Change affects everyone differently. Most would say your true colors show during times of change. These are times when the deepest parts of you are tested. If you are not strong, you can easily break. The beginning of motherhood, and the changes that came with it, almost broke me.
It wasn’t the pain of labor, sleepless nights, adjusted schedule, or responsibility for new human life that truly broke me. While still exhausting, the books prepared me for all these things. What truly almost broke me was the loneliness.
Sure, I was showered with gifts and meals in the first weeks home with baby. But, after time passed and the excitement of the new baby had faded, I was left alone in the quiet house. The sounds of a baby crying, a breast pump pumping, and the TV chatting were all regular interactions for the day. Days would drag and fly by all at the same time. Time became consumed with one focus and one only: my baby.
As I finally started to feel like a real person again, I reached back out for friendship. But, it’s so much more complicated. It’s no longer a simple date for drinks. I couldn’t drop everything and meet everyone up at the bar. There was a little person to be fed and watched. There were schedules to be maintained. Plus, the mom guilt. Oh, the mom guilt. When you work full-time away from your little one all week, it’s so hard to pull yourself away. Then, there were those spare moments when the little one was finally sleeping, and you finally got to talk to your husband for the first time in a week. So, it was harder to find a slice of time away. I so desperately wanted to find that time, it was just harder now.
I realized everyone else hadn’t gone through this change. It was just me. Everyone else had continued to keep in touch. Everyone else had continued to hang out and I started to feel left behind. When I started to make more of an effort, I only felt more behind; I’d missed so much.
Then, there was a moment, a distinct moment that made me realize, I’d missed too much. Too much had changed; I had changed. Time kept moving without me. Those friends kept moving on without me. Instead of holding on, wishing they would understand, it was time for me to move on too.
It was time for me to accept that I am a mom first. Yes, I am also a wife, a career woman, a friend, and a strong-minded female at heart. But, Mom, is a title I took willfully and happily. I have two little people that depend on me, 100% me, to be their one and only MOM. Those are big shoes to fill. I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself (okay maybe a little) but it’s the most important job out there. I never really grasped it until I became one.
So, to those friends that moved on without me, maybe one day they will understand. Maybe one day they will come back to me when the light bulb goes off. Maybe not. Either way, it’s okay. Why? Because my emotions, my energy, has to be dedicated to nurturing my little ones. I can’t continue to feed into a relationship that’s no longer there. I need to have a support system in my life that can be understanding and effortless. So, I’ll say goodbye for now, but I’m always here.
If you get into a fight with your spouse, I’ll be here. If you have trouble getting pregnant, I’ll be here. If you want to share great news, I’ll be here. If you need a shoulder to cry on, I’ll be here. If you are nervous for the first day of school drop-off. I’ll be here. No matter when, or if, you come back, I’ll be here.
Seasons of life right? Maybe that big change of motherhood helped me to grow. Really, truly grow and see that there are seasons of friendships too. Maybe not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime. Maybe some are only meant for crucial parts of life. Who knows, maybe some friendships will be rekindled later in life.
For now, I can accept the changes in my life have made me who I am today. They are making me a better person and better mom.