My oh my how things change when you become parents! My husband and I took the kids to a pumpkin patch today for some Fall fun and were meeting up with two other couples who also happened to have 2 boys around the ages of our boys. So if you’re doing the math, that is 6 boys under the age of 5! 😀 We had a blast! But a different kind of blast. Not the kind of experience that we had 10 years ago or even 5 years ago when it was about us enjoying the event and doing what we wanted when we wanted.
As my hubby and I (both psychology people) were taking in the scene of the event, we began laughing together about the differences. There were fashionable dating couples- hair in place, boots with heels, taking multiple photos of themselves and playing corn hole together while enjoying a drink and there were mama’s like me wearing back backs (or as I like it call it, the Barney Bag!) and clothes that are comfortable and ready to run – because if one of our kids gets a wild hair, we have got to book it!!
But you know what takes me back the most? This is probably because I am SUCH a social person- but – it’s the Friend Dates. I remember getting together with friends All. The. Time as a single and married woman. We would go to lunch, get coffee, hike, shop, go on day trips, get out nails done- whatever. As long as we had the funds, the sky was the limit. Before kids, I don’t remember ever being very concerned about time or housework or a list that never ended mixed with exhaustion that may or may not ever be satiated – it was simply me enjoying life, chatting and laughing, relating and bonding.
Fast forward to friend dates with 6 young kids in the mix and it looks a little like this: We meet up with a couple whom we know and like but don’t have the luxury of seeing often due to the busyness of life and another couple who are friends of our friends whom we had never met and it was essentially a ” blind friend date”.
So we find them in the crowd (just look got the moms with the back packs! 😁😁) and do introductions in the midst of two fighting kids who are arguing because one doesn’t want the other holding mommy’ hands, so they begin running in circles around me (yup- those two are mine!) and I am trying -ever-so-hard – to say hello, remember names, stop the fighting and flag down my husband so I can introduce him to the new couple and their children. Of course by the time I get my hubby’s attention (who was in the food line to get out order placed), my mind is swirling and I can hardly recall this sweet couple’s names. As we are getting seated (and by getting seated I mean running for ketchup, chasing napkins, opening waters and standing to eat because there are only enough chairs at the table for the kids), I’m kicking myself because I can’t remember their names to do intros to my husband!
So we eat and that is basically focused around napkin, ketchup and drink patrol. As we are walking toward the hayride, I am able to ask a question here or there- you know the socializing you would have done as soon as you were introduced if your kids weren’t chasing each other in circles around you and whipping your dress around in the process- and then we are on the hayride where we are holding the kids and avoiding the dust flying up in our nostrils from the lack of rain. We get off and we all scatter like leaves in the wind, following our kids to the directions they are headed to check out and find the perfect pumpkin. Back on the hayride and we drive to the front of the patch, where Rob (my hubby) pays for the pumpkins and so we aren’t lugging around 4 pumpkins along with our kids and backpacks for the rest of the day and the rest of us head off to the slides (which were super cool but dang it- I choose a dress so no slide for me). I tell Rob I will wait for him at the slides and that’s what I do- cheer the kids on and follow them around like mama duck with my eyes to make sure all is well. The other kids that are with us are a bit younger than my boys so were tiring out. We all sit down on some hay while the kids play pumpkin bowling and you can tell that all 6 of us parents are just tired. We bond some about parent life, about not having an ounce of time to ourselves and *poop* stories come up and suddenly we are all laughing about embarrassing things our kids have said and then POOF the day is done- the younger kids are wearing down and we tell each other goodbye, what a great time we had and how we want to do it again sometime.
And the thing is, it’s all true! The new couple seems super wonderful and I would love to get to know them better. But that’s the way family friend dates go- we take of things for our little people and then when our little people are tired, We call it a day before they break down from exhaustion. We talk about poop and share bits and pieces of our life broken into quick snipets of passing information and try to stay in touch so we can do it again- because we truly want to do it again.
It is a completely different season of life. It is fast-paced and kid-focused. It is wonderful and it is hectic.
Anyone else in this season of life? 💜