Before I had kids, a Friday night meant getting ready and going out with my girlfriends. I'm grateful that this was during a time before social media took off, because we did some really stupid stuff that there's thankfully little evidence of—but we had so much fun!
I miss those girls, desperately. But shortly after high school I moved away, married young and had kids—and my days of hanging out with people came to a screeching halt.
Here are just five ways motherhood totally killed my social life.
1. My single friends just didn’t get it
When I had my first baby, my life pretty much revolved around feeding and sleeping schedules. My postpartum body felt foreign to me and it seemed like I had a constant wardrobe malfunction—my breastmilk consistently leaked through my shirt. My single friends could no longer relate, so I began to have mom friends.
2. I find making mom friends awkward
It's difficult to get over the initial awkwardness when trying to make a new mom friend. I'll sometimes try to strike up a conversation at a playground, searching for some common ground. Usually, I end up saying something ridiculous, like, “I see that your son likes to eat the sand in the sandbox. Mine does that too!”
The problem with mom friends is that the conversation almost always revolves around your kids and it can be difficult to reach any kind of connection beyond that. Sometimes, my kids will pick out a friend who has a parent that I have absolutely nothing in common with, so we both sit there awkwardly as our kids play together.
The problem with mom friends is that the conversation almost always revolves around your kids.
3. I’m horrible at play date conversations
I’m an introvert and not a fan of small talk. In fact, I make a concerted effort to avoid play date conversations. They somehow always seem to have an underlying competitiveness that is not my jam. And yet, I want to be a good mom and allow my toddler to be social and interact with other kids!
One solution I've found is to allow my son to play at the dreaded play areas in fast-food restaurants. They tend to smell like cooking oil and feet, but they're loud and allow kids to interact and play together while the adults completely ignore each other and study their phones. #Winning!
4. I'm too busy for new genuine connections
Having mom friends isn't really my thing, but I do value genuine friendships. The problem is, friendships take time and effort! At this stage of my life—as a mom to three busy boys—that's time away from my family that I rarely take. I still have a girl’s night on very rare occasions, and honestly, that's about the extent of my social life now. And I'm totally OK with it.
5. My kids are a convenient excuse for getting out of social functions
Motherhood has turned me into a bit of a hermit and I like it that way. Kids make an excellent excuse for an occasional introvert like me to get out of a social function. Hello, no one questions a sick kid!
So, yes, motherhood has dramatically changed my social life. Its also afforded me what I've always wanted: a husband, kids and a few close friends who totally understand that I’m not the most reliable person right now because they're just as busy as I am!
Now, my Friday nights are family movie nights. Instead of girlfriends, I am a lone female in a house full of rambunctious boys—and I wouldn't have it any other way.