Friendships are funny old things. Some friends drift in and out of your life, some leave their mark and some stick with you forever. When you have a baby, keeping up with friends can be damn hard, so it’s the ones that really mean something, who stick with you to the bitter end. Since having my girl, I definitely don’t see certain people as much as I used to, life just gets in the way, things just change. Having a little person isn’t an excuse not to keep in touch but it certainly makes things a bit harder. Here’s a letter from me to some old pals, the ones who I have trouble keeping up with.
Dear old friends
I’ll start with saying that I miss you, okay, please know that. Things have changed quite a bit since having the little person, whether or not I wanted or meant them too, things have just been out of my control. I don’t think I need to push the point that it’s hard when you have a baby, but I do need you to know that my particular little person is all consuming, she really is, I’m not lying, honest. She takes up every minute of every hour of my day. When she’s not doing that, yes I find time to write or do housework but otherwise I’m mostly found face down in my cold coffee.
Before the baby, I didn’t want to be that person who doesn’t reply to text messages, who doesn’t respond to emails or who never calls anymore. Pre-baby I used to eye-roll at my sister, her lack of concentration when she had her babies drove me crazy, ‘Why can’t she listen to what I’m saying!?’ I’d think, as she got distracted mid-sentence yet again! Another friend who had her baby a year ahead of me would take days’ to reply to text messages, or just not at all, ‘what on earth is she doing!’ I’d think, ‘surely she has enough time in her day to reply! She’s not even working!!’ Yep, that was what I thought. I didn’t get it, and I’ve no doubt that this is what you lot minus kids might be thinking about me, what the hell is she doing with her time?! I got a text recently where I was asked to, ‘please try and respond this week!’ I totally get it and wholeheartedly apologise, I am officially that person I used to mentally berate. I can’t really change this though, so soz again, you’ll just have to bear with me, if you’re in this for the long haul.
It’s a bit clichéd, but it’s a little easier for me to connect to other mums on a day to day basis now. It’s not that I don’t want to be friends with you anymore, it’s just that generally other mums are who I see more of. My day is soft play, music class, trips to the park or swimming. I can chat to other mums about all of this and we can chat about no sleep, babies, poo and sick freely without cause for concern, whereas you guys don’t really want to talk about that kind of thing, which is totally fine. Sometimes I drive myself mad talking about the kid but it’s just what happens. She is my world now, the person I spend all of my time with now, so it’s inevitable that I talk about her a lot.
Obviously life moves on and we all generally see a bit less of people. People get new girlfriends or boyfriends, they get married, they move, they have other things to be getting on with or doing. Life, life just gets in the way and with a baby, well, it just adds to the life bit. Crazy nights out that I’d love to have with you just don’t have the pull like they used to, not with a small person at home. I’d love to let loose, but I need to pick my moments. There is always a little voice at the back of my mind reminding me about the early wake up call, the kid doesn’t care if I go to bed at 4am!
The actress Meera Syal relayed a rather beautiful Indian saying recently that, ‘when a woman gives birth, two people are born, not just the baby, but the woman as well‘, this rings true because, whilst I am effectively still the same person, I have changed a bit. I can’t quite explain to how, but I have. I am still the same idiot who laughs at bad jokes and people tripping over things, I’ still a total lightweight and drink too quickly and I cry far too easily, no those things haven’t changed, it’s something within me, in my brain or maybe my heart, I can’t quite tell yet. This change may sometimes make it tricky to connect to you, but it doesn’t mean we’re not still friends, we just need to re-connect a bit, somehow.
What I think is, regardless of not seeing certain people as much and yes I see more of fellow mums, I don’t think that changes my old friendships. Providing we still have that moment when we see each other and it’s like things have never changed, then we’re all good. To be honest it’s you lot who know me the best, yes I don’t see you as much as I should or could, and yes I don’t text or email enough, but you’re still there in my head and heart. I’ll never be able to get you out of those places.
I will never stop loving you, my old friends, for one, you all know too much 😉 x