Monday, May 5, 2008

The Mom Club.

In honor of Mother's Day coming up, I will do a rant on mothers. OK just kidding. Kinda. Neh, it's only coincidence this post coincides with Mother's Day, but anyway, whatev. So yesterday we took dinner over to our friends who just had their second baby this past week. We used to hang out with them a good bit. When we moved up to the sticks, they were thrilled, as we would help reduce the "red" factor in the area. We all loved throwing a good party and one year we even threw a joint New Year's Eve party at our house. The mom and I (before she was a mom, of course) would talk about getting pregnant together and how fun that would be. Well you know how that went. Hehe... So anyway, she gets pregnant while we were building our house up here and we ended up throwing a shower for them for their first baby. After the baby came we still all hung out a good bit - we'd go over there, they'd come over to our place, or sometimes we'd even go out to eat or something. She'd call me randomly to go shopping with her and #1. We got invited to the 1st birthday party for #1... but then little by little we saw less and less of them.

The hub sees them more because he plays poker with the husband once in a while. But I literally saw her once, maybe twice during this second pregnancy. Never saw her when she was in the last trimester - so I never saw her big buddha belly this time. She's really cute preggers too because she's super tall and thin. You know, all belly. So whereas last time we found out about the birth via phone call, this time it was mass email. Fine, whatever. We took dinner over there last night to give the dad a night off from cooking and to visit the new little one. She is super cute and so teeny tiny. But the whole visit just felt kinda weird. I sat in the den with the mom while she breastfed #2. The boys were outside playing with #1. I don't know... the conversation between me and the mom felt a bit forced. I was trying to come up with things to say about the baby - since that was all the conversation centered around. Which is fine - I mean that's why we were there! But never once did she ask about what we were up to or how we were doing. And I totally get that she's completely exhausted - a newborn and a toddler make for a challenging combo. So I can overlook all that, definitely. But it's just become clear that I'm not in the Mom Club and therefore we don't really have anything to talk about.

I've tried to explain this to the hub multiple times. He takes it all very personally that they don't hang out with us like they used to. I tried to explain that sometimes when couples have kids they just get in this kid bubble. We're at totally different stages in our lives and so it's understandable that they gravitate towards others in the Mom Club, I suppose. But poor hub, he does take it to heart. And I see this at all stages - not just the kid thing. There is also the "Married Club." And, I imagine there's reverse discrimination as well.

I've touched on it before, but this is really my biggest fear in having kids. Or better said, my major "what not to do" item on the list. All my friends - whether married, single, mom or not - they're all a huge part of my life. I know kids change your life - and I think anyone who says they won't is crazy. But along with being a great mom, I want to always continue to be a great friend. I want to be able to spend time with my friends. I want to be able to hold a conversation about something OTHER than my kids. I want to be just as invested in my friends' lives as they are in mine. I want my kids to know and love my friends as I do. I truly believe you make time for the things you care about in life. And I know this to be true because we have other friends with 2+ kids that always include us and make every effort to spend time with us. It's more difficult with kids - absolutely - but it's still important. I'm sure it's no easy task, but I don't see why you can't have the best of both worlds if you put in the effort. Maybe I'm ignorant, as I don't have any kids myself, but I hope I'm right. :-) I don't know... a lot of y'all are mommas, what do y'all think? How do you make it work?

10 comments:

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I think it depends on the person, and not their definition of friendship. Because I have had good friends drop me when they date someone new or make a new group of friends (via work or whatever) or get married. They become all consumed. I have had several friends sort of feel sorry for me that I don't have whatever it is that they have. And trust- I want to get married one of these days. But I also have a ton of friends who are really they same before as they were after (be it dating or married or kids or new job, ....). I think it all depends on personality. I totally feel the same way- friends are important. And I was raised knowing and loving my parent's friends- married and single and everything else. That just truly important to me.

I also love that I can make these proclaimations seeing as how I am as single and they get. :)

Breezy said...

I definitely agree with preppy pink crocodile. It depends on the person. I have been on the other end of this, being married and trying to hang out with single friends. It happens, but not as much nor as comfortably as it used to. Not because of me, but because of them. I think for some people they find comfort in being with people that are similar. When you/they "change" (or become married, a mom or whatever) you realize who is truly a friend because your souls are kindred and who is a friend because your interests at one time or another were the same. I think we will always have those people in our lives and without judging them accept them for what they are and be oh so thankful that we do have true friends no matter where they are in their lives they stay true to us. It is disappointing, but becomes easier when you let go just a little. (well, that's my opinion) I too hope I am one of those people that can talk to my friends about something else other than my future child.

Kate said...

You are totally right on about the "Mom" club thing. I think there should be a rule that - yes, you get some slack for the first 6 months with a newborn, but after that you are REQUIRED to make conversation about things other than diapers, sleep schedules, the hottest parenting topics, ad nauseum.

I've been on the other end (being a single friend of a mom, and also being a married w/out kids friend of a mom) and now that I am a mom, I get why we had trouble connecting during those first 6 months. But after the initial "babymoon" there is no excuse!! Inability to make normal conversation after that is a sign that someone has given up & is in dire of some adults only time!!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I don't think your life simply revolves around your offspring once you breed. I'm still the same Sarah I was before I became a mother! (just waaaay more tired) and I'm still close friends with 2 of my gal pals who don't have children.

It sounds to me like maybe she wasn't really that close a friend before (???)

Sue said...

Hmmm, it's very good that you are aware of this before you have kids. I think you will be sensitive enough to the situation that it will not be an issue for you. You will find, though, once you have kids is that you make new friends with your kids' friends' moms (and dads). I think you can keep your old friends, but also make room for new friends. You will be fine at it. You have a leg up on everyone, because obviously you are aware of the situation!

Scarlet O'Kara said...

You can have your family and friends. It just takes more work for both sides.

The Bona Fide Preppy Bride said...

I agree that it starts with the "Married Club." Many of my closest friendships have been tested as people get married and others stay single. Shortly after we got engaged, I remember my fiancee saying "maybe your married friends will accept me now" because I guess he felt the effects of the married club too. Then, last year, we found out that my BEST FRIEND's baby was born in a TEXT MESSAGE!!!!! And it wasn't a spur of the moment thing, she was in the hospital all day and just didn't call. She has since apologized many times because I was obviously very hurt! Thankfully, our friendship with them has not suffered since they have had a baby. In my experience, the most important thing to remember is that even when you are a parent, you still have to be a married couple and work on your own relationship as well. I think it is a HUGE mistake to stop hanging out with your friends or doing your favorite things regularly when you have a child, because then your relationship becomes solely about the child, and not about each other. So that is my plan for when we attempt to start a family. Whew! I hope I don't trip in my Kate Spades while getting down from this soap box! haha :)

cancersucks said...

You sound like a good friend! I'm sure they really appreciated the meal and visit. Whenever situations like yours happens my hubby always says "friends come and friends go". I don't like to think that way- but sometimes I think it is true. Your true friends will be there through all stages of yours and their lives. Sleep deprivation is no excuse for not asking about you!

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

I pretty much agree with everyone else who has commented. However, I bet had she not been overwhelmed with a newborn and another child as well she would have been more likely to make more conversation. I know people probably thought I was crazy when I had DD because all I did was sit on the couch, hold her, and while they were talking, tears streamed down my face. It was hard to even THINK about what to talk about.

I have friends who are not married, friends who are married, and friends married w/ kids. Each realtionship is so different but I think you can have all types.
I would say once you have kids, it IS hard work to maintain those relationships, but pushing yourself out the door to go and do with friends of all kinds is sometimes the best medicine! Or so I have learned!

Buford Betty said...

Thanks SO much for all of your great comments! I feel better and agree that it definitely depends on the person. We all face similar obstacles in life, but it's how we handle them that sets us apart, right?! Thanks, ladies. :-)