One mum's story as to how things changed once baby came along
For most of us our teenage years are spent submerged in that space of self discovery. We are coming to grips with our changing bodies, interests and attitudes. We suddenly know what we like, who we like, and what we hope from the future. It’s a nice feeling to find your sense of security, so to speak.
Then the college years come and there is a sudden shift in routine and in the familiar. Friendships go in different directions, couples break up, some go travelling, and perhaps others settle down at a young age. Once again the friendship boat has been rocked. You navigate your way through all of this change and come to a whole new perspective on friendship. It’s different but you’ve found a new sense of self. You know who your friends are and you know what to expect of each of them.
Then come the children. This is where the upheaval really comes. You’ve spent years and years nurturing certain friendships, sharing secrets and supporting each other through thick and thin. This big moment in your life now arrives and you expect a whole new level of closeness. It can however be quite the opposite. Sometimes the tough realization is that your friendships, despite once being incredibly strong, can begin to drift away from you as soon as you are pregnant and become a parent.
It hit me like a tonne of bricks personally. There were certain friends whom I imagined sharing my pregnancy and parenting journey with, who’s help and advice would have really been needed. I imagined the memories we would make together. The firsts, the laughs, the tears.
And then they were gone. Not all of them, but some of them. I’ll never forget the feeling of self-doubt. I am a confident person and yet a change like this can seriously affect your opinion of yourself. Naturally you automatically assume it is you. Did you talk too much about breastfeeding? Did you suddenly become very boring? Was it the lack of nights out and social events? Who knows. Pregnancy, birth and parenthood are such remarkable moments in your life. They change you as a person and indeed your outlook on most things is somewhat altered. Perhaps you can no longer offer the same things to that particular friend? Perhaps they cannot relate to you anymore.
I remember hearing a story about my great grandmother. She said that we should all aim to have enough close friends to fit in to the palm of our hands. I really like that. You can also be your own best friend. It doesn’t make you a loser. Now there is someone you can really rely on.
Check out her own blog at love-of-living.blogspot.ie