“Life will never be the same, once you become a mother”– this is something you keep hearing all your adult life, yet, you never really pay attention to it until you actually become one. I don’t know if “wake up call” is the right term, because you aren’t getting any sleep; but yes everything changes, overnight. As if pregnancy and delivery weren’t hard enough to deal with, once the baby comes you are inundated with hurdles, and it never seems to stop.
After my little one was born, I realized that I didn’t have enough “mommy friends”. Most of my friends were either single, or married without kids. As any new mom, I was overwhelmed and seemed to talk more about the baby than I realized. Due to a new schedule, I wasn’t always able to reach out to my friends or my social circle. When I did reach out, all my conversations began and ended with her.
When I tried to reach out to my single friends to talk about my insecurities in my new role, I probably set out with an expectation for them to understand and sympathize with me. For starters, I had gained close to sixty pounds with my pregnancy, definitely looked and felt like a cow (you know why!), none of my clothes fit, and my social life was almost non-existent. For the most part, they did tell me it would get better–but really who were they kidding. I needed a fellow mom to divulge the real deal; the weight was here to stay for a few more years. Ha! Gradually I realized that not all my single friends shared my enthusiasm with my child’s growth, because of the simple fact that they were not in that phase of their lives, just yet. I was there too, a few years back, phasing out as common friends/family spoke about their children.
Most of my insecurities and woes as a mother started transforming itself as tweets and Facebook posts, to which I got some hilarious responses and support from mostly mothers themselves. I slowly started connecting with other mothers, who were going through the same set of challenges as me, and suddenly it wasn’t that bad anymore. Whenever I took the baby to the park, I made it a point to talk to other mothers and get their emails/numbers Facebook/twitter information to stay connected. (If you’re not of the talkative type–you will slowly become one for your child!).
Not hearing from my single friends didn’t really bother me as much. I wasn’t bitter when they didn’t share my views or enthusiasm about all things baby and was less conspicuous of their absence. I was slowly bonding with some really cool and dynamic mothers, who supported each other and me along the way. I could ask a stupid question in the middle of the night (how much Vicks is too much Vicks) and I would always get a response, from my fellow mommy friends. It was a blessing to have that kind of support.
Another person who I got really close to during this whole process was my own mother. It was a wonderful feeling to find a new friend in her. She gave me a lot of support, insight, and taught me to trust my intuition with the child. It also gave me an opportunity to learn a lot about my own childhood through her. The experience of bonding with my mother through my child has been really beautiful. We need all categories of friends to complete us. Even though I don’t call my single friends often, I do enjoy conversing with them about all other things apart from my child. (I’ve learned to keep child talk at minimum now).
We do need to remember our roots, and our friends keep us rooted. When we take our jobs as mothers very seriously, we need these friends to remind us the importance of mundane things and learn how to keep things simple. I don’t cringe at “Oh let’s talk soon”, or ‘Lets hang out soon” anymore because god knows I need that break at regular intervals. I’m sure once my single friends are mothers-to-be, or mothers themselves they will see the other side of the spectrum. When they do reach out to me for support, I will always be here.
Do you agree with Shruthi? Leave your comments below, she’d love to hear your thoughts!