I still look at some pictures with envy, there are moments when I ponder on the what if’s, when I find myself thinking how life could be different if I was not a mother. Then my baby girl comes and wraps me up in her love and realize this is exactly where I need to be. I am blessed to have a solid group of friends; who support me, who lift me up and who love my daughter to pieces but there are instances when it can be hard. Being the only mother can put a damper on plans and make it hard to maintain a social calendar. I must admit it is definitely easier now than it was five years ago but the truth is, there is something about my world my friends just can’t understand right now. I don’t fault them, I harbor no anger because they are generally understanding and patient, these tugs on my heart are personal battles. It starts as soon as you have your baby, everyone wants to come by and then suddenly the newness dwindles away and they are back to regular life while you are now up to your neck in dirty diapers, breast milk, and covered in spit up. You’re pacing the floor at 2 am because your bundle of joy is up again and your friends are resting peacefully or rolling in from a night on the town. In those moments plenty of mothers think to themselves, “is this what I signed up for?” Allow me to speak for myself and lift the veil, I did and honestly there are times when I still do. When my friends are hanging out on a Tuesday evening for tacos and drinks made with Tequila or when their pictures from Friday night’s bar hop show up in my Instagram feed there is a twinge of longing. The moment doesn’t linger on enough for me to turn into a runaway mother but it does make me wish there was someone else in my circle who I could call and vent about it to. Someone who understood the day in and day out of motherhood.
Sure your friends will do their best to understand and even hear some of your woes but the reality is, they can’t wholly understand or relate. There must be a balance that comes with being a mother and friend. You have to be able to go from having chats about what happened on the playground to laughing it up about what occurred at the bar. It can be tough, but I believe that there are some sure fire ways to achieve success at both. One thing I try to always do is minimize conversations about my daughter until my friends ask. It lets me know they genuinely want to know what’s going on and enjoy hearing about her. That small gesture makes me feel valued as a mother among them and I hope it let’s them know that I am still the friend I always was underneath the cloak of motherhood.
Along with that I also do my best to make time to spend with my girls without my daughter, this is not only for them but for me as well. There are times when as a mom you just need a break and taking a moment to enjoy some quality girl time is just the rejuvenation I need. My friends, being the great aunties they are, do ask for my little girl to tag along at times but I’m certain they value the moments we get to spend just being together. It has always been important to me to retain the friendships that I had before being a mom but between you and me, I can’t wait until these chicks start having some babies!
I have wondered before to myself and aloud, why did God choose me? What did He see inside my young mind and heart that let Him know I could handle the job? Was I okay with forgoing vacations with my college friends? That couldn’t have been it. Or perhaps it was that I wouldn’t mind school nights being something relevant to me again so soon. No, not possible. Maybe though He knew that I could be a great teacher. He had the foresight to see that my situation could help some people along their journey. Perhaps he allowed me to be first so I could encourage and let someone know they too can handle the assignment. I do hope that by being the first one among my girls to become a mother that I have been a good example that motherhood can be fun, it can change your life but not for the worst. I am looking forward to play dates and birthday parties and watching them become the ones with a baby on their hips, I know motherhood will look good on them.
All in all, being a mother and friend is a juggling act many of us will need to master at some point. I have learned over the course of six years that I won’t be able to make every excursion, I will probably miss some good times but I also have the privilege of rearing a child. I have the responsibility to teach someone else what it means to be a friend. So while I’m taking care of my duties as mommy I will still maintain my role as bestie because both jobs are important and you know what they say, mothers are the superheroes among us - we can do it all.
You can catch more from Leslie on her blog, fromtheFLYYsidewithlove.tumblr.com and on her webseries, Let Leslie Tell It each and every Friday on the Issa Rae channel.