As Gemma wrote in her post, she and I have been friends for years.
I gave birth to my first child 103 days ago. Naturally, my friendships have changed, and Gemma and I have been talking about the transition we’re making. She has shared six things she wish she could say to her friends with kids, and today is my turn:
Six things I wish I could say to my friends who don’t have kids:
- My life now looks really different than it did just a few months ago. My priorities and daily routines have been turned upside down! I know I appear busy even though ‘all’ I am doing is ‘looking after a baby’ but please know that I still care about your life – and I want to be included in it. I want to hear about your day, your job, your relationships and I would LOVE it if you still asked me for advice every now and then.
- I can’t do everything we used to do, so please allow me to be flexible with plans and don’t be offended if they don’t happen. Every day is different: and just because I was able to go to M&S for coffee last week doesn’t mean I can this week.
- Sometimes, I find it difficult to admit that my life has changed so much: it’s hard to accept that I can’t just pack up and head to Paris for a last-minute weekend or have an impromptu night out. In fact, I have no idea when I will be able to have a girls’ night out again! At times, I can feel isolated and lonely. Of course I want to hear your anecdote about the office party, but forgive me I don’t quite respond the way I used to: to be honest, I’m jealous, and I don’t know how to tell you that without sounding ungrateful.
- My body has changed a lot. I feel and look very different and I struggle with this more than I ever have done. On a good day, I feel empowered and proud of what my body has done – and on a bad day, I feel like a hot mess. It can be hard for me when you turn up looking like a million dollars with perfect hair and makeup, not a dark circle in sight and a waist to die for when I am desperately trying to remember if I put on deodorant!
- There is more to me than being a mum, I know… but it can be so hard to know where my baby ends and where I begin. Please ask about me as well as my baby. I will of course talk about him and how wonderful he is, but sometimes, I just want to be asked how I am. Similarly, there is more to my baby than whether he sleeps through the night or not. As a parent you can bet that I second guess every decision I make when it comes to his nap times and bedtime routine because there is SO MUCH pressure to have a perfect baby who sleeps through the night. I will probably bring it up but please don’t let it be the first question you ask me!
- Most importantly, thank you for your friendship, your support and your interest in me – and my baby. I love that you love him and ask me to send you pictures. I love that I can tell you about him without feeling like I’m boring you to tears. He is my greatest achievement and I’m so happy to be able to share that with you.
How do you facilitate this kind of conversation with your friends? What would you add to this list? We’d love to know!