We have all said it and a lot of us have done it. What most don’t realize is when we are doing it ourselves. I’m referring to the situations where you hear, ‘oh, she doesn’t have time for me anymore, now that she found her new boyfriend’ or ‘he’s not coming, now that he’s married I’m sure isn’t allowed anymore’ or ‘don’t even bother inviting them, they haven’t come out of their house since they had the baby.’ Well, I’m here to tell you all that life is hard, folks. We all handle it differently and big life changes can mean that you leave people behind. Most of the time I don’t think anyone truly means to do it. Losing a a friend shouldn’t be something easily done, but it also shouldn’t be that hard to keep them.
Usually I don’t know what to do to remedy this type of situation. Naturally, I feel sorry for myself and start the whole grieving process of losing someone that I thought was a good friend of mine. After having L.L. I have tried to adopt a new outlook and conduct myself in a way that I want her to see as an inspiration. Not just any inspiration, a positive one. One that is going to help her get through the tough times that life has to offer. I realize that most of the time my reaction to tough, emotional situations isn’t productive, so I’ve been attempting to remedy that.
Since becoming parents both the hubs and I were hoping not to lose our core friends. I REALLY didn’t want anyone to say any of those things I mentioned at the beginning of this post about us. There is no handbook about how to mesh your non-parent life with your new parent life. Gil and I kept discussing what we could do and how we could make more of an effort. And lets be honest, the ones that make the change in the friendship are the ones that need to make more of an effort because that old life you led, still keeps on going with or without you. It took us a while, but eventually we figured out how we could still make time for friends in our new life with a child.
When L.L. started eating dinner at the table with us, and we were able to get some sort of bedtime routine down pat we started inviting friends over for dinner. It was the best way for us both to enjoy ourselves – I cook, he puts her to bed and we all get to enjoy the evening with a little family time (’cause who doesn’t like a little L.L. time?), then some adult time (and who doesn’t like a little adult beverage time?). After a couple of these Gil had the idea to do it more often. THIS was how we could make the time. So, now we try to have someone over each week. I admit, we don’t make the grade every single week, but we get it in more often than not. So, I’m happy with that. We get quality time with great people, who can ask for more?
This is how we have balanced the old with the new, in our own efforts. At this point, it works for us and I hope it continues. I’ve never had that group of friends who did Sunday dinners each week, but I always wanted to be a part of a group that was close enough to pull it off. Making time is hard, even harder to find something that is enjoyable for everyone. Luckily we figured it out (for now), and I have to thank my friend, Robin, for that. One day she asked what was easier for us, in terms of hanging out. I said for them to come to us, so L.L. could get to bed on time and we didn’t have to end the night at 7pm. After that, I think she had to remind me two (or three) times before I was convinced she really wanted to come over. She and her husband were our first dinner guests, post-baby, and it worked out perfectly. I even made a vegan dish that we still have in the meal rotation.
Thank you, my dear friend.