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Friendships & Parenthood
Before parenthood, I was given more advice than I could have ever wanted or needed:
Use this type of nipple cream.
Never use this brand of diapers.
Your child should have no screen time for the first three years of his life.
Co-sleeping is the best, craziest, worst, and most dangerous thing you could ever do.
I was given so much information I felt my brain was going to explode. But, ironically, I was never offered advice about something that has been one of the biggest challenges of becoming a parent: keeping friendships. I was never warned that once I had kids my friendships would change – in good ways and bad.
During the first year of parenthood, I walked, talked and breathed everything mommy related. Any chance I got, I would talk about my kid - even to those who were uninterested. I naively thought, “If I love to talk about my kid, this friend who loves me must love to talk about him too, right?” Wrong.
The thing that made my life do a 180-degree spin – having kids - is a subject they didn’t truthfully care that much about. Don’t get me wrong, they cared about the wellbeing of my kids and enjoyed hearing answers to the usual: “How’s little Owen doing?” update, but talking about chafing nipples, butt rash for days, and night sweats are topics that my kid-less friends just didn’t want to talk about.
A different life
I quickly realized with the beginnings of parenthood, my friendships had completely changed. What used to be late night outings to the bar turned into possible coffee dates at 1pm so I could rush home by nap time. What turned into discussions about work, upcoming vacations, or the restaurants I had been eating at turned into a desperate need to talk about my lack of sleep or what pumping bra worked best – topics my child-less friends just didn’t understand or want to understand. Don’t get me wrong. Not all childless people are this way. I have a few lifelong friends without kids who do genuinely care. But they are few and far between.
Loss of connection
To be honest, I had to mourn the death of some friendships. Sounds dramatic but it’s true. Some friendships didn’t make it. Our interests were different. Our fears were different. Our outlooks on life were completely different. And out of the change came a loss of connection.
While I mourned the loss of these friendships, I also welcomed some amazing moms (thank goodness for MeetUp groups) that I know will last a lifetime. Bonding with other moms created a totally new, and close, type of friendship.
a change is coming
So, when giving advice to soon-to-be moms, instead of telling them which brand of baby soap to buy, share with them the importance of friendship. Tell them that even though some bonds may dwindle, they will be opening their life to some amazing new friends who could literally talk about poop, burping, baby giggles, and much more all day, every day.
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hi, I'm leslie
Whether it's through nutrition, mindfulness, spending more time with family, setting monthly goals, or just finding the things that make us happy in life, finding balance is the ultimate goal. Join me as I try and find balance in my own life.
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