As a Mom, Friendships and 'Fun Nights Out' Have Changed... And That's a Good Thing
It's 6:18 p.m. on a Wednesday in Los Angeles. I'm wearing a black dress and oversized denim jacket. My hair is curled and my makeup is minimal, but it's done. I walk out my front door en route to Hollywood for a night out.
Just a few years ago, I would have been on my way to dinner and drinks with a friend or colleague at a trendy new spot. Or maybe an old favorite. Either way, I would be tired but not dead from a long day at the office. Ready for a glass of wine (or three). Maybe we'd stay out later than we planned, maybe we'd spend a little more money than we planned. (I do tend to get loose with the purse strings after a few drinks.)
Maybe we'd order another bottle of bubbly. Maybe it would turn into one of those unexpected nights that turns into morning that turns into a hangover.
This was not one of those nights.
For starters, I'm pregnant. So, sadly, wine and I are on a break until springtime rolls around. But I'm also already a mom to one-year-old Everly, and life has never been the same since she came around and turned up the volume on, well, everything.
My heart... Bursting.
Social life... RIP.
Thankfully, that last one's not entirely true. Let me explain...
One of the sad truths about becoming a parent is that your fair-weather friends are quickly exposed.
During pregnancy, everyone is excited to celebrate your next chapter. But slowly at first, and then before you know it, that social circle begins to dwindle. Friends who ask to catch up over a glass of wine or grab a coffee quickly lose interest in returning texts once they realize that your schedule and your time is no longer your own.
And truthfully, planning one get-together after another is exhausting. Taking care of a little one all day can take its toll and, while an occasional night out is a definite sanity saver, Netflix on the couch and an early bedtime often sounds more appealing.
The hangovers? Definitely not worth it. I can't exactly call in sick or phone it in on baby/toddler duty in the morning.
Here's the bright side: Your true friends will shine brighter than ever.
The ride or dies, you'll know who they are. They'll still be there for you -- and you'll appreciate them even more than you knew you could. They are the real MVPs.
One of the happy truths about becoming a parent is that you truly are joining an exclusive new club.
As different as we all are, loving our children is such a universal experience. Parenting can create this instant bond with others and, like a dog whistle, there's suddenly a subtext and an inherent understanding with every conversation. It transcends previous life experience, age differences, socioeconomic status, and just about every other preexisting notion you may have had about someone years prior.
That said, obviously you're not going to be BFFs with every parent you meet. But, when you're lucky enough to meet your people, it's magical.
Living in Los Angeles with many fellow transplants, I've been fortunate enough to find an amazing community of new mothers. Through prenatal workout classes and a Mommy & Me postpartum support group, I've made friends that have become lifelines. Friends that know and understand me deeply. Friends that I wholeheartedly believe will be a part of mine and Everly's lives for many years to come. And that is a really beautiful thing.
So, back to my Wednesday night out.
I've kissed my daughter goodbye for the evening. She's crying behind the door. I start my car and drive out to Hollywood for a candle making workshop, where I'm meeting up with one of my new friends from Mommy & Me.
A few hours later, we had talked -- uninterrupted by babies -- all about our lives. The things we'd done, our dreams for the future, and the ups and downs of navigating our first year as new mothers. And, being as LA as possible, we also hand poured a pair of crystal-infused, lavender-scented organic candles. It was unapologetically lovely and I was home by 9:30 p.m.
So when Everly woke up at 1:30 a.m. feeling crummy from a cold, guess who dragged themselves out of bed to comfort her? Mama, of course.
All that to say, I'm still human. And if my friends are heading out for a rage fest, you better believe that I want to be invited. However, those nights are fewer and further between -- and I'm saving them up for when I they really matter: Girls' trips, birthdays, vacations.
Then, the hangover will be worth it.
Join me on my Mom's Night Out adventure in the vlog below and, if you haven't already, please subscribe to my channel on YouTube! Your support by subscribing and following the links below help keep Mom Needs Merlot running and growing. Thank you!
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