I have always been a sociable person, growing up there was rarely a weekend that went by when I didn’t see my friends. This continued as I got older and through my teens and early 20s. I met my best friends in college, and we stuck together through thick and thin, break ups and make ups, university and work. So when I became the first of the group to fall pregnant everyone was excited, and I assumed our friendship wouldn’t change. I told myself I would make the effort to go and see friends with the baby. I would invite people round, get a babysitter and go on nights out.
The reality is when you have a baby your friendships do have to go on the back burner, at least for a while. Of course your friends are still there and important to you, so important in fact. But your priorities have changed, and your availability!
I breastfed Lily so nights or even days out were difficult, struggling with over full leaky boobs and a breast pump that made a noise like a cow mooing (it really did!)
It can be easy to get in to the habit of quickly saying no when something is suggested, like a night out. It can be easy to not have to worry about a babysitter, or a night of broken sleep because the baby has woken up and not settled because you weren’t there. Thinking of a hangover with a baby to look after in the morning just seems too horrible for words (and is pretty awful, thank god for CBeebies!).
But actually, sometimes just what you need is some time with your friends. Recently I nearly cancelled a night out for my birthday because there were a few issues, and I’m so glad I didn’t! I got dressed up, I did my hair, I put my heels on. I nearly broke my ankle at least 5x… Thank god for the best friend catching me! I ate good food, I had a few drinks. It made me feel like me, as in Beth, not just mummy. I don’t feel like that often and it did me the world of good. I felt happy and relaxed with the friends I have known for so many years, and who still drop everything to come out for my birthday even though I’m not always able to get out for theirs.
Note to self: try to get out with them a little bit more.