I was chatting to a friend the other day, you know the kind that doesn’t have kids yet, and she was talking about going out with her partner to some swanky restaurant, and how we should join them, and I had a mental flash of my family and I in the said swanky restaurant. It looked something like this….. Me trying to cut through my food with cutlery, because I’m posh like that, whilst pushing my 4 month old in her pram with one leg out the side of the table and all whilst blackmailing my toddler to eat something other than fries. Recently I have even resorted to the IPad coming out and sitting on the table, when we are out and my husband giving me helpless looks that he can’t really do anything to make our table more quiet, other than muting Thomas the Tank Engine YouTube clips I now know off by heart and wish would just “shunt” right off!! Then I feel bad for the people who go to these restaurants and CAN enjoy them. I envy you. I used to be you. I will stay home for “YOU”. You’re welcome. Don’t get me wrong, I chose to be where I am and I am happy…. at La Porchettas…. for now. Once upon a time we used to converse at dinner, now it’s a compilation of chit-chat and me seeming like I have Tourettes Syndrome, whilst I try to finish a sentence without having to yell “don’t (something)” to my child.
My friend’s well-intentioned invitation got me thinking about more than just dinners; it brought to mind so many times when my friends without kids showed me how little they understand what life is like after kids. After some thought, I’ve narrowed the child-free friends into four categories. Bare in mind I try to keep my articles as close to 800 words as possible but I could have added more. Here they are:
These are the friends that haven’t cottoned on yet that when people have kids you don’t really visit after 8pm. Your husbands single mates that come over and stay until 10.30pm while you sit there shitting bricks every time they laugh too loud that they will wake up your child, and then they do and even then they still don’t get it. I have been this person. We were recently at a friend’s house visiting and as we packed up to go at 8pm, which was already past our toddlers bed time, they also got up with us to go and visit someone else. I couldn’t fathom this in my head. We were going home to end the night and they were just beginning theirs. Dinner time when you have kids is at 6pm, dinner time pre-kids is WHENEVER THE HELL YOU WANT!!!!
The Advice Givers.
I remember my brother in-laws sweet little 20 something year old girlfriend offering me a suggestion once on how to parent. Bless her cotton socks, (which her mother still probably washes for her) no sweet heart, no, you do not get to offer me advice on how to get my baby to sleep through the night, and I’m pretty sure that leaving the baby to cry it out will not work either when he’s 5 days old. I can’t remember how many times I heard “just wait till you have your own and then come talk to me” when I was single. Well, now I can understand what they meant. That’s like a bald barber giving you advice on how to style your hair, or a skinny person telling you which donuts are best, or a virgin giving you sex advice!!
Now these are my favourites. The dreamers are the friends that live in this wonderland of believing what they see on TV is real. That a baby comes out in two pushes and a few screams, that they sleep all night, that they eat calmly and quietly whilst you longingly gaze into each others eyes rocking in a rocking chair, that they smile all the time and giggle and do cute farts, nappies? what are they?. When reality is you consider yourself lucky if that melon didn’t tear its’ way out into the world, that they don’t really sleep (like ever) and you actually wish you could have a bucket of coffee (which of course you would always drink cold because most of your day is spent pacing up and down patting that crying little turd burger on the ass until you have built up biceps like the HULK). That they plank whilst gnawing on your nipples like chewing gum and ripping off them every five seconds screaming. That they scream and cry if they can’t fart, and when they do…. it’s what inspired Martika to write the song “I feel the earth move”. That they poo, OMG do they POO!!! I remember getting the first box of 100+ nappies and thinking to myself, what will I do with left overs…. Left overs? I think we got through them in the first week!!
These are my second favourites. You know the type, I have done it and I bet you have too. The “I’m not going to…” types. Things commonly said from “the preachers” include; “I’m not going to use any drugs during labour”, “I’m going to breastfeed for the first year, it really is the best thing for your baby” “I’m not going to let my baby have any screen time” “I will cook my baby organic food fresh every day”…. Little do they know that once you have a baby, everyday is about survival mode and you do what you can to get by. Some things you will carry through and they will be small wins, but if your child is reenacting The Exorcist and you want to wash the spew out of your hair and shower because you haven’t had one, nor can you remember if you brushed your teeth or not that day, you WILL put the TV on and you WILL strap your child to a bouncer with a non organic roll up in his hand, if it means you’re going get your sanity back for that 35 seconds you will get to spend in the shower.
I hope you all enjoyed that read. Take it all in jest and no, I haven’t yet given my kid a roll up yet but if I had some in the house and needed to, I would! Any single friends reading this, remember to go easy on your friends that have kids, they can’t drop everything to go for a few drinks anymore as they have different priorities. Yes, they used to be cool but watch what you say because you may be in their shoes soon.
Thanks for reading. Love you all, Zoe xoxo