I’m in a group of friends who are either single or dating. A few friends are engaged or newlyweds, but none are thinking of children yet. We were launched into a world of being a family much, much quickly than expected. We got married in May 2014 and had a child by November 2014. We are now expecting another in November 2015. By the end of year 2015, we will be a family of 4.
It shouldn’t bother me much that our friends wouldn’t invite us to certain group activities since we are a big family and it’s a bit of a hassle to travel with, but it does. It bothers me that when we get invited to an event, we have to think of bathroom situations, baby entertainment situations, and financial situations. Is there a changing table in the bathroom? If there isn’t, where will we change him? Is there enough room in this restaurant for a stroller to fit next to our table? If Shane gets fussy, would I be able to hold him and entertain him without having to worry or be judged by our dinner neighbors about a yelling child? Are we able to afford this dinner and still have money for gas and weekly expenses? Are we splitting this bill evenly even though we had a bowl of soup and a salad? If we do decide to hang out at this event, will we be home in time so we get enough sleep for the next day’s activities? It bothers me more that we have so many things to worry about if and when invited to an event.
We’re on an extreme budget ever since I quit my job to stay at home with baby Shane. Budgeting isn’t much on our friends’ minds since they don’t have too many expenses, but it’s something that is constantly on our minds. After bills, we’re left with such little to work with. Sometimes it’s a choice of whether to go out to dinner with friends or getting groceries for the week. It has come down to making the decision of either going out to grab a cup of coffee with a friend or getting a box of granola bars for my husband’s breakfasts for the week. I understand that this isn’t something that is on many peoples’ minds since we’re in a completely different stage of life than they are, but it’s a lonely road. I do have a few friends who are mothers and struggling as we are, but they are all so far away in distance. Their children are also a little older so they have their hands a bit full with their toddlers who come with a whole other set of difficult struggles.
I should reach out to mommy groups in the area, but it just seems like such a huge hassle. It’s tough getting this 10 month old baby out for his specialist appointments and my OB appointments. How am I supposed to be willing to go out and be polite around strangers who are also struggling daily? Would it not be a blind leading the blind situation? Then there are those who do seem like they have it all together. They’ve lost their baby weight. They’ve gotten a routine down. They have family or a sitter so they have their own self time.
Some days I feel like I’m drowning. Other days I feel so incredibly blessed for this path of life.
I know I don’t walk alone down this road, but it sure feels lonely.