I had friends over to my condo yesterday for a pool party and BBQ. It was fun for JD and me, since it was a mix of our friends and not just an adult play-date. My work-wife Jemma, my three friends from NYC, and my single mom friend, Mareesa and her son Cristiano, 5, came over. It was an awesome day. It was really special to see my NYC friends and I appreciated that they drove in from the city (kind of annoying). These are the people that were with me when I was living in NYC and pregnant. It’s hard, but truthful to say that my relationships with these people have changed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love and want them in my life. It’s also reassuring to know they feel the exact same way. Just as much as my life changed, so did their lives.
My NYC friendships have really been weighing on me, because one of my friends no longer communicates with me. She called me a recluse, an a*shole and a bad friend. I don’t think I’m a recluse: I live with my child in a bright, happy space, I date, I’m constantly with family, friends and neighbors. I work. I’m creative and ambitious. Sometimes I’m bitchy. I have a good range of emotions and function on a normal level of dysfunction, I think. I’m not an a*shole, I’m just not: No explanation needed. But, maybe I am a bad friend. Maybe I was a bad friend to *Lori. Maybe she did try harder than me. She doesn’t have a kid. I’m playing the kid card. I can say with certainty that my priorities are JD, work, family and friends in that order. I can also say with certainty that I don’t have time to talk on the phone for hours with friends or hangout in NYC. I live in North NJ (40 minutes from the GWB). I can’t party in NYC then drive home. I don’t like to sleep out. I don’t like to party and then have a hungover day with my kid. I work full-time and JD is at camp for 11 hours a day. On the weekends I like to spend time with him, even if it means inviting my friends over to hang out with us, or visiting them.
All of my other friends understand this and they all have their own lives, too. My friends Lo and Jon who were over yesterday are planning their wedding and both have full-time, demanding jobs. We’re all working, dating, married, paying the bills and getting it done. We’re not kids anymore. It’s not the summer of 2005 when everyone was single and drunk on love, life and admittedly booze. We have mortgages and tuition payments now. We’re picking out wedding dresses and blocking off weeks in our iCals for business trips.
I’m a lucky single mom. Even though I got pregnant fairly young (I was 25) I had lived so much already. I wasn’t a teen mom. I went to prom. I went to college. I went on Spring Break. I went to Europe. I lived in Philly and NYC. I danced on tables. I did the walk of shame (blushing). I indulged in hours of boozy brunches. I had girls nights and shopping sprees and days where I could lay in bed and cry about some dude. Those days are over.
Now I’m a working single mom. I go to family picnics with people I wouldn’t have befriended unless JD was in my life. I call these people my “parent best friends.” They are awesome. They invite us over for dinner, the dads play ball with JD and we have theme nights like “White Wine Tuesday.” We speak the same language. This weekend at the picnic, one of kids went missing (not missing-missing, just out of our eyesight. We all went into recover child mode. (Child found at slide). We encourage two more bites, then the Kona ice truck. We share baby wipes in emergency situations. We trade off kids. I walked my friend’s kid to sleep in her stroller, while JD chilled with her dad. But at the same time, we’re fun adults who make jokes, drink beer and love hanging out together. We want a reality show. It would be so good.
When my non-parent friends come over we ride the train with conductor JD to funky town. I get out for kid-free time and date when I want to, but no one pressures me to and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Anything at all. The people that don’t understand that can get off the train and not come to funky town.
Family Picnic Day!
Tell me about your friendships. Has anything changed? Was it hard to make mom friends? Lose any friends since becoming a parent? Please share. XO
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