Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Parenthood Island

Becoming a parent is isolating.

It's like that first step into the birthing suite is crossing some invisible life sieve where only your real friends are pure enough to go through. Where parents are already hanging out with smug I told you so grins that turn into 'shit is it 6 o clock I gotta go its bedtime' looks of panic.

I feel stupid that I even have to explain that my priorities now are different. They say they understand but the haughty reception towards declining to attend parties that just don't work for your best interest of my child life view says otherwise.

Some friends get it. Others just pay lip service to really understanding that your life does not revolve around going to all your best friends' awesome parties no matter how significant the age they're turning is.

They don't really get that everything you do is just the bare minimum on which you can hang on to life. That my world and my decisions are based on being the best person I can be in the circumstances. That my circumstances involve crying three times a day while my small vanishing baby refuses to eat and throws food and yells at me. That my calendar's most notable dates are when my next appointment is with a specialist or when my baby's pathology tests come back and not whose awesome party is next. That we prioritize how we can see our family more than our friends if it involves a four hour car ride with a baby because my baby seeing friends is fun but my baby seeing his grandparents and cousins to me is crucial.

Why do I have to explain that I cant do something that is totally contrary to what my child needs right no matter how much I value our friendship.

Its been said before and I'll say it again. People with no kids HAVE NO IDEA. I'm not being selfish. I remember what it was like to be single. Yes shit was hard. But you have no idea how much harder life can be when its not ever about you. I've been on both sides. Single people who whine about their married friends being selfish I have absolutely no patience left for that as I've used up all my patience on my non sleeping non eating battles with my child.

The reality is that these friendships that appear to be falling by the wayside were all rooted in shared memories of our teens and twenties. Until you cross over to parenting island you just don't get that others don't have absolute freedom and control over their world. You say you do but I really don't think this understanding comes from a place that is any deeper than just a regurgitation of what movies and magazines say about the parenting world. A world where you function on broken sleep and 20 hour workdays for years with no weekends, no sleep ins.

Yes, just imagine a world of the eternal no sleep in. I suppose unless you have a baby or you really care about your friend, you just can't.

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