It was not a dream of mine to become a mother. Not one of those little-girl fantasies that was finally fulfilled by a double-pink stripe. I had a lot of mixed feelings about being pregnant, mostly because everyone expects you to be so damn thrilled about the whole thing, when its just simply more complicated than that.
So it is not without surprise that I have slowly morphed into that friend- the one disguising a true desire to see her friends procreate with half-hearted humor. The one laughingly commenting “We aren’t getting any younger!” while secretly yearning for the next phone call to be the announcement. Sounds crazy? It kind of is….. but it also isn’t.
I was thinking about this and why I would love so dearly for my closest friends to become parents- now, this isn’t some goal of mine, per se, not a topic constantly on my mind, or the makings of some twisted-diabolical-after-school-special…. But, prompted by some very vivid dreams lately, I have been giving it a lot of thought- why so many people who have kids turn into that person- like the stand-in for your mom, encouraging you and chiding you, and lovingly egging you on…… what are you waiting for anyway? Can’t you tell by my sallow skin and half-witted memory that BABIES ARE THE BEST?! I know we can never go out with you anymore, don’t have the funds, let alone the time, or (ha!! HA!!!) the energy, to ‘hang’ like we did…. Or have a phone conversation like we used to…. Or respond to that email you sent me 2 months ago….. but my heart has been bursting- bursting, I tell you!- with joy and I am in a constant state of bliss and amazement, thereby rendering all outside communication utterly meaningless and secondary to anything child-rearing-related.
Thing is, I’m only half-joking……
I don’t want to sound fanatical here, but every new parent has their “Oh Shit” moment, wherein you realize what is actually being asked of you. No matter how prepared, or enthusiastic you thought you were, it dawns on you that nothing could have prepared you for the relentlessness of someone’s well-being, never mind complete and total survival, hinging on you to have your shit together all. The. Time. All the time! ALL THE TIME!!
It’s a game changer. And while the “misery-loves-company” and “everyone wants recognition” theories may play in to the psychology of wanting your friends to join you on your parenthood adventure, I think it comes down to simply wanting to relate. I’m willing to bet that this post could be written by someone without kids and have a completely different story with the same bottom line – we hardly relate.
I could start nitpicking how and why it is hard to relate to my child-less friends, but its not about that, I don’t want to contribute any deeper to the “Us and Them” mentality, and I guess I should note that I have no desire to talk my friends who absolutely don’t want kids into having them….. but the ones who do want them, who are waiting around, taking their sweet time, sleeping through the night and going out on Fridays, I say to you- join me. We will have so much in common again, so much to laugh about and bitch about and dwell upon. We will once again be able to stay up, late into the night, talking about what it all means…… that is, of course, if we can find the time.