have calmed down, and we have adjusted to our new lives, we will be able to juggle more commitments again, you being one of them!
It’s hard for us…
To always know what you’re talking about, and it’s even harder for us to relate. When you’re gushing about a new band that you love, the only thing that we know of are the lyrics to the latest Disney song. Ask us about cradle cap, food allergies and swaddling and we can go on for hours, but anything that is ‘with the times’ may not exactly be in line with us while we’re learning to keep a tiny human alive.
This being said, friendship, as with any relationship, is about communication. Just because we are consumed by everything ‘baby’, it doesn’t make us selfish. We would love to hear you chat about your work woes, your new crush and your excitement regarding a planned trip. We haven’t become selfish, just a little bit distracted.
The point is that your stuff still matters to us, and we love being able to lend an ear, and a shoulder, just like the old days. We want to know you just as well as we did before becoming a mommy.
We can’t always get someone to watch over our brood while we join you for cocktails, while you don’t always want to go sit and shout over the screaming of children in a kid-friendly restaurant. Let’s do our best to meet somewhere in the middle.
You make us feel like ourselves again.
It’s so easy to get lost in parenthood, which is why a visit with and a chat to an old friend really breathes new life into our routine. What do you mean that you always admired my dress sense and knack for making everyone laugh?
Yes, being around you reminds us of who we are as a whole; and just a couple of hours with you, chatting like old times, help us to feel like our old selves again.
We really want you in our kids’ lives.
Although you may feel like you know absolutely nothing about babies, we promise you, it doesn’t matter! Your kindness, your sense of humour and all of those things that we love about you are what make us want you to be a part of our kids’ lives. Try your best to attend the birthday parties, and to listen to their warbling rendition of Old MacDonald. We want you to develop a bond with our little ones.
With open lines of communication, and a strong bond that has been developed over many years, there is no reason why child-free friends and mommies can’t be firm friends just like before. As with every major change, it just takes some adjustment, and we’d prefer to see it as just another test that is sure to make our bond of friendship stronger and more fulfilling than ever.