Social life. Hmmm. I’m social and have a life but it’s changed since taking on the twins and that’s okay. I’ve made friends and I’ve lost friends. I came into last summer with a handful of incredibly close friends and walked away with about half of the original and some new ones. So I’m 27 with teens. What’s the big deal? People my age are married with kids in most places in the world but not in my circle. I’m friends with one married couple that are waiting to have kids and the rest are dating or single.
Before I could go out for dinner on a school night or have a few drinks at the bar and not worry about coming home intoxicated. Yes- the kids can make dinner for themselves on school night but they still need someone to go over home work with them. Yes- I can go to the bar but I will not be staying out til it closes. Yes- I would love to spend the night for a girls movie night but I have kids at home.
If I do go out to dinner my conversation has shifted- I’m not talking about this amazing cardio bar class I went to, or the weekend get way with my man, or the wine tasting I went to. I’m talking about the twins, homework, counselors, maybe I’ll talk about my work or my boyfriend but that’s really it and its a lot. It can be difficult but my close friends and I are on different tracks. I actually have one girlfriend that anytime I start talking about the twins she drastically rolls her eyes. It’s rude. I love her and care about her but that’s my life she’s rolling her eyes at. I had one friend that I used to spend the vast majority of my free time with who told me she was tired of my excuses. I understand her frustration for my changing life and not being able to be there the same way I used to- I miss it too…but I inherited two kids. Its not about me anymore.
Rather than just walking away from my long term friendships I’ve redefined them. I’ve made it clear I have to be a planner not a last minute coffee invite. I may have to cancel if something comes up with the kids or my demanding job. I also acknowledge that my childless friend will ask how the kids are but they mean it in the way you may ask a neighbor. So I say, “The kids are great.” and move on to hear about their lives.
I’ve also reconnected with people I’ve lost touch with through this. One of my friend and I lost touch with when she became a mom. At the time I was hurt by it but I realize that our lives shifted- while I was pledging a sorority she was bringing a life into this world. Its nice to rekindle out friendship. Also, all the friends I’ve met through work over the last year only know me with the kids so it’s the way it’s always been with them and that almost makes it easier.
The thing that sticks out is it’s not about old friends or new friends or friends with kids or with out them. I’m hurt by loosing those friends through this but I’m so happy about the ones I’ve kept. It comes down to a mutual understanding about life and being able to role with the punches. Things don’t always work out as you planned but they work out if you give some wiggle room.