I’ve got a new best friend, but where did the others go?
Although the main draw of beginning my own blog was to become a part of the online community, another real bonus for me is the anonymity.
For the moment at least, I can hide behind an avatar and the moniker L Plates Dad. It gives me the freedom to discuss aspects of my everyday life without those involved being able to read it. This may only be my second post, but I know had I shared my opening piece on my personal social network accounts, it would have been reached a far larger audience.
I knew from the moment that I met him that my son and I would always be friends. As four months have passed, I’ve been amazed by each passing day, fascinated with how he learns things and telling people that, despite it being one of the oldest cliches in the book, he really is growing up so fast.
But while I’ve gained a friend in this wonderful little man, I seem to have misplaced all of my others.
I’ve worked a lived in a number of different places and countries in recent years, meaning that I’ve gained quite a few new friends along the way – though I’ve now found a home for my new family.
I always thought the group of friends that I have now were, what I would call, good friends. That is until my partner left work to go on maternity leave.
All of a sudden, all of these people that I shared weekends with at the pub or watching football with became strangers. I found myself getting angry that, in the time that she took off to prepare for the arrival of our little man, only one of them ever called round to see how she was doing, once. There were no texts, no phone calls, no emails, nothing.
Since our baby boy arrived, nothing has changed. It’s become clear that the people I thought of as friends were actually nothing more than colleagues and drinking buddies. And that’s quite sad really.
I’m not ignorant enough to think that this has nothing to do with me. Admittedly yes, now, rather than spend a generic Friday night on the town and drinking myself blind I’d rather stay in with my little lad. I can accept that, though I won’t apologise for it.
It does mean though, that my partner and I have become our own, exclusive social circle, and while lonely is certainly not a term I would use to describe our situation, isolated may well sum it up.
What the whole situation has taught me is that dear friends mean the world. Again, it may seem cliched but our oldest and nearest friends have found the time to visit, despite us living in a different country to them, and if I could thank them now without revealing my identity I would.
We are starting to take part in more and more activities in the hope of meeting like-minded people. My little man’s mum takes him to a group at the library during the week, while we both take him to swimming lessons at the weekend.
I’m interested to hear from any parents who may have had a similar experience to this. Did you feel cut off when your child arrived? How did you make new friends? And what are the best baby-friendly activities to do so?
At the end of the day, if I don’t make new friends, I’ll still be the happiest guy in the world. My two best friends are always there waiting for me when I get home from work, and that will always be enough for me. It would just sometimes be nice to talk to other people in the same boat as us.