I felt very blessed to have a close group of friends growing up. I have friends who, no matter what, will always be able to pick up our conversation from where it left. But having kids meant losing friends.
I was the first out of all my friends to get married and, shorty after, have a baby. I was the guinea pig for everything. Bachelorette parties, showers, and now, motherhood. When I found out I was pregnant, I was soo excited. But part of me felt like I had to hold back. While all my friends were out partying and “living it up” in their mid 20’s, I was scouring mommy websites to researching ANY and ALL information I could find on pregnancy and becoming a mom. I was lost in a world all too unfamiliar too me. Wishing I had a better relationship with my mom or that I had a sister who I could lean on for this type of advice, I became sad, scared and alone.
Once I had my sweet baby boy, it got harder. My expectations of “support”and “celebration” didn’t turn out like I had had hoped. I thought it was supposed to “take a village” to raise a baby… Where was my village?
I had less and less in common with friends from my former life. They were in a totally different place in life than I was. Reality had set in. I had “lost” some friends. After 9 months of a baby belly growing and now entering motherhood, I was unrecognizable to them. That was tough.
While I was off in mommy land, most of my friends were just starting to get engaged and married. I almost felt embarrassed that I had a baby. I never knew if I could my baby or if I shouldn’t. I was the guinea pig for figuring out what was acceptable and what wasn’t “accepted yet” by my still hip & cool friends. I often said under my breath, “one day they will see what I am going through when its their turn”… but it made me sad that by the time they were going through it, no one would think twice about bringing a baby around and that wasn’t fair. But could I blame them, they had no idea what I was going through…
They didn’t know that to be away from my baby was like ripping my heart out. They didn’t know how upside down my world was as a new mom an how challenging breastfeeding was. They had no idea the anxiety, emotion, and transition my body, hormones and brain were going trough post baby.They didn’t understand what it was like to wake up 5-7 times in one night or get up at 5am everyday for the first 6 months. My only priorities were trying to stay sane, keep my son alive, and try my hardest to keep my marriage together (which is a whole new ballgame when baby arrives too). I so desperately wanted to be the “old me in the new world”. It was like I went to bed in skinny jeans and heels and woke up in mom jeans an a breast milk stained shirt.
Becoming a mother really does change everything. But it also teaches you a lot about yourself. I am thankful for my experiences entering motherhood. Without those, I wouldn’t be trying to change the future for moms everywhere with www.theclubmom.com. I have learned that people, like me, will go through difficult things in life and the best thing anyone can do is BE there and BE present, at any capacity. I can’t blame others for not understanding what I was going through, but I learned alot about what I am capable of and what kind of friend I want to be to others going forward. I am thankful.
Having three babies has certainly changed me, but I am grateful to be the voice of experience to my friends who are entering mommyhood. I am also beyond thankful for my newly formed village and welcome anyone to it!