We all know how once we become parents, it’s hard to connect with our old circles. Oh, we don’t think it’s going to happen. We’re going to get a babysitter once a week, we say to ourselves. But, reality sets in and we quickly grasp that trying to find time to hang out with our non-parent friends is about as easy as trying to spear a salmon swimming upstream, without having any experience hunting or fishing, and without any sort of understanding of refraction. They stay up later than us, they watch current television shows, they don’t have to work around nap times and those periodic babysitters are used so we can clean out the boxes in our basements or clean out the gutters, or put in a new water heater ourselves when the old one dies.
But we want to be friendly, we want to have friends, so we like to think we can at least find company with other parents, because they get it! We list all of the reasons in our head why these new mom-relationships are going to be so. awesome. It’ll be so much easier than spearing fish. It’ll be like attracting ants with candy.
- They are going through what we are!
- Our kids can play together. We won’t even care if they fight or hit each other with spoons. We will laugh and nod at one another knowingly and consider it all to be social skills training.
- They won’t get offended that when it comes to listening to them we only have the attention spans of goldfish, because of the constant I want water! Can I have a snack? Kiss my elbow, it’s bleeeeeding! (when it’s not bleeding), I peed on the carpet! Watch THIS! Watch THIS! Look at meeeeeee…..
- They don’t care that we come over wearing puke on our sweatshirts.
- Or that we wear the same puked-on outfit day, after day….after day.
In some sort of cruel cosmic joke, realization sets in through a series of scenarios that are reminiscent of Twillight-Zone story lines, and parents soon face the facts. When it comes to remaining highly social beings after having kids, the odds are never in our favor.
HER: Doing anything fun today? Are you able to walk to the park at all?
ME: What the eff. I’m sick. I’ve randomly got a 103 temp. Dying.
HER: Stay away. Don’t even text me back. You sound too contagious.
ME: I’m feeling better! Play date at the park?
HER: Can’t. Baby has pinkeye and toddler has hand, foot, and mouth.
ME: Gag. At least you don’t have super lice.
HER: What the heck are super lice??? Do you have super lice??
ME: No! I asked you to go to the park, remember?? And let’s hope you never find out what super lice are.
ME: (Although, then you’d get that haircut you’ve been complaining you can squeeze in).
ME: Hey! Up for going for a walk with the kiddos tonight?
HER: Sure! We’re almost home. What time were you thinking?
ME: 5:00? Or earlier?
HER: Have to run to the store, then make dinner and feed the fam. 5:45?
ME: Ugh. Baby’s been going to sleep at 6:00. 🙁
HER: Our schedules are so off!
HER: Are you guys around today? Thought I’d try to blow up the pool and can let you know when it is open for business? Not sure if the kiddo will love it or not, first time trying it out.
ME: Ohhh, nice. We are on our way to Potter Park now. Maybe after nap time?
HER: Check in later. We can let you know how it goes this morning. Have fun at the zoo. You’re brave. It’s so hot!
ME: I’m a warrior mama, armed with sunscreen and wads of cash to buy a copious amount of popsicles. Text you later, let’s try to connect!
HER: Hope nap times work so you guys can come over!
ME: Okay, we are leaving the zoo, napping when we get home.
ME (hours later): Still sleeping, but probably up any minute. what are you guys up to?
HER: Kiddo JUST went down, so will probably sleep another hour and a half. Is this not going to work again? I can text when he gets up.
ME: Good lord.
HER: I know.
HER (hours later): This isn’t happening again, is it? Are you staring your nighttime routine? My guess is yes.
ME: The family is heading to the cottage Thursday to Saturday. Coffee Sunday morning?
HER: Yes! Please!
ME (Monday): Don’t kill me. I think we’re now staying until Sunday afternoon…
HER: I can’t kill you if I never see you again 🙁
ME: Coffee tomorrow evening? I’m free!
HER: Yes! Yay!
ME (next day): I guess hubs is coming home early so can’t do coffee today. Maybe tomorrow though.
HER: No problem. I still haven’t taken a shower and really need to. Will try tomorrow.
ME: Stopping over today after work?
HER: For sure! Stopping at the house briefly then we’ll pop over.
HER: Sooooo baby is in my lap and hopefully falling asleep very soon. I could still come in a bit Or… For SURE come straight from work tomorrow. Sorry. I know my track record sucks.
HER (next day): I’m agoraphobic. I’ll be by tomorrow. I really will 🙂
ME: We are around we are having some friends over tonight. Join? Maybe we will do a fire pit? If you can stay up that late.
HER: As usual, will see how things pan out. I’ll text. And if I have enough energy, although I can’t imagine being out past 9.
HER: (No text later)
Since you can’t ever actually connect in person, sometimes you just chat via text:
ME: I’m a train wreck. Eat. Eat. Drink. Gah. I do NOT want to go back to work yet but I might need the structure.
HER: I remember you telling me about those chocolate bark things… My picture should be my fat stomach hanging out from my camisole but I just can’t bring myself to do it..
ME: Haha! Omg. SHOW ME.
HER: You’re pinching like the tiniest little layer of SKIN. That ain’t nothing. And no, no picture here.
ME: I need a picture. I’m worried I might not recognize you if I walk by you at the supermarket.
HER: So I’m planning on swinging by on my way home! 5ish??
HER: Be there in 3 minutes.
We’ll see if it works out this time.