One by one they have succumbed over the years and now I feel like I am the only one left. I have watched them all follow the recipe:
1 – Fall in Love
2 – Get Married
3 – Have Children
Only they forgot about step 2 1/2 – Settle Down, and step 3 1/2 – Become a Mother.
It is in these two steps that my friends have all gone missing.
I stopped at step 2. I fell in love and married the man of my dreams. The two part-time children that came with him don’t count as me having kids – whether it’s because I missed the all-important Giving Birth scene or because we didn’t have them full-time when they were little, I don’t know. Or perhaps I am simply missing the Maternal Gene. Whatever. I just feel like I am the only one left who is not defined by being a parent. This ‘Mother’ persona inhabits them and takes over 95% of their being.
It doesn’t seem to have the same effect on men. They can still hold a conversation that isn’t dominated by children and when they want to take a time-out and put their feet up, they do. The women, meanwhile, seem to be continually running around wiping noses, rescuing ornaments and feeding hungry mouths, all while listening to endless streams of high-pitched chatter (or gurgling and screaming, depending on the offspring’s age).
Do they really do this because they want to? I do not see the attraction.
Oh I know what you’re going to say. “It’s different when it’s your own.” I’ve heard it a thousand times and I Don’t Care. I don’t want my world to shrink to the size of a nappy-bin and those 3am feeds have never appealed to me.
What I do want is have a few minutes to talk to my friend. But it turns out she’s too busy being a mom.
All I can do is wait for the kid/s to grow up. Then maybe I’ll get my friends back. More likely, though, is that by then the women I knew will have changed forever and be gone for good. Somehow it just doesn’t seem fair.