Five years ago, I suddenly found myself single, moving interstate to start a new life and about to turn 30 (insert doomsday ‘da-da-DA’ sound here!). I wasn’t in a good place, for a couple of reasons, and felt fairly lost. When you add the fact that the majority of my old close friends were ‘loved up’ and in the process of having babies, something I thought I ‘should’ have been doing by that age, it was a tough time.
Gradually I settled in, kept climbing that corporate ladder and became pretty darn happy. My social life became very important to me.
The thing is, most of my old friends didn’t want to go out with me drinking and looking for ‘the one’. They had responsibilities, so I hardly ever saw them. I now look back and realise just how much I didn’t understand everything they had on their plate. I made a new circle of friends – all single, childfree and free as a bird.
Now, the tables have turned. I’m married with a 16 month old and another baby on the way in just a few weeks. I try to stay in touch with those single childfree friends (some of whom have now met their other half, some who haven’t) but increasingly I’m finding it harder and harder.
There are many things I wish they could fully appreciate - things that, pre-baby, I should have tried harder myself to understand. I can’t just drop everything and share a bottle of wine with you one leisurely Sunday afternoon, as much as I’d love to.
I don’t have the energy to go to a movie at night, even though my husband is home to look after the baby. No, I'm not 'boring', I just haven't had any sleep in weeks and will be asleep by 8pm! No, I haven’t 'changed' – I just don’t have the free time I used to. The old me is there somewhere, she’s just buried under piles of nappies and exhaustion.
If I go out with you, the evening has to be planned with military precision and well in advance. And don’t you dare cancel on me – that window might not be open again for months! Looking after a child with a hangover is THE WORST – so if at midnight I say I have to go home, don’t give me grief about it, okay?