Adulthood is weird. I feel like we wait for this switch to flip when we suddenly have it all together. When we can manage to make a doctor’s appointment like it’s not a big deal (yes, this is still something I struggle with) or cook a nice dinner every day of the week. The idea of owning a house or understanding my health insurance are still things that are completely foreign to me, so when my best friend announced that she was growing a human, it was pretty hard for me to wrap my head around. I went through a whole series of emotions once she broke the news. Below are just a few of my rational thoughts.
1. This is kind of a big deal.
It was different when she was pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, things were still weird but it was more like this far-off scenario that I could avoid thinking about until it happened. For a while I could just pretend she was having big burritos and taking a break from drinking. I don’t do well with change. When I heard that she was in labor it was suddenly like “Shit.Just.Got.Real.”
2. Am I allowed to talk about normal stuff?
This life-changing thing just happened to you, can I talk about my drama at work? Or about something annoying my fiancé did? And what about that final episode of Girls, are they KIDDING me?
It’s a very hard transition to go from talking about completely mundane things to thinking, oh right, you’re in charge of raising a tiny human now.
3. Should I become a baby person?
I’ll just be honest – I am not comfortable around babies, especially newborns. They are so fragile. I mean they can’t hold up their own heads! I am clumsy and awkward, what if I mess them up? Part of me wants to just observe her cute pudgy face from afar.
4. What am I doing with my life?
It’s kind of like the feeling you have when everyone around you starts posting “I SAID YES,” pictures. You can’t help but think, when will it be my turn? Or what is my plan?! Except this time it’s about bringing an actual human into the world. It has certainly made me question my larger game plan. I can’t believe I’m at the age where people start planning to grow their families. BABIES ARE EVERYWHERE. I haven’t found any answers but my wheels are spinning that’s for sure.
5. How will our friendship change?
Our nights out bar hopping ended quite a while ago now, but what else is going to change? I know this little baby is going to change everything about life as she knew it, so what happens next? I’ve already learned more about labor than I ever wanted, now I’m in for conversations about breast-feeding and swaddles. Like I said, adulthood is so weird.
6. How do I handle the serious stuff?
I try my best to relate to her feelings about this brand new person, but the truth is I have no clue what to say. It’s challenging to comfort someone going through something you can’t even imagine. I mean, I take weird behaviors from my dog way too seriously, how do you handle the anxieties about a life YOU. CREATED. There should be a book called “What to expect when your friend is expecting.” Dibs.
7. What’s my role?
I’m not a regular aunt, I’m a cool aunt. But seriously, what will my relationship be with this baby? My friend is now in charge of a life. I know I keep emphasizing this, but its. so. weird. My brother is 12 years younger than I am, so I’ve gotten to experience the way a baby changes a household, but I really don’t remember being so fascinated by the fact that my Mom was in charge of another life. Plus I was 12 so I just liked to race home so I would get to watch him giggle or fight over who got to hold him first. It’s so much different when it’s your friend who is in charge of all of the responsibilities that come with raising a baby. I imagine how we will adjust our activities or our conversations around her daughter. Will we suddenly become mature?
Fortunately, if I’ve learned anything over my almost 28-years of life, it’s that good friendships can withstand all the curveballs life throws. I’m ready to talk about midnight feedings and watch how our conversations continue to evolve, and maybe someday I will learn to accept that her baby is a real person, not just an adorable doll with pudgy cheeks.
I’m also learning that it’s okay to maybe not know what I want yet. Just because friends are taking these steps doesn’t mean I need to be in a hurry to make this decision. After all, I’m still a child, how will I raise one? But in the end it’s pretty bad ass to see that your best friend has created a human life.