When people ask me what I like to do for fun, a million responses come to mind:
I love to travel (anywhere & everywhere). I always crave a quality girls night, obviously involving chocolate, fancy cheese & wine. I like yoga and dance, reading and writing. Anything that involves socializing and getting real, quality time with people I love may be at the top of my list.
But when I think about the past year or so, here’s a more accurate depiction of how I’ve spent my time:
Yes, that’s me and the babes 🙂
Becoming a mom obviously changes your life in every imaginable way. But there was one transition I did not prepare well for: the gap in my social life.
Although I have been a mom for a little over a year now, I have just recently come to the realization that there is a predominant struggle in my social life: my expectations are not aligning with reality (you know… like that scene from ‘500 Days of Summer’).
The changes that were to ensue in my friendships (post-motherhood) were unavoidable, yet they strongly affected me, in a way that I did not see coming.
I crave to be with people, yet my mental and physical fuel is empty. If a moment comes where I actually have the stamina for going out, there’s a good chance I am unavailable, either with my head buried in the textbooks or with my hands covered in sand from running around with the little one. I’m often in need of a date night, but time, energy & childcare is not always at my beck and call.
How was I to know that, despite having a full schedule, I could feel so isolated? How could I have foreseen that becoming a mom would change my relationships with people, not just in closeness, but in depth and quality time spent together? It surprised me to see my happy-go-lucky, extraverted self become unendingly tired and turning down countless social events for the sheer fact that I need some serious R & R… with me, myself & I.
After reaching out to girlfriends, mentors & fellow moms, I’ve come to realize that there are seasons of loneliness accompanied by motherhood. No mom is alone in the struggle. And although becoming a mom is one of the best things I’ll ever do with my life, it is also exceedingly life-changing.
Social life inevitably changes. And I am slowly allowing my expectations to align with reality: It is not that I need to be less of a friend or that I cannot love as much… I simply need to love differently. I need to find more creative and intentional ways of getting quality time or showing someone I care. And for my own sanity, I need to realize that it’s okay to not be at everything and keep up with everyone.
I am grateful for supportive & loving friends that can walk through this transition with me!
What changes have you encountered in the social world since parenthood?