Parenthood and a Social Life

“You never know who your real friends are until a life changing event happens.”

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Mommy and Daddy’s best friends Angel and Desheila and Bryan’s best friend little Angel
This past weekend our little family attended a wedding and it definitely made me realize that even the smallest things in your life can change the way people interact with you.

I realized I was holding longer and more entertaining conversations with people who were once just acquaintances better than with those we considered our closest friends. Why?

We all shared one thing in common. We are parents of infants, toddlers and young kids.

Goodbye Social Life

When we first became pregnant, I became very apprehensive at the thought of us having to give up our social life outside of our home.

I was scared to give up the Friday night hangouts with Tory’s softball team. The random nights out to the bar or to Buffalo Wild Wings {because going to the bar on a night other than the weekend had become an okay thing as an adult I guess} would  be out of the question. I was scared that our friends would stop inviting us out because our new bedtime was way before they would even head out for the night.file-16[1]

It was as if the second my belly started to show, all of our friends we used to hang out with just disappeared. It was a gradual disappearance either…they all just vanished into thin air. We stopped getting invites, we stopped getting calls and texts. We weren’t part of the “cool group” anymore {“Sweats are all that fit me right now…” “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!” -I wonder how many of you actually got the reference right away!}.

We had been exiled into parenthood. We stopped going out. Instead we were having dinner as early as 6 pm {because let’s face it, I was exhausted towards the end of my pregnancy}. We stopped staying up late. Instead we were in bed by no later than 8 pm {hello, exhausted!}.

Some say we did it to ourselves. We may have turned down more invites than we used to, but it still would’ve been nice to get an invite or given the option to hang out you know? Apparently that wasn’t the case anymore.

What hurt even worse than our social life going downhill was that people actually made us think that they were still there for us and supportive of us. This brings to mind my disastrous baby shower {giving me a reason as to why I’d never want another one in my life- how is it possible that over 40 people RSVP’ed to attend and only two people, not including my parents, showed up?!}

Now, looking back at the way I felt, I just feel stupid about it. Why on earth did I think saying goodbye to my social life would be so bad? I honestly wouldn’t trade the last 4.5 months with Bryan for anything in the world {but I guess that’s something every new parent has felt at some point}.

Hello Parenthood

I probably sound like I’m complaining about being a parent and not being able to go out anymore…in reality, it’s the COMPLETE OPPOSITE!! I wouldn’t trade being a mommy for anything! Bryan has been a blessing in disguise!thumbnail_file-16

I always knew that one day I’d be a parent, but I never knew how much I wanted to be one until we held Bryan for the first time in the hospital. The second he was in my arms it was over! He had my heart and I’d do anything for him.

There are people that I talk to that question why I’d ever trade having a social life for the late night feedings, explosive diaper changes or even the screeching cries of an unhappy baby…my thoughts, they’re not parents yet, so they wouldn’t understand. The love you have for your baby changes your outlook on your life and the things you choose to do.

If I used to love staying up at night just to party it up with my friends, now I’d rather get up in the middle of the night to feed my son. If I used to love going out all the time just to get out of the house, now I’d rather stay home on the weekends and just watch TV with my husband and watch our baby grow into an amazing little man!

Finding a Balance

I applaud those new parents who have already gotten the hang of things and have been able to find enough balance and help so that they can still maintain a social life, or even the social lives they had before baby came around…how do they do it?!

file5[1]Tory and I haven’t had a date night or even a moment just the two of us in 4.5 months without one of us toting Bryan around or keeping within in arm’s length in case he cries.

In all reality though, even if we could find a babysitter, why on earth would we want to go back to partying like animals and not having a care in the world when we have a sweet little baby at home waiting for Mommy and Daddy to come home? How on earth can any parent continue to drink like they did during those college party days without a second thought as to how their baby is doing at home?!

I already have withdrawals going back to work and feeling guilty because I wish I could be home with Bryan all day, every day. I can’t even imagine how I would feel if I put my social life as a priority over him. I’m not saying that all parents do this, but I’ve met some parents and heard of some parents who continue to be selfish and think of themselves over their children.

I bawled my eyes out the day I was told that I had a baby too early and that I was too worried about going out when in reality the only reason why I needed to find babysitters was so that I could go to work and go grocery shopping {check out our post for new parents, “Dear New Parent, You’re Doing Great”}…

Like I said before, I’m not an expert at being a parent and I’ll definitely be learning the next 18 years, but it’s all about trying to find a balance between parenthood and having a social life.file1-4[1]

I realize now that we will be finding ourselves around others who have kids as well and becoming closer with those parents who have kids around Bryan’s age rather than those who don’t have kids and are at a different point in their lives than we are. I’m not saying that our friends who don’t have kids aren’t worth our time anymore, because that’s far from it…I’m just saying that it’s getting harder to maintain relationships with those who don’t understand that we have put our roles as parents first instead of ourselves and our own social lives.

Leave some comments below on advice that’s worked for you to balance parenthood and a social life.

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