When I had Florence my social life completely changed. For me it was perfect as I no longer wanted to go out partying and my time was so taken up with all things baby that I barely noticed the fact I suddenly hadn’t seen some of my friends for ages. It was easy to see the pals I had who already had children because they seemed to just understand and fit in with me but somehow my times with chums who haven’t had little ones seemed to just evaporate… I didn’t mean it to but life had changed and although I’d love to see my friends more often, sadly it just doesn’t happen very much. What I’ve noticed though, is that most of my lovely friends of old have just gone with it. They see me when I am free, never moan that most of the time I am not and they are lovely with my children. Especially my friend Sarah who we love and call Aunty Ra Ra. She doesn’t have children yet but she totally gets it all and for that I’m so grateful!
Thankfully Sarah is not in the minority; just because people haven’t got their own little darlings it really doesn’t mean that they want to say goodbye to their friends who do! I think I may well have worried about this in the past so it’s really good to know! A new friend of mine, Suzy, who writes The One Red Leaf has written a brilliant guest post for me about why she still wants to hang out with her Mummy pals and it’s fab – thanks Suzy.x
Lazy Sunday afternoons in the pub garden, sitting in the sunshine (well, shade – I’m ginger) with a glass of nicely chilled pink wine, enjoying the company of friends, chatting about everything and nothing. It sounds idyllic but it’s pretty much a reality. Not every week and not always a pub garden* but enough to make it regular, not a distant dream. *Sometimes my own garden, other times museums, cafes, the park, other people’s houses… The nicest thing about this is that “the company of friends” means little people too.
I’m 35 years old, single and child-free. But I love my friends’ children. Most of the time. They all have their phases, don’t they?! I love that Gracie (nearly 4 now) knows her way around my home, from the purple pig cup for drinks to her box of toys (ok, it’s actually an old handbag, some long-dead shop reward cards, enough money to maybe buy a chocolate bar and a few squeezy stress toys from conferences but she seems happy enough with it) in the cupboard. She also remembers to take off her shoes before going in to the front room, without being told, although the lure of jumping off the sofa is still too much. To be honest, I would too but it seems to be more effort to climb on than jump off these days. I’ve barely got my shoes and coat off in Daisy’s house (also nearly 4…how they grow!) before she’s dragging me in to the living room to play our game of Slip (it’s more sofa-jumping, actually sliding, but still the sofa is the location). It’s not played at any other time or with any other person. Just with Auntie Suze. And one of my favourite things is to be FaceTimed by my 7 year old niece – “I’ll call you tomorrow after my first day back at school”. *Melt*
Society seems to want to separate women into childless singletons and smug married parents (or perhaps I’ve been watching too much Bridget). But there does seem to be a desire to divide us. I know that life changes when you have children. I don’t need to be a mother to know that. Schedules are altered, nights out become nights in, alcohol tolerance levels dip way down, but again, that could just be an age thing. Priorities change and life BC (yep, Before Children) can be a distant memory. We singletons understand. We also remember you as the person you were before you became Mummy. And that’s why we still want to hang out with you. We may not understand the complexity of nursery fees or have potty trained a toddler but generally speaking we’ve heard about the trickiness of it all and, well, personally I just like to talk so why not talk about that, about children’s tv (https://rocknrollerbaby.co.uk/?p=6701) or about where to buy new shoes (small or large).
Life is about the journey, not the destination. You meet new people along the way, on the new path you’ve chosen, and they can bring such richness to your life. But there’s still room for people who may not have taken the same road as you and I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have friends who want me along for the ride.