Think that parenting is going to be a bed of roses? Trust us, it’s not. Your life changes after your little baby comes into your life. While coping with the new responsibilities as a new parent, you may neglect the people who were a part of your life (before the baby comes along) – your friends!
Does being a parent mean losing your friends? Definitely not. But it takes time for your friends to understand a ‘new you’ and your responsibilities. Well, these are probably the first 10 things you wished your child-free friends knew.
1. When will you shed the extra kilos away?
For mommies, one of the first things or the primary goal is to quickly get into shape again after the birth of your child. Obviously, isn’t it? Well, this may not happen quick enough or sad to say, shedding the weight or loose muscles may not even happen to some ladies. Motherhood, does change our figures.
Please STOP reminding us how much weight we have put on or compare us to XYZ who has successfully lose all the extra kilos after childbirth. It’s hurtful and we are trying our best too.
2. We are sleep-deprived
Ask any parents of a newborn and the majority of them will agree that their sleeping pattern has changed completely since the arrival of their bundle of joy. Even when the baby has grown up to be a toddler, it will not be so soon before mom and dad can have a complete peaceful sleep because their tot may wake them up in the middle of the night because of the nightmare he just had or just asking to be accompanied to the toilet or just having the urge to snuggle with mom and dad for a night with no apparent reason.
No, we can’t meet you when I’m baby goes to sleep. Not all babies or toddlers sleep soundly through the night. They fuss at night when they are hungry, uncomfortable, frightened or have soiled themselves. Stop asking us to try this or try that, or implying that we are not trying hard enough. The truth is, we have done all we can to encourage them to sleep. Who wouldn’t want their precious sleep too? Even if our baby does sleep through the night, we are probably too tired to meet you for late-night supper or drinks too.
3. Say good-bye to the frequent BFF-gathering
No longer can we have frequent impromptu dates and gatherings. Not that we don’t want to chill-out, with a baby, there is just so much to do. Dates have to be planned ahead and sadly, it’s also subjected to cancellations. Even after we have arranged for a caregiver, there’s a chance that baby might fall sick and need our attention.
Stop judging us on how we have forgotten our friendship after having a baby. Bet you don’t know how much we wish for our uninterrupted ‘me-time’. Bringing our needy baby along for gathering can be challenging too. We hope you understand our circumstances and forgive us for canceling those dates.
4. We want you to be a part of us
Being a parent is hard. It’s about juggling, multi-tasking and handling stress well all at the same time. We seems to be busy and unavailable all the time. As a parent, it is a full-time job on top of other things, jobs or tasks we had to do. Although we have gained a baby, we have no intention to lose a friend.
“Our busyness” seems to make you think that we have forgotten you but the truth is, we didn’t! We want you to be a part of our lives!
5. Sorry if you feel we have changed
With a baby or child, our world has revolved and we are heading in different direction. No, we don’t have the time to chase the new TV drama, know what are the latest bags or have time to doll-up like before. Our time and energy are reserved for our child, managing the household chores and running errands.
Please understand us if we do not take the effort to doll-up anymore, if we have different topics and interests, or if we have changed so much that you no longer understand us. Our social life has to be put on halt for a while now.
6. Stop flaunting your splurges
No, we won’t be able to travel to exotic places for awhile, buy the latest phone nor get those expensive jewelries. Raising a child is expensive, imagine the amount of diapers they need, the milk powder or food they eat, the clothing that they quickly out-grown, the vaccinations and other medical needs and their preschool education fee all the way to college.
Our priority is on our child and we are glad to invest our love and capital on them. Stop reminding us how much we have missed out on life because our child is our life now!
7. We are NOT over-protective
Parents are the child’s first teachers. It is our responsibility to ensure that they are safe, healthy and happy. They need us around to teach them knowledge, values and character. We are the one to inspire them and help them get where they should or want to be when they grow up. Thank you for your ‘parenting advice’, we know you mean well, but sometimes, things doesn’t work that way.
Our child is our responsibility. What all parents want is to provide the best for their child and to see them succeed in life. We are going to be an involved parent and no, we are not trying to be over-protective by being there for them.
8. We are not as miserable as we seem
With a little baby in our life, many things have changed. Yes, as parents our priority has shifted. We may not have much opportunities for ‘me-time’, a lack of romance in our marriage, many frustrating moments and disagreements with our spouse, and tons of commitments and responsibilities, we are NOT as miserable as we seem.
On the contrary, with a baby in our life, we learned how blessed we are. The amount of happiness our bundle of joy has brought to us, make us feel that all the hardship is worthwhile.
9. We aren’t judging you for not having a baby
We tried not to judge when you whine about how stressful you are while coping with work and your social life and how much you envy us because our life seems to be easier (especially for SAHM). We hope you understand that parenting is a full-time job, with no leave and pay. It’s one that we can’t forsake just because we are too tired or bored.
We do get frustrated over the insensitive questions and comments you have made. But trust us, we are not judging you because you do not have a child.
10. We love you!
Our baby needs care, they need our attention and our time. We are still learning to cope with our life and definitely, as a new parent. As much as we love to, we just do not have the time and energy to talk to you for hours anymore. But please continue to call or text us. It’s comforting to know that we are not forgotten too.
And no, you are not forgotten. Although we may not be always there for you due to our family commitments, remember that we still and will always love you!
Now that you are a parent, everything’s different from before, especially your priority. Give your friends some time to adapt to your new role and responsibilities. It’s wouldn’t be long before they start to see from your perspective.
Written by Crystal Tan