Sometimes in the midst of the whirlwind of having a child around it is easy to forget about yourself. You become the parent, the nurse, the teacher, the caretaker, but you forget that you’re also you, the person. A friend of mine once brought up the discussion of how some people in our parents’ generation lost touch with their closest friends once they got married and had children. Which was all good and fine until those children grew up, flew out of the nest, and a vacuum formed, because their closest friends were no longer around to provide the support system they needed. Interesting enough in one of the anecdotes provided in the discussion, someone said that they wished their parents had kept in touch with their friends because now they were stressing her out and blaming her for not always being there.
So it got me thinking about how people in our generation seem to be walking down the same path. The moment they get married (sometimes the moment they get engaged) they disappear from social circles and no longer respond to any communications. Which nobody would blame you if you have a child who is younger than five. But when the children are in school, or when there are no children, what is their excuse?
Having some me-time is important. Remembering you’re an individual is important. And sometimes the individual in you needs a friend to counter the stress that children can bring about, and those friends don’t need to be your friends from uni. They could be other mothers from your children’s school or they could be neighbors. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. You’ll find people to connect with the moment you learn to reach out. And if you think you’re being selfish about having ‘me-time’ with your friends then think about it this way, studies have shown that how happy you are dramatically improves the psychological well-being of your children. In other words, happiness is contagious, and yeah…
they’re watching you.