An Open Letter to the Friends and Family I Hardly Get to See:
Hey you…remember me?
I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. I have a hard time remembering who I am and who I used to be most days too. But then I’m quickly reacquainted with myself when I hear my new name for the millionth time at top volume. Mommy…oh yeah, that’s me. I’m still getting to know that new me.
You’re probably wondering where I’ve been lately, and the explanation to that is probably best understood by those of you who already have children of your own. I’m still here, existing on the sidelines, living vicariously through each of you. Watching the adult fun carry on in its usual fashion without being able to be part of it unless it is carefully planned in advance.
Spontaneity is a thing of the past these days, so while I sincerely appreciate your invite to hang out or go to some cool bar tonight, I’ll be hanging back watching Doc McStuffins for the eight hundredth time. Seriously though, having a toddler check my eyes with her otoscope is terrifying. It’s alien abduction needle in the eye kind of scary (circa 1993 Fire In The Sky). It’s cool though, and it’s probably slightly less scary than the herd of drunk people you might be out dealing with tonight.
I’m in this weird transitional state where I’m forced to figure out how to balance everything in my life, including friendships, all while my kid sucks every last bit of any positive energy I have out of me. You haven’t heard much from me because by the end of the each day I’ve exhausted my socialization quota. I am completely maxed out and I am too tired for any meaningful conversation. You know, very similar to when you’re in a social situation and all you do is smile and nod to the point where your face hurts so bad that you can’t even fake a smile anymore? It’s kind of like that.
So, my dear friends, please forgive me. It’s difficult to find time for you at the present moment because I am still struggling with finding time for myself.
This early stage of parenting feels a lot like being in a holding cell. For the next few years I am going to remain here in this prison run by a tiny slave driver that dictates what I do and when. Fear not though, I am an inmate in this prison by choice. It’s pretty intense sometimes and they run a tight ship. I can’t make any phone calls without the guard yelling over every word I say. My bathroom breaks are being closely monitored at all times and all of the food I eat is being rationed between myself and the tiny prison guard. I’m not allowed personal freedom and if I attempt to break away from view the tiny guard will raise holy hell until I have no choice but to retreat back to her.
This is only temporary. Just a phase and we will get past this.
These next few years I need to travel the path of least resistance if I want to make it out in one piece. Parenting is no joke.
I still cherish our friendship dearly so please, keep me on standby, so that when the day comes and I’m finally released from the parenting prison we can pick up right where we left off.
With Love From the Trenches,