That Pre-Kid Life…

I’m a generally upbeat and positive person. I have a faith that grounds me and calibrates me. But sometimes, y’all I get down in the dumps. I think, damn (am I allowed to say that!?) I’m missing out. This usually stems from going too deep into the weeds of social media. Realizing a friend from before pregnancy has unfollowed me or, worse, blocked me on Instagram … “What have I done!?” “How have I changed?!” “I’m still who I used to be!” “Why don’t you like me any longer?!”

Me pre-kid. When I would attend concerts on a WEEKNIGHT! *all friends pictured are still dear friends

Then I realize, I wouldn’t want that pre-kid life back for ANYTHING.

I’m stable now. I have a son. I own a home. I’m salaried. WITH benefits.

But still my mind can wander back … what was the tipping point? Was it when they realized I couldn’t drink during my pregnancy? Or was it when my belly started to show? Or was the actual BIRTH part the thing that made me uncool?

This can lead to a pity party PRETTY rapidly if you aren’t careful. I typically snap out of this train of thought quickly. Especially after play dates like the one I had this morning. A former daycare friend of my son’s invited us to the park on the Monday holiday. I was ELATED! We went and had a blast … and I realized that all moms are in search of friends that get their life. It isn’t just me. There are a lot of times that I feel I am in a uniquely isolated position as a solo parent, but I’m learning that I’m not alone. Parenting is weird and hard and comes with a shift of friendships and lifestyles no matter WHAT kind of parent category you fall into.

My church is FULL of moms, but finding the mom on our same schedule or with kids the same age is pretty near impossible. Before kids you can befriend people in all sorts of life stages. I had older friends and younger friends and friends that were married or friends with kids plus friends in different cities whom I had the time to stay connected to and visit on occasion.

Now, in mom world, I realize I have the time to care for my son, work to provide for us, and MAYBE keep the house clean … but socializing is limited to those who can come to my house or people who have kids that my kid can also play with. That shrinks the friend field significantly.

My best shot at good friends are those with kids near my son’s age AND attending the same play school.

So will social media continue to create parenting standards that are impossible to keep? Yep. Will social media remind you of what you’re missing out on? I mean, that’s why FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is even a thing. Does social media remind me of what life USED to be? Every.Damn.Day (AND I just said damn again… am I gonna get in trouble?!?!!?). But would I trade those friends who can’t be bothered by my son or mom life for ANYTHING that I currently have? Heck no (except maybe the mortgage)!!!

Life really is good. Do you miss your pre-kid life? Do you wish to have some of the friends back that have exited your life because of children? I know this is a constant struggle for me, but I’m excited to take time this year to invest in the friends that can support and encourage me because they GET IT. And if I am down in the dumps about my pre-kid life, slap me and remind me how good I have it!

Sarah Joy Hays is a native of Louisiana and graduate of LSU! She returned to Baton Rouge in 2015 after 6 years living and working in DC. She is a proud momma to an enthusiastic, red-haired toddler and is navigating all of this as a solo parent; fully relying on group texts with other moms, coffee, and Jesus. Sarah Joy, or SJ, has devoted much of her abundant spare time to the Moms on Campus, South Baton Rouge Presbyterian Church, and her newly founded Foundation that will focus on emergency disaster response. She claims to love to read, journal, and cook; but only manages one of the three out of daily necessity. SJ dreams of having a Target collaboration based on coffee mugs and dry shampoo one day… till then she will enjoy running her bakery CounterspaceBR and growing a consulting business!


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