Friendships change so drastically over the course of a few years…or life events taken ahead of the average person. These days I am almost always confused when I talk with old friends who don’t have kids or aren’t married yet.
In a choose your own adventure book (remember those?) the chapter they’re on is the one I’ve skipped for now.
Our priorities are so different.
I’m confused about how to balance my talk of my kiddo and whatever other mundane topic with something else more relatable. He is my everyday companion. I would talk about him almost non-stop to most. But when I’m with old friends it’s hard to connect. I wonder about the content of my conversation.
They are deeply immersed in the new of the job market, moving away, hunting down opportunity, and juggling adult schedules as necessary.
I miss them and sometimes miss the option to have that life of seeming freedom.
But I am at home everyday.
With my cute little boy and sometimes my husband.
My world revolves around them.
My grownup job is not one with a paycheck, a boss and a complicated application process.
I don’t have strict hours; I just have all hours.
I’m mostly free to do as I like as long as the goose (another nickname) approves and can accompany more often than not.
Even then, my job is still present and I’ll be the one hopping up and down, containing, cajoling, and entertaining, while trying not to interrupt whatever proceedings or conversations are in progress.
I would love to see my friends more often, so as to avoid that awkward silence and the asking of the same questions again and again each visit because we’re just busy and distracted.
But getting together is hard, too. I don’t have evenings free like the mainstream job-holder. Naptime is generally protected (i.e. Do NOT schedule anything mommy needs either a nap or time to recharge). My evenings are spent with my hard-working husband as often as possible. He works so much, I want to be around for the few hours when he’s not working. Which is in the evenings. Sometimes.
And my lack of energy is hard to explain. “You just stay at home all day, how are you so busy/tired?” Of course pregnancy is an understood excuse, luckily, but it’s not exactly something you can talk about all the time to the uninitiated.
I don’t want to be the friend who is constantly talking about their child unasked.
I want to listen and to be able to relate to their new and grown-up lives, but I’m caught by the fact that my grown up job is that of mother and wife and I’ve had no other post college graduation employment or current plans become employed.
Our main ‘thing’ in common, college, is over and we’re all moving on. Trying to connect n the disconnect that is the normal modern life.
It is hard to relate my life to theirs.
It is a 24/7 gig with more joy than you can imagine,
It is hard to call it a job. Some don’t.
But my sanity rests in the fact that I am doing an important thing and it is my primary occupation.
My friends have time (and coinciding schedules not built around nap or bedtime) to meet up, to play, to go out in the evenings and do fun things together on a whim if they want. i have different freedoms but in the evenings I need to have a little more structure and things planned out.
It’s just how it goes.
I would love to be able to connect easily again, but it seems things got awkward and hard somewhere along the way.
They feel the silence too, I know. Maybe it’s a bit less obvious for them though because of new challenges and new people, but my solitary life feels it.
How do you grow the friendsships when lives are left in different chapters and paths don’t cross spontaneously anymore?
It’s odd, you know.
It’s a practical normal life, but where have all my friends gone?
I’m missing that group of people I used to have where I’d feel rejuvenated, loved, and appreciated after a fun afternoon hanging out filled with coffee, laughter, stories and the barest disguise of homework.
How have you all managed the friendship transition into motherhood or adult jobs and adult life in general? How do stay connected? Have you built a new circle or filled in the gaps of the old yet?