Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sans Baby and Socially Awkward: The How and Why?

Let's face it. I'm not the same DINK I was over a year ago. For those of you left wondering what a "DINK" is, it's an acronym for the title "Dual Income No Kids." Back when I was a DINK, I could cocktail and dinner with the best of them. Within minutes I could effortlessly throw together an outfit and don four inch platform heels and spend a night out on the town, indulging in french cuisine and belgian beers, hopping from one bar to the next, the conversation flowing and ebbing in the most natural of senses. And daaaayum, did I look good doing it. 

So, "what's changed," you ask? Everything. The impetus for this blog post comes on the heels of a recent dinner date that the husband and I went on. Back home in Hometown, New Jersey for the weekend, plans were made to meet up with a college fraternity brother and his wife, good friends of ours, who recently relocated back to the East Coast from their first home in California. Although I was looking forward to catching up with these longtime, childless friends of ours, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.  


Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Even at the mere thought of heading out for a dinner date sans baby, I start to stress. Who's going to watch the baby? Are they going to bathe him right? Cut his food into small enough pieces? Will they know that he likes to run like a maniac around the kitchen, narrowly missing colliding forehead and corner wall with each lap on the hardwood floors? What if they take their eyes off him for a second and he manages to scale the baby gate and make his way up the stairs? Go ahead and laugh, but in my head? These are all distinct possibilities.

Sure, this has a lot to do with my type-A, first-time-mom-ness. But regardless, it is what is

Aright, so I've already stressed about the preemptive dinner date. Now? Plans have been made and we're meeting at an upscale bar and grill in this cute little town where lot's of hipsters live in approximately five hours. Great. Let's figure out what to wear. Remember how I said everything has changed? Well, I'm still learning how to dress my new mom-bod. The one that, although weighs the same as it did the day I found out I was pregnant, certainly doesn't fit, feel and look the same.

Four pairs of jeans and seven tops later, I've managed to find something that conceals my mom-pooch and will allow me to sit un-fidgeting-like for at least two hours. I figure that's long enough to make it through dinner and I can always excuse myself to the ladies room to re-suck-it-in, stuff/tuck and zip. Despite the loving compliments that I immediately receive from the husband, who, by the way, is so enamored with the fact that I am not wearing my "mom-tuxedo" of black pants and a tanktop, as he so lovingly calls it, that he's ready to scrap the idea of dinner and hop into bed to work on baby number 2, I still feel... fluffy and fidgety

Oh, and baby number 2? No way, Jose. Not tonight.

Fast forward to dinner. Hugs and how-the-heck-are-you's are exchanged. iPhone pictures of C are immediately whipped out, "congratulations and wow-he's-so-cute-are-you-sure-he's-Husband's are exclaimed and so begins the mild social awkwardness.  

We're sitting down to dinner with a great couple, dear friends of ours, who have been married two short years, are relishing in new jobs, new endeavors and life with an adorable lab puppy. And for the life of me? My once chatty, bubbly self cannot seem to think of anything to talk about aside from Life With A Toddler. It was as if I was one sip of Hefeweisen away from busting out the dance moves to The Wiggles rendition of "Hot Potato."

I mean, seriously. Who am I? I have become that parent

Although I appreciated their talk of recent carefree vacations and nights out on the town, I just can't assimilate. Those days and nights are so far behind me, I've almost forgotten what they feel like. But I can sit and talk for hours about what it feels like to stay up all night with a sick baby. To fall asleep on the floor next to their crib, so that at the faintest cry, you're right there beside them to soothe them. I can write a novel on what it's like to watch as your baby discovers new things. How absolutely mind-blowing and life-changing it is to see them mimic your words and your actions. I can go on and on about how awesome it is to watch your husband, your strong, manly, strapping husband, just absolutely melt into a puddle of mush on the floor when after a long day at work, they see their son's face light up as soon as they walk through the door.


I mean, non-parents? They just don't get it and I certainly don't expect them to. I mean absolutely no offense when I say that either. This post does not stem from jealousy or malice. Just from difference. As a former DINK, I'm fairly certain I would have rather drowned myself in my vodka tonic than hear someone drone on and on about how awesome their kid is. Believe me, I get that.



But until then? I'm going to be mildly socially awkward, whipping out pictures of my child, The Cutest Kid on the Face of This Planet, during all of those awkward lulls in conversation. And if you don't like it? Just keep drinking that vodka tonic.

I won't even mention that by 10pm, I was practically falling asleep in my chocolate-dipped sugar cone of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Mint Chunk.

So, Loyals with kids: Please tell me I'm not the only one who's forgotten how to behave when all dressed up and dinner'ing sans baby? Is there some sort of 12-step program for this that I should be looking into?

And my Loyals without kids, forgive me if I drone on and on about my kid, okay? I promise that underneath the spanx and toddler-lunch-encrusted top, I'm still pretty darn cool. Most days.

Happy Wednesday,



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44 comments :

  1. I'm right there with you! Seems I have forgot how to talk about anything other than Mason. Also, seems I have forgot how to dress non-mom like.

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  2. I can totally relate to this post and again that is another reason why I love your blog girl! I can talk for hours and hours on end to people with babies. Other people??...what are they waiting for? Hop on the bandwagon already will ya because we would be so much better friends..haha.

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  3. You never cease to amaze me with yet another completely relatable topic AP! I was socially awkward after Julianna to the point that I was scared to go out on the town! After Kelsey- I am dying for a night out sans kiddies but feel the exact same way you do- what to wear, what to say- how not to s

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  4. Sorry I hit submit accidentally- oops! Anywho- it's tough but we are proud mamas of our kiddies and they're probably proud of their pup- so show off the insane cuteness that is C and get your drink on! :)

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  5. Oh my gosh... I love this post! I was just telling my husband last week that I don't know what to talk about anymore with some of our friends. I feel like sour Sally because nothing they say is even interesting... Maybe I need the vodka tonic. :)

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  6. so so true. I went to a wedding this weekend without baby and hubs and at several points literally teared up because i felt so out of place. It's amazing how being a Momma changes you!

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  7. I am SO right there with you. I feel the same way when I hang out with my best friends from home...all of who are single and live a totally carefree life. I love them and love hanging out but I feel like it is so much harder to relate to their life now. I can't remember what the single/no baby life is like!I am also hoping I get better at this. Lord knows I need more adult time!

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  8. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I feel like such a lame ass sometimes even when around other seasoned parents. So your next post--how to grab the social self we once were! Need tips Momma! :)

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  9. Girl it's normal. Ok I said it. J and I go out every so often, for friends birthdays and date nights, so I can honestly say it does get easier/better. We went out just a couple weeks ago, sans baby, and I found myself never speaking of KP once. So much so that I started to feel like a bad mom b/c I wasn't talking about her. But damn did it feel good.

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  10. I am totes lame too. I cant function and have a normal conversation that doesn't involve talk about poop and sleep schedules. Its completely ridiculous. but in the end, I love ever second of it.

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  11. Oh I am pretty sure you are normal... Or maybe moms are just all socially awkward? I think I become hyper-aware and tend to not talk at all about the babe - even when people ask me about him. Which gets equally weird. I am so afraid of being THAT girl and being left deserted in the corner because I cannot talk about any thing BUT my baby.

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  12. I'm in the same boat. Sometimes I even tell myself to not even bring Ethan up because God knows once I start talking about him I can't stop. But really, I feel as though I have nothing else to talk about. I don't even watch the news anymore because it comes on at the same time as Mickey Mouse. Oh well!

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  13. LOVE this post! I am totally not the person I used to be, and I am so ok about that, even if I know more about bibs and spit-up than J Lo and creepy Mark!

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  14. UMM - I've forgotten that breastfeeding and poop are not normal forms of communication! I'm REALLY working hard on "re-censoring" myself in public.....

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  15. This is the prime example that being a part of the mom club is TRUTH. You can get together with any mom with a child relatively the same age as yours and have endless discussion. It is REALLY hard to maintain friendships with people without kids for the sole reason of understanding. Its just....hard to understand when some little person doesn't rock your world. We've had a really difficult time hanging out with certain people because of that reason. Its not bad, or anyone's fault..its just...different.

    ps: I worry about all that stuff with sitters too--except, not my parents. Hence why I'm cool with leaving her with them for 4 days when we go away. Although I am mildly panicked at the thought that she'll forget us. lol.

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  16. I hear ya sister! I'm there too...even with my own hubby. IF we do get the RARE opportunity to go out and eat without baby, I stress all day about his care while I'm away and about the 'what if's' while I'm gone. Not to mention all we can talk about at dinner is "Easton this, Easton that..." But...it's life...and makes me realize just HOW MUCH I love that kid!

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  17. O girl... I totally relate with both... stressing about the sitter.. "will she turn her back and E roll off the changing table, how well does she know the Heimlich, what is E gets really hurt will she know what to do".... and then Ive got the get dressed issue too..... I weigh a few punds less then my pre preggo weight.. but Im pretty sure I do not believe the scale, especially when Im trying to dress..

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  18. Speaking of Hefeweisen, I had that the other day and it was delicious! I couldn't pronounce it or spell it, but heck, i will surely drink it!

    This must be why we got along so well on our meetup, because we could talk about our kids..and blogging the whole time!

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  19. Love this post!! We haven't made it out yet sans baby (total control freak here too) but I have a feeling it would be similar. I can already tell that I've changed but I can say without a doubt I've never been happier in my entire life..and I think I'm still kinda cool :)

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  20. Oh girl. I have so been there. OFTEN. I'm the first of our close group of friend's to have a baby, so I've really had to figure out how to manage this dilemma and not bore them to death with poop talk. Although, they are all pretty interested in her, too, so it usually works out. I have a harder time with people who I'm not super close with .. and who I just hang out with occassionally. So awkward.

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  21. I just snorted my coffee. You are hilarious, my friend.

    Also, I think you doing The Wiggles "Hot Potato" is a fantastic idea for your next vlog. It's practically my favorite song right now. I'll even ship you the Chardonnay you'll need in order to prepare your moves!

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  22. I am a 3rd time mom and I still think like that about other people "watching" my kids!

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  23. We totally feel you. When we go on date nights, we sometimes have to keep ourselves from strictly talking about C all night. It's hard though!

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  24. You said it! I am so there!

    If you figure out what the twelve step program is...do a post!

    It seems like I can hardly relate ( i can remember) to my pre-mom days.

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  25. So I think I'm the only DINK posting! I love hearing about mommy-hood... especially when you talk about all of the funnies along the way. Oh, and PS, the Wiggles Hot Potato dance will always be appreciated! Thanks for making me a better friend to my friends with kiddos! XOXO

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  26. New follower! I totally understand how you feel! I'm 23 and although I have friends my age who are married, it's just not the same since they don't have kids. I feel like all I have to talk about is my baby girl and all the things she has started learning but I'm a mom and I love my baby girl so there is absolutley nothing wrong with that! I also relate to your clothing issue. It's just so hard finding new ways to dress your new mom body! Good luck with that and keep on talking about your son to whoever will listen!

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  27. I think it is hilarious that you brought up a Wiggles song. Last night I made fruit salad and we were all singing the horrible "fruit salad, yummy yummy" song. Ugghhh!

    I love this post!!

    I can totally relate. I too freak out about the babysitter. It always ends up being ok, but I sweat it so bad.

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  28. I can relate completely! And most of my friends do have kids now - but most are out ot the baby/toddler phase. What I am finding, however, is that those friends, for whom I once was the go to babysitter for, well, they seem to forget that I'm not in the same position with having that "go to" person like they did with me. While we do have sitters who we can call on, it's the last minute things that bug me. Their kids are older so when they drop them off for a playdate, they think I can make a quick call so I can go and catch a movie with them at the spur of the moment. Um, yeah, I still need to plan with a toddler folks!

    Oh, and it doesn't help the situation when people ask how C is doing I'm sure...if someone asks me about Tommy, they better really want to hear what he's up to!!!

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  29. This is exactly why all of my relationships with my single girlfriends or college friends that are DINKs have deteriorated into little more than a phone call every now and then and lame attempts (on my part) at joining them for wild nights out about once a year. I feel like some kind of poser when I attempt to join them out, and they feel bored and restless joining me and my kid for lunch.

    I've found it's easier to be around people in the same life-stage as me. It just feels more natural. And eventually, everyone catches back up. Those newly married couples will have kids, and then you'll all fit together again. Unless, of course, you're like me and your only child will be in college around the time your girlfriends start having babies. But that's a whole other blog post right there. ;o)

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  30. I so understand!!! It is like all I can talk about is our two kids. What is it like to work outside the home? I don't know? Getting dressed up and adult convo...what is that? Thanks for this post. It is good to hear we are not alone!!!

    P.S...new follower:)

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  31. Apparently being part of the DINK club just isn't in us once we've had a baby. It's sad but true! I've found I have nothing to talk about BUT Baby J. I'm still learning how to make the transition with friends who are planning to stay in the DINK club for a while longer!

    Oh well, at least us moms have each other to be socially awkward with, right?

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  32. Ummm...I'm pretty sure I just got a big, fat F on my trip to Vegas for not even making it out. That's only because I didn't keep track of how many beers I drank at the pool during my enthusiastic conversation with fellow mommies about nursing and pumping (the only conversation that seemed to feel natural and free-flowing all weekend). And I was socially awkward to start with. This is why it's imperative to find the rare mommy who likes to drink and talk about babies at the same time. And also why I wish we lived closer!

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  33. On NYE we went to dinner with my brother & SIL...and my nephew couldn't fall asleep at his grandma's house so we ALL sang his lullaby into my SIL's cell phone. In the middle of the trendiest sushi restaurant in town.

    I can only talk about my baby REGARDLESS of whether or not my audience has children, so I say you are 100% normal. I mean, DINKs talk about their jobs, and our babies ARE our jobs. With no time off. I say it's fair game for dinner conversation :)

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  34. Between work and my group of childless girlfriends I'm pretty good about turning my mom brain off and carrying on an adult coversation. If I'm with mom friends though? Fogitaboutit! It's ALL baby All the time! Haha, makes me sound like I'm a double agent!

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  35. Haha! I obviously can't relate... but I am probably one of the few DINKs that doesn't mind hearing about babies. :) Maybe it's because I can relate since I'm with my little bratties four days a week. :)

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  36. I so feel the same way. Whenever I go out for a night on the town I end up overserved for just that reason - ha!

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  37. so at my high school reunion recently, I did nothing but talk about my kid. Even in my (drunkish) state. What did we use to talk about? And I'm with you, before BG, I did not want to hear about kids. Now? Lets talk babies all day!

    this is why you need to move here. We'll just get shwasted and talk babies :)

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  38. you are NOT alone!!! i am the first of all of my friends to have a baby, and they don't get it. and i don't expect them to...but its a hard transition to make all alone. ive had to make new friends, who DO get it...and for now, that's ok with me. i feel so blessed. but, yeah...going out with non-kid people is hard and not that fun. loved this!

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  39. ps---the last post was under my fiance's name--andrew coleman....I am actually Kendall! haha

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  40. You are NOT alone at all! Two of my best friends dont have any kids yet, and we just dont have much to talk about. Unfortunately, I dont see them much anymore. There are no hard feelings on either side, just acceptance. I have become closer to moms with kids now because they just get it...whatever it is!

    Also, clothes! The biggest thing that I noticed was that every top I used to wear now seem so short! Did my torso grow?

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  41. Love, love, love this post. You couldn't have put my thoughts/feelings into words any better.

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  42. Perfectly stated post. I just found your blog...after readig two post I'm hooked. A full time working mommy of a 2 year old little girl...i'm glad my thoughts aren't alone! This post had me in stitches as it's right on how I feel when I catch up with my friends non married or without kids!

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  43. Let me provide a different perspective; I am the 32 year old DINK with few and far betwen friends without children. It can be a lonely road and a sad one. I have definitely drifted apart from friends, to the point of many not even being friends any more, because of this exact issue.
    I am glad you seem to be making an effort to hold onto your friendships w/ childless friends even though it may be hard.

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  44. oh.my.gahhhh. i'm terrified. this is already becoming a reality for me and my babe is only 12-weeks old. seriously.... i'm concerned that i may not ever be able to participate in normal adult conversation again? i was hoping it was just because this is all so new and whatnot? no?

    shiiitttttttt! ;)

    life changes in an instant, doesn't it? i love it though....so there's that.

    i heart you blog friend. great post. :)

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As always, thanks so much for reading ILYMTC. If you have any questions about a post or want to get in touch with me (or any of the cast of characters here at ILYMTC) email me at iloveyoumorethancarrots(at)gmail(dot)com.

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