High school is different than college and college is different than parenthood.
Acquaintances are nice to have but friends are even better.
I’ve had a wide range of friends in my life for as long as I can remember. In high school I never felt clumped into a category. I had friends I played soccer with, friends in band, theater, choir and cheer. Friends that didn’t play a single sport, friends that liked to stay in and not go out on a Friday night. I had friends still from elementary, friends from other schools and friends that went too church.
In college I still held onto some friendships from high school, but as some started to fade new ones grew and blossomed. There were many times friendships started over, rekindled and revived simply by a course of events, a communication barrier that was broken and then fixed.
Then there are others that faded further into the realm of darkness. There’s been a few times where I wish I would have stepped back, and fought harder for friendships because like all things in life, some things are worth fighting for. Without dwelling on the past I’ve learned that like high school and college, life after parenthood will change too.
After graduation you are faced with the ever revolving question of “so what’s next?”
It’s a question I consciously have to make sure I don’t ask others, that one question haunted me for many years. As I slaved away at a tanning booth, office job and a restaurant, all at once, I saw friends landing “real jobs” and it was a constant reminder that I still felt lost in the post college tornado; desperately wanting out.
I’ve since landed a job that I currently call my career so that question no longer weighs on me.
Having kids before majority of my friends did though. You will find many meme’s that say things like “want to know who your true friends are, have kids.” While I believe this is semi true I think it really depends on where you are in life.
When I had Tracen I was 25 and most of my friends were either single, just getting engaged and still going out a ton. It was lonely on my end. I was at home most nights, not making great money and if people called it was 10 minutes before they were doing it.
I needed things to be scheduled, a time frame to follow, to allow me to coordinate who will watch Tracen. No one understood that, no one but Jerek. I remember many nights crying to him, wondering if things would ever change. Then one day things just got better. I started understanding that some nights people weren’t calling me not because I had a baby but because they too were just staying at home watching Netflix. I started making sure I reached out as well, planned things and kept in touch.
Friendship is a two way street. You are not allowed to each give 50%, you must both give 100%.
Now at 29 with two kids Jerek and I do our best to each go out with friends while the other stays home. We rely on family 100% for date nights so we make those count. Our friends stop by and hang out for a bit to see us and the boys and catch up. While they may never realize how much it means to us, it truly does. We may be wiping someones ass but your 30 minute stop ins are like a breath of fresh air! We try and make trips to friends house when we can, we plan brunches, cider mill and shopping trips. We put in the effort to see each other and while some months are harder for me to keep in touch than others, I know that my girlfriends understand and thats why my friendships I have currently are strong.
Perhaps you just had a baby and are feeling stressed, remind yourself that it’s better to have 4 quarters rather than 100 pennies when it comes to friends. Find your people and put in the effort, no matter how busy you think you are, no matter where you are in your life, make the effort, find your village.