Sunday, December 10, 2006

I've been thinking a lot about the division that happens between friends when one has children and the other doesn't. Having had my kids in my later-30's, I've been on both sides of the dividing line and I'm not sure there's any way around it when two friends who used to have a lot in common suddenly seem to have so little in common.

So I was very interested in this article in our Sunday paper. Interested enough, in fact, to write a letter to the editor about it. Nothing says "Blog Entry" like a letter to the editor.

Dear Editors:

I know the article “Losing best friend to the trappings of motherhood” wasn’t written to me, but it could have been. Here’s my response.

Dear E,

You are trying to confirm that I'm the same girl who jumped into the mosh pit, made out with bad boys till the wee hours, and flirted with Johnny Depp. Here's what I've been trying to tell you:

I'm not the same girl.

Motherhood has changed who I am in a profound way. It has altered the fibers of my heart. I talk about my kids because I want to share this profound change with you. You were my best friend, and it hurts that you don’t understand how my heart and soul have been taken over by this amazing little being. I talk about potty-training because that IS my life right now and believe it or not, I wouldn’t change it for a thing.

Of course, sometimes I miss my old life. Sometimes I envy your freedom. But that is exactly why I now gravitate to other parents – they are the only ones who can understand that while I may say I’d like to sell my kids on e-Bay after a vomit-filled night, I would still throw myself in front of a train for them.

You’re absolutely right that choosing not to have kids doesn’t make you shallow or immature. But it's also true that my identity and sense of purpose being inextricably altered by motherhood doesn’t mean I’ve made a mistake.

Here’s a news flash: I don’t want to go to Hawaii for a week without my kids. I love that I connect with my husband over T-Ball. Maybe I will wear that miniskirt again, but it’s kind of impractical for playing with blocks on the floor.

I hope we do get that lunch together. And maybe you can come over to play sometime.

Still your friend,



Beastarzmom said...

Wow - after reading that article, I have to say, E sounds pretty bitter. I think choosing (or perhaps in her friend's situation, having it chosen for you) or not choosing the "mommy path" is a very personal decision. Neither decision is better than the other. And some people choose wrong. Some people don't ever get the choice. But regardless, I hope my single friends always respect that I love being a mommy as much as I respect that they love the freedom of being single. We're all giving up something for what we've got and like you, I wouldn't change my choice for the world.
btw - nice letter! (yours, I mean)

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