This plus that equals…. my social life
Here’s the latest instalment in my series of posts all about what makes our lives here at home tick. This week is all about my social life.
I was reading a thread on Mumsnet last night where I girl was asking if it was unreasonable of her to be a bit hurt by her friends effectively icing her out. Why? Well because she had a child it seemed. Her social life seemed to be a lot like mine, and her friends, well they aren’t friends at all.
Evenings drinking are out
Nights out at the pub. Pah. What are they? Sure I can go out in the evening but I can’t drink because I have to drive. I am not paying for a taxi, I cannot afford it.
There are no buses where I live. Well that’s a lie, but there are only two and the last one is 6pm. I can’t get my husband to come and get me as there is the small matter of someone looking after the child.
Oh and hiring babysitter for the sake of a night drinking, you are actually kidding right!?
I’ll be bringing my son
Want to catch up for lunch. Sure that’s fab, I can do lunches, they are easy. But yes I’ll be bringing my son. He can’t stay home alone.
My friends don’t care. They love him, like they love me. No, not all of my friends have children. Some have grown children, some have younger children, some have no children at all.
What they have in common is the realisation that I do have a three year old and he will be with me. OK at times I’m not 100% present in the conversation because I’m dealing with him, but they accept that too.
Babysitters are a luxury
Reading through the Mumsnet thread, everyone seemed to say, just get a babysitter. I’m sorry, what?
Personally I’m not leaving my son with a stranger. It’s my choice, my right as a parent. I don’t judge those that do, not at all, in fact I’m a little jealous. Do you know that these babysitters charge, yeah, they aren’t free. Frankly I don’t want to have to pay to maintain a friendship and I would hope my friends wouldn’t expect me to either.
Grandparents are of course an option, but you don’t want to overstay your welcome on that front. Ours love to babysit, but they live an hour away. So there are logistics to be thought of. I’m also weary of taking this piss. So I have to pick and chose what I go to. I just do.
You do what you can
If I want to see one of my friends, I have to drive to her. She doesn’t have a car. So that’s what I do. I know if the tables turned she would do the same without fuss.
If we are having Gin Night (roll on Friday, woop) well that has to be done at mine, because that’s where the gin is. Yeah it’s a pain for the others, but they know it’s the only way possible, so once a month it’s what we do.
For our friends that live away, we try to find places to meet midway between us, or we take it in turns. We also appreciate that we are all busy and we may only see each other a couple of times a year.
We fit things around each other, around work schedules, around nap times, around things people like/dislike. All of us make sacrifices so that we can see each other. Because we are friends.
I have changed
I’m not the same person I was and that would have changed with or without a child.
I no longer like clubbing, or noisy pubs, or having to fight to get to the bar. The thought makes me feel like staying in my pajamas all day. I like to be able to talk to my friends, sit down and enjoy a leisurely drink, oh and I am tired, like all of the time, so I don’t really want to be up past midnight.
I don’t have the disposable income I once did either, the mortgage pretty much took care of that, the child was just that final nail in the monetary coffin. So I can’t always afford to do things, I have to weigh up what is worth it for me. £50 gig tickets for a band I have already seen a hundred times is likely to be swapped for a family day out we can all enjoy, or spent on the band that has been on my bucket list forever.
Friendships are funny things. They come and go. Children definitely change things, but if anything they will only show you who your real friends are and real friends stick around no matter what. Did having children change your friendships?
Finally, I’m linking up with #TwinklyTuesday, #Blogstravaganza, #StayClassyMama and #fortheloveofBLOG