Scrolling through my photos on Facebook I go from the current photo of my 9 month old eating blueberries and pear cubes in her high chair, to cute photos of her, milestones, and the first photo of her in the pink and blue hospital receiving blanket.
I continue scrolling through pregnancy belly updates, ultrasounds, wedding photos, to couple pictures, friends, college, and then the awkward high school photos that I don’t have the heart to delete. One thing that struck me was it seems so long ago that I had photos of myself with friends even though the last one was taken less than two years ago.
How does it seem so long ago, and where have my friends gone?
In my immediate group of friends I was one of the few that got married, and the first and only person to have a child. My wedding was the last night that I was able to hang out with my circle of friends carefree, because shortly after I was pregnant.
I didn’t realize how much my life and my social circle would change after seeing those two pink lines on the pregnancy test.
When I would join my friends for a night out I felt judging eyes as I would sit at the bar with water or a Shirley Temple. I became my friends DPD (Designated Pregnant Driver), and then I slowly started rejecting invites to go out. As time went by, I didn’t receive invites anymore, and I started seeing pictures of my friends going out without me.
In March I had my daughter, which brought on new challenges in maintaining friendships. A friend of mine got married and requested that no children were to attend the wedding. As a first-time mom of a two month old who had a difficult time with breastfeeding the first month and a half of her life, I had to reason with myself that my daughter could have a bottle so that I could attend the wedding. The weekend of the wedding came and my daughter had a full body rash – I love my friend and as guilty as I felt for canceling my RSVP last minute, my daughter was my first priority.
As I slowly started venturing out of the house, the longest I could be away was three hours. September was the first time that I was able to get out for a full day to participate in The Ride for Missing Children, a 100 mile biking fundraiser that toured the Syracuse area. I had to plan to have my husband show up halfway through the ride so that I could quickly breastfeed our daughter. No more Tough Mudders, out of town events, concerts, or heck – even going to the dome to cheer on SU!
This past December was the first time where both my husband and I were invited out to a dinner after having our daughter. It wasn’t until two days prior that it occurred to us that we needed a babysitter. We were frantically calling everyone we knew. First it was friends that had children of their own, and then the list expanded to friends that we trusted to watch our daughter. I asked a close friend who has watched our dog from time to time if she would mind watching our daughter for a few short hours – she politely declined and said that the idea of watching a child scared her.
All I could do was thank her for her honesty.
I find that I don’t relate to my old friends anymore. Going out until 1am or later doesn’t appeal to me, and frankly just isn’t possible. Financially, I cannot justify spending the amount of money that I used to on food and drinks. In addition, I am still breastfeeding which would mean I’d need to pump and dump … and on top of it all, I would not want to have a hangover while trying to take care of my daughter. It’s not worth it.
I love being a mother and would never change anything about my life … but sadly, my once large group of friends has downsized to just two close friends. I have accepted that life goes on and that I am the one that has changed. I have different priorities now … while my friends are all still the same people, living the lifestyle that I once knew as my own.
As much as I miss my old friends, I find so much joy in watching my daughter grow up, which in my opinion is more rewarding then spending a night out on the town.