Oh hey, it’s me.
Remember? That girl who used to at one point like to have a good time. Who showed up to dinners and girls nights and shamelessly could handle a bottle of wine.
Who was always on the go and tackling new adventures. That girl who actually showed up to after work events when my at-home curfew was well past 7 or 8. That girl who when not out and about was at home caught up in a project or big to-do.
Yeah, that girl who used to be fun… I’m here!
Well I’m here, at home, with my two-year-old toddler and two-month-old newborn. My hair is high in a pony, and my clothes are baggy until I can fit into something proper. Maybe I’ve showered. Maybe I haven’t. I’m here doing laundry, cleaning dishes, picking up toys, reading books, giving baths, feeding, changing diapers, and all that other boring adult stuff.
My free time is like zero.
It’s not because I’m busy doing all those cool hang-out things I used to do. It’s because I’m busy just doing life, the absolute basics of life – parenting, adulting, spending routine time with my family.
Somewhere along the way I promised not to lose myself, and somewhere along the way I decided I really didn’t care, that nothing really matters more than these tiny humans that call me mom and the man who calls me wife.
Actually, though, I don’t think I lost myself; I’ve just hit another personal growth milestone, the kind that comes later in life.
Dear friends, if you’re not yet a mom, I sure do hope you will be one day!
It will be fun, and it will be hard. And for a while you might be a sucky friend too. You too will not be spontaneous, rather at home changing diapers and cleaning spills up off the floor. You will also be laughing, making memories, teaching your kiddos how to be good friends, embracing all that is this beautiful chaotic life.
The good news?
This rabbit hole doesn’t last forever. Well, it does, and it doesn’t.
The first couple of months are kind of a hot mess. Most people will give you grace, even when you may not.
Then the entire first year is an exception itself. Breastfeeding ties us to our humans. Since they (for the most part) can’t walk, their feet literally don’t touch the ground. And you can’t get out the door without your extra haul of baby gear. You’re exhausted, available, not available – all over the place.
It mellows out though! They gain a little independence. You gain a little sanity. You suddenly are not the friend who has fallen off the face of the earth.
A toddler can’t watch his/herself though. Planning is still required. Babysitters are still required. And early wake-up times make hangovers a beast, which tames those actual nights out.
So you resurface… in modesty.
And as your kid tally goes up, so will your lack of interest in trying to figure out how to get out of the house to partake in these friend things. Because why? It’s much easier, in a sense, to just stay home and do your routine called mom.
The other good news?
Friends who don’t understand will eventually (hopefully) when they have kids too. And those friends matter. Because you need grace and understanding, and they’re going to need it from you too.
They’ll fall off the face of the earth for a while, and eventually they’ll resurface just like you did. Outings may just look a little different now, maybe a little milder, a little less frequent or even accompanied by your favorite tiny companions.
Dear friends, if you give me patience, I’ll return both patience and time. Time is a gift we give to others, and it’s a gift I owe to you.
So give me just a moment, friends. I’ll be right back!