"A lot of stuff can come up in this pose, so don't be surprised if you start feeling sad (or nauseated or angry or bewildered or [add emotion here...]"
I've been to lots of yoga classes where the teacher says this at some point during the class. Normally, it's right when we're about to do Camel. But since I've never experienced any sort of Come-to-Jesus moment like that in the middle of practicing, I usually make some snarky comment to myself and just keep going.
Then today, as I was lying in savasana (corpse pose) at the end of Hatha class, I started to cry. Not because some old family trauma surfaced or even because I've had a particularly bad day. It was because my Best Mom Friend (BMF) is moving away next week, and I suddenly glimpsed how yucky life is going to be without her around.
Willow and I met when Oliver was about 10 weeks old her daughter Lily was an even tinier newborn. Neither of us are from Vancouver; neither of us have family here. In truth, she actually has a ton of close friends here from university, but none of them have kids--so they're weren't in the same life phase (and by that I mean sleep deprived state of shock) that we were. Willow and I also live near each other, share an obsessive interest in pop culture, and have similar parenting philosophies--all the things you need in a new mom friend. So basically, we started hanging out and talking daily--often several times a day--about sleeping and eating schedules, relationship changes with our husbands, the kids' development, what to do in the rain (did I mention that it rains a lot where we live?), body image after pregnancy, etc etc. You get the idea. In short: she has been my support system. Sure, I've got other Mom Friends, but their kids aren't on the same schedule as mine, so it's hard to meet up with any regularity. Or we think different things are important (ie in my house, bedtime at roughly the same time every night or we pay for it the next day. We'd like to be more flexible--stay out at a kid-friendly restaurant a little later, go to kid-friendly dinner parties--but we just can't be yet). Willow gets all that, and that's why she's my BMF. But now she's moving three time zones away to be closer to her family and a great new job for her husband. And I'm scared to death that she's leaving me with my kids (albeit with my husband and part-time nanny) alone.
Her imminent departure has got me thinking a lot about the friends I have made (and lost) since having kids. There are girlfriends I'll always hold dear, but they're all far away. And as universal as the experience of motherhood can be, our daily existences are different. My friends in Los Angeles live in the sun. They don't have to worry about where to take two energetic boys when it's raining outside and the playground is not an option. And my friends in New York, well, their husbands make a lot of money and they all have full-time help, so they're not as strung out as I seem to be. But Willow and I have been going through all these early stages together in the same place, under the same conditions... so we connect in a special way.
But enough about me. What about you? Have you made the friends of a lifetime since having kids? Do you miss your friends who haven't crossed the line into parenting yet, or are you able to maintain a relationship with them? What would you do if your BMF was leaving? (Selfish me, I'm particularly interested in responses to that last question. So bring 'em on.)