My girlfriends are who I go to when my instruction manual for motherhood begins to look like the psychotic ramblings scribbled in a bathroom stall. But my friendships have changed over the years.
I remember when our best couple friends told us they had decided to start trying to have children. We knew their life was going to change and we weren’t quite ready to make that change with them. We were afraid of losing them. And in some ways we were right to be afraid. Once that little bundle of joy enters your life, your whole life changes. Including your friendships.
Here are some of the ways I have found my friendships have changed since becoming a mom:
When making new friends in college, the conversation might have gone something like this; “ Oh my god! I am totally in that same class! You are coolest, let’s hang out.” We were then friends. We would go to the bars together, talk about who we had crushes on, and walk to the library together. To study.
And today when I meet a new friend, the conversation might go something like, “Wow, I see from the stains on your pants that our little people are approximately the same height. Wanna come over and watch them wrestle each other over some measuring cups?” I then learn in the first five minutes how my new friend’s vagina feels after birthing a 9 pound baby and I try to make witty comparisons to my own downstairs area. This is all while keeping our toddlers from murdering each other via head injury or suffocation or jealous rage. And yes, we still occasionally go to the library together. For story hour.
I still talk on the phone with my friends. A lot. But now I can seriously multi-task. While talking on the phone, I can; make sure the children aren’t eating poison, wash last night’s dirty dishes, do 10 of 20 loads of laundry, superglue a broken piggy bank, and probably invent something. I’m that good.
And I still exercise with my friends but instead of having boundless energy and cute spandex outfits and a gym membership and long-winded gossip sessions, I find myself rolling out of bed before anyone else is awake so that I won’t have to deal with my daughter’s very regular morning bowelregimen, not even changing clothes because, lets face it, I am now sleeping in my workout clothes. Or working out in my sleeping clothes? And when I notice that my shoe has an actual hole in it, I decide it can probably wait a few more months. My friend will meet me at the door, and we discuss….nothing. Cause we can’t breathe and talk and jog at the sametime.
And going out to bars? Well, instead of deciding where to go at a moments notice, dropping everything and hailing a cab, going out now takes weeks of planning and organizing and spouse-scheduling and then the moms all sneak out like criminals after bedtime to partake in fancier drinks (cause now we know what the good stuff is) and we just sit.
We just sit and relish being able to sit. Being able to sit with other rational human beings with the same-lettered chromosomes as us. Which makes us automatically understand exactly what each of us is going through. We sometimes don’t even talk, we just look into each other’s tired eyes and nod. I see you, girlfriend. I’ve been to where you’ve been. No words needed.
How have your friendships changed since you became a parent?