Dear friends (who do not have children),
Please accept this letter that as a sort of apology for every party, cookout, or double date night that we have cancelled or made a rain check. We know you must be frustrated with us and at times down right angry, but before you go making assumptions about our actions, or lack thereof, we wanted to share a few of our most treasured excuses that you might hear from us. If after reading this, you still feel that our absence is uncalled for then we do wish you the best and happily suggest you find some other way to cope with our absence.
First and foremost, we really did want to go (insert your rolling eyes here). Yes, I know we are constantly making up excuses for canceling plans; the baby is teething, she has a cold, the sitter cancelled, the list could go on. The truth is, however, these are not mere excuses but the reality that is now our lives. And while the thought of this will probably sound strange to you, we could not be any happier with our new lives. Becoming parents flipped our world in ways no one could have prepared us for. The second our child took in that first breath of air into their tiny lungs ours was taken away. Our lives no longer revolve around parties, dinner dates, or coffee shop soirees. Our lives are solely devoted to the well being and best interests of our child even above our own.
“We really wanted to come but the baby is teething, maybe next time.” Ah yes, the old teething excuse. I’ve no doubt you’ve heard this one from us before. While we may have planned on coming, unfortunately, our child had other plans. But before you get all feisty stop and ask yourself, did you seriously want a screaming teething baby at your dinner party?
Sometimes, being sick or teething might not even be the reason. Believe it or not there are times, when our child is simply not in the mood to be gallivanting around entertaining themselves anywhere but at the comfort of their own home, snuggled up in their parent’s lap. “Easy peasy” you say, “just get a baby sitter.” Do you have any idea how hard it can be to secure a good baby sitter nowadays? Oh dear…I suppose you don’t, sorry about that. If we can’t secure a sitter or the one we have cancels last minute, I can almost guarantee, you can count on our absence, but rest assured we are there in spirit.
“We would love to go to dinner, but honestly, we are exhausted. Can we take a rain check?” No one knows the effects of sleep deprivation like parents. Sleep is serious business when your a parent. We can pretty much sleep anywhere: couch, floor, kitchen table, trunk of a car, you name it. If it means getting a few moments of shut eye, we’re game. By the way, did I mention our bedtime starts at seven sharp? Oh, who am I kidding, our bedtime starts when the baby says it starts! And we are never guaranteed the full eight hours like you are, savor your sleep while you can. Some nights we might get three hours and if we are really lucky we can get a good solid six.
By the time we change 10 diapers a day (I’m being modest on the count here), soothe sore gums, rock our wee babes to sleep for a nap only to have them wake up again in five minutes, and pick up the same toys 50 times, we might as well have run a 10K marathon. The mere thought of doing anything other than tripping over the toy drum, and crash land into our PJ’s covered in spit up and going to bed as quickly as we can is out of the question. Ever been too tired to eat? Have a kid, you’ll catch on quick. Unfortunately, dear friends this means no more last-minute plans for dinner & movie. If we do manage to make it through dinner without falling out into our plate, you put us in the middle of a dark theater, you’ve just cooked a recipe for the best sleep we’ve had in months!
Our hope is that perhaps this will help you catch a small glimpse into our new lives and will allow you to better understand, why we no longer attend most social functions.
Your long lost friends with kids
P.S. If you confront us about our behavior, we will most likely laugh at you out of delirium.