Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We were Best Friends until we Weren't

Through thick and thin!

Your the Ying to my Yang

We've been together since we were in diapers. 

These are some of many statements used in Friendships. 
Those bonds we form throughout our lives that we think will last forever.
Connecting with that one person or several persons that really get us, accept us, love us. 

We share laughs, secrets, heartaches, clothes.
We go to school together, play sports together, go on vacations and maybe even double dates.
We grow our personal relationships around them, we share break ups and reconnects and break ups and new loves.
We buy cars, build homes and even get married or move in with our partners as our years together evolve. 

But what no one can foresee and many of us don't expect is the change that awaits us when Baby comes along.

Of course we are happy, over joyed, excited, pleased.
Of course we imagine and look forward to being called Auntie or Uncle. 
Of course in our minds we see baby showers, parks, birthdays, first steps, baby teeth etc...
What we don't see is the reality of time
The reality of change.
The reality of pending shift of priorities

It isn't rude or an assumption that friendships do change or shift slightly once we become parents. If we say that isn't true then we are not being truthful. 
We are not being genuine. 

Everything changes when Baby comes. 

Now why, how, what, and where is left up in the air for each individual to figure out. 

Why
You would think it is obvious but until another human being relies on you why is not clear. It is one of those things you try to plan and prepare for but can't really grasp its magnitude until you are in that moment. You are no longer able to pick up and go, life is no longer just about you that is Why.

How
You now start to shift your focus on building your family, keeping your child safe, preparing yourself to become a nurturer, care giver, doctor, teacher. No longer are the late night chats or picking up your bag and walking out the door even an issue you think about.
What restaurant is the latest must try is the last thing on your mind. You are now concerned that your time is managed properly that is How.

What 
Your sleeping habits, your eating habits, your financial needs and wants, your body, your partners thoughts about your body, the time you have for yourself, the time you spend outside your home, the activities you do, the new people you start to connect with, who you call, when you call, the topics you talk about these are some of the What.

Where
Things in your home, things at work, your connections with people, how you allocate your priorities, your mind, the car you may drive, the places you may visit these are some of the Where.

Can we do anything about this? Is this just an exaggeration? Are new parents the only ones affected or does this carry on as the kids grow older?

I can share from first hand experience that yes we can to some degree, that no it is not an exaggeration, that no new parents aren't the only ones affected it is just a major change for everyone that first year and that things will continue to shift as your child gets older.

I experienced this with several of my H.S. friends. We use to do just about everything together then slowly but surely as each one of us had our babies the shift began to take over.
The most crucial change for me though was with my bestie Cynthia. I have written about her in the past.
We were friends since 2nd grade. So to say our lives changed and we had some tough hills to cross over is an understatement.

When I shared I was expecting she couldn't wait to start shopping and planning. As my belly grew she also grew with more excitement and anticipation. She would be Titi Cindy or Titi Cyn and if I had a boy because she loved boys she had all the outfits and haircuts planned out for at least the first five years. If it was a girl the outfits were planned and the accessories were already ordered.
This was a great time, lots of laughs lots of fun.

Fast forward 8 or 9 months after my daughter was born and she thought I would be roaring to go back into the club scene or looking forward to late nights with the girls and I was perfectly happy with Brunch dates, shopping dates, calls, visits or strolls that the laughter stopped and the tension started.
It wasn't like I didn't try to compromise or she didn't try to understand, we both tried but it is just not the same when one has a child and the other one doesn't.

So, unfortunately as time continued to pass we grew apart and stopped speaking to one another. The attempts at light conversations or get together grew uneasy and we both just let go.
It was an adjustment but I had my Lil mama now and that was were my focus went.

Almost 3 years passed and I often wondered about her and her family, one day I was in her old neighborhood visiting my Grandmother with my daughter and I decided to reach out to her.
I told my daughter we were going to visit an old friend, we walked to her block, rang her doorbell and walked up the stairs.
To my surprise she had a child of her own, a boy, the son she had always wanted. Our light conversation turned into a dinner and our dinner turned into a late night sitting on the couch yapping away while the kids played together in the room.
From that day on we were together and closer than ever till her passing almost 7 years ago.

One of the touching moments of that day was her admission to lack of understand of how my life had changed the day my daughter was born and how it wasn't till she herself had her son that she could grasp the shift.
It was a great relief indeed and a great point of connection.
I am so grateful I took that walk to her door, I took that chance even if it was 3 years later because it allowed me to share many great years and moments with her and my nephew.
It has allowed me to have no regrets about our friendship.

Parenting is such an awesome journey for those who choose it, I always say. It is when we must learn to blend and balance things around it, that our journey can have some rough spots.

Have you had similar issues in your connections? How have you navigated the changes baby made in your lives? Share your stories, would love to hear how you have dealt with things.



Always stress free xo

9 comments:

  1. It is amazing how our friendships change over the years. It is rare to have a friend that lasts a lifetime. I am fortunate to have a friend like that but just one - since we were 12. So many have come and gone over the years. It takes a lot of investment to keep a friendship going and not everyone is willing to put in that kind of time. Very thoughtful post. Mari.

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  2. Jovina thank you for visit and comment. Funny enough it was my daughter who suggested I touch this subject. I agree relationships in general take effort and sometimes one of the parties is just not in the same place you are so when we do have that one connection it is always a treasure.

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  3. Hi Mari! I actually had almost the EXACT same thing happen with a college friend! You're right, life happens. The BEST thing is that you were able to reconnect before it was too late. Beyond the friendship itself, that was a true blessing.

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    1. Hey Nikki, I am grateful for sure that we had closer and some great years together in a new light for sure. Thanks for visit and comments, chat again soon :)

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  4. I don't see the comment I wrote the other day, so I am making it again. I had a somewhat of a similar experience but it was when my college roommate called years after we graduated to let me know she had just given birth. I was annoyed at receiving the call at 3 or 4 in the morning, but I finally realized several years later when I gave birth to my own son, that after accomplishing the most wonderful thing on earth that you wanted to share it with everyone, regardless of the time. So children so have an affect on friendships and I am glad that yours is repaired...can't say the same for me and my roommate.

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    1. Antionette, glad you left comment again cause I didn't see one from before. I am glad we got to repair our friendship before she transitioned for sure. Some things with effort can be repaired but it takes two so if yours didn't work it wasn't meant for your life's journey moving forward, that's how I see it. :) always love your visits xo

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    2. I think I need to be logged into Google+ first before commenting - must remember to do so!

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  5. A wonderful post - thank you for sharing & Thank you for networking with us on the CLIMB!
    Angie
    godsgrowinggarden.com

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    1. Angie thanks for visit and I am loving CLIMB

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