Here’s a fact about me that people find offensive: I’m not a dog person. I don’t hate dogs, exactly, but I really don’t like them all that much. Cats, too. I’m just not that into domestic pets.
Here’s another fact: I love babies. Adore them. Could look at pictures of the little tykes (especially the chubby ones) all day long.
This post is about the latter, but I mention the dog thing because for some reason people find it unbelievable that I could simultaneously love kiddies and not love animals. They are not the same thing, people! One is human, the other is… a dog! So I just want to point out that being someone who does not love dogs does not make me the devil because, well, I love babies. And that makes me warm and fuzzy.
But anyway. The first of my close friends to have a baby has a four month old. At 27 (kind of late, perhaps), I became a person with mom friends.
When I started my search, I believed in a huge divide between the mommies of the world and me, a non-mom. The reason I was Struggles McGee when it came to friends, I thought, was that I was at the in-between stage: too old to hang with the college kids, too not-ready for Mommy & Me. I figured anyone with a baby made insta-BFFs at Gymboree or Baby Yoga classes. And, as this logic went, I could never be friends with a mom because that wasn’t a life stage I was ready for. And when you’re at a completely different place in life, the bonding thing can be tough.
I was wrong.
Apparently, moms have trouble making friends too. That friend with the baby? Well, she’s the first one. None of our close pals have kids yet, so she has no one to bond with about breastfeeding and sleepless nights. Of course her friends love visiting her and the baby, but they (I’d say we, but said friend is in NYC so I’m kind of irrelevant here) have day jobs. She’s at home with the little one all day, craving adult conversation. She joined a Mommy & Me pilates class, but told me the other moms go to lose weight, while she’s there to make friends. So far unsuccessfully.
I recently found the blog of a 23-year-old mom-to-be. In a recent post, she wrote poignantly about the isolation of pregnancy. “I listen to my friends talk about their lives, about the parties, the fear of graduating from college, the cat and mouse of dating, the altogether unattached nature of their existence and as my belly grows so does the distance between us.” I’m sure that sense of loneliness is different for women as they get older, but I wonder if this is how my own pal felt.
Here’s the other big shocker: I’ve made a great new mom friend. BFF material for sure. And she’s not just a regular mom… she’s a mom of twins! And they are awesome. I sort of want to keep them. Now that I’ve met her, I can’t remember exactly why I was so wary of befriending a mom in the first place. I guess I figured parenthood, or my lack of it, would be a giant disconnect. “Mommyhood” was something grown-ups did, and I still felt like a kid. Turns out we can meet in the middle. I think.
Do you think motherhood impacts friendship? For the non-moms out there: Do you think it’s harder to befriend mothers? Does the vastly different priority list make it hard to stay close to old friends who are new moms? And mamas, do you find it easier to make friends as a mother, or harder? Once you have a baby, is it all about mommy friends? Is it hard to connect to non-moms? Lots of questions, I know. Feeling curious today…