This weekend I have plans; real honest to god social plans that will involve having adult conversations with grown up human beings about things other than boobs and poop and teeth and sleep. Well... We may talk about some of those things I guess, but none of them need pertain to me or my immediate family.
While musing about these adult conversations and going as far as to practice a few in my head to make sure I hadn't forgotten how to have one, I also started thinking about the social life of moms.
Being a new mom is a really awkward time socially. Your old friends seam distant and weird because of the vastly different lives they are living. I am often very surprised to remember that that was my life not too long ago, it seams like ages, and I suppose it’s technically a lifetime ago.
You may seek out new friends in support groups and play dates, but if you're anything like me you find making new friends and playing nice with others excruciatingly tedious and irritating. If you're not like me this avenue may be successful for you, but hanging out with only other moms usually results in the kind of comparing and competing that will only serve to drive you completely insane.
On the off chance that you do make or have a close friend with children around the same age as your own you soon realize that coordinating your schedules and wrangling your kids to meet up is actually a super huge pain in the ass. Of coarse you COULD pick up the phone and invite them over, but there's a So You Think You Can Dance Canada marathon on, and you really couldn't be bothered to put on your real clothes and entertain guests.
So as you can see, it's quite easy to fall into a routine that involves little to no contact with the world outside your living room.
Some of the breastfeeding nay-Sayers I know site a social life (or lack there of) as a reason to opt for the bottle over breastfeeding. To them I say: On what world do you think a bottle is going to make ANY difference in the amount of time you spend out of the house or away from your baby?
You're still going to be too tired to stay out past 8 or 9 (probably more so with all the extra work involved with formula feeding).
You will probably still have nothing to talk about other than your baby, (or maybe the SYTYCDC marathon, but I am not the type to admit that I am into that kind of thing.) when your friends get bored of hearing about your little bundle of joy you will feel just as awkward and out of place. Because it’s like word vomit, you would love to talk about something else, but every time you open your mouth your baby’s name falls out.
Bottle for not, your partner is still probably going to call you every hour to ask
stupid questions, or to tell you that the baby's crying… 'But you don't have to come home! I just thought you should know.'
Not having any real social life is not a product of 'being tied to my baby' through breastfeeding. It has more to do with the natural social shift that takes place when you have children.
Every so often a birthday or other event comes along with enough notice that I can schedule a babysitter. Other times BBQ's or other get-togethers are early enough and in an environment that I can simply take my nursling with me. These times can be few and far between, but they are enough for me. I get quality time out, if not quantity, and I am happier and more appreciative for it.
Seriously though, I am terrified of those adult conversations! What to people without kids talk about these days? Certainly breastfeeding stats and the results of the latest attachment parenting studies I've read will have no use to me this Saturday night. What am I to do?