Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Since you asked...
...about wether my relationships with people changed after I had children, and along with that more responsibilities.
You experienced a new sort of understanding and closeness in your contact with people in the same sort of situation.
You even found some new friends that are here to stay.
You finaly felt that you left all the insecurities, that came with adolescence, behind.
I do not seem to be able to feel the same way.
I seem to lose people rather than get closer to them.
It started when we all had a career or kids or both.
With the factor "children" I just didn't get it: that having those beautifull creatures in our lives made us drift apart.
With the career it wasn't hard to figure out, work is what you do, what you learned as a profession.
It also seems to be what gives you the identity of an adult.
Over night the only thing my circle of friends was able to talk about was their office-life and their new found status as parents.
I do not mind people talking about their daily life.
I do mind slacking off the past however, as if everything that happened before leaves a bitter taste in their mouth.
Because it never did in my case, and now listening to them I get the feeling I ought to be embarrassed about all the things I went through.
As if they did not influence me to be the person I am now.
So people talked shop.
And about mortgages, bigger cars, being tired (the only thing I can relate to lots of the times it is mentioned), the better schools.
And, to my big surprise from my fellow-mum-friends, all the things that I did wrong with our children.
Noticed the "I"?
I may sound a bit edgy at this point...
I have been called a useless mother, for not picking them up as soon as they made a sound, or not stress out when they fuzzed over not being hungry....
Lifelong friends turned from the "winedrinkers at the kitchentable" into unrecognizable, strict judges who had written the book on raising kids and adult life in general.
As far as I know I do the best I can and try to be as relaxed as possible with our kids and the decisions we have to make along the way.
It for instance sabotaged the friendships I had with some of my "girlfriends".
They call me crazy for still doing things I enjoy like watching bands play, or play in one myself.
They even at one point told me I should grow up.
I work with adolescents as a teacher and coach.
I flatter myself to think I grew up, not old.
I suppose because of things like this I got conciderably closer with my single friends.
I get support from them, not just the "mistakes" pointed out.
They tell me how they are sometimes proud of me, being a working-mum and not gone braindead.
They know and like our kids.
They enjoy being around them.
And are honest enough to say so if they don't.
They see that the kids are fine and easy-going and are likely to benefit from having parents who are fine with themselves.
A lot of that has to do with the fact we are doing jobs we like instead of jobs that pay big.
We work, it pays the bills and we still can do things we concider fun, that's enough, and at the same time it is a huge luxury I'm well aware of.
Some of them even seem to enjoy my children's company more than people with kids do, but ofcourse that is because they are not being woken up several times every night.
To have them telling me I do a fine job in their eyes means something to me.
Why I feel I need that kind of recognition I don't know...
It's an ego-boost, I admit.
But still that's what friends are for on my planet.
Friends listen and encourage, look at what you do with an open mind and have respect for the choices you make.
Trusting that it's a well-concidered path we are all on.
I do however miss the closeness I had with my "old" friends.
I understand them better than they think, I just don't aggree with their view on life as they know it.
And I see some of them coming back at one point, and some of them will eventually dissapear...
Yes, I miss them.
But I don't miss the moments they make me feel unhappy and insecure.
We all make our choices, and so have they.
When the children are old enough to leave the house I will still have a life, and still a few good friends to drink wine with.
Waking up to reality is my sweetest revenge.
Take the best of care.
(naar aanleiding van discussie op forum "Rad Mama")