I met up with an old friend the other day, you know, somebody from my pre-baby, fabulously fun, outgoing London life. I was terrified we would have nothing to say to each other anymore. My life is all baby and his is, well, all not-baby.
A divide is formed, line strong in the sand: those who have babies and those who do not.
Isn’t it so true that once you have babies some of the most important things in your life are going to be plain goble-dee-gook to those without children? They come meet you and say ‘let’s go for a night out’ or ‘let’s go on a road trip’ and you may or may not go but chances are the answer isn’t as quick or as automatic as it once was – as they stare on wondering what the big deal is: “Can’t you just leave the baby with someone?” Now, there are other considerations to factor in, other ‘responsibilities’ as people so often, so heavily put it. In my case, with the ‘natural breastfeeding’ thing I’ve got going, chances are I won’t be joining in (road trippin’ or dancing through the night). I am fine with this. This is my new life. Do they get it? Could they possibly?
And do they care that your baby just learned how to belly-crawl… “it isn’t even a proper crawl yet?!” How many times have I been asked if she can talk or walk yet over the last few months? She is only 7 months old I think, despairingly. Then I remember the old me, the one who wouldn’t have had a clue when babies learned to talk, draw or stand on their heads. It was all a far-away, confusing infant blur to me.
On that note, I also have an urge to go back in time and really listen to my friends who had kids before me. Back then what they had to say was, well, goble-dee-gook. I had NO IDEA what they were going through, none at all. I should have offered to come round with food, to do a load of washing, to just help out some way. I also should have really taken in how hard they were telling me it was going to be. Somehow I always managed to blank that part out… but all is good now. I learned the hard way but I learned and now I am a have-baby, a happy one, too.
And in the end I went out with my friend and we had a fine baby-free lunch. My first one, I realised. I know, most moms pass this milestone much before I have, but because I don’t pump and don’t know that many non-mums around here anyway, most of the time where I go, Anya is sure to follow. And that suits me fine… but it was really nice to go and catch up with my old co-conspirator, too. Daddy cared for Anya. And we, the lunching grown-ups, found to our surprise that we have one of those friendships that grows as we do. The line in the sand melted as life lapped up on the shore, sea-like.
*NB photo was sourced online through creative commons. It is by fred ross lord