Y’know how I keep saying nothing is what I imagined it would be like in Mom-land? It seems like I’m in good company on this next little adjustment from 1.0 to 2.0 and that would be: the social changes. While prior to having a baby I knew that I would need to make Mom-friends, what I never imagined and I suppose couldn’t imagine without having the limitations of a newborn, was the way having a baby would impact my social life. My assumption prior to being a mom was that obviously life would change, but that it would be an “extra set of chores” type change … As I have learned, having a baby is clearly more than just extra chores.
Fun little life fact about Cool Mom is I’m a professional at being the New Kid. Long story short we moved a lot when I was growing up and I acquired many assimilation skills along the way. As an adult I’ve applied my little New Kid Program to big life changes. Survival skill numero uno: assemble a squad. For the most part the fundamental principal of getting involved in an organization or organized activity has worked out for me in making new friends. Taking my own advice as I transitioned to Mom, I signed up for many Mommy & Me classes to find some new Mom-friends.
These new relationships fascinate me.
My logic said each person is unique therefore each spouse is unique and each household is going to have individual struggles and individual assets etc etc … ok turns out, this baby thing is UNIVERSALLY humbling. The planners, the slackers, the over achievers, mouth breathers, the jocks and the geeks … did not matter what was going on with your individuality or what you thought was special about you, what continues to amaze me is the SAME conversations we all have!!!
At a recent play date with two moms, we all had a laugh that all three of our partners say this line a lot: “If I did that you would kill me” in response to watching the mom break a rule. Because this amused me so much, I repeated the story to a few other mom friends and they said that sentence is thrown around in their houses too …
Now, another thing my new mom friends and I have bonded over is how our social lives have changed. We remarked that initially we assumed our lives would be the same just with a baby, and that it turns out it’s nothing like that. Staying out late becomes stressful, and not just because someone else is watching your baby, but because you know every hour you’re out is an hour you’re not sleeping and if that baby decides to get up for the day at 2 am and you got home at 11 pm, well that’s your luck. Or, all the girls are going to get mani/pedis … so you can call around and see if you can find a sitter who will be cool with only working for about 2 hours which is going to cost you $30. Now you rethink the mani/pedi because yours is going to cost $30 more than everyone else’s just with the babysitting fee. So you sit that one out and offer to meet up for coffee after. But you have to bring the baby because sitter issue. Maybe their mani/pedi was at noon. You think great, they’ll be done for coffee around 1:30. Still hoping to see your friends, you try to put the baby down for a nap so she’ll wake in time for the 1:30 coffee. But she won’t nap at all. In fact she bugs out for 35 minutes. So you pull her and make her a bottle and then put her in the car seat where she continues to freak out. Ok, if she keeps screaming by the time we get to coffee, I’ll turn around and bail. She passes out. Dilemma time. Nap her, or carry the car seat into the coffee and hope she sleeps? Option 2. Ok, you get to the coffee shop. Text from Petunia: “Beauty Queen is getting her upper lip threaded, gonna be another 15 mins, meet you there!”. 15 minutes?! Are you kidding me?! 15 minutes, she could wake up, she could shit, 15 minutes is like HALF the time I had budgeted for this hang to begin with!
Ok, just sit here in the parking lot while she sleeps and go on Instagram. 20 minutes later you hear them before you see them. Damn loud conversation-havers, laughing. Why do my friends laugh so much!? Can’t you see the baby is finally sleeping?! Stop with your loud laughing and your smiley smiles! Maniacs! Ok me stop. It’s me, I’m crazy, shut up be normal. Lock it up. Get out of the car, smile, ask them a question about themselves. “Wow they really got those stubborn upper lip whiskers, Beauty Queen! Lookin smooth!” … oh that’s just wonderful, me. Am I glad the baby decides to start crying? Saved by the yell. They all pretend to be cool about a screaming baby joining the coffee, but you know they want you to do something. You buy everyone’s lattes out of guilt and then raise the white flag. It’ll be easier when she’s older you tell yourself the first few times this happens.
Then one by one the invites to get manis and pedis stop coming. Mani pedi time goes from social activity to solo time. And that’s cool. Mom’s love their quiet time. It’s just one of those weird changes you go through that’s like not a bad change it’s just your new normal. And the same goes for the dinners which become less and less exciting to you anyway because of the above sleep dilemma. And as each of the plans you used to like becomes a less frequent invite, the baby parties and the baby hangs pick up speed.
Another friend was over recently and she was telling me about her difficulty finding mom friends in her neighborhood and I found myself excitedly telling her about the mom-scene in The Valley. In hindsight I wonder if she caught me at the right time, because if she had asked me about the scene here a few months ago my overwhelmed self would’ve been like IT’S SO LONELY I CAN’T TAKE IT! And for science I asked her if her husband ever says “you would kill me if I did that” and she said yes, that’s said often in their house. So we laughed and then like the decent Mafia Don I am, I extended my protections to her should she and her family move into our neighborhood. And by that I mean, I drew her a crude map of the classes we’ve taken over here and told her which ones to hit up and which she could save her money on.
I have to say though, this little #momsquad I’ve assembled is pretty legit. We’re like the Bad News Bears of Momming. It took me about 9 months to feel confident in my Mom-game, but Mom-game on point lately. Probably upped my mom game now that I think about it, by having new mom friends because they MomGyver problems I didn’t know would even be problems! So next time you’re walking round Lake Balboa and see a stroller train 6 deep, Dr Brown’s in tow and hear repeated verses of “The Wheels on the Bus”… know that you’ve just witnessed the greatness that is a #momsquad, and move over we’re carrying enough, jeez!