Last weekend, I drove the 800 miles to my home state of Indiana. I was invited to a baby shower for one of my best friends; a girl I’ve known since 6th grade.
In December, I offered to host a shower for her, but she told me it would be easier for her other friends to host it.
Her other friends owned homes and were married. I felt like all of the sudden, I wasn’t welcome; my lifestyle was seen as a failure, even by someone who’s known me most of my life.
I felt weird that I couldn’t help my friend celebrate one of the biggest moments of her life, but I also didn’t want to stick my nose where it wasn’t welcome.
I RSVP’d to the shower, and drove the 12 hours to get there. I arrived with another friend and my mom. At the shower, there were the two hostesses, my friend having the baby, and her mom.
I kept waiting for more guests to arrive, but no one ever did. We ate, played games, opened gifts, and reminisced on the old days.
While it was great to see my friend, I started wondering where our friendship was headed. We had tons of great memories together, but when would we really start being friends who celebrate our adult lives together?
I sat there, grinning through conversation I know nothing about: bottle nipples, breathable bedding, and baby baths. I felt like my friend had moved on, and I was left behind.
I was hurt; I felt like I was losing a friend, when it would really just take a little extra work to keep our friendship going.
I had to go to a second baby shower that afternoon, so I’m sure I looked like a giant jerk when I left the shower early. But I also felt confused as to why I was one of three guests at a shower that I wasn’t allowed to host.
I would have rather taken my friend to dinner, given her my gifts, and had a real conversation about her son on the way.
But my friend and I had no other plans to visit each other while I was in town, and I’m not sure when we’ll see each other again. The shower felt awkward, and I cried as soon as I walked out of the door. It felt like a big goodbye.
I know I’m pretty clueless when it comes to kids, and I really hate it when they cry. And yes, I’m single with no guy in sight. But does that mean I can’t have mom friends? It’s becoming a clear reality.
A friend of mine suggested that maybe there’s just a crossroads in life when we move on from our childhood friends and have the friends we’ve made as adults.
As sad as it is for me to admit, maybe she’s right. I have no idea what it’s like to be a mom, and perhaps I never will.
It’s the Great Divide of adulthood: parents vs. non-parents.
The day after the shower, I celebrated the freedom I have of not being a mom, with eggs benedict and bloody Marys.
It seems like every time I go “home,” something big has changed. But I know life is moving however it’s supposed to, and of course, I’m happy for my friend and her growing family.
I don’t know if I’ll go in that direction, but I’m enjoying my time as a singleton, nonetheless.
If you don’t see me around any baby showers for awhile, please don’t take it personal. Chances are, I’m just accepting the fact that I’m in a different club — and I don’t want to get in trouble for my potty mouth.
Last year I hosted a baby shower without ever having attended one. It was very expensive and required a lot of set up and clean up. There is no way I could have hosted it out of town. Your friend probably declined for you to host for that reason, not as an affront to your lifestyle. You were, after all, driving 800 miles to attend, and that was probably enough.
I don’t have kids or want them, but my friends do. Sure, the conversations might sometimes be about bottles/diapers, but it’s sort of like if your friend changed careers or picked up a new hobby. It’s just something different to talk about, but it doesn’t mean the old friend isn’t there for you or judgmental of your lifestyle. To the contrary, I find that a lot of my mom friends think it is refreshing when I talk to them about non-baby things. And, if they’re not super excited to hear about the new tapas joint you checked out over the weekend, it could be that they feel like they’re missing out on those things, not that they’re judging you or your lifestyle.
All good points! Thanks for stopping by the blog!