Dear Everyone From My Pre-Baby Life,
I’m writing this because I’m worried about our relationships. I know that I’ve changed a lot in some ways- it was inevitable- but so much about me is the same as before. I know I’ve done some things that probably make you feel like I don’t care about us anymore, but I need you to know that is not the case at all.
I admit, I’ve done it too-distanced myself when a friend has a kid or gets into a new serious relationship and they seem to fall off the face of the planet. They break plans, or refuse to commit to them. They only want to talk about their kid, or their boyfriend and their Facebook becomes a tribute page to their new life. It gets old. Its easier and often more fun to not invite them to things; it’s easier to move your life forward and relegate them to the fringes . After all, their new life doesn’t really fit your friendship.
I never realized how I had made those choices in the past. It seemed as though they no longer wanted to be my friend. They had moved on from me into their new lives and didn’t look back. If they wanted to stay friends, they would’ve tried harder to stay the same, right?
Here I am now on the other side. I’m the one who went on maternity leave and left my friends and coworkers to hold the fort without me. I had every intention of going in to visit, to attend workplace gatherings and big events, to stay in touch with the people I considered some of my very best friends.
I am the one who always instigated gatherings with my family- the one who extended the birthday dinner invitations, organized the get- togethers around holidays. I am the one who would make the unscheduled stop for a visit on a Sunday drive…
Now my life is different. So different from what it was, that I can’t seem to find a way to bridge what is with what was. Hours seem to drag but the days are flying away from me faster than I can fathom. I find myself in a blur of baby-related things to do: moms’ groups, swimming, music class, naps, feedings, laundry, diapers, meltdowns, clingy days, growth spurts, sleep regressions… Being a mom to an infant has completely redefined my life.
But I miss you all.
I miss our easy conversations; I miss our laughs over coffee (or wine!); I miss having so much in common with you that we could finish each others’ sentences. I miss knowing what is happening in your life beyond simple Facebook updates and half stories told after the fact when we finally catch up. There are so many unanswered questions in my heart: Did it work out with him? Did you tell her what you needed to say? Did you feel better once it was finally over? Did you ever really make up after those things she said? Did he apologize? Did the job work out? Are you two still trying, or is it over?
You see, I never stopped caring about the answers. I never gave up on us. I know it is harder to be around me now. I know sometimes you don’t want a baby tagging along, or you want to stay out past my new mom bedtime. I get it. Really. And I’m not mad. I’ve done it too.
I just thought you should know, I really want to be there. I want to be able to drop everything and come running. I want to tag along and not check my watch wondering what my daughter is doing while we are out. I don’t want to break plans last minute for a runny nose, or cut a night short because I’m just. So. Tired. I don’t want to say “no” to your invitations even when I have to.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m still in here. A busier, frazzled, changed sort of me, but ME nonetheless. Please don’t forget about me, or give up on me. Keep asking me, even when I have to say no, I am so thankful you want me. Please do not take it personally when I forget to text or call for a while- I think about you every day. Please text me once and a while to see how I’m doing. This mom thing is really hard and knowing you are out there makes it easier somehow. Offer to come by- even for an hour- so I can talk to someone who can talk back! Swing by with coffee because I always need one…
Anyway, I guess I should let you go. Hopefully we will see each other again soon.