When we decided to have a baby, Adam and I had many discussions revolving around what type of parents we would be, how we would raise our children – and most importantly, how our lives would change. We always ended up at the conclusion that our lives would basically be the same, just with extra little mini-Fasts worked in. We envisioned camping and hunting and fishing and softball and yard games and beer pong and lots of time with all of our child’s “aunties” and “uncles”. We knew that people who were important to us and a huge part of our every day lives would automatically become equally important to our kids, and everyone would be the same and life would be just double the fun with the addition of our amazing kid(s).
Boy, were we wrong.
As I’m sure everysingleoneofyou out there who has had a child before us ALREADY KNOWS … our vision was bullshit. Here’s the surprising thing to me (Adam as well): we DO still go camping and hunting and fishing, and we play softball and yard games and beer pong – even with Ellie around; we DON’T spend “lots” of time with our pre-Ellie friends who don’t yet have children.
B.E. (“Before Ellie”), we talked to our friends on a near-daily basis. B.E. we saw our friends on a near-weekly basis. B.E. our social calendar was overflowing, and friends freely confided in us their joys, heartaches and minor annoyances.
A.E. (“After Ellie”) is a lot different – obviously in so many ways, but specifically concerning our social lives, it’s so much more different than we would have imagined. A.E. we really only hang out with our two or three friends who have their own children. A.E. people are afraid to call us, confide in us or invite us to social events. A.E. our friends are nervous to bother us.
So… another Superwife PSA for you: babies are called “additions” for a reason.
Adam is still the same Adam – he is a hilarious, sarcastic, sympathetic, competitive, super-fun, loving and concerned husband, brother, son, grandson, nephew and friend. Now, however, he simply has another title to add to that list – father. I am still the same Jenny – a snarky, fun, sympathetic, adventurous, loving, honest and caring wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend. Also, I’m now a mother. See how that works? Those lists? Just got longer, not shorter. We added to our lives, we didn’t take anything away from them.
We still care about our friends. We still want to hear about your joys, your heartaches, your simple everyday wins and losses and annoyances. Remember when we were single? Treat us that way. No, we don’t want to go tear it up cruising for dates or anything, but we want to have the same carefree conversations that we’re used to. We are both perfectly capable of having a conversation that is not peppered with mentions of poop, spitup, laughing baby videos, etc. Pissed about something at work? Sick family member? Excited about anything? PLEASE SHARE. Having a baby did not make us any less enthusiastic about hearing from you.
Those movies that portray new parents as rude, harried jerks who only care about their baby are ridiculous. I will never tell you “Oh yeah? You think you have problems? Well try having a baby who keeps you up all night” – or anything of the sort. I will never blow off your life as trivial just because I have Ellie. I am still capable of having intellectual, adult conversations.
I know that naturally, people will move in different directions (or in the same direction, but at a different pace) and that will lead to distance. I know that we’re in a different place than many of our friends… but please, don’t think that just because we have a baby (or, because we lost a loved one recently) that we have changed so drastically. We still love all of the same things – with the addition of a baby.
Ellie is an ADDITION. In absolutely no way has she subtracted from anything. She has enriched every aspect of our lives – and we are both better people because of her. We’re probably MORE caring, MORE sympathetic, MORE sensitive to your emotions and feelings and friendships.
BABIES – They’re called “additions”… Remember that.