Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fighting for Friendships

Most young parents will probably be able to identify with this post. 

You find out you are going to have your first baby and after months of waiting you finally become a parent. Your world changes in that one instant. It is no longer about you and what you want. It is about your child and what is best for them. You settle into parenthood and soon friends are stopping by to meet the baby and drop off a gift. And then they stop coming altogether. A rift forms between friends with kids and those without. 

This last year has been hard on our friendships. Our priorities have changed but we are still the same people and that is something that most of our friends without kids just don't understand. A few of our longest relationships have fizzled into nothing this year and it completely devastates me.

In response to how we are often treated by some of our childless friends I have written a little bit of an open letter. 

Dear Friend,

You are one of the most important people in my life and I love having you around. Our lives revolve around our family and friends and we are happiest when our home is filled with those who mean the most to us. We thrive on the chaos and mess that come with a busy home and would not change it for the world. We would bend over backwards to make people happy and comfortable and our door is always open. 

That being said, some things have changed between us. The dynamic of our relationship has shifted and I am not sure how to repair it or adapt it to make it work for both of us. It is hard for me to look back on fond memories with you and not be able to look forward to new ones. Somewhere along the line I moved to one side of the fence while you remained on the other. We changed. 

I feel like there are two major problems within our relationship. I have not properly communicated what life in our house is like these days and you have not chosen to see how it has changed. So let's clear up a few things here and now. 

- No I cannot drop everything with little or no notice and come out for a beer. Yes I still like beer and would like to go out for one.... just with a little bit of notice... or you can just come over for one.

- Yes I would love to go out for dinner with you.... but please try to make it there before the littles start melting down because they are dying of starvation. 7pm is no longer an acceptable time for dinner to begin.

- I love it when you call to make plans for a visit with us and the kids. I hate it when you cancel those plans last minute with little or no notice at all. We often change our entire day (including nap times) to hang out with you. 

- Learn to spell... they know what the work F*** means and they will repeat it. If you can't spell bring a dictionary and if you you forget to spell prepare to be on speed dial for the first time one of our children swears in public and needs an explanation as to why this is not appropriate and what the word means. For further examples of inappropriate language check out this video here.... warning, it contains bad words. 

- Our kids kiss on the lips and give everyone hugs. Get over it and get into it. Stop being awkward. 

- Having you come over is not an imposition. It is actually a thousand times more convenient. If we get together at our house I don't have to pack a diaper bag, I don't have to put a kid in a snow suit or a car seat, I can put a cranky kid down for a nap (thanks for the offer but I can almost guarantee that they will NOT fall asleep at your house), and I can put the kids down for the night and continue to have drinks and a good time as late as I want without having to hire a babysitter.

- If I don't answer the phone the first time leave a message. I will call back when I have time. Don't call me over and over again until I finally answer. I was probably busy putting a kid to sleep or changing a poopy ass and having the phone ring a million times did not help the process. 

- NEVER ring the doorbell

- It is always appreciated when you come steal a kid for an hour or two. Going on a long drive around the city to run an errand? Take a kid.

- Don't leave us out of things because you think we might not be able to make it. Call and ask. We will make every effort to be there and given enough notice (even 48 hours) we can find a babysitter. David is still available for guys nights and I am still available for girls nights.

- Don't come over if you are sick and cancel plans with us if you think you may be coming down with something. Somehow I have a hard time believing it is just food poisoning. 

- I breastfeed. Get over it and get into it. Stop being awkward. 

- Come visit us. We want your to be a big part of our lives. We always envisioned our kids being surrounded by a close knit group of "aunts" and "uncles" and we want them to be excited to see you. Sydney is old enough to retain long term memories now and often asks us when you are coming to visit or if we can call you. 

I know that this is a whole lot of information to take in. I am sorry for that. Take your time, let it all sink in, and then call us to set a play date (for adults or children). We love you. We want you in our lives and the lives of our kids. We are still young and want to have fun! Don't believe me... just check out some of the amazing things we have done since having kids. All of them documented here on this blog. 

Your Friend. 

Mrs. E

No comments:

Post a Comment