A few weeks ago, I found out that my friends started a volleyball team.
And when I say ‘my friends’ what I mean is– all the girls that I hang out with. When I say I am going out for girl’s night, it is these girls. When I say I need to talk to my girls, I mean these girls.
And then I found out that they’d started a volleyball team. No one had asked me.
Even though it felt EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMELY junior high, my feelings were pretty hurt. I mean, to be real, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to play. I’m not very athletic, but I am super competitive– and these two things together do not make a good combo for team sports. I’m that girl that yells, “I GOT IT I GOT IT I GOT IT” And barrels through everyone to get to the ball and then totally whiffs.
I am also a little too laid back for sports. If I were going to play volleyball, I would want it to be for fun. And that means that the minute— the freaking nano-second– that someone said, “Adrienne, GOD! WHY DID YOU MISS THAT?” I would reply,”K. All done.” And quit.
Because it’s a damn game, that’s why.
But still. To find out that all my girlfriends now had a standing date on Sunday nights that I hadn’t been invited too was a bit of a smack in the face.
“Well, dude,” One of them said, “I mean, you have Maren now. Could you really find a sitter every Sunday night?”
And then it clicked. Oh yeah, I thought, and the reality hit me. They’re totally right– why even bother asking me? No way could I get a sitter for Maren every Sunday. No way would I want too.
So… ergo…. no way would I play volleyball.
I read a lot of blogs about Moms and how they don’t let having a kid keep them from having their previous lifestyle. I see lots of pictures of babies getting packed into slings and going to concerts, babies going on airplanes, Moms getting babysitters every Friday night for some ‘ME’ time.
All of that makes me just sigh in total frustration.
My previous lifestyle is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. One that involved lots of giggling and yelling…. and yes, lots of falling over.I once got kicked out of a Buffalo Wild Wings for upending a table. I once had a weird impromptu sing off with a lady at karaoke that kept giving me the stank eye. I once outran a bouncer who was calling the cops on us for a stupid reason.
Does any of that sound like I can bring a baby along?
And, in the meantime, I spend 40 hours a week at work. Pretty much 100% of that time, even when I am fully engrossed in work, in the back of my mind I am always thinking about Maren. I spend my entire lunch break, every day, with her. I rush home and get her out of the car seat and then spend– literally– at least fifteen minutes kissing her and asking her questions about her day.
Twice a week, when I go to class, Maren has to go to a sitter. Usually it ends up being about two hours a week, but for that entire 120 minutes I am furious at myself. As soon as class is dismissed, I am the first person out of the building and in my car, cursing traffic so that I can get home sooner and see Maren. Even when she’s staying with her Grandma I call a thousand times to check on her.
So….. if I have a hard time leaving her with a sitter to go to class, do you think I could get a sitter to go out and make some bad decisions?
I’m not knocking the Moms who do. And I’m not saying I’m a better Mom than they are. What I’m saying is…. things have changed. Most nights, Mitch is at work and it’s my job to bring Maren home, wash bottles, put her diapers in the bin and load the bag for tomorrow. The nights when Mitch is home, all I want to do is spend time that is just the three of us, cooking dinner, cleaning up, talking about our days and making plans, putting the baby to bed, racing to bed so that we get at least a few hours of solid sleep before she wakes up… and between all of that, I’m a full time employee and a full time student.
I’m not sure why I thought that my other relationships would stay the same.
I’m one of the first of my friends to have a baby. I knew that that would be a weird transition for everyone…. but I guess I didn’t think that I was going to be relegated to the Mom bus just yet.
I have been saying for weeks now that Worry and Guilt tinge everything that I do. Worry that I don’t know what I’m doing, guilt that I might take better care of other people’s kids than my own. Worry that I’m over-doing it, guilt that I’m maybe not doing enough.
Couple with that a feeling of isolation. And being torn. I want to be with Maren all the time, as much as I can be. And I also miss my friends. I want to spend my Friday nights feeding Maren and lying her in bed with me and watching a movie while she sleeps…. and I also want to go bowling. I want to be there for every second that I can be, since so much of her waking hours are spent at daycare…. and I also want to play volleyball.
What ends up happening is I constantly feel disappointed. If I weren’t a Mom, I’d be a better student, better employee, better friend. And if I weren’t a student, employee, and had no friends, I’d be a better Mom.
I don’t know how anyone ever restores a balance to their life. And I know– I know— that in 20 years I am not going to be sad that I missed out on a good night of Irish jigging and drinking cider. I know that in twenty years the real memories I have will be the ones I have with my daughter.
But that doesn’t make this Friday night– when Mitch is at class, my friends all went bowling, and Maren fell asleep at 730– any easier.