When you have kids and your friends are still waiting to cash in their freedom cards, it can lead to some miscommunications about the simple things in life, and sometimes, the not so simple things. Like, is she even my friend anymore, because she always says she’s tired when we have plans? Its hard to find relatable subjects when all you can talk about is whether or not your kid pooped today and your friends are only talking about who went home with who last night. Wait, what bar were you at? Who is that guy? I didn’t even know she was single again? And just like that, you’re out of the loop.
Becoming a mommy was (is) amazing…but it totally puts a cramp in your social life. Have you ever tried going on a day trip with a baby (day trip meaning, out to lunch)? You may as well break out your Samsonite and pack up for a vacation. Babies require so much stuff in order to be clean, fed, comfortable, and entertained. So please don’t take it personal when we RSVP with a NO, even though we are dying inside to have some adult time with you.
Women are difficult creatures to navigate; hormonal and sleep deprived mothers are especially hard to figure out. Instead of just telling you all the things we are secretly thinking, we usually just nod (or harbor ill-will towards you for life eternal). Just kidding. But there are some things that we want our non-mommy friends to know, that we too, totally realize! Just because we traded in our Thirsty-Thursday cards for Little-League-Saturdays doesn’t mean we became uncool home-bodies that live vicariously through Pinterest boards. F***, or does it?
Here are seven things we (mommies) want you (non-mommies) to know. You know that old saying, “…it’s not you, it’s me…” Well, that has never been more true.
We Are Still Fun
We want our pre-baby social life to be similar to our post-baby social life, even though this is really hard to do (unless you’re Gwen Stefani… she probably has nannies that make this not-hard). But multi-million-dollar celebs aside, please don’t stop being our friend, we beg you! Even though we appear to have become introverted, home-bodies it just isn’t true! We love a girl’s night out and an excuse to trade in our flats for stilettos, just as much as anybody. But please realize, for us, there is no sleep-in-Saturday to recover. Mommies don’t get sick days! So don’t be totally surprised if we reject the tequila shots and head home before last call (or worse, we overestimate our ability to drink and end up face down by midnight).
We Don’t Mean to Constantly Talk About Our Kids
I know it seems like all we do is interject our kids names into every conversation, but believe me, it isn’t on purpose. People talk about what they know, and those little pipsqueaks are who we spend nearly every waking minute with, so, naturally, they come up often. If this annoys you to no end, we can turn it into some sort of game. “Every time you say baby Jack’s name, you have to do ten jumping jacks, or buy the next round of drinks…” Just be nice! Remember, we have to get up early.
Selective Listening is a Way of Life
Do you know how many times (pre-kids) we also said we would never “let our kids do that/act like that/scream/run/etc.” And then we had kids and were forced to pick and choose our battles wisely. Seriously, you can’t yell at them 100% of the time. And yes, they are screaming and running around, I am well aware. No, I am not tone deaf, I just know how to tune them out so that I can enjoy my day. Rest assured, however, that I hear them too. No, I cannot force them to sit and be quiet for hours on end. They are kids, they aren’t wired that way. And no matter how many times you swear you’ll be different as a parent, you won’t. You will be just like me. I won’t judge you, if you won’t judge me.
We Get Nervous to Bring our Kids to Your House
Have you ever walked around your house on your knees? If not, you should totally try it. See which objects are suddenly eye-level. This is how the world looks to my kid. There are all sorts of (usually breakable) things that look fun to play with! So when you invite us over to your super nice, non-kid friendly home, our hearts skip a beat because we are already thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Please know that we are going to do our absolute best to keep them away from your glass vases and artistic sculptures, but until tele-transportation exists, I cannot be in two places at once. And toddlers are fast. And Cheetos stain couches. Maybe we should move the party to my house instead?...
We Love 5-Piece Children’s Outfits as Much as the Next Mommy
I know that pre-kids I always used to talk about how fabulous I would dress my future children. But let’s get real for a second. Until you have tried dressing a baby who wants nothing more than to be naked, or tried putting suspenders and a tie on an energetic toddler, it only takes about two times before you vow to never go through that again. Babies drool on their cute outfits, they don’t sit up straight so that you can enjoy the full effect… toddlers take three seconds to get a shirt dirty, or worse, to completely undress and emerge naked. Then they turn four and decide they get to pick out their outfits. Why can’t I wear my superman cape with my church pants? I want to wear my orange shorts with this red shirt. Totally agree; We wish they would look like a Gap Kids catalogue every time we stepped out of the house too, but unless it’s Easter or family pictures, we’ve discovered that the battle aren’t worth it. Someday you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Declined Invites: It’s Not You, It’s Me
As time passed, I felt like the more and more my friends invited me to get out of the house, the more and more I was declining their invitations. The stress of how to keep my son entertained, so that I could actually enjoy a few moments of gossip and laughter with my long-lost besties, would actually be the very thing that kept my butt at home. And on the occasions I would pack all we owned into the duffel bag (cleverly marketed as a ‘need-to-have’ diaper bag), I would spend the afternoon chasing around a very-mobile toddler.
Football games, tailgate parties, afternoon BBQ’s, pool parties, you name it. While we hate missing out and staying home, it’s even harder to be on the social scene, attending to an unruly child, and unable to be…social. It’s exhausting. The last thing I want to do is to annoy everyone, so unless I can figure out an acceptable plan of attack, I feel the need to do everyone a service, and politely decline. You know the lines… I’m sorry I can’t come, I’m exhausted. I have nothing to wear. Baby Jack hasn’t pooped all day. When we do decline the invite, it truly has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with us failing to figure out how we can keep our kids entertained and away from your breakables.
Your Life Makes us Jealous Sometimes (Ok, Lots of Times)
We hardly remember what it feels like to pick up at the drop of a hat and take off. Even to lunch. A night out becomes a grand affair. First, we have to line up a babysitter, which isn’t always easy, but is guaranteed to always be expensive. The going rate for a kidsitter (my son refuses to be called a baby) is as much as I used to make in an entire week of babysitting. Things have changed… a lot. And we totally envy your lazy Saturdays, and Sunday Fundays, and solo trips to Target. While you may envy the fact that we are mothers with adorable, well-behaved children (when they’re sleeping anyways), we envy your easy going lifestyle too.
We want to be friends! We want to be as fun as our pre-baby self. And we want to NOT be a pain in your ass every time we show up with our Samsonite and mismatched kiddo. We want to talk about crazy, late night escapades (Lord knows we need the excitement in our life), and we still want to laugh at crazy mom jokes and talk about how cute we are going to dress our “next” child... when we suddenly have more time and money… and a nanny. We want to hang out and have a glass of wine while we laugh about the dumb things we did in college, even if our child is in the other room throwing a temper tantrum for the sixth time today!
We totally get that we are doing all the things we said we would never do. And that we make lame excuses for not being able to hang out, because the thought of plopping our kid in front of Netflix is easier than the alternative, even if that alternative involves adults and beverages...and adult beverages.
We totally get it. And now we know that you totally get it too.