The Social Isolation of Motherhood: The transition from social butterfly to diapers.

I have experienced times in my parenting life that I have been asked to let “all my friends know” about whatever event or another. At these points I typically just stare off into a distance and look dumbfounded. Most notably my Tired Not Dead partner recently asked me to invite “my people” to a Tired Not Dead event. I looked her, dead in the eyes, and asked her if she would come to my TND party. She laughed, I was serious. I bargained with her to be the one to invite our third member-in-crime so that I could feel like I contributed to the guest list.

I can easily count on two hands the amount of people I keep in regular contact with and consider my friends. I have no issue with this. These people are the folks that are worth the effort. They understand that I am not available to attend to their constant friendship needs. I also do not expect constant contact or interaction. The thing is, when we have legitimate needs we are always there for each other.

I cannot be the only mom out there that feels a certain level of adult isolation when it comes to social situations. My mom-friends get it 100%. It is like an unspoken rule that we will see each other when we find some kind of mythical free-time. My non-mom friends seem to be more than slightly confused about my level of social quarantine. It is not that I am antisocial or lack a desire for social contact, but I simply do not have the time for it.

This entire situation has led me to have to sit back and watch the pool of “my people” dwindle. I am pretty sure a few even figuratively drowned. This is especially true for the non-mom friends. Those ladies dropped like flies. Non-mom friends are also basically off the table for establishing new relationships. Leaving after a hard shift at work and having to explain to a group of young 20-somethings that I cannot go to the bar because, kids. Worse yet, listening to a non-mom friend explain how exhausted she is because she just returned from a 2-week long vacation and needs a little “me time” to recoup. She tells me this as I have giant bags under my eyes, applesauce on my shirt, and 4-days of dry shampoo in my hair. I am internally screaming. I have to use all of my restraint to keep myself from hysterical laughter, followed by ugly crying. You are right honey, it is you who needs “me time” (insert massive eye-roll here).

It is beyond cliché to say my kids are my life. But my kids pretty much are my life. Right now I am just hoping that when this phase of life is done that I have filtered out all the crap and only have the true gems of friendships left. Until then I will find myself arguing with toddlers, having deep philosophical conversations with the dog, and relishing in the few times I get true friend contact.

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