Monday, July 27, 2009

Friends visit: Pregnancy – 21 weeks

About midway through my pregnancy some friends of mine decided to come down for a visit. I’ve known them both forever, but have to admit we’re not quite as close in recent years as we have been. Basically I think the divide started when my one friend had her first baby 5 years ago. I’d definitely heard about this happening – you have kids so you have less in common with your friends without kids and you start to make other friends. And I know it’s happened with other friends too, but it definitely felt more pronounced with her. There may be a lot of reasons for this (I may discover all new reasons as my daughter arrives), but my theory is that it hinges on time. This may seem obvious – you have kids, you have less time. But that’s not actually what I mean. What I mean is that she CONSTANTLY tells me how she has no time. She is so busy and has no time and I don’t understand and can’t possibly understand how busy and time constrained she is. Because she has NO time. None at all. She stressed and overworked and too busy, but can’t stop. And anytime I suggest that maybe she needs to take a little time for herself, she tells me that she can’t because there isn’t any time and I’m so lucky not to have kids because I have time – which she doesn’t. Doesn’t have time, that is. None. (Get the point?)

Anyway, she told me that she and our other friend wanted to come visit me because they wanted a weekend away from the kids and I’m their only friend who doesn’t have kids. So, I was, of course, feeling really good about being the first choice friend to visit (hello? Hormones, anyone?), but was coupling that feeling with – jeez, are we STILL playing the “I have kids and you don’t” song? I’m halfway to a baby now!

So they arrived on Friday evening when I got home from work. I specifically chose a weekend when my husband was working Saturday. Most of the weekend went fairly well (OK, so there were a few comments I was less than thrilled with – in this case, it was the number of times she noted how small our condo was – once was that it was too small for a party and the other was the authoritative announcement that we didn’t need a baby monitor and shouldn’t register for one. But again, there are hormones at play here too). We went out to dinner on Saturday and to the movies because “you should do this now as you won’t EVER get to go again once you have kids.” (The side note here is that we actually haven’t been to the movies in probably a year anyway, as there never seems to be anything good out – certainly nothing worth $10 that’s playing when we want. And I can barely hold off peeing long enough to see anything now anyway!) But regardless of whether I cared that this was something I’d give up in a post baby world, they wanted to take advantage of a child-free weekend to go, so OK.

The real edge of crazy came on Sunday at lunch. We decided to go out to lunch and my husband joined us as he was home from work. One friend had parked her car on the street in front of the other’s house and left it there as they drove together. Apparently someone had hit it (hit and run) on Saturday night. When they found this out, my friend called her husband to tell him. His first reaction was to ask why she hadn’t moved the car into the driveway. Now on the one hand, I understand that that’s not a particularly useful response as it’s really too late to do anything about it. But on the other hand, I can see how that the gut reaction. Her view of this, though, was that he wasn’t supportive, so she started bawling to him and then to all of us. My husband and I couldn’t figure out why… But we tried to be supportive and make her feel better, as did our other friend (although amusingly, her response to make her feel better was to tell her that she bet my husband said mean things to me to make me cry all the time too! Not that her own husband did, but throwing mine (who was sitting right there!) under the bus…).

Anyway, other than that the weekend was fairly uneventful. She did offer tons of advice and told me to call her anytime with questions – which was nice of her, although she seems so overwhelmed by and unhappy about parenting that she’s really not my first choice for an approach to follow…

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