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First of my friends to have kids

My name is Lee. I’m 25. I’m part of a close-knit group of girlfriends from high school. They’ve always been an important part of my life – I’d drop anything in a second to be there for one of them if they needed me. Things changed a bit when I met Jon. The rest of the girls were single. Although they dated, it was usually pretty casual and nothing long-term. Jon and I got married two years after meeting. I was the first in my group of friends to tie the knot.

I’m also the first in our group of friends to get pregnant. I’m due in about a month. At first my friends were excited about my pregnancy, and asked lots of questions. But now that I’m close to my due date, it feels a bit like they’ve forgotten me. I can’t go out as often after work because I’m too tired. I can’t drink alcohol and I feel like a beached whale, so clubbing is out of the question. They’re still hanging out together and doing the things we all loved to do, but I just don’t fit in anymore. I can’t help wondering how things are going to change when I become a mother. Are my girlfriends going to completely forget about me?

My older sister was really supportive when I told her about my fears. She said after her daughter was born, in the first few months she was sleep deprived and focused on learning how to be a parent – so socializing with friends wasn’t a priority. But over time, as things got easier, she was able to come up for air again. She was relieved to see that many of her friends understood why she had to go “AWOL” for a while. After my niece was a bit older, she was able to reconnect with some of her old friends, and enjoy nights out and “adult time” again.  She said she also met other moms who had kids the same age as her daughter, and these women became new friends because as new moms, they had so much in common. Hearing about my sister’s experience makes me feel a bit more hopeful about my relationships with my high school friends. My friends mean the world to me, and hopefully they’ll understand that taking care of this little one is going to be a bit all-consuming for a while. But although things will change when I become a mom, I’m still me, and my friendships will always be important to me.

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