My girlfriends are who I go to when my instruction manual for motherhood begins to look like psychotic ramblings scribbled in a bathroom stall.
Thankfully, I have had a lot of the same women in my life for many years who can talk me down. But if I start to look back, it almost feels like we are an entirely different species now than we were before we had children.
Here are some of the ways I have found my friendships have changed since becoming a mom:
Making New Friends:
Then: Oh my god! I am totally in that same class! You are coolest, let's hang out.
Now: OK. So I see from the stains on your pants that only go from the knee down that you have some type of toddler living in your home. Me too. Wanna come over and watch them wrestle each other over some measuring cups?
Then: First coffee. Then stretching. Cute spandex outfits. New shoes. Boundless energy to run up that mountain, conquer that yoga class, scale that rock wall, all while gossiping about how cute so-in-so is, who is getting married, our career choices, our future husbands, our adorable and well-behaved future children.
Now: Rolling out of bed before anyone else is awake so that I won't have to deal with my daughter's very regular morning bowel regimen, not even changing clothes because, lets face it, I am now sleeping in my workout clothes. Or working out in my sleeping clothes? Noticing that my shoe has an actual hole in it and then deciding it can probably wait a few more months. My friend meets me at the door, and we discuss... nothing. Cause we can't breathe and talk and jog at the same time.
Talking on the phone:
Then: Hours. Of. Chatting. Uninterrupted. About? I don't really remember.
Now: Hours of chatting, and I still don't know about what but I can seriously multi-task now. While talking on the phone, I can: make sure the children aren't eating poison, wash last night's dirty dishes, do 10 of 20 loads of laundry, superglue a broken piggy bank and probably invent something. I'm that good.
Then: Drinks. Dancing. Food. Again with the cute outfits. Splurging on a cab to take our drunk selves home.
Now: Fancier drinks 'cause now we know what the good stuff is. And we just sit. Just sit and relish being able to sit. Being able to sit with other rational human beings with the same-lettered chromosomes as us. Which makes us automatically understand exactly what each of us is going through. We probably don't even have to talk, we can just look into each other's tired eyes and nod. I see you, girlfriend. I've been to where you've been. No words needed.
Then: Dancing our booties off. Making S'mores on our friend's stove. Jumping into the ocean naked. Falling asleep under a rug.
Now: Perfecting the art of ignoring our collective offspring as we try to socialize intellectually at someone's home. Said offspring try to see how much crap they can get away with, which in one recent memorable instance involved glitter and egg cartons and water. Which is, oddly, a horrible combination. The food and wine are way better, however.
Then: Spa day with the girls. Having lunch and then hours of relaxation with massages, salt rubs, hot tub. Soft white robes. Painted toes. Hours of talking.
Now: Simultaneously trying to listen to how my friend's vagina now feels after birthing a nine-pound baby while making witty comparisons to my own downstairs area, all while keeping our toddlers from murdering each other via head injury or suffocation or jealous rage.
Then: Poolside. Bikinis. Fruity drinks and staying up late.
Now: Say huh?