Oct 26, 2011

The Evolution of Friendships

Ahhhhh girlfriends. The lifeblood of any woman's social circle. They're the reason we make it through our formative years, with a small sense of dignity and our sense of humor intact. There's nothing like a good group of girlfriends. You'll never laugh as hard as you do with them. You'll never be able to be as silly, or as uncompromisingly honest as you are when you're with them. I mean, they're the only ones willing to talk to you in detail about PMS, or listen to you cry for hours after you've been dumped. They'll laugh with you, celebrate with you, cry with you and, if necessary, drop everything they've got going on just to come to your aide when you really need them.

I am one of the lucky few who is blessed to have an amazing group of women to call my friends. I don't think I would be half the woman that I am without them in my life.

But having Lucie has made one thing very clear: my non-parent friends officially think I'm boring. I can almost feel them pressing "ignore" on their phones when I call.

The division started showing itself while I was mid-pregnancy. When I would talk to my friends who already had babies, we'd talk for hours on end about the different aspects of pregnancy, both good and bad; we'd talk about birth plans and I'd get great advice on various aspects of pregnancy, birth and motherhood in general. And then I'd talk to my friends who don't yet have children and I'd get questions like "so how's the pregnancy thing going?" At first, I'd tell them in detail how it was going "oh, I felt the baby kick last night," or "yeah, these Braxton Hicks are really getting to me," but I could tell they were starting to glaze over. So eventually I didn't know how to answer that question. "Yep. Still pregnant," was about all they had patience for; past that, they couldn't relate and when, or if,  I'd go into further detail, they listened, but it always seemed a bit strained.

After I gave birth, my friends wanted to hear about it, but mostly it felt they wanted to hear the sordid details so that they could be thankful it was me and not them.

Now that I'm knee-deep in Motherhood, my friends without children seriously have no idea how to relate to me. And it's understandable. Really. I used to feel the exact same way. I didn't know how to relate to my Mommy-friends until I had a child of my own. I'm just so thankful that I wasn't the first one in my group of friends to have a baby, because that would have been really hard. Women that don't yet have children can't possibly understand how every day really is an adventure when you're a Mom. To them, I think, it sounds mundane if not downright dull.

It's all part of the evolution of our lives. Friendships change as we evolve and grow as people and settle into our own independent adult lives. It's the true friendships that can weather the storm, and come out on the other side mostly-intact. I am so incredibly grateful for all of my girlfriends, the moms, the marrieds, the lesbians, and the single ladies alike. I love you all and without you, I would be lost. I truly love hearing your dating horror stories, your work or school woes, your adventures into cohabitation, and eventually, if you so choose, I will love to hear about your pregnancy, birth and transition into Motherhood.

If you're a Mom reading this, cut your non-Mommy friends some slack. They're trying. And whether you can feel it or not, they still love you just the same.

And if you're one of the women out there who doesn't have children, and your friend does, try not to let on that you think she's incredibly boring. Pretend that hearing about her baby's new tooth is as riveting as she thinks it is. You'll need her one day when it's your child that's teething.

Regardless, girlfriends really are the best. Life would be so much less interesting without them. It's our differences that make us great.

Now go find your bestie and give her a bear-hug!!

Photos by Holland Photo Studio


Valerie said...

I completely disagree. After I had my baby (and finally quit nursing) I found my sense of freedom again. I just think its so important to have a sense of self even after your child is born. Sure I don't go to the bars every night anymore but I find that my friends enjoy me for me and kid or no kid we still talk about travel, work, husbands, dogs, books, tv shows or anything else that comes up. The majority of my friends do not have children and I'm glad I can still be myself even after motherhood. I feel that, like being a wife, being a mom doesn't define who I am, it's just a part of me. I am still me.

Landrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Landrie said...

I think that our experiences are a bit different in that all of my closest friends live at very least 4-6 hours away from me, and our main communication is over the phone.
That being said, whether you agree or disagree with my take on things, I'm just happy that you're reading my thoughts on the matter and have opened the discussion by talking about your own personal experience. Because, after all, everyone's experiences are different. I was simply talking about mine.

Jody said...

Hi landrie, just found ur blog via curvy girl :)

I've always been one of the 'childless' friends, however I have always been interested in hearing all the same deatails that the mommy friends do... Maybe it's because I've always loved babies and children and know alot about them, even though I don't have my own. My sister has a 20 month old and feels much the same as you. Unfortunately I think most women without kids don't get it until they have their own. I'm pleased I've always been able to share in my friends journey with them even though I wasn't lucky enough to have my own baby. the best thing is that my friends don't 'belittle' my advice (which is never given unless solicited) or try to tell me I don't get it because I don't have a baby. Keep your head high and know that your real friends will stick with you even as you 'evolve' x