Another thing it has changed for me is friendships. And this one is kinda sticky. And it's even kinda sticky to write about. But it's there. And it's a part of my motherhood journey for me. And it should be said. Yo.
I grew up with several close friends, and we've been close friends ever since. I was the first out of my childhood friends to have a baby. I had no idea what I was doing. I knew nothing about having a baby and neither did they. So I told them all the gory details about pregnancy, and I secretly longed for them to be pregnant, too, because I was scared. I was scared because I am a hypochondriac and I wanted to know that my random pains were normal. And I was scared because I was afraid I would become 'mom' and unintentionally distance myself from my friends.
And then life happened. Babies were born, friends were pregnant, new friends were made, and old friends were distanced.
I found myself making new friends based on a whole new commonality: motherhood. Suddenly, I became completely interested in other moms, and how they got their babies to sleep through the night or what lotion they recommended for baby eczema. I formed a bond among other moms. It didn't matter their age or place in life. I felt a total, safe connection with them because I knew they 'got' it. They understood. 'Girlfriend time' melted into 'play dates'. 'Going out' meant to the park or the pool for the kids. And if I had to cancel an appointment or a date because I had no baby sitter, or we had an explosive poop, that was unapologetically fine.
At the same time I was forming bonds with new, wonderful friends, I was losing connections with old wonderful friends, who hadn't yet had children. It wasn't intentional in the least bit. In fact, it was far from it. But our lives began going in totally different directions. Our definitions of 'Friday night out' were no longer the same. I'm sure there were only so many times they cared to hear about the cost of diapers or PB's reflux. I really tried hard not to be 'that mom'. I didn't want to center our conversations around baby happenings. I tried to make our chats as vanilla as I could. But the truth is, I am a mom now. And my life revolves around my family. I'm not ashamed of that. That's life for me now, and it's a good life.
Don't get me wrong. I still spend time with friends outside of bringing PB with me, but those times are further and fewer between for now. He's little and my family leads a busy life. I want to spend as much time with him as I can. And I want friends who accept that and who realize that being a mom is who I am now.
For me, I think motherhood helped define friendship for me. It showed me who cares, and who will stick with me through the tears, diapers, and teething. Some of my best childhood friends stood beside me, and I will count them as my lifelong friends. Others did not, and though I'm sad to see us go in different directions, it was probably for the best.
I just really can't put into words the jump from being childless to becoming a mom. All I can say is that it is so, so different, and changes everything so, so much. I really never thought about the effects of motherhood on friendships until it happened. It's a big change. A reeeaaaally big change, and the value of having friends who choose to go and grow with you along the journey is immeasurable.
What do you think of the effects of motherhood on friendships? Do you think it's just easier to be friends with someone who is at the same place in life as you? Moms and those without kids, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)
Have a blessed Tuesday :)