With every stage of life, new friends come and old friends either stay or fade away. From childhood to college, and from marriage to the hardest job out there, parenthood, I have gained and lost many whom I considered to be my “best friend.” But luckily I have managed to hold on to a majority of my closest friends, some of whom I’ve had for more than half of my life.
As we enter major stages of life, it’s hard to hang on to those who are in different stages than us, but it’s important that we do. My son will be 1 next month (yes, I’m in denial), and this past year has been a blur, a beautiful and sleep-deprived blur. I am one of the few in each of my friend groups to be married and have a child, so I want to put this out there for my best pals who knew me before I had a 2 1/2-foot-tall sidekick:
1. I know you mean well, but I sometimes feel weird and out of place in this body that grew a human being, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never see my “old body” ever again. So if I bitch about how I miss my size 4 dresses, just smile and give me some encouragement (even if you and I both know it’s total BS).
2. With that being said, please don’t ask me if you can have any of my old pre-baby clothes. They’ll fit…one day.
3. If I have to choose between a social life and sleep, I’ll choose sleep. If I have to choose between working out and sleep, I’ll choose sleep. If I have to choose between Netflix and sleep, I’ll probably choose Netflix (but if you want to watch it with me, I’m game).
4. Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood are all simultaneously beautiful, weird, and exhausting. I’m not drawing comparisons between soldiers and a woman in labor, but if you want to hear my war stories, I’ll be more than happy to tell them all to you.
5. I want to get a sitter for the night and go out for margs and dollar tacos or dirty martinis and tapas, but my child still can’t sleep without me and I just can’t leave him.
6. Speaking of which…yes, I do love your dog, but when I am running on three hours of sleep, please do not compare my all-night nursing brigade to your fur baby waking you up to go outside in the middle of the night.
7. I love that you are so supportive of my parenting decisions. Even if you don’t completely understand them, I love that you are there to have my back when I get judged for nursing in public or having a glass of wine in the third trimester of pregnancy.
8. Thank you for always offering to carry the diaper bag. A simple gesture like this means a lot.
9. I miss the old days sometimes. By that, I mean I really just miss sleeping 8-plus hours a night and sleeping in until noon. Hell, at this point I’d take 9 a.m.
10. Brunch is one of the ways we as parents build bridges between our former lives and our current child-filled lives. Brunch is awesome for three reasons: 1) day drinking, 2) food, and 3) it’s socially acceptable to drink around your kids.
11. I know sometimes it feels like we have nothing in common anymore, but I promise that under the dark circles below my eyes and my milk-stained clothing, I’m still in there!
12. Some of you want children so badly but are facing setbacks and challenges. I want you to know that I believe you will be a great parent whenever and however it happens.
13. Thank you for watching the baby so I can pee/shower/eat/pretend to pee and actually browse BuzzFeed and Facebook for 10 uninterrupted minutes.
14. I like myself better now that I’m a mom. I have a whole new innate confidence that I can’t begin to describe. And if you want to have kids of your own one day, I hope you feel that way, too.
15. I love the way you love my kid. You have been a wonderful, supportive friend, and I’m thrilled to see you embrace my child the same way you’ve embraced me in friendship.
As we go through life, it’s inevitable that we will make and lose friends along the way. To those of you who have stuck around with me through this journey called parenthood, buckle up, we’re in for a wild ride.