Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The In-Between

(Not to be confused with the Upside Down!!!) 

single, pre-Lewis, pre-babies
post-Lewis, post-no-going-back-to-my-old-body...

Even though I have this little jelly bean dancing around most of the time, I'm not quite the mama of any earthly children yet. At the same time, I'm definitely not living free and easy, totally unattached, doing whatever pleases me most (ie. sleeping on my stomach/back and drinking lots of wine).

I've been thinking about this in-between state a lot lately.

Denver is finally finally starting to feel a little more familiar, a little less alien-planet like and this is 99% due to having found some friends. People who I know I could call for a coffee, to go to IKEA with me, recommend a nail place - whatever.  It's AMAZING. We have this fridge magnet that says something like "Where you are, it is your friends who make your home" aka it's not where you are, it's who you're with! Duh, Paige. College Life Lesson 101. But really, I did need to re-learn this SLASH learn to be patient with how friendships, life, relationships in general all always progress.

So here I am, making friends, and noticing something cool and strange - I'm in the in-between of quite a few things. It's a weird place to be. On the one hand, I'm loving getting to know just other young women (mostly single, some married, sans children). We can do coffee or happy hours (lolol), talk about work, life, the election, dating, the weather, things we read on Facebook, etc. etc. and it's awesome. One on one, just getting to know each other, going on friend dates.

On the other hand, I'm equally loving getting to know other young women who are married, with children, doing the mama thing. Those friend dates include parks/zoos/outings/whatever doesn't totally interfere with naps and we talk about marriage, birthing, sex, NFP, husbands, what we used to do with our time (them = pre children, me = pre pregnancy), etc etc.

Obviously totally different conversations and I truly love them both and am so glad that I'm still able to connect with all of these great women on some level.

But it has struck me that once I "cross over" (lol) to 100% Mamahood, maybe the conversations with single friends might not come so easily? Maybe we won't really get each other anymore? I've read a bazillion articles about this and have heard single friends lament the loss of friends-turned-full-time-moms... Is there a solution to this? Because I can't imagine that just saying "bye!" to all these friends once you have a baby is a good thing. Really, I think women should try our hardest to stick together, support each other through all the life changes, and show a lot of empathy, compassion, and understanding to each other regardless of where we are in life. SO, how do we do this when there's a cosmic shift in things? (aka baby vs. no baby)

AS THE SINGLE PERSON:

1. Don't remember... Maybe for new mamas to make a minimal effort to reciprocate, even if it's "I'm exhausted but haven't forgotten you and let's reconnect when we can."

AS THE NEW MAMA:

1. No clue. TBD.....but maybe for single friends to keep reaching out, offering to help even if it's just meals and prayers?

BOTH:
1. Lots and lots of grace.

Perhaps this isn't on the same level, but I remember that after marrying Lewis, there were shifts in some friendships. The biggest noticeable difference was TIME. The lamest of all lame excuses ("Too busy!!!") and I hate when people glorify being busy. But, legitimately, I did notice how much less time I had to spend with friends, because hello I was spending it with Lewis. AND this was obviously a conscious choice, not like, some weird obligation to spend all of my time with him and ignore everything/one else.

I remember sometimes feeling bad about this - saying no to friends because I wanted to be with Lewis instead. BUT ALSO this transition started way, way before marriage. (Anyone who's ever had a friend start dating someone and this disappear knows what I'm talking about.) So, we all slowly adjusted to how often we'd see each other, talk, whatever.

The other big shift was simply perspective. I no longer wanted to share intimate details of our life with anyone else. Nor was I leaning on my friends in the same way for emotional support or comfort. Lewis was/is that support (well not exclusively but almost) AND whatever we had going on between us, I most often wanted to just stay between us. OR, I remember wanting to only talk to other married people because they got it and also had married-people-problems. Weirdly to me, my mom ended up being right about 90% of things.... strange how that happens.

lol, also true

This is getting rambly... what was the point?

OH. The In-Between stage of pre-baby but there's no going back now. I suppose that I'm just grateful to have friends in all walks of life and I hope I don't lose them. Single friends, I REALLY want to stay friends. And mama friends, thanks for already welcoming me into the fold.

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