Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friends and prenancy

How do keep your friends during pregnancy and do you want to?

After 17 months with my new son, Geran, I was surprised that I hadn't lost all my friends. I did make an effort to make it out to the 'girlfriend' events, even when I felt like crap. Even just showing up for an hour and politely excusing myself early from the party made me appear to be a "trooper." My girlfriends were both impressed that I came out and understood when I had to leave because of exhaustion or having to get up early with the baby. I think if  you had understanding friends before you gave birth, you will probably have that same understanding after.

That said, I caution new moms to put pressure on their single friends to be there or understand exactly what you are going through. The friends I thought would be there for me, after the birth of my baby, just simply weren't. The friends I thought would not be there for me, were. It was a bizarre view and I got to know different sides of my friends. Even thought I knew these people for over 15 years before babies. Friends that had more empathy had offered to bring food, babysit, clean up or just drive me somewhere. These were friends I hadn't expected to know that I needed these things. It was an absolutely wonderful surprise as I had no family to help out. I have no sister, aunt, close cousin living near me. I did rely on my friends for emotional and physical support. Especially after my c-section.

I had to be wary of my feelings for those friends that weren't around to help out, or didn't understand or have empathy to what I was going through. At first I was hurt and angry and wanted to write them off as friends. But instead I kept up the friendship what I could. Now 17 months later, all my friendships are intact. I have to admit I have formed closer bonds with those who have been there for me, but I haven't outright lost the other friend, either. I don't judge them for not being here for me, I just have indifference and a calmness about it.

I believe each relationship gives and gets something out of that relationship. What I get out of my friendships with those not interested in hearing "when my child poo'd in the toilet for the first time" is something different. I find the friends not interested in potty training tend to be more interested in me as a person and who I was before the baby. They are interested in my dreams, ideas, thoughts and it allows me not to loose all of myself into motherhood alone. I still need to find time for me in my writing, scrap booking, art, exercise etc...

I learned to value what each friend can offer.

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