Do you ever feel like you’ve been left behind? And that no matter what, you’ll never be able to catch up? You’ll never again fit in with your group of friends, because they now have years of shared experiences that you don’t understand. Can’t understand, even.
We babysat for some friends this weekend. They have three young kids, who are cute as can be. They’re apparently in the midst of pushing boundaries and challenging authority figures, though, because man. . .it was a bit rough. At least for me. 🙂 Hopefully they had a good time, though!
The thing is, when we brought them back, the “birth control” jokes started with all our other friends. Yes, yes. . .watching children for two days is BC enough to last us another year. Ok, thanks guys. Ha ha, very funny. I’ve not been the butt of a no-kids joke since, what, last week? Sigh.
Pretty much everyone in our new group has kids, so it’s been work finding common ground. Our old group, the pre-move people, were friends from college and right afterward. I had common ground with them already, and they were my kind of people – a bit nerdy, loved scifi (but not in the creepy geek-out kinda way), loved Aggie football, dabbled in photography and learning about sewing/cooking/gardening/etc. Most of the women had full-time jobs, though, so it really was just dabbling in those hobbies. We had shared experiences. Shared memories. Were in the same stage.
And then we moved. We’ve been in this new group for about two years. And I still don’t really feel connected to anyone. The ones who have full time jobs are mostly teachers. So when they talk about work. . .well, I have no frame of reference other than when I was in high school. Which, of course, makes me feel like a kid to talk about. And since I have no frame of reference to all their parenting discussions other than my own parents, well. . .yeah. Not much connection there, either. The SAHM’s are practically giddy with the fact that they’re doing the thing they love most in the world. And love to recommend it to everyone. K, thanks. No kids = no “M” for that job title.
Our old group? Well, 95% of them are now SAHMs too. And only one couple made an effort to keep in contact with us. I know – it’s two-way street. But guys, I was in a really dark place when we moved. To realize that my friends either a) didn’t notice, or b) didn’t care enough to go out of their way once my schedule was no longer conveniently aligned with theirs. . .well, it was painful. Still is, to some extent.
Anyway, what I mean is I can never catch up with either group. If I had a baby tomorrow, I’d be years behind both groups. The new group is all thinking about school-age parenting, some even at the high school level. The old group went through the second round of infants about a year ago, so most of them are in toddler-land. The new-mama thing? They’re all past that stage. And I’m a minimum of a year away from that anyways.
Before you jump all over me for implying that I only want kids to “catch up,” please understand that is not why I want children. It’s something I’ve wanted as long as I can remember. But, I also want connection with friends. And that’s what I’m talking about here – nothing more, nothing less.
I don’t know. . .maybe I’m just freaking out because my (wonderful!) in-laws are coming for a few months, and their leaving happened at the same time as our move. I admit, I fully expected to be showing off a grandchild on their first furlough. Anyway, I’ll be better tomorrow. Just thinking out loud. 🙂 Thanks for listening.