I am the first of my friends to become a mom.
Due to my being 25-years-old, it will probably be quite some time before any of them join me in the world of motherhood. Similar to my own mother who brought me earth-side at only 20 — I have pioneered this adventure called parenting. And that is more than okay, but it is certainly not easy.
Since the birth of my son (and even during pregnancy), many of my friends have been nothing but supportive and actively engaged in my new adventure. To say that I feel loved by their gestures of support, patience, and love would be an understatement. But with any good, there is struggle, and I have lost touch with some people who I deeply care for.
Why is it that when people change or go through something life-altering, whether it be depression or monumental success, that we withdraw from them? We have all heard it before –someone loses all their friends once they “make it big” or someone loses a spouse or a child and all of a sudden their closest friends tiptoe around them or someone goes through depression so their friends “don’t want to bother them” and stop reaching out. Or as is in my case — someone becomes a mother and so it is best not to “bother” them because their hands must already be full and they have changed into a different person.
My response to this is: yes, my hands are full but…
No, I am not too busy for you. I may need to call you back in a hour or maybe even in a couple of days but you are important to me and I will make time.
No, your problems are not silly, trivial, small, or childish to me now that I am a parent. I still deal with many of the same problems myself.
No, my schedule is not permanently blocked up because of my son. I may need more planning to go out dancing one night or meet over coffee but I am more than able to fit you in.
No, I do not look down on your decisions to be spontaneous, or wild, or irresponsible here and there just because I am not able to do all of those same things anymore. If anything, I enjoy hearing about them more than ever.
But you are right — yes, I have changed.
Every single cell in my body has changed since bringing life into this world. For the better. I love my friends and family more. My time with them is more special. I yearn to enjoy life on a grander scale because I now realize how sacred it truly is. Motherhood has humbled me and confirmed my sneaking suspicion that I will most likely never feel like a “grown up”. It has made me open my heart wider and deeper to all people, especially other children and women (mothers or not!). I may prefer more quiet nights in or a low key breakfast because my mornings start at 630am no matter what but I enjoy being young, wild, and free just as much as I did before. Being there for my family is my number one priority and always will be. I am proud of this fact. But that does not mean that my friendships, and simply having fun, are not essential parts of my beautiful and well-balanced life.
Some of my oldest friends are mourning the old me, and I have to admit — sometimes I do too. The changing of the seasons is never easy…just because we love pumpkin pie and Halloween does not mean that we are not sad to let go of summer.