Home > Personal > Turn and face the strain: changes

Turn and face the strain: changes

I don’t deal with change so well. I don’t deal with hope so well either so we’ll leave any discussions of Obama’s marketing slogan for the 2008 presidential election for another day.

Change is hard for me. My husband’s most frequent comment to me is that I live in the past. He’s right; I’ll readily acknowledge that I do. Especially for someone who insists on planning for the future.

When it comes to friendships, change is especially hard for me. The changes that occurred in my friendship after I made the transition from being a single woman to a married woman were difficult. My friends were no longer first in my life; my husband now was—and that’s how it had to be from that point on.

This grieved me incredibly. I’m sure it grieved them more. Not only did I get married but I left New York state soon after to move hundreds of miles away to Kentucky. They probably felt as though I’d left them behind. And I must acknowledge that I did.

Now, I have a close friend who has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. I am happy for her. But as I visited her and her husband today, their main attentions centered around this tiny, helpless life who needed care and attentiveness. It was then that I experienced what my single friends must have felt when I got married: I felt left behind.

My friend and her husband have moved into a new stage of life that includes a child. And today, I felt the sudden shift in our friendship like Californians feel the shift of the earth underneath. We initially became friends at church because we were one of the few young married couples who were still childless. Not that it was a stage of life my friend particularly wanted or liked but it was where she was and it was where I was and it was one of the reasons we were able to become good friends.

I have lots of friends who have children but I suppose I’ve always had a hard time relating to them because they’re moms and I’m not and I hate bugging them because their children are their first priorities. And I’ve never seen this particular friend that way but with her new daughter, that’s where our friendship is headed. And I’m sad and I grieve a bit because even though we’ll still be friends, our friendship will never be the same.

My heart now sincerely goes out to my single friends who lost me to a husband. I understand how they feel now.

  1. March 22, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    I think if it’s a friendship worth fighting for, fight for it! The birth of my first child was an incredibly lonely experience- I was one of the first of my friends to have kids and I felt like my former identity was lost. Everyone thought I was too busy with the baby to call me. Your friend will appreciate your continued presence and friendship and that connection to her old self.

    Perusing your books read. I love Edwidge Danticaat… I recommend The Farming of Bones.

    I hated The South Beach Diet. I lasted exactly 32 hours before devouring a bag of chocolate chip cookies in one sitting.

    • Kass
      March 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

      I plan on helping my friend out lots! πŸ™‚ I am excited for her in this new phase in her life and excited at seeing this precious new life that God has blessed her with. But I want to challenge my expectations of how our friendship will operate in the future. It certainly won’t be the same and I *don’t* plan on abandoning her.

      I was a little nervous about reading more Edwidge Danticat. Krik? Krak! was very depressing.

      LOL @ your South Beach story. You’re hilarious.

  2. Emily
    March 23, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    If it helps, Syd and I have weathered a lot of life changes together, so it’s not impossible. Yeah, you might get moved to the back burner (or even off the stove entirely!), but you can still remain close friends. πŸ™‚

  3. me
    March 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    It could be you’ll find out she’s the same person in a month or two … the lack of sleep and trying to heal and trying to take care of this little one is almost like being in crisis mode … just like any other major all consuming thing that takes over your life for a few weeks. (Like trying to write a whole novel in a month, or dealing with a crisis in your hubbies family, for instance).

    • Kass
      March 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM

      I’m not saying that the people have changed but that the friendship won’t be the same. There’s no denying that relationships change when a little one is brought into the world. Little ones are very time-consuming.

      And speaking of time-consuming, where did you get the time to read this? πŸ˜‰

  4. March 23, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    ohmy WORD, PLEASE bug me and take me out of this little bubble of my kids! i know they are my priority, but sometimes it feels so wonderful to go out and just be the ‘old me’ who can do exciting things like eat my food while its hot and go to the bathroom by myself.
    cling to your friend. she will need you during one of the biggest changes she will ever go through! you will be such a blessing to her as you love and help her navigate this new stage of life! (and she’ll repay the favor someday!)

  5. March 23, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    I find it hard to keep up friendships with people who are married or have children because I just can’t relate to them anymore-or at least I’m scared I won’t be able to.

  6. Mystery Commentator
    March 26, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    I think your friend would feel a bit odd if you changed anything about the way you interacted with her. It’s always a bit awkward when someone you are close to does something that, for whatever reason, you can’t partake in. I guess the key is that old, cliche phrase “Whatever floats your boat”

    I don’t think her priorities are going to change that much, really. And I know she loves you very much!

    — Confused about Being An Aunt

    • Kass
      March 26, 2010 at 2:07 AM

      Gee, I wonder who you are… πŸ˜‰

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