Sigh. Not that I’m complaining. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom.
This prompted me to read what other parents had to say about their relationships with friends who didn’t have children. I found this letter by Jason Good that nearly hit the nail on the head as it relates to how I feel. But it wasn’t my voice and so I’ve decided to rewrite it. If you’re one of these friends, I miss you.
To all my friends without children,I miss you. And I know that our friendship has taken a backseat since I started a family almost two years ago. We hardly ever talk anymore. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t return text messages quickly (if at all). We certainly don’t get to hang out very often. You have invited me to go out for dinner or dancing or a weekend away, and I’ve turned you down…at least for a while. My priorities have changed. I wish I could have warned you. I wish we could have celebrated one last time had I known that that part of my life would be over so quickly, but I had no idea that things would change so quickly and so dramatically.
I still love you as much as I always have. In fact, I think of you often. As I’m rocking my little girl to sleep at night, I watch cars driving into the neighborhood. I imagine that you’re getting off of work. Maybe you’re heading home…maybe to the gym…or out to eat. You’d laugh at how early it is. I’ve already had dinner, taken a shower and gotten ready for bed. I’m really tired and I know that if she doesn’t go to bed now (7 pm-ish), that I have even less time to catch up on whatever is on the DVR…and that regardless of what time she goes to bed, she’ll still going to wake up early, ready to play. No sleeping in for me. You may not believe me, but I really do want to see you…it’s just that our timing is off. When you’re free, I’m still working. Parenthood is a 24/7 job! I used to think that people could just hire a babysitter (I mean heck, I babysat other people’s kids for years…while they were sleeping), but that only works for us during the day. Bedtime doesn’t happen without me…at least not yet. Not for a few more years. My little girl still wakes up at night for various reasons, but mostly to know that I am there. And I want to be there. It’s as much me as it is her.
If we can figure out the timing…and I’m sure we can, I hope you’ll understand that most of our time together will revolve around my child. You’ll probably have to spend some time by yourself while I go into parenting mode – talk to her, read her a book, pull out all the baby dolls, get a snack or press “again” on the remote control so she can hear that 20 second song 12 more times. To me, it’s all worth it for that 15 to 20 minutes I get to spend with you totally uninterrupted. I want to know what’s going on in your life, but I hope you can look past my “tourettes” tendencies. You probably wonder what I do with my time or who I talk to anymore. I talk to my mom…a lot. I spend a lot of time one-on-one with my mini me. We grocery shop. I do the laundry. I cook…yes, I cook. We go to music class and the library. We go to the park. Once in a blue moon, I go to the gym. We go on play dates. I actually should do more of those because when the kids are playing, it gives us a chance to breath (sometimes)…and talk….and leads to a sleeping baby. When it’s just me, I’m the entertainment. While I love it, I’m a pretty pitiful one-woman show. But, people with kids understand that I might have to leave in the middle of their sentence to get a “nack.” They understand because they did the same thing to me five minutes ago. It’s not that I like them more than you, it’s because they understand the situation and that makes everything easy.
Do you remember when we used to spend hours talking…or eating chips and dip…or doing whatever? We’ll do all of that again, just hang in there with me during these few years when I need to focus on raising my child (or children if I ever have anymore). I hardly know what I’m doing most days but I’m doing the best I know how.
I miss you all and want to see you just as much as I ever did. Please don’t stop asking me to do stuff. One day, I’ll be able to say YES! Until then….