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The hidden costs of motherhood



On the rare occasions when I met with friends, it had to be on my terms to fit my breastfeeding and sleep routine. Over the only phone calls I made, those were to my mother group for advice on nipple glands and diaper rash.

Another ex-boyfriend was so annoyed with my friendships that the last time I saw her, through the calendar, she flipped her phone to show me every time that I had canceled her. Her frustration with me was understandable; it was a pretty long list.

Despite my best intentions, I could not be the person my friends wanted me to be. Hell, I could not even be the person I wanted to be.

And I'm not the only one. The growing cemetery of friendships is an underestimated price for motherhood for many women.

This month writer Nadia Bokody has given a preemptive strike to her friends who have become mothers She Said article: "I can not be your friend anymore, now you are a mother."

"[W] I will always be full of pride for friends who announce that they expect it, it will never be without a heavy heart, if I have to accept that our friendship will soon come to its inevitable end "Bokody, who saw many friends disappearing in the void of motherhood, despite assurances that they would not

made that vow before I had any children. I was determined not to reduce my identity to "just a mother", not to "let go" so as not to make my life too small.

But there I was, wearing my pajamas at noon, covered with vomit, I had barely left the house for a week and felt as if I'd missed it, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a pro and to be a friend – and I could not help it.

It feels like a sick and twisted joke that we expect mothers to undergo as meaningfully and life-changing as making a person, keeping that person alive and turning them into happy, well-rounded and functional adults life is fundamentally changed by experience.

Even mothers themselves are led to believe that a child should be as disruptive to their lives as a puppy.

Never before in our history has there been so much pressure on mothers, we are expected to give our children our full attention at any moment, and there are no children stepping out of the house telling them to come back when the street lights are out go on like our parents. We can not even look at our mobile phones in a playground without being negligent .

At the same time, as the demands and expectations of intensive motherhood continue to rise, we have lost our village extended family networks to share the burden. Fathers are slightly more involved than previous generations, but only marginally.

I have never seen an article about men who complain about the loss of male friendships after paternity. Many fathers still care for their social life after work with sports and drinks after work .

Working mothers, on the other hand, have to fight the misunderstandings about mothers who do not work in the workplace. Because they often have to go earlier to pick up the kids, they work harder while they work – Research shows that mothers who work part time are the most efficient employees – and therefore do not have the luxury while Working lunch and water cooler conversations to cultivate friendships. And for many, as soon as they get home, their second shift begins.

When mothers try to lead a normal life, they risk being filmed and controlled in aircraft when their toddler inevitably behaves as a toddler. Or they are criticized and excluded from cafes, restaurants and other public spaces because their two-year-olds have the table manners of a two-year-old.

Of course, my friendships did not fail when I became a mother. I've made wonderful and life-saving friendships with other mothers, and a small group of my old friends who have no children of their own were infinitely patient, flexible and supportive, and they gave me the most precious gift of friendship: they allowed me to change.

  Kasey Edwards

Writer, author of & # 39; – Something and about it & # 39 ;. More articles by Kasey Edwards.

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