So, today was Slugger’s first day of fourth grade. And I found a baby snapping turtle in my yard that was just unbearably cute. In other words, it’s a good day.
On that note, I need to say this post is going to be a little bit of a downer. But it’s important. And if you hang in there, you’ll be rewarded by finding out who the giveaway winners were. Spoiler alert: I picked three people instead of two, because it’s a good day. BAM. Now don’t just scroll to the bottom! I’m trusting you!
So. Now that we are all gathered, I want to tell you a little about me. Growing up, I had friends. A lot of friends. And I don’t say that in a braggy way, just in a “I was friends with a little bit of everyone” kind of way. It’s important to the story. My “Best Friends” included a pretty wide circle in high school. And they were amazing friends, seriously. I was a bit of a basket case back then and they all loved and supported me regardless.
Fast forward to the dreaded “post high school” years. I knew going in that people branch out and drift apart, but I was hell bent on maintaining relationships. And mostly, that was ok. I was managing.
Now, I need to stop here and just say that I’m not finger pointing or accusing. Things happen. People change. Again, I get that. But let this post serve as a PSA for those in a similar situation. Begin taking notes now.
When I got pregnant with Slugger, I was a young(er) mom. I was the first of my friends to have a family. Which wasn’t planned, but I was happy and content none the less. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was prepared to take on the responsibility of raising a child with someone I loved. What I wasn’t prepared for, was how lonely being a young mom really is.
There’s me and baby Slugger. All young and what not and it seems like a hundred years ago…
Any way, back to the story. I was nineteen when I found out I was expecting. Being the first to get pregnant made me sort of a hot commodity amongst my friends. There was so much buzz and excitement and it was great because I could still go out and do things and we would talk about how weird it was that I was growing a human and someone was going to call me “Mom”. Friends would binge eat weird things with me, because you know, when in Rome and all that. Life was good.
Fast forwarding again, by the time I had Slugger, I was twenty. Want to inspire awe and wonder in a group of early twenty-somethings? Show them a new baby. We had so many friends come to visit us in the hospital. We felt super loved. From there, there was a string of people to our apartment to see the baby, and people would invite us over to hang out with the baby. And we were all about the baby. Again, life was awesome. I made a person.
Then things started to shift, ever so slightly. Friends would invite me out to things that I just couldn’t navigate with a newborn. I was forced to turn them down, and that sucked, but it was nice to be invited. I would hear things like “Just get a baby sitter.” or “leave him with the hubs and come out with us tonight.” I would explain how these options just weren’t on the table at the moment and hoped my friends would understand. And I thought they did.
But then the invites became less and less. I would see friends hanging out, doing things that I could have made, but was never asked to join. I would ask and get replies like “Oh, it was no big deal. You didn’t miss anything.” But I was missing things. I was missing my friends.
As the years, went by, I have kept some of the same friends. Some have turned into people I follow on Facebook, but no longer really know. It’s been almost ten years since I had Slugger and people are now having families of their own and “catching” up to me on this crazy path in life. I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt to see them hanging out with the new friends they’ve made. I hope for them that their transition into parenthood is smoother. That they’re surrounded by people in similar situations, walking the same path with them, not away from them. I hope they don’t know the pain of being ostracized. For feeling like you had to make a choice between friendships and your family.
I guess what I’m saying is this: Be understanding when a new parent says they “Just can’t”. They aren’t ready to leave their baby with someone else. Or maybe they seriously just can’t. One day they will be able to go out again. When their kids have grown and developed into semi-functioning people, your friend can once again devote a little more time to your relationship. It’s fast and it’s fleeting, folks. Don’t make it lonely.
That’s not to say it’s all bad. Really. I love my family and have zero regrets. I have a tiny group of friends now, but we are incredible close knit. I have a bestie with kids similar in age to mine and nothing brings me more joy than knowing we can get together and watch the kids act like kids while commiserating and celebrating all that parenthood is and will be. Life’s still pretty great.
So, now that I’ve said my peace. Giveaway WINNERS! These will be posted to my Facebook page as well, and I will be reaching out to the winners over the next couple of days.
The winner of the Free Bottle off the $20 and under list is:
And the (now) two winners for $10 off your order:
Congrats ladies! And thank you to all who entered. Keep a look out, you never know when I’ll give more stuff away…