From the moment I saw the word “PREGNANT” on Jan. 1, 2012 my whole world changed. No more girls’ weekends, no more bar hopping, no more parades, festivals, or pretty much anything fun. Ever. Again. I watched my husband go out with the guys for eight months as I either threw up, slept, or cried.
Then the baby came and everything changed. “Going out” meant grocery shopping or browsing the aisles of Target between feedings. My husband was always pushing me to spend time with friends, stay the night at a girlfriend’s place, let my hair down… but, something felt different. I didn’t want to. I wanted to be home with the baby. I was content staying in for the first time in my life.
After all the “Oooohs” and “Aaahhhhs” over the newborn baby, the text messages, phone calls, and emails all settle down. No one but my mom calls me every day. My single friends were excited to see the baby, but they’ve only come around a couple of times in the last seven months. Hanging out with a married couple and a baby is not at the top of most single people’s list of fun things to do on Saturday nights. I can’t blame them; I’d take a swanky bar in Philly over me and my sweatpants, too.
Since becoming a mom, I have felt a gradual shift in many of my friends. I can’t relate to them and they can’t relate to me. It’s hard for me to carry on a conversation with my single girlfriends I bar hopped with for years. I married young, started a family soon after, and never thought about how it would affect my friendships. I can’t remember the last time I was up past 11 p.m., let alone stayed out until last call. I’m not made for the bar scene anymore and I doubt they are as excited about Carter’s clearance sale as I am. So what’s a girl to do?
Most of my close friends now are married, pregnant, or other mothers. Going out now means breaking out the jogging stroller for a brisk walk in the park, hitting Target and Babies R Us and maybe Starbucks if we’re feeling like pushing our luck. Will the baby stay asleep long enough for me to enjoy my latte? We’re really cutting it close to her next feeding! I’m totally living on the edge these days, I know.
The conclusion? The definition of “going out” has changed for me. I’ve learned to embrace new friends in similar places in their lives instead of wallow in long gone glory days of last call. Looking at my single friends with envy would bring nothing positive to my life. Instead, I welcome new friends and cherish the ones I already have.
What about you? How do you balance single friends and mommy friends?
Ashley Smith resides in Berks County with her husband, Aaron; daughter, Gracie, 6 months;her dog, Sam; and cat, Jack, who runs the show. She is an English as a Second Language teacher by day at Wilson, and an amateur chef, yoga enthusiast, Modern Family fanatic, and first time mommy by night.Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.