I don’t make friends easily. It was bad enough when I was in school but now as an adult it’s far harder. For one thing I’m something of a hermit. I’m also extremely neurotic. And hate crowds. And strangers. And organisations. So pretty much “people”.
Having Rose meant I knew I’d need to socialise because a) she needs to get used to being around people her own age and b) I don’t want to pass on too many of my neurosis to her (and I have a LOT of them).
I mentioned Imelda’s Mum in my “Mother On Mother Crime” post. A very friendly, very lovely lady at my gym with a gorgeous little girl a few months older than Miss Rose. My mother decided to take matters into her own hands and gave Imelda’s Mum my phone number, and a subsequent play date was set up.
Despite my initial panic it was actually really lovely, we get on really well, and perhaps more importantly Miss Rose seems to really benefit from being around Imelda.
Our budding friendship has brought something to light to me, since Miss Rose’s birth certain friendships in my life have changed. My friendship with my best friend Aimee-Rose and her husband Luke has actually intensified and strengthened. Their love for my daughter has made me value them even more and we have grown even closer than we were before. Other friends have drifted away. Friends who “admire” Miss Rose in passing but aren’t interested in her. Friends who find conversations about “baby” things to be boring and tune out. Friends who are just in a different stage of life.
Thing is, most of my conversations are now baby centred. Miss Rose takes up almost all my time, and almost all my thoughts, so a lot of things are now immaterial to me. Is this my fault? Yes. I’m pushing away friends who have no interest in children because my interests are almost entirely on children. Do I mind? No. It’s harsh but true. If I had to cut out or massively reduce my thoughts about my baby to be friends with some people then I’d sooner sacrifice the friendship than the baby thoughts. Miss Rose is the most important thing in my life, in the whole world, and I don’t resent that nor wish to change it.
Having her has changed me as a person. I think about things differently, notice different things, react and behave differently. I am different. I am now a mother and this will never change. If some of my friends have to change for new ones to accommodate this change then that’s fair as I now offer something different and not everyone likes it.
Fortunately a couple of my friends embrace the change and celebrate it, and there are new “mummy” friends to be found, even for me, like Imelda’s Mum. Perhaps over time it will become easier. Miss Rose is an excellent ice breaker and deserves loads of friends, because she’s freaking awesome.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!