First to have kids
From the moment you get that positive pregnancy test your life completely changes.
If you are the first person in your circle to have children then your life changes even more. There is no one in your circle who walked this path before you to show you the ropes. No one to turn to when you aren’t sure if it’s normal for your baby to be attached to your boob for an hour straight. No advice about diaper rash creams and bottle brands. No one who has experienced this new mummy life in the last decade with whom you can share the experience.
While it’s a perfect time to chat with your own mother, grandmother or aunt about all things babies it’s just not the same as having a friend.
As much as you think your relationships will not be altered at all, you will find that things just can’t be the same. There are certain aspects of your friendships that you can just expect to change.
Your conversations will now be interrupted by crying babies, nursing sessions or poop blow outs. As your babies grow those interruptions don’t go away they just change to toddler tantrums and kids demanding snacks.
Your friends will not understand. They just won’t. Accept it. They will not understand why you can’t make it out for a drink. They will wonder why you can’t just leave the baby home with their Dad for an evening. They won’t necessarily get that pumping enough milk for a bottle can take hours and that by the time you get through an hour and a half of a movie your boobs will already be screaming for a pump. They won’t understand why, after being needed all day long, all you want is to be alone, in your jammies.
You will feel gross. Your post baby body might not fit into the most fashionable of your wardrobe and you may not feel like putting on makeup, flat ironing your hair and heading out with the group of ladies who didn’t just push a tiny human out of their body.
You will feel left out. Even though you might not feel like heading out for a night on the town, you will feel left out when you see the Facebook and Instagram posts highlighting all the fun your kidless friends are having…without you.
Just as your pre-baby friends may not understand you, you may not understand them. You are in a different stage of life. Your priorities will have changed and you each will have a different focus.
Once they start having children they may forget that you have just been there. You know that friend who is the first person in the entire world to ever have had a baby? It’s annoying.
The distance may not get smaller once your friends do start having their own children. You will be out of the baby stage by then. While they are dealing with night feedings and colic you are busy driving your little ones to soccer practice and swimming lessons and worrying about how they are doing in school.
Pre-baby me convinced myself that nothing would change once I became a mother. I was wrong. It did. My relationships changed.
I found myself searching out other mummy friends and have built new friendships with parents who have been a fantastic support system. I craved people that understood my life. I have also have beautiful friendships with people who don’t have kids, friends I became close to after my family was already established.
You can forget how much big life changes impact those around you. I have come to the realization that it wasn’t them, it was me. I changed. I had a baby and changed. In theory, I am the same person I was before I had kids. In reality, when you dig down deep, I’m not the same person at all.
I often miss the friendships I had pre-baby.
Yet, I know that it’s not always possible to go back.