Figuring it Out

What She Wore: white, cap-sleeved tee with a v-neck; navy blue skirt; navy blue and white striped espadrilles.  People can’t believe I’m wearing these shoes, but I PROMISE you I feel better in these than in a pair of flats. 


This blog has swirled around in my head for weeks.   In its place I keep typing things that are easier to talk about.  It’s confusing too–you want to say something, but you don’t want to offend anyone, so you end up not knowing how to say it at all.  Well, I’m not sure if your feelings ever come out quite right when you write them down, so forgive me if this is rough.

 

 

Right after I got pregnant I was talking with a friend who said, "It’s so crazy that you’re pregnant–I was talking with so-and-so the other day, and we are SO not in that place."

 

Now this was a casual comment, and knowing this friend’s life situation, she’s definitely not in the baby-making place.  There are a bunch of other things she’d probably want to do first.  Even so, I caught it, the "we."  Suddenly, I was on the other team–the team of people who had babies and talked about poop and percentiles and mucus plugs (surely they could have named it something better).  I was one of THEM.   

 

Being one of them means having some friends that aren’t.  And that sucks.  You would hate for people you’ve been friends with for years to suddenly see you as boring or self-centered, or even worse: un-relatable.  Because these are the people that "get" you, and to not have them around would be a tragedy.  Maybe you don’t see them or talk to them every day, but we all need people who remember our glory days.  People who knew us and liked us even when we weren’t sure who we were—people who helped us figure it out.  Keeping these people in my life is very important to me, and the effect the baby would have on these friendships never crossed my mind. 

 

I guess all you can do it hope that the friendship is bigger than all of it.  Hope that having a baby isn’t the death of life as you know it, but merely the next step.  Hope that if you do become an un-relatable bore, they’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and see if you get over it.  Hope that when (if) they have babies, you’ll be there to help, and there to remind them of who they were before they became "mom."

 

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About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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24 Responses to Figuring it Out

  1. Becca says:

    If these people truly love you for who "you" are, they will stick with you come hell high water or a baby. Life changes and ever evolves. People should not leave your life because of it. Keep thinking positively and know that we are all here for you!
    Becca

  2. Jaysey says:

    As one of the ones not in that place right now (or maybe ever), I have to say that it is, in fact, very difficult to maintain frienships with pregnant women.  I really just cannot relate.  I never know what to say to them because I am totally uninterested in pretty much anything baby.  I think the key is to continue to talk about the kinds of things you talked about pre-pregnancy.  Do the same kind of things you did pre-baby.  When it\’s all about the baby, it\’s just like, "I don\’t want to be friends with an infant…I want to be friends with my friend." 
     
    Also, when women become nothing more than moms, when their entire identities become wrapped up in that one role (which is when all they talk about is the baby), when they lose their individual personalities, when they lose who they were pre-baby, it\’s just too impossible to maintain friendships with them.  I don\’t want to be friend\’s with John\’s mom; I want to be friends with Sue.  In other words, don\’t lose Katy in the midst of having baby.  It\’s not like you were nothing before you got pregnant, so don\’t just become a pregnancy or later just a mom.  Youa re other things, too.  And I think it\’s important to embrace all your roles, all your parts, so you don\’t lose yourself, or your friendships.
     
    I\’ve had some friends who got pregnant, and we just aren\’t friends anymore.  We literally no longer had anything in common.  They became nothing more than moms. They lost who theyw ere pre-baby.  But I also believe that people enter our lives at different times for different reasons, and sometimes we outgrow old friendships and need to form new ones.  It doesn\’t mean those old friends were or are any less important to you or who you are.  It doesn\’t mean you love or appreciate them any less.

  3. WINDOW LIVE says:

    Having children does change you.  It happens too when people my age no longer have children at home and cannot understand why I can\’t take a road trip to California.  Duh, I can\’t leave teenagers at home alone.  It happens when you get divorced and the married people pity you and longer include you in their festivities because you are a "single."  It happens when you are 45 and you go back to school and wait tables for a living and you cannot afford to go out with your friends.  You just gotta keep in touch with the old ones and make new friends for the place in your life.

  4. Leah says:

    She\’s Samantha to your Miranda! And yet they\’re all still Sex and the City girls….;)
    I think we feel that way in many stages of life when we\’re there, and our peers aren\’t. Being young when I got married (24), nobody around me was, and it\’s still pretty much that way. I hate going out with our social group because it turns into a big, drunken, "guys against girls" vibe that just doesn\’t…exist when you\’re married. Girls win. End of story.
    On one hand, I never quite connected with my sister-in-law, who was pregnant at 17. On the other, I\’m still very much connected with my best friend, who\’s having her second child possibly this very minute. I think it all boils down to something along the lines of, "Are you an interesting person who has kids?" or "Are children the only interesting thing about you?" Well, that\’s how it is for me, anyway.

  5. Nadine says:

     I have been done that road. I was the first to have babies in my group. The first to marry…..The rest went on their paths…one went to the Army, one went to college, and one started a job. We lost touch with each other over the years. It happens. I have contact with only one now…she is now raisin\’ her daughter so she now knows what I was doin\’ a long time back. One of our friends has since died. And the other is drugged out of her mind, just not something I can or want to deal with…selfish? yes! Stay in touch with them as long as possible. You will grow in life just as they go thru life cycles. 20 years down the road it will look so different.

  6. Nora says:

    I think your "real" friend will pan out.  I know what you mean in many ways, prior to having children, there were so many people trying to convince us to have kids we decided parents were part of some kind of cult. But those people weren\’t really our friends, only aquantencies.  I guess I understand now, except I don\’t try to entice others into having children.  We were always friends with people with kids and some that didn\’t.  Our friends have largely remained the same.  We are not as close to some of our friends because of kids, since we cannot spend time with them like we used to. 

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I\’ve been fortunate that those friends of mine who don\’t have kids are still eager to hear all about my kids\’ escapades.  Close friends should be able to embrace the new you. *hugs*

  8. Jen says:

    Hmmm…this is a tough one!  I really, at this point, have no interest in having my own baby (I\’m 26) and I have never really HAD an interest.  It just seems like a LOT of work/responsibility and I have NOT been willing for that!  And I\’m OKAY with that!! 🙂  Anyway, I\’ve had PLENTY of friends who have gotten married and moved on and their new full time job is "MOMMY".  It\’s a change, but it\’s what you make it.  I was telling a friend recently about how *hard* an experience was (something completely different than friends and babies) and she said, "Sometimes I like to think that, really, the experience is as simple as we make it."  Hmmm…
     
    Anyway, Jaysey mentioned that she had friends who got pregnant and who "become nothing more than moms" and who "lost who they were pre-baby".  Before I start commenting, I have to say that in NO way am I attacking Jaysey!! :o)  But, my thought on that was how can you not change?  You have just had a little BEING and that changes EVERYTHING.  YOU are now responsible for a LIFE that you\’ve put in this world and that is HUGE.  Obviously some are more concerned about that than others, but still…how can you not change?  To not change and be the parent, in my mind, is selfish.  Anyone should know that if you\’re going to have a baby there is not going to be much room for YOU to be selfish (unless you\’re rich or have a great husband who will help you and GIVE you some "me" time!! :).  I\’ve had friends go on and on about how our mutual friend lost who she was and is no longer the same person and, yes, they HAVE changed.  But I\’ve never thought it was a "bad" thing.  It\’s just part of their journey.  It\’s sad to lose what we once had, but I realize that their situation is shaping them into who they are and now we go on to make NEW memories in a new situation.  We all know that our interests change through life and that we change.  Add a baby and yeah, I expect change.  But I think that the friendship, after that, is what you make it.  And for some people it\’s just not that easy to do.  But I do agree wholeheartedly with Jaysey when she said "that people enter our lives at different time for different reasons, and sometimes we outgrow old friendships and need to form new ones".  THAT is life.
     
    Anyway, some of my friends are no longer friends with the "mom" friend that we used to have.  However, while I\’ve seen a change in her personality, I\’ve been willing to roll with it.  I have one friend who has had FOUR babies in FOUR years.  Yeah.  Wow.  She\’s 26.  I can\’t imagine.  But I don\’t even try, either, because there is NO way for me to know what it\’s like!  For me, though, that doesn\’t mean that I can\’t be a listening ear to her.  Sometimes I feel like when I see her and talk to her, it\’s like she\’s glad that one of her friends still comes around to be her friend, babies and all.  And fortunate for me, I\’ve never felt like I was being "cheated" in the friendship or that I was irritated by her numerous baby stories!  Children\’s innocence is rather amusing (you know that old saying, "From the mouths of babes!")!  They crack me up with some of the things that they think of!  And it just MOVES my heart when they look at you and with all their little feelings and emotions and sincerity say, "I love you." or "You\’re so pretty."
     
    Anyway, that\’s my little soapbox moment of the day.  Of course, everyone is different and I in NO way expect anyone to agree with me or anything!  But I just wanted K to know that sometimes, there WILL be a friend with no babies, no significant other and no desire for either…and the friendship can still work.  Take care of your family, continue to be who you are (children and all!!) even IF that might change, and just roll with it.  It\’ll work.  Things will change, as it only does, but you will figure it out.  And, really, if it\’s too much drama to try and "hang on to" a friend, just live and let live and things will happen as they are supposed to!

  9. Jen says:

    Ugh.  The recent LONG post was me.  Jen from Wyoming!!  I forgot to add that at the end of the post.  :o)

  10. Tracy says:

    Oh ya I totally know what you mean.  My best friend from college just had a baby a few months ago.  When she told me she was pregnant (last year), I admit it was hard for me to do the WHOO I\’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU, when there I was, my life falling apart, going thru a divorce that I did not want, and there she was with the perfect marriage and a baby on the way.  But I buckled up and realized that if I wanted to keep the friendship, I needed to put my selfishness aside and that I didn\’t want to look back in a couple years and be like wow what an idiot I was.  We both have found a way to keep relating even though our lives are so totally different.  I talk about where I went out and what guys I met, she talks about how many ounces she was able to pump 🙂  It\’s a change but exciting and hey I figure – she\’s my guinea pig; if I ever have kids, I\’m going straight to her for all the info I will need to know!  Including the stuff that noone likes to talk about, but you know it happens! 🙂 

  11. Stacy says:

    I completely get what you are saying.  I have several friends that do not have children for various reasons and although we are friends, we do not "click" as well as those friends of mine that do.  However, those are the ones that I can still count on to be available for a good talk about non-kid things.
     
    -S.

  12. Sarah says:

    I\’m a little behind the times as far as my life vs. my friends\’ lives go. I\’m single. They\’re all married. One has a baby (well, he\’s 3 now–not really a baby anymore). I like where I am in life and have always made an effort to keep up the friendships. It gets tougher to do things because I just have the frame of mind that I\’m not doing anything and they all know that so they\’ll let me know when they have some free time. I don\’t like to hoard in on too much couple time. I guess I\’ve never had a problem with spending time with my friend who has a child, it\’s just more often than not done at her house. Once in a great while we even have a couple drinks after the boy goes to bed. I guess I get a little bitter that she never comes to my house, but I just know that it\’s easier if I go over there. I\’m fine with it and I still love her, and I love the little guy, too.

  13. Unknown says:

    I wouldn\’t worry to much. Like Rebecca said… life changes and ever evolves. That may happen regardless of weither or not you\’re having a baby. How you deal with it will make it good or bad. I have a friend who was the same way when my first child was born. She was SO excited for me but didn\’t really know how to "deal" with it. But I just made a point of talking about "regular" things as well as my handsome little pooing, peeing, burping, farting, crying, and smiling baby boy! LOL. Worry about that bridge when you get to it. Don\’t stress girl!!

  14. Antonella says:

    LOL!! I\’m one of "them" now!! Come join us on the other side!!!
    I don\’t know, I think once you have your baby, this won\’t matter so much any more. You\’ll be so consumed by him, especially in the beginning, your life revoles around this perfect little person. It\’s impossible for him not to be constantly on your mind. I see some people wrote about moms losing their Individuality and just becoming a mom. Well, you should throw yourself into being a mom, it\’s the most important job in the world. You\’re not losing your self, but you are changing and growing. You go from only needing to take care of your self and the hub to taking care of this baby who is completely dependent on you.
    Your relationships definately change, your life changes, but your real friends will always be there.  You\’ll probably also make some new friends, because a lot of the ones who don\’t have kids or a baby just won\’t undstand why it\’s so exciting when your baby holds up his head for the first time, or why it\’s so great that he\’s rolling over or laughing. Well, let me stop, this is getting really long here!
    Hope you\’re feeling good,
    Antonella

  15. KEL says:

    Well, after reading thru the posts I think they give some good advice but basically say the same thing…change is inevitable.  Being a mother does put you in a different crowd, much like getting married does.  It\’s not always easy, but that doesn\’t mean that it has to be a bad thing either.  I agree that while being a mother will change you (the way we think about things, our fears our priorities) I don\’t think we should forget who we were before our children.  In the early years I think it is difficult to hold onto our identity, we become consumed by someone who demands our attention and we are eager to to give it, but as they grow we find time for us again, we gain our "independance" as do they and once again remember the things we used to have time for.  I don\’t think this means we should forgo our friends, hopefully they will remain by our side thru this experience with us, some will and unfortunately some will not.  It is much like your friend and Jaysey mentioned…they are not in a place in their lives for something like this.  What you should remember thru this is like anything else in life, change in inevitable, we grow, we change, our friends too will grow and change.  Some remain and some do not, some take a step back from our lives for a moment but are not completely gone and will still be there, but we work to keep it together.  Being a mother will change things, but this is not a negative thing, it is a sign life is constantly in motion.~K

  16. Wahzat says:

    Your real friends will stick with you regardless. You may not see them as much, but you could count on them to take you out baby free on those days that you need it.  And you would make new ones too. It is just how it crumbles sometimes!
     
    So happy for you and that you are sharing some of your feelings on your baby.
    You are having a boy so exciting. I went through the same dilemma myself. We eventually went your husband\’s way of thinking and kept our son uncircumsised. (Myhusband is also not circumsized.) There is pain in both procedures by the way. The pro for circumcision is that he will be too young too remember and if it done on the 6day as stated in the bible it should be relatively painless. If you decide to go the not circumsized route, know that if he has a lot of foreskin he would at about 18mth have to have the skin forced back and that is as tortuous for him as it is for you. I cried for my poor baby, he was in pain for a week especially everytime he peed. And you have to pull it back every day until he gets old enough to do it himself so that nothing gets trapped in there.
     
    Gee that was long sorry
    So happy that you are doing good. Hope you are getting some sleep though.
     
     

  17. Joell says:

    I can really relate to your feelings.  Even though I married before my best friend, she became pregnant before I did.  I remember when she called to tell me and I was just like "That\’s great, so what else is going on?"  I just totally did NOT get the magnitude of what she was wanting to share with me.  It was weird between us after that.  About 6 months later, I became pregnant and called to tell her.  I was SO ecstatic.  She was happy for me, but later shared how disappointed she was when she shared her news with me and I wasn\’t all excited for her.  It wasn\’t that I was not excited, I just was clueless about how it felt and couldn\’t relate to her until I had the same experience for myself.  I felt TERRIBLE!  I had hurt my best friend in the world and that\’s something I never wanted to do.  Thankfully, we worked through it, and she\’s still my best friend. But you can\’t really relate to something you haven\’t experienced.  And just like I didn\’t mean to hurt my friend, your friend didn\’t mean to alienate you either.  You\’ll still be "you" when your baby is born.  Your friends will see that.  Hang in there on that emotional roller coaster we call pregnancy and motherhood! 🙂
     
    Joell    

  18. Unknown says:

    Your friends were probably feeling like they were pulling away from you, too.  Not because of anything you\’re doing wrong, but you\’re totally right.  That\’s just how it is.  As someone with no children, I do find it difficult, no matter how happy I am for them, when a friend becomes pregnant.  Part of it is due to the fact that I want children of my own so badly.  But once I get over that, it\’s just hard to relate to someone who is going something so different than what you are.  But that doesn\’t change the fact that I\’m still friends with them.  It just takes some adjustment.Sometimes friends grow apart.  It just happens – for a multitude of reasons.  I believe that God brings people in and out of our life at certain times for certain reasons.  If these girls are true friends, then they\’ll be around for a long, long time.  If not, then it wasn\’t meant to be.  Good luck…this is always a tricky situation to be in.God bless 🙂

  19. BP says:

    I just wanted to stop by and say hello.  I\’ll try to get back by your and read this entry.  It looks intriguing.Billy
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  20. Betty says:

    Hi KM,
     
    Having a child is the most life-changing of all the \’life-changes.\’  You are now on a plane that CANNOT be understood by anyone who has not been there.  I was the last of the four sisters that comprise my family to have a child.  My sisters and I are beyond \’close,\’ but my childlessness created a \’wedge\’ between us nonetheless.  We were still close, but we were separated by the experience.  When I finally became pregnant and joined the \’circle\’ again, it was as if nothing had ever come between us.  If this can happen within a family as close as mine, imagine what it does to friends.
     
    Life-change means exactly that – your life has changed.  Some friends will return when they choose to have a child and you will be on the same page once again.  Others will never return in the same way they were in your world before.  My experience is that motherhood is worth the losses you will sustain with friends. 
     
    KM, I enjoy your candor in blogging about the good and the bad of your life experiences.  I enjoy reading your blog.
     
    Betty

  21. BP says:

    I absolutely loved the entry, but couldn\’t really understand what the significance of what you are wearing was, but then again I\’m a guy and I had to look up the word "espadrilles."  While I cannot truly relate to the pregnancy, I have seen my ex-wife face this battle on the other side.  The majority of her friends have been winnowed away from her due to pregnancy and the eventual birth.  She just cannot seem to be able to bond that well with them once they have the children.  It is hard for her to relate, but she does try our best to maintain a relationship, but it has changed.  The struggle is to try to make the change a little less strident, but it is difficult for many to achieve.I have found her closest friends are those that have not had children.  I do find it rather strange that some of my closest friends are ladies with children, but then again I live in another country and due to my paralysis which spawned my premature retirement, I am lucky enough to have the time to go out and chat with the ladies as they wait for their children at the bus stop.  At least I used to when I lived in my older neighborhood.
    As for me, I have found it has been rather difficult to maintain the close relationships I had over the years with my Army buddies.  Once I was retired I was one of those old retirees that only sit around talking about how it was in the old days.  I look fondly back at when the guys would come visit me in the hospital and everybody else would wonder what the hell language we were speaking, but those days are long gone.  We try to maintain close relationships, but frankly their world and mine has changed until they retire in the next couple years.  Then of course we can reconnect.  So perhaps there is a chance for your relationships, that is if you really want to maintain them.
    Although now that I look at this book, I may have missed the entire meaning of your blog, but this is what I got out of it.BillyThis song really seemed apropos.

  22. g says:

    Your life changes when you are pregnant and become a mom.  NOthing is ever the same again.
     
    g.j.

  23. Tiffany says:

    It\’s sad to say, but having kids does change things a little.  While you WANT your friends (that don\’t have kids) to accept that you WILL be having a child and share in the excitement, some of them shy away from it.  They automatically assume that you will be boring and that\’s usually not the case.  Yes, you might not frequent the bars with your single friends as often, but you will still find ways to enjoy yourself outside of just being a parent.  🙂
     
    Big Hugs to you!
    Tiffany

  24. Hilary says:

    I haven\’t been in blog land for a while, but this post totally hit me.  My sister-in-law just had a baby, and now my other sister-in-law (the one who didn\’t want kids for a long time) is talking about having one soon.  Suddenly I feel like me and my husband\’s lives are taking a totally different direction, and I worry that we\’ll lose touch.  Its so disheartening…

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