The Hardest PartMay 06, 2015
It's no secret that becoming a parent brings with it a tremendous amount of sacrifice. Before Penny, Joshua and I enjoyed having people over all the time. We were social butterflies, rented a house made for partying, and enjoyed staying up to watch the sun rise. Though life had other plans in store.
Funny thing about life, it has a mind of it's own. It works in ways you can't begin to comprehend and throws the very best curve balls. It's no secret that our daughter wasn't planned, but she wasn't exactly prevented either. A little less than two years after finding out we were expecting and our life couldn't be more different. Different yes, but even more so, better.
Joshua and I are better people. Not only as individuals but toward each other. As the days progress not only do we learn to be selfless, but we learn to be understanding. Before Penny, our relationship was just decent, we had a tremendous amount of growing up to do and needed to find our place in the world. Looking back, the people we have become couldn't be more different.
When you're expecting, everyone in your life suddenly turns into child behaviorist experts and know the best way to raise a child. The Do's and Don'ts lists are enough to make you second guess everything you thought you knew. People always have things to say about the physical, and even mental stresses of raising a child, but they rarely discuss the social aspects.
Socially our lives have decreased immensely. At first everyone wants to be around you. The idea of snuggling a newborn is enough to make ovaries young and old explode with joy. During maternity leave this company is comforting, you feel secure. As more and more of the people we once called friends stopped coming around, we decided to take the pain and channel it elsewhere. Clearly we aren't "friendless," I'm not trying to portray this poor Joshua and Kiki story. We still have a fabulous group of friends, but over time that group has diminished significantly. It's something I wasn't exactly prepared for, perhaps it's because when it comes up in conversation, people insist it will never happen. At almost fifteen months, it's been the hardest parenting hurdle to jump over.
Now I'm quite the emotional being. If you're a frequent reader, you know that. You know I have a lot of feelings and if you follow me on Twitter, I apologize. Relationships involving friendships have always been near and dear. I love meeting new people, connecting with others, it's truly one of the best feelings, with it's counteraction being the worst. Losing people is hard, it straight up sucks and there's no nice way to put it. Though unfortunately, it wasn't something I was prepared for.
I'd never change it, my life. It's wonderful. I live for the moments right before bed, the pages of books beneath my fingers, the giggles of my one year old as I moo like a cow. I live for Saturday nights spent with Joshua playing Yahtzee, being silly and watching old episodes of Doug on YouTube. Of course I still get sad. I still cry when I look back on photos, but who wouldn't? No matter what, a small part of you will always blame yourself for not being able to salvage the relationships you once had. It's ok to be sad about it, but I refuse to throw myself a pity party.
The hardest part of parenting thus far is letting go; admitting to yourself that life happens, that people just grow apart. People will walk in and out of your life. Some will leave the best of memories, the best advice, and others will vanish as if they never existed. Life doesn't stop, in fact it seems to go as fast as it possibly can. I know I'm not alone in this journey. I have the biggest support system behind me. You live and you learn, even if those lessons are learned the hard way. Perhaps in a year it will be something else. All I know is every day is a crazy, yet totally worth it adventure hard parts and all.
Has this happened to you, either before parenthood or after?
What advice do you have for someone going through similar situations?