“Where did all of my friends ago?”
It was a question I found bouncing around my head during the entirety of my first few years of parenthood. It seemed they had all vacated from my life. A mass exodus. It’s not like I really had the time to socialize like I once did- I had a kid to take care of that was a hell of a lot more of a handful than I’d ever imagine when he was drop-kicking my bladder from the inside, but I hated not at least being included. I felt hurt, abandoned, and lonely.
Once my kids were sleeping through the night
for a few years and a bit of my sanity returned, I began to see things a little differently.
I’d declined so many invitations over the years that people stopped inviting me. The UPS guy always banged on my frickin’ door the moment the baby fell asleep, waking them up and creating Kathy Bates level misery in my house for the remainder of the day. People loudly drove down the street. Telemarketers. Door to door solicitors. Randomly loud commercials. The entire world was out to get me! Only… it wasn’t.
Sure, some of my friends absolutely abandoned ship once I had a kid, never to board again, and that’s pretty shitty. I also started sucking at keeping up with a lot of people, letting my friendships fall to the side because my world revolved around this new tiny human I’d created with my genitals, and that was pretty shitty, too. Not that there’s anything wrong with putting baby first, but my world revolved around them, I had a baby, not my friends. Not the UPS man. Not the telemarketers, and certainly not the randomly loud commercials.
There have been a lot of articles being passed around the internet lately that don’t seem to quite grasp this. I don’t want to point fingers, because I’m certainly not innocent- but when justifying your actions as a parent (the missing of events, the rage at the person ringing the doorbell, etc.) turn into pointing the finger at someone else, as though the fact that we became parents suddenly makes us better than everyone else, and the rest of the world should just understand and accept it, I get this insatiable urge to scream NO! YOU’RE MAKING US ALL LOOK BAD! PLEASE STOP!
But I don’t. Because I know the feeling. And I know that, for the most part, these parents mean well. They don’t realize how they sound to the people around them. I’m positive I’ve been guilty of the same (with 7 years of blogging under my belt, it would be impossible for me NOT to be guilty of this every now and then). It’s sad to see parents and non-parents alike ripping each other to shreds. One things the other should be more accommodating, while the other side thinks the same thing. So, what’s the right answer? Is there a solution here that is satisfactory for everyone involved?
For that, I think we all need a little more understanding of one another. And for that, I turn to the girl from the Old El Paso commercials:
For real, y’all.
As parents, we have to realize that the world kept revolving without us- NOT in spite of us. No one’s out to get us, or to make our lives hell just because we have kids (with a few exceptions for the nutjobs out there, I’m sure). I know we all wanna bite the UPS man’s face off like we’re high on bath salts, but would you rather them just not deliver the mail? It’s their job.
As non-parents (and parents who hate those coming off as the holier-than-thou, my kid shits rainbows types), cut us a LITTLE slack. We’re basically crazy. Sometimes we don’t realize how we sound to other people. We think we’re being helpful, standing up for the pooped-on parents, explaining and justifying our actions so people don’t think we’re complete a-holes, when really, we’re just tired and stabby due to lack of sleep and endless amounts of back-sassery. We’re not better than anyone else just because we have crotchfruit tagging along behind us. Creating human life is awesome, but it doesn’t suddenly catapult you to “EVERYONE BOW DOWN TO MY GREATNESS!” status- even if for some reason, we at times think it should give us a pass. Nothing does that. Sorry, Kanye.
Maybe we can’t all get along, be friends, sing Kumbaya around a campfire while holding hands- but we CAN manage o not be assholes to each other.
my life. pic.twitter.com/qLhD6ISx7p
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Yeah that's IF I can manage to stay awake pic.twitter.com/Y74ivtDauw
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