My husband and I took a bit of a trip down memory lane yesterday. We had an appointment in a part of town where we spent most of our weekends in our life before children drinking with friends until the small hours. It looked very different in the daylight. Quite grim actually. And whilst I have no regrets about my twenties and the nights we spent in those clubs and bars, seeing them yesterday didn’t make me want to go back. I actually felt a sence of relief that it’s not my life anymore.
Nowadays I do much prefer staying in. Early nights are my new lay ins! I love an evening snuggled on the sofa with the husband watching a movie. I enjoy having friends round for dinner and the art of conversation. I occasionally miss the lazy Sundays in bed, but then H will come bounding into bed at an hour that used to be reserved for weekdays only. He’ll nuzzle in for a cuddle with his crazy bed head and press his freezing cold feet against my back and he will begin chatting (which will not stop for the next 12 hours), then I will hear O cooing away through the monitor and I’ll savour how lucky I am. Even though my bed is very comfy I have the best reasons to get out of it.
I don’t miss the nights out in crowded bars shouting to be heard. I’m not sure I ever fitted in to that scene any way. I am glad to have left it behind. What I do miss is some of the friendships. When you first have children you enter this bubble for the first six months and it is all-consuming. There are days when by the time you have a moment to get dressed, you don’t bother because you will be going to bed again soon anyway. The little alien that took over your body for 9 months implodes on your life in a way you never thought possible. You can easily loose an hour just staring at them. You will have amazing friends who will bring you chocolate, tidy your house and not mention the fact that you haven’t washed your hair for 5 days. They will tell you your baby is beautiful and want to hear everything that is going on. They will understand that you need some time to adjust to your new life, for it to evolve to suit you and for the old you to re-emerge, slightly changed, certainly with new priorities, but ultimately she is still you. Those are the friends that will be there for life.
Sadly there are other friends who will disappear for that first 6 months and when you are ready to be sociable again the bond you had with them won’t quite be the same. You’ve been on a life changing journey and not only didn’t they come for the ride but they won’t want to hear about it either. Unexpectedly for me it was some of the friends that I thought would always be there that weren’t.
I have made some amazing new friends since becoming a mum. They are all mums like me and had we known each other in our lives before children we would have had a blast! We have girls nights out and we don’t have to apologise for talking about our children and we don’t have to make excuses that by 11:30 we are pretty tired and call it a night. We even went dancing one night and stayed out till 4:00 am (the heady mixture of make-up and hairspray must have got to us) . See I can still do it! Although I had a brilliant night it was down to the company I was with, not where we were.
My nights of pubbing and clubbing are over. They have been replaced with days of building train tracks and singing nursery rhymes. Instead of dancing on a crowded sweaty dance floor in shoes that are killing my feet, we dance in our living room barefooted and twirl around until the house spins. Tiny black bags that can only fit a credit card and a lipstick have been replaced with an overflowing nappy bag, bags of toys and a just in case of emergency bag.
I have left a lot of things behind from my life before children, but not only am I right where I want to be, I think I always wanted to be here.