Dear Social Life, I Miss You

Dear social life,

I miss you! As a parent, I often find myself wondering where my social life has gone. Managing both a career and a family, running back and forth between school and sports practices, and trying to keep the house from falling apart has me feeling like a maid and glorified chauffeur most days. My non-kid friends hit up happy hours, spend Friday nights out on the town, and have the luxury of sleeping in on Saturdays. All the things I used to have (insert crying face here). Last minute parties, get-togethers, you name it, they can be there. As for me, I can hardly find a babysitter most weekends! And if I do find one, then there’s that whole having-to-be-a-parent-the-next-morning thing… hangovers and needy children go together like Cheetos and guacamole. They don’t.

So as I sit and ponder (ok, pout) about my severe lack of a social life, I finally have an epiphany. It isn’t about having, or in this case, not having, a social life as a parent. It’s more about what you define as having a social life. In my twenties, having a social life meant never staying home on a weekend… or sometimes even a weekday, for that matter. It meant crowded bars and loud music. It meant never having to deal with FOMO because I never had to miss out.

{Fast forward to life as a parent in my early 30’s}. Most nights, the thought of leaving my house past 10 p.m. and having to put on “normal clothes” makes me shudder. I want to have a social life, but finding a sitter is hard. Finding something to wear that makes me feel young and hip but not too MILFy is harder. Getting up the next morning after drinking is hardest. Scratch that. Impossible. No matter how much you think you can drink like you did in your 20’s, you’re wrong. Very, very wrong. If it isn’t already apparent, I like to have a cocktail or two when I go out. 

Stop comparing your old life to your current situation because it won’t do you any good anyways. To put it bluntly, 30-year-old you cannot hang with 20-year-old you (and even if you could, 20-year-old you wouldn’t want to hang out with your old ass anyways). Consequently, the you-with-kids cannot hang with the you-without-kids. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the faster you admit it, the faster you can deal with it, accept it, and embrace your newfound antisocial-ness.

Now for the positive note. Despite everything I just said, being a parent does NOT mean that you CAN’T have a social life anymore. It just means that what you define as “social” has evolved. You’ve traded in the bar scene for the parent-teacher scene, the dance floor for the playground, rowdy Friday nights at concerts for soccer games on Saturday mornings. Happy hour has turned into bath time, and bedtime no longer involves passing out as the sun comes up (unless you have a newborn... in that case, the situation remains unchanged). While the occasional date night or GNO is usually so necessary and so much fun, it’s just that… occasional. These adult-only nights are hardly the norm, but they do keep you going when you just can’t deal with one more temper tantrum, or one more poop blow-out, or one more my-six-year-old-tried-to-spray-paint-the-house episode. And alas! A very funny and very strange things happen when you spend time away from your little humans. You actually… miss them! 

While I may be the lamest of my single friends, and almost always miss out on the wild and fun things they do, I am definitely one of the coolest ones on the PTA scene (though, I’m not sure that’s a major accomplishment), but whatever, I am enjoying a whole new kind of social life; it’s called being a mommy. And there’s no where I would rather be than cheering my son on at his football games, watching him sing at his school musical, or beating him nightly at tic-tac-toe (hey, he’s gotta learn that life isn’t always going to be a cakewalk). Do I miss my former life at all? Sure I do. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t. But I wouldn’t trade the time I have with my kids to go back to my twenty-year-old ways just to avoid FOMO. Not in a million years.

Having children changes the landscape of what you have time to do, the energy to do, and ultimately what you want to do. While partying and shutting down the bars was super fun as a single 20-something, the thought of waking up hung-over to a crying child at 6 a.m. on a Saturday is a major buzzkill. Trust me when I tell you that I need my beauty sleep in order to function.  My kids are my life, their social life is my social life, and the biggest fear I have now, is missing out on them growing up. So with that, I raise a solitary wine glass to you, from my couch to yours, with spit-up covering one shoulder and a little boy drooling on my other shoulder. May your social calendars be equally as full as your hands and your heart. 

Sincerely, 

Me

P.S. To all my childless girlfriends - please don't ever stop inviting me out! Despite seeming perpetually busy and unavailable, I promise I still need you ladies more than ever! And please start having babies soon so we can sip wine together in the corner of our kids' birthday parties and talk about how cool we used to be. Love you!


My handsome boys, Keylen & Kohen. My reason for being (and the cause of most of my wrinkles).

PROOF that I do go out and wear normal clothes sometimes. {November 2016}