The following is a guest post from the wonderfully brilliant “Freelancerforhire” She has a honest look at motherhood and loves to share her views. I stumbled across her and feel in love with the authentic feel of the way she “talks”
Friends VS. Babies
If the title makes you think of your girlfriends in a wrestling ring pinning toddlers, good. That’s often the way my life feels – an endless tug of war. But in a different way than I would have imagined.
I noticed the shift begin to take place soon after I got engaged during college. Where I hadn’t a problem “fitting in” and making friends for years, suddenly I felt awkward – like Junior High school all over again. I couldn’t figure it out. Did I have “PISS OFF” written on my forehead? My family told me I just needed to “get out there.” I tried that. I joined the clubs and organizations, and ate in the student cafeteria. But I was still the odd girl out with no girlfriends to hang out with in my dorm room.
Then my husband and I got married and I got pregnant. That was the final nail in the coffin. Any existing relationships I had before college started to fizzle out. Some started acting strange, some were blatantly hostile, and others stopped returning phone calls. I maintained one relationship from my previous life through the change.
I couldn’t help but wonder, why? I knew I’d changed, but had I changed for the worse? I could understand if a couple people perhaps felt they couldn’t relate to my new lifestyle, but all of them? And “all of them” numbers at least 10 significant relationships that bit the dust from engagement to birth (and not-so-significant relationships number in the dozens).
It was the most bizarre and depressing thing. Was I the only one that had experienced this? Is this just a part of motherhood? Maybe it’s not the “mom” thing at all, maybe it’s just me? I reasoned that some relationships just aren’t meant to last forever and maybe this was just for the best. It’s not like I had the time to devote to these relationships with a new baby anyway.
That lasted until my little one was a month old. I was craving the company of other women. I joined a few online moms’ groups, and attended a couple playgroups in my neighborhood. My first experiences were not good ones. I was still having trouble meeting women that I clicked with. I stuck out like a sore thumb in these groups. For awhile I stopped going altogether – convinced that the other moms in my neighborhood were stuffy, snooty, hags. I didn’t need them. I would do just fine on my own. I didn’t have the time anyway. I would just concentrate on my classes and writing.
I was only kidding myself. I wanted friends. The one friend who stuck with me even after engagement – God blesses her – lives in another state. I was lonely. My husband works long hours. It was just me and the baby. And while he’s a great guy and all, his vocabulary is still a bit limited for an interested exchange.
I kept wondering why I couldn’t just be content with me. Isn’t loneliness just a problem being alone after all? When I’m happy with myself then I won’t be lonely and the friends will come. Or at least that’s what I read somewhere. Just be content with you. My husband kept wondering why I’m so “needy.” He didn’t have a problem being alone. Except he was never alone, so how would he know?
Then someone talked to me about humans being created to live in relationships. Think about it – from birth babies crave love and affection – we thrive on it, in one way or another. Nothing was wrong with me for wanting friends. But – was something wrong with me for not being able to make friends? No.
Friendships are just different after marriage and motherhood. It’s not the same as the cafeteria in 6th grade when you could just sit next to someone, strike up a conversation with the girl next to you and be best friends forever. As adults I think relationships just become more complicated; the same way your relationship with your husband is way more confusing than the one with your 9th grade boyfriend. There are many more lifestyle factors at play now than when we were in school.
I have one good mommy friend I met online, she lives 5 states away, but we talk on the phone pretty frequently. I have found my “cafeteria” on Twitter chatting up other moms like Crayon Wrangler. And for now I’m fairly okay with that. I think. Maybe.
I blog about writing. It takes my mind off the isolation. You can check it out at www.FreelancerForHire.wordpress.com