A Mother and Her Friends

by shz

I recently clicked to HHLes’ blog and found an old entry about motherhood, written from a perspective of a single. She said her favorite bloggers (I’m excluded I’m sure) that started to have children begin blogging a lot about their children that it becomes boring to those whose lives haven’t changed the same way. Suddenly it hits me, am I one of them? Am I so ignorant that I’ve become one of those mothers? Who thinks less of her single friends or dismissed her blog readers by bore them with pictures of her daughter?

Friends wise, I gotta say – it will be hard the first time, as it was for me. My besties for life are all still single and pretty much haven’t changed a lot since high school. I swear, we weren’t trying to be a group of four like Carrie’s, but we are really Shaliza, Ewa, Mus & Shareena.

Ewa is naturally a wonderful friend with her instant understanding and caring virtues towards me when I started becoming a mother. I would walk to the baby room everytime Daisy needs a nappy change and find her tailing me. Even I don’t expect her to, even without asking. And when Daisy needs a little entertainment, she’s the clown I can always depend on. She’ll sing, do chicken dance and even makes Barney voice that not only left Daisy entertained, most of the times me and the others will too. She’s the kind of person who makes the most stressful situation turned out to be one of those fun times, which I am very much thankful for. Everytime we plan our travels, she’ll be the one who convinces me it will be no problem to bring Daisy along. Or if I need to change my travel plans, she’s the first to let me know that it will be whatever that suits me and my baby.

When it was Daisy’s time to entertain the entertainer.

Mus was the hardest to come around. She loves babies ONLY when babies are in good mood. Being the first born, its understandable that she has no close experience with babies by not having any nephew or nieces. I know she loves Daisy, but I know she’s also struggling to love her the same whenever Daisy’s on tantrums. Mus would give Daisy an evil stepmother stare whenever Daisy’s giving me a hard time to feed her, then she would say something like this to hint that she might struggle herself when she’s a mother, “Weh, ko memang penyabar gila kan? Aku tak sangka!”. And I will be the one giving her motherly advises like, “Mus, imagine kalau mak ko give up dengan ko masa ko kecik? Apa ko rasa? Tah-tah aku dulu lagi teruk perangai dari Daisy, pernah terfikir tak?” Hahaha, and conversations like that always left her thinking and sometimes I secretly feel it works.  Despite her lack in maternal instincts, she is more alert about Daisy’s whereabouts and dangerous attempts than I do. When we were in Tokyo, I gave her the title Bibik no. 1. Cos she sure did contributed a lot to babysitting when we were there. Honestly, I think she will be a fantastic mother. And a loud one, for sure.

Amusing Daisy while I’m busy deciding where to eat.

Making sure she crosses safely.

Shareena – well, she is sort of in-between those two. She’s also the baby in our group, so I don’t really expect much help for my baby, from a baby. From time to time she will offer a helping hand. But she will be the one who asks about Daisy every single bloody time she calls that even I get annoyed of trying to answer her.

Shaliza, Shaliza. Daisy tengah buat apa?

She’s sleeping. She’s playing. She’s doing all the things a baby does.

Shaliza, dia makan apa hari ni?

Pasta. Nasi goreng. Mee.

Shaliza, Daisy rindu aku tak?

No. No. No.

I gotta give her credit for trying.

You see, as much as we, the new mothers try to fit in back into our social lives, I don’t think it will be possible if our friends just dismiss the fact that becoming a mother is a life changing experience. If having friends who are not understanding enough about everything we have to go through, even we go way back long time ago, then some us might think it’s not worth hanging with those old friends. If it means we have to dress like makcik and socialize with people who are also mothers and way older than we are, then we shall be contented with that fact. After all, what do these friends expect? Wrap our babies in plastic and throw them in the river so that we won’t stop being fun? But yeah, dressing up like makciks is totally avoidable, don’t need to go that deep.

What I’m trying to say is that if you are single and have friends with children, try to be understanding. Support them and be there for them. Even a small gesture means a lot. Acknowledge that someday you’ll have to go through all that too, and when that time comes, ask yourself, what do you expect your friends to do? How you would want your friends to react when your baby cries in the middle of your hot gossip conversation? What would you want your friends do when your baby is rebelling that even with your two hands it is hard to keep your baby still, but you really need to wipe that ass?

Or simply enough put it this way – if your mother ditches you to have good times with her friends, what would you feel? It takes a lot of give and take. I am also not dismissing the fact that mothers do need to leave their children once a while too. But not a lot of us have this kind of luxury. Its a lot of work and not having a break from your baby isn’t healthy for everyone. As much as you love your babies, it isn’t really a good idea to go on babbling about them non stop to your friends who are yet to experience it.

I still talk about other things with my girls whenever I can. Its not always about diapers or cute little booties. Its only polite to acknowledge that boyfriends, pimples and shitty work colleagues are real problems for them, in return to their understanding to all my baby troubles. Like all relationship, it works both ways. And so far, I am lucky that even by being a mother, I am not that much further away from my old life. All because I have such an understanding, supportive bunch who despite everything, still want me in their lives.