Babies & Friends

Today I had brunch with some girlfriends who I’ve known since forever with the little guy in tow.

Now something happened. Somewhere during lunch inbetween offering BabyBird a different snack to keep him busy before our meal came and pushing utensils out of his reach, I realized how different this lunch was from all the other lunch dates we’ve had in the last decade. Somewhere in the midst of entertaining BabyBird and listening to the conversation that was happening next to me, it became clear to me that I was a bit disjointed in what was going on. We talked about family and updates on health, how other friends were doing, then what we’ve been up to, recent work or school adventures, and somewhere in there I summed up motherhood in the last 18 months as been fun and oh, look how adorable he is. Isn’t he just so cute sitting there in his highchair gobbling up yogurt melts?

When the customary question came around to my turn, ‘So what have you guys been up to? Planning any trips? See any good movies lately?’ I think I literally stared back blankly and pointed at my son sitting at the end of the table. I was thinking to myself, you know nothing much, I just brought a new little life into the world and then sustained life with my own boobs, then taught him how to walk, eat, and sleep.

I can’t blame them.

They don’t have children yet.

How can I possibility explain to them in words how much motherhood has changed me in the last 18 months? Carrying my child for 9 months, giving birth naturally, the joys and lows of breastfeeding, caring for a baby and tending to their every need, and the mom guilt of having a career all at the same time. That you will grow closer to your partner than ever before, and your relationship changes completely with a baby and now not only do you look at him as your husband but also the father of your child.

Motherhood and the tolls it has on you emotionally and physically. The sheer exhaustion of sleep deprivation for the first year, and the highs and the lows of being a first time mother. The pure joy of watching your offspring put one foot in front of the other and walk for the first time, when their hands meet and clap, say mommy, and how it melts your heart to get two little chubby arms wrapped around you for a hug. How do I convey to them the absolute love you feel for a tiny human and the automatic need to protect your offspring from both an outlet & oncoming traffic.

How do you explain motherhood over lunch?

You can’t.

All I could muster was that he’s a sweet boy, agreed wholeheartedly that he was the perfect mix of the two of us, and the conversation moved on.

I can’t explain it, and certainly not over lunch.

But when the time comes when they have cracked nipples, spit up on their shirt, haven’t showered and been wearing the same yoga pants for the 3rd day in a row and need to get out of the house for a few hours for sanity reasons. I’ll be there and we’ll have lunch.

  • Megan

    I was also pretty much the first one in my group to get married. It’s sad that now, 10 months after giving birth, I can honestly tell who my lifelong friends will be.
    Granted, they all live in CA. and now I live in CO. But some make an effort, and others don’t except for the occasional, “She’s so cute” on facebook.
    I’ll talk about cracked nipples and which nipple butter is my favorite, with ya. :)

    • MommaBird

      It’s hard to form a connection with your old friends (and that old life) now that things have changed so much. Especially to figure out what to talk about.

      A baby does change everything!

  • michelle @ this little light

    Oh yes, yes, and yes! Hard to even comprehend if you haven’t yet been there. Love that line about explaining motherhood over lunch…a beautiful post!

    Thanks for stopping by the blog hop at Cassie’s today … happy to be your newest Twitter follower!

    • MommaBird

      Thank you!

  • S

    Beautifully put. I get together with my two oldest and closest friends for dinner at least once every 6 weeks (more than that, and we all go a little bonkers from not seeing each other; I guess that’s what two decades of friendship do to you). I am the only one who is married and only one with children. I’ve found over the past 3 years since becoming a mother, I’ve gone from a participator in the conversation to a listener. I don’t mind and I’m not complaining. But you hit the nail on the head — how do you convey everything that motherhood is over a casual meal? It’s impossible. So I just tell them how great the family is, the latest adorable thing my kids have done, show a quick picture if they’re receptive to it on that evening (I always have my camera handy), and the conversation goes back to their work & men troubles. And I’m totally fine with that.

    • MommaBird

      Thank you! Seeing girlfriends every 6 weeks or so, is so needed! It is always hard and there’s just no way of describing what it was like being pregnant and then bring a life into the world, and the new world you are thrown into. Unless you are in it.

  • Jaclyn

    I LOVED this post, beautifully written. I can sooo relate to almost every aspect of it. Most of my friends have babies, but there were 2 girls that I went to weekly lunches with, before baby who are older, having fertility problems and trying to concieve for a very long time. It was so hard for me not to want to talk about my baby the whole conversation and to real back everything I wanted to say, because not only could they not relate, but it would make their hearts ache. I tried to only talk about milestones… sleeping, eating, rolling, crawling and then move on, unless they asked. I am so very thankful that one of them is now expecting and I CANNOT wait to share motherhood with her because I feel like I’ve held back so much.

    • MommaBird

      I feel so tongue tied when friends without babies ask what it is like to be a mom. I stumble and can’t find the right words to describe it, other than it’s good and tiring. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if my friends were struggling with infertility and really hoping for a baby and I sit across from them and talk about breastfeeding or lack of sleep. But I’m so glad she is pregnant now and down the road you guys will be able to gush about baby stuff!