Parenthood, Friendships and Socialising

It’s funny. When you’re pregnant and then when you become a mother, you discover who your friends really are.

There’s that saying, “good friends are those who you don’t see regularly but when you do see them you can pick up and carry on as if no time has been spent apart”

The moment you tell people you are pregnant, there’s a hubbub of congratulations and excitement. Then people seem to think you’re fragile and things change.

Beforehand you’d get invited to nights out. Weekends away. Dinners in semi-fancy restaurants.

Then it stops.

It’s as if being pregnant means you’re no longer allowed to do such things.

Instead whilst your friends go out and have fun, not inviting you (mainly because they assume you won’t want to go, they assume you’re feeling sick or tired) you troll Internet pregnancy and parenting boards looking for people in the same situation as you so that you can bond.

So for almost 9 months, you slowly begin to lose touch with those friends.
You see Facebook statuses, tweets, photos of their “adventures”. You wonder why you weren’t invited. You feel a bit upset, hormones are raging, you have a cry and then you feel angry. Then? You stop caring. At least for a little while.

Then d-day comes and you have your baby. You make your birth announcement and all of a sudden everyone comes out of the woodwork.

You get lots of congratulations and excitement, lots of messages asking when people can come and visit. People wanting to come and hold your new baby.

The same people who only weeks/months before simply stopped involving you in their social life/circles. Who only rarely sent you a message to see how you were. Who very rarely responded to your messages.

The first few weeks of having your new baby is a flurry of visitors. People invite themselves to your home for new baby cuddles. Then it tails off again. As the weeks go by, you get less visitors, less messages, less phone calls.

These same people carry on with their lives. You carry on with yours, getting to grips with a new baby.

Again, you don’t get invites to go to the pub, out for a meal. Instead you see photos from nights out, Facebook statuses, tweets.

When you jokingly say “where was my invite then?” People uhm and ahh, unsure of what to say and then finally come out with “I didn’t think you be able to because of the baby”.

You don’t get invited because people assume you are too tired/ can’t go because you have a baby now/ don’t want to go.

As if having a baby, being a mother means that you can now no longer attend social functions. As if being a mother suddenly means you are no longer an actual person. With feelings.

Well, here’s the low down, from a new mama.

It hurts.

Just because I am now someone’s mother and have the responsibility for a child, doesn’t mean I am not a person, who on occasion needs some adult conversation, interaction and occasionally a glass of wine!

Don’t stop inviting me out because you think I can’t/don’t want to go. Don’t assume. You know, your assumption may be correct. I may be too tired and not want to go. I may not have a baby sitter and so cannot go. But I’d like to be asked. To be invited, instead of feeling excluded.

Remember that. Remember to continue to treat your friend like a friend after she announces her pregnancy and has a baby. Otherwise you may find that one day she won’t be your friend anymore.
Eventually she will stop trying, will decide to stop asking herself what she did to be treated the way she was, and she will just walk away.

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