I was lucky enough to make friends with a few of the other pregnant ladies in my prenatal class and, after our kiddos were born last year, we kept in touch. We started off with play dates on Friday lunch times when everyone was on maternity leave, sharing the usual war stories of early motherhood - sleepless nights (sleepless days!), inexplicable and inconsolable crying fits, breastfeeding and formula, how to take a shower, stuff like that. But, increasingly, as we have become more familiar with motherhood (and more exasperated at the same time) we have begun to drift more toward GNO or MNO (Girls/Mother's Nights Out) in which we share similar stories but minus the kids, plus some alcohol (ok, truthfully, there was wine at the play dates too) a lot more humor, and a lot less desperation.
I love these outings because they are a study in how our lives have changed. We all arrive frazzled, the latest nightmare toddler story babbling from our lips at a hundred words a second before we even sit down, and reach immediately for the drinks menu. Then, after laughing a little at whatever mess we left our husbands with that evening and expressing our gratitude for being able to get out alone for a few hours we... spend three hours talking about our kids. At some point in the evening, someone notices that the topic of conversation has been kind of narrow and we all make a half-hearted attempt to switch to a subject unrelated to kids or motherhood - work, music, books, current events or something. But it always comes back to the kids. For instance, one of the moms was talking about a book she was reading but then it turned into a story about how her daughter was sitting on her lap while she was finishing a chapter and ripped one of the pages right out from under her nose. Which prompted us all to tell our stories about toddler destruction and there we were again, talking about the kids.
The great thing is, it doesn't matter. None of us is bitter about it. In fact, despite the fact that our stories are usually of the "OMG, you'll never believe what she/he did today!" kind, they're always told with humor. There's never much need for commiseration. It's entertainment pure and simple. Even the tough stuff is fodder for a good giggle. Of course, the cocktails help too!
We also talk a lot about feeling "older", which just makes me laff, laff, laff because I am the oldest of the group by anywhere between 3-6 years. Last night everyone was talking about their 30th birthday parties and all I could offer was: "I promise to invite you to my 40th!" My 30th birthday feels like a LIFETIME away at this point. I remember it well but hardly can identify with where I was and who I was then - just 5 years ago!
One of the group is pregnant again, by the way, and a few of the others are already plotting their next bundle of joy. Therefore, I expect that about 10-12 months from now, I will be the only one left with a drink-in-hand at these get togethers. Hopefully we will still get together, if just for dinner, but I remember what it was like feeling all heavy, tired, and gassy - it didn't inspire you to party, that's for sure - so we'll see.
For now, I'm just grateful to have met them all. Because of them, I think it's likely that I actually go out more often on my own NOW than I did before I had Daisy. Most of my friends prior to motherhood, lived too far away for frequent get-togethers, already had overly-booked schedules, and/or couldn't find a babysitter. Our group is fortunate that we all live pretty close to one another and have husbands that willingly take over for a night. They're a good group of guys, actually.
Next time we go out, I'll have to get a group shot. With the exception of moi, they've all lost their baby weight and are hotties. Of course, I'll have the last laugh when they're all big and pregnant again.