In college, everyone is friends…at least, all your friends are your friends. Then, we graduate, we get jobs, we get married, we have families. My first good friend to have a baby was Jenna. We taught together and she was the first person in a long time that I let myself get close to. We talked on the phone as soon as we left work. We did things on the weekend with other cool-to-be-around couples. It was a little club. Then, she got pregnant. We told ourselves that nothing would change once she had a baby, but that just wasn’t the case. You see, when you have a child you’re in a new club. You’re in the Mommy Club. I denied that it existed and I told myself that because I loved children and was a teacher, I could just be around and it would all work out fine and dandy. But, no. Slowly but surely, I dropped out of her life and she dropped out of mine. I was hurt and I didn’t understand.
Now I understand.
When you have a child, it’s no longer about you. There are no more uninterrupted phone conversations. There are no more fun nights with other couples (sans children). There are no more nail appointments and hours spent reading books or watching movies to discuss. As much as one might try, you can’t be ok and totally cool with all those things if you yourself do not have children. I mean, seriously, trying to talk to someone with a child screaming in the background is tough and annoying. Eating out with someone whose child is throwing food on the floor and pulling things out of their mouths half-chewed is not fun. Talking about the condition of poop or snot is not interesting. But, if you are a mother, you get it and you can endure it and you can even laugh about it when it’s not happening to you. You’re in the club and you never have to apologize when you’re with other members.
As I sit here and steal away 10 minutes to dump out some random thoughts, I watch my son trying to write on the television with a ball point pen (thankfully it isn’t working out for him) and I’m screaming “On the PAPER! On the PAPER!”. In the past 20 minutes, I have changed a poppy diaper, played a plastic guitar, talked on the phone while building a tower of blocks and comforted a bumped head. These are things of my days and it is such a comfort to know that there really is acceptance in the common ground of motherhood, because otherwise it would be a very tough and very lonely journey.
I’m not saying that I’m not friends with people who don’t have kids, because I am. I just wonder what they’re thinking of my crazy life sometimes.