I miss my girlfriends. It is not the same anymore and I know why. Relationships are in a state of flux at all times as everything is relative to where you stand in your life. Every friendship has to be able to weather the shit life gives. It seems that each of my girlfriends have been going through major life issues such as birth, death, love, hate, and other big ones at radically different times. I'm sure it is truly shitty to have to sit and watch your BFF unwrap onesies and Gdiapers days after miscarrying a child or being in wedding party weeks after your partner leaves you for yr neighbor. I feel like we are all silently pretending to understand and empathize properly. I mourn my old life where we were all on basically the same playing field and we could relate. I always thought I was different from the masses because I had neatly created the perfect friendship circle that nothing could break nor change. I did not want new friends and I clung to the idea that nothing would change. Ever. I was not bending to that whole relativity notion.
After having children I felt trapped between the camps. The “mommies” and the “having funners”. Sometimes I don’t feel like I belong to either. I find it incredibly dull to simply talk about motherhood with other mothers; I‘d rather be mothering. I also feel a dichotomy surrounding my parenting. I tried to breastfeed and was pretty unsuccessful after much effort- so I am not always welcome by judgmental mothers who cannot look past the Similac can in my diaper bag. I also had two C-Sections and apparently that means I am not in the true mama club to some. I am however, pretty crunchy when it comes to most baby raising. I sling and attach the shit out of my boys and I feed em locally grown food that I grind with mama sweat. But then I did try the cloth diaper thing and I really do prefer to use the disposable ones-I am not a menace! I also feed my baby from plastic bottles. Yikes! Yet, I don’t really groove with mainstream mothering at times either. I like natural products for their skin, but I buy Spiderman toothpaste. I don’t want my kids to eat McDonald’s or watch much TV. I detest plastic toys, but my kids have many littering my floor. I am the mother I am and I am learning to accept this about myself. I wanna hang with the mommies, but I want to talk about us and our goals and distractions, not our kids 24/7.
I wanna run with the “having funners” and dance the night away and plan trips to the Greek Isles. But, the “having funners” are too speedy for me right now. Like girls on uppers they fly around on caffeine and put together outfits and work and go straight to happy hour and out on the town so quickly their beautiful faces blur. They know pop culture and what is in and how to behave in the social scene. They are getting degrees and contracts and deals and I feel dizzy. I can’t go anywhere from point A to point B quickly anymore. I lack spontaneity. I try and keep up, but someone always needs a diaper change, a boo boo kissed, or a meal. I actually schedule cleaning and sex at this point. I try and talk to them about my life, the real one I am living right now, but they are bored with my ramblings of what my son can do and how sweet babies smell. I can see it in their eyes that glaze over ever so slightly. I try and talk about what I am going to do soon with my life and I can see how I must look to them, speaking of going back to school as a baby vomits on me and a toddler pulls at my shirt. I wanna be the old me and the new me at the same time and it is impossible.
Just because I miss my old life of debauchery and adoration by several dozen, does not mean that I have not carved out a new type of social scene. I have kept my old friends, just like Girl Scouts taught me so many years ago. (Even though some of them are more brass than gold anymore…I love them still). I now realize that I have different relationships with my old friends presently. I am unable to do all that I did before in terms of the social animal that I was because I choose not to be that person right now. My priorities are different; God when did I grow up? But, I have begun to seek out a new community. It started when I moved to a new neighborhood right before having my first son. I met Kate and she was also pregnant with first child. She and her partner were much more indie and earthy than me and my man. They talked co-ops and tofu, and had incredible grilled cheese parties. It happened naturally though, we became new mothers together and although I did not know it then, I needed a new friend. I think we taught each other things and learned along the way to not judge each other and to just “mother”. I also started a writing group that allowed me to spend some time on myself once a week and mix with other folks. I began to blog and found that there was (as there always is) a million other mothers like me out there feeling the same way. I wasn’t the only one a bit sad and mournful over my old life while simultaneously adoring my new one. I found a whole new community online that allowed me time to stretch out my thoughts and intertwined them with others and learn more about myself as an adult woman and a mother. I joined a co-op playgroup and met families that became not only my son’s playmates, but my friends. It has been slowly working out; the redefinition of me.
I feel more secure about my community nowadays as it is bigger and stronger than I thought possible. It is full of ancient tales of dancing on the bar and new ones of staying up late with babies. It is one that welcomes me from all sides and does not mind if I am away for large stretches of time. I t is one that forgives. It is one that accepts. It is a community that took me a while to sew together, but it is rich with the necessities. I am fortunate enough to once in a while put on my social butterfly costume and run with the “having funners”, but I can also lean into the coziness of the “mommies”. I can finally be me and that is a mix of old and new. I am not losing anything by reaching out more. I am still bad ass and cool. I am still the most popular girl at my house.