Monday, November 22, 2010

Where My Ladies At?

An older pic of me and my bud/bandmate Rachel
If you are reading this and you are also a mom, you can probably relate to the fact that once your little bundle arrives, your social life takes a bit of a dive. And rightly so--I mean, you are now "MOTHER", giver of life, feeder of baby, wiper of poop, picker upper of fallen binkies. Who needs all that fun and companionship anyways?

Let me tell you: I do. And you probably do too ;) Except it's tough to do when most of your close friends don't have babies, or they can't understand why you can't make happy hour or go see that concert and be out until 3AM. Sure, I'll leave my baby with---oh, right. No one. Or else your awesome baby-friendly friends all live in another city or even another state. Long-distance friendships? Yes. Long-distance babysitters? Not so much.

I may or may not have mentioned it before, but my husband is an artist, and he watches Evie 3 days during the week while I work. The other 2 days he attends school and tries to find time to get some creative work done. Because of this, he often waits until I'm home, and she falls asleep at night (around 7:30PM), then heads back out into the night to his painting studio to work--sometimes until 3 or 4AM. On nights like that, I applaud his drive and creativity. Lord knows, once I'm in my comfy pants, you'd have to pay me good money to leave my warm snuggly living room. I know it's not easy to feel inspired and wait all day to act on it. Someday, it will be fun to include Everleigh in our creative activities, to teach her how to play guitar or show her how to paint; but for now, get her within 3 feet of a paint brush and she will figure out a way to get it in her mouth. So painting waits for the evenings.

What this also means is that after I get off work, I'm on full time mom duty as soon as I walk through the door, then I'm essentially in for the night. Don't get me wrong--I'm happy about this most nights. I miss my daughter while I'm working and usually can't wait to be with her. Then, once she's asleep, and Scott's gone to paint, I'm left with a deathly quiet house and a sleeping baby. In the past, I've used that time primarily to catch up on sleep (Ev still doesn't sleep through the night, and pretty much treats 3AM-6AM as her late-night all -baby- can- eat buffet). So picture me--the coolest girl of all time (j/k) passing out at 8PM. Work, baby, sleep, repeat.

That worked for me for awhile, until I realized that WAIT. This is my life I'm talking about here. What about friendship? What about my music? What about all the stuff I want to do? What about the stuff I don't want to do but should (aka, cleaning out my closet)?

So lately I've been trying to embrace that evening quiet time--with a cup of yummy hot tea and a piece of dark chocolate, a chance to work on my homemade dolls for Everleigh, an opportunity to do some yoga (I've missed you!), or a moment to enjoy a long, uninterrupted conversation with an old friend.

This has been the greatest gift I've given myself in a long time. Last night, I used my time to have a really long chat with an old friend. It was one of those conversations where you talk long enough to get past some of the introductory "catching up" stuff, and can delve a little deeper into what's really been on your mind, what you're hoping to do, who you're hoping to become, etc. It felt so good to connect with another girl. I love my husband, and I consider him to be my best friend, but there are some things that women simply understand better. Plus when he and I talk these days, there's often a huge portion dedicated to plans--"so--I'm dropping the baby off at Jen's, then coming home and you're going to take the car to school while I work?" or baby stuff, "Did she poop yet today? How long did she nap? How long ago did you give her Tylenol?" etc. These things need to be discussed, plus I'm a bit of an obsessive planner. It's an anxiety thing. These conversations are often instigated by me, much to my husband's dismay.

But you get what I'm saying. Even if we have the best chat of all time, sometimes a girl needs her girls.

I've been lucky to have met so many really incredible women in my life, who are different from me in so many ways, have big dreams, and are super inspiring. I didn't even realize how much I had missed that connection until it was reintroduced to me via an 8:30PM phone call last night :)

So--I've decided to make friendship a bigger focus in my life, even if it means getting a little less sleep some nights. Being in the company of other women challenges me to be open-minded, to be myself, to be better. And who couldn't use a little more of that?


Tiffany said...

I know what you mean! It's so hard. It's especially hard with us living where we do. All my friends an hour or more away, staying at home all day. Going out for my WW meetings and Zumba classes? The only time I have to myself. The only time. I cherish the few phone calls I have with my BFF. I never wanted to be a mom who didn't have a life outside her kids but it's the way my life has taken me. It's probably because when I am away on a rare occasion... My mind is still at home. I guess that's what's makes us rockin moms!

Laura said...

Beautiful photo of you, lady! While I'm not a mother and could never understand what that's like without actually experiencing it, my ear's always on the other end of the phone for late night phone calls if you want! Miss you, love!


Anonymous said...

Oh buddy, its a common thing that surfaces with motherhood, I assume. It happened with me and I just recently got out of that rut. I've heard similar things from other firs time moms too. Glad you're branching out and keeping a bit of yourself under your new identity as a mother. It's a healthy and sanity-saving thing to do for yourself! At least for me!

Erika said...

Laura, thanks! I will have to take you up on that ;)

GoodnessMeGoddess said...

:) I had such a great time catching up with you too, Erik! Even with one gal pal living here with me, it's just not enough sometimes!! Most of the time!! I felt re-charged and all over good after talking with you, and it's great to hear you've decided to make your "me time" a part of your busy schedule! I would totally LOOOOVE to babysit for you if I could!! Little E! <3 Sigh, ah well. I am so looking foreword to seeing you soon though. I too really miss my gal pal, aka you ;)