metro mama

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Gal Needs Pals

When you have a baby, priorities change and certain aspects of your life suffer for it.

No, this post isn’t about sex. I’m talking about friendship.

I’ve always been reasonably good at keeping up with friends—they’re important to me. But, since Cakes came into my life, I’ve been letting things slide.

There are old friends who I never call or email, as much as I intend to. Plus, none of them live in the city. Cakes has two doting sets of grandparents and 4 great-parents, so we spend a lot of time visiting out-of-town. After meeting family obligations, there doesn’t seem to be much time or energy left for friends. I need to make more effort.

We have a hard time doing “couple” outings anymore. As you know, I am a routine nazi—we don’t keep Cakes out past seven. Plus, some of these friends also have babies now, so it’s doubly hard to coordinate schedules. We don’t have anyone in town who watches Cakes (that needs to change). When we do have someone here to watch her, we feel we should spend some alone time together.

I’m not the only one at fault. Some friends don’t call me anymore, now that I’m a mama. I don’t know if they assume I won’t be able to come out, but I will happily leave Papa and Cakes to some “quality time”.

Or, maybe they don’t think I’m busy at all…am I boring now I’m a mama?

I really miss my former colleagues. It's hard to go from seeing friends every day to not at all. They said they’d remember to call me when they were going for pints after work, but they haven’t all summer (if any of you are reading, this is a not-so-subtle hint).

I feel more affinity with other mothers now, and they tend to be the new people I meet. I’m not shy about meeting new people-- I will easily give someone my phone number at the park (I’m actually going to make up cards with my contact info because I’m tired of scrawling my number on old napkins…reminds me too much of my bar-hopping days). But while I’m good at making the first move, I suck at following up (some things never change). Also, these women have the same scheduling issues I do, so it’s hard to get one-on-one time with them. Plus, there is a tendency for too much baby talk sometimes when mamas get together. I’d like to have more non-mama friends too.

I think my babe is the most interesting person in the world—I still don’t want to talk about her all the time.

I think the blogosphere holds hope for me. The TO Mamas are going for pedis and martinis later this month. I’m sure there will be much to talk about beyond Ferber and Flanagan. We’ve all proven we have a lot to say.

And, I need my own little Scooby gang to help me chase the demons.

It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;-- it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others. –Jane Austen



Blogger sunshine scribe said...

That Jane Austen quote couldn't be more true.

I hear you completely about this. Friendships shift quite a bit when motherhood happens and its nice to connect with people that get that you are a mom but also a woman.

Can't wait until the TO Mama night!

11:26 AM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

You are KILLING me! I can't quite place the Austen quote... I don't think it's P&P. Emma?

3:06 PM  
Blogger ninepounddictator said...

I know exactly how you feel. It's funny when you realize you have to make the effort too (which you do) and you realize who you want to make the effort for! Friendships turn out to be a lot like relationships...

3:26 PM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

I miss hanging out with friends. When you become a mom and part of a couple, single friends especially can't relate.

5:07 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Bubandpie: It's Sense and Sensibility.

I was thinking about you when I put the Buffy reference next to Austen.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom said...

Great post! It couldn't be more true. My friends and I had to designate the second Friday of every month as "Girls Night." It sure has helped keep us in touch.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I could have written this (but probably not as well). Every single bit of it, except the schedule part that I sort of suck at. I think once you realize that friends are a piority, you'll find room for them in your life somewhere. You'll find your Velma.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Being a new mom too, I've found I have to schedule friend time like I do everything else. (I'm also ALL about the schedule and routine...and believe me, I wasn't AT ALL before.) It seems so contrived--to plan for fun--but it's the only way it will happen.

Several friends and friends of friends (single, married, moms and non-moms) and I have started a fun club here. (Completely dorky name, but to the point) We get together on the first Wed. of the month each month and do something different (we take turns planning)...anything from catching a play, to book signings, to charity events, to beer tastings, to belly dance lessons. True to its lame-o name, it's always super fun. The time commitment is completely manageable and doable. And it's been great to spend time with old friends and make new ones.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Mother Bumper said...

I just totally noticed your "voices carry" bit on the comments... I knew you were cool but now it's confirmed.

I really got this post, nodded my head the whole way. No real advice but you've (we've) definetely got friends here.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I am also a routine nazi! Maybe not as much as I used to be, but still most of the time I keep my daughter to a strict schedule.

Once again, I'm jealous of the TO mamas thing. You're all lucky to have found each other.

9:49 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

i often feel the same way, and i still work with that gang. i have gone from being an organizer, to being cc'd - if they remember. i guess they just figure i can't come, and quite often, they are right.

even my bff has a hard time remembering that 'spontaneity' is no longer my strong suit. but y'know, what else was i expecting? i don't like the idea of losing friends because i can't keep up, but my life has changed. my priorities have changed. most of the time i would way rather be with my babe - both of them.

i actually feel like my 'social life' was great while i was on mat-leave and had my network of moms to see on a regular basis (that includes you!). i miss hangin with all those great women and wee ones more than sitting at a bar.
but i'll take the bar every now and then too.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

I love that quote by Jane Austen. She always says it best....

I got really annoyed when a friend of mine told me that, when she has kids, she'll still go out all the time because, "tsk tsk," she'd hire a babysitter. That was meant to suggest that I am, indeed, not going out enough and that I do, indeed, have some sort of separation anxiety. But, you know.... We have to do what makes us happy. And, my friend will understand why i don't go out often when she herself has kids. I don't hold it against her. I have, by the way, asked my parents to babysit this weekend so that Josh and I can go on a DATE. Woot...!

11:59 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Isn't it funny that no one tells you that once the baby is born your friendships change too. Alot of people assume you've got all kinds of baby stuff to do or are too scared to call for fear of waking the baby.

1:49 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Oh, god, do I ever hear you. Most of my friends have left town, my gay male just does not relate to the babe thing, so it's occasional lunches on my days off, and it really only leaves me with one friend in town and she loves being the auntie and is very casual about just hanging around together- perfect. Which is why I sometimes tag along for blogger meetups solo - adult time! And easeir to chase one kid and still talk.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Poopydigs said...

I've been blessed in that all of my friends (probably 8 couples total) have children under 2. WHich means, we understand each other and make accomodations for schedules. Granted, we can't do movie nights anymore, but we do try to do dinner at someone's house every now and then. We usually get there before 7pm and the host usually has a room set up for the children to konk out in. It gives us a healthy dose of "adult companionship".

2:26 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Lose some, gain many. that is my experience.....Anne

11:21 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Love that Jane Austen quote. Somehow I feel that with blogging, we can find out more about each other faster than with people we meet in person sometimes. I think it's great that you have the TO mamas group to hang out with in person.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Nova Mama said...

Just ran accross your blog totally randomly.....although we are very different, I can completely relate. Motherhood has a way of connecting us with eachother like nothing else can. No one in the world can possibly know the struggles we face, the triumphs we've made, the changes we've gone through. Why is it that the most interesting blogs I've read are written by mothers about their changing lives? Because we are among the most interesting people on the planet. Period. Thanks for this interesting read.

4:28 PM  
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