Gone are the days of ballin birthday party’s with 100 of your friends, the more people the better. Gone are the days of simple responsibility now filled with keeping a small human alive, happy and well rounded. The truth is as you grow older people grow apart, friendship circles get smaller and people get forgotten.
Friday was my 33rd birthday and the night before it I cried and the night of my birthday I cried. There is no shame in that. I had one of those what the fuck moments that happen several times in a persons life. It was the realization of being 33 and feeling forgotten by the world.
As I have shared some of my story I will give the gist of it. I got pregnant while in a unhealthy relationship. During the pregnancy a lot of friends disappeared into the back ground as I was pregnant and had complications I wasn’t the free spirit friend anymore that would meet friends out to socialize at the drop of a hat. I was sick, sore and tired all the time trying to keep it together. So people stopped contacting me checking in and frankly these people hadn’t really cared about me. They liked the fun me not the sick pregnant me I was now obsolete which meant people I thought had been my friends weren’t really.
I then had a prem baby that needed regular appts ,again people that had been there during my pregnancy started disappearing as they “didn’t know what to say” or thought “I needed space” which basically meant I was in the too hard basket.
When my daughter was 4 months old her father left and years of family court began which I can’t get into but had to cut some of the ties left. This then made my friendship pool smaller and I also met new people through single mum’s groups and re connected with friends that had kids I had lost touch with.
At 2 & 1/2 my daughter was diagnosed with autism and yet again more people disappeared from our lives. We also met other family’s like ours going through similar hurdles with therapies and getting their child on track to the best of their abilities.
The past few years I have gone through a lot. I have lost touch with a lot of people and had to cut people out of my life. I have met new people but maintaining friendships with other parents is hard to line up schedules. Life as a parent of a special needs child is complex.
I think this is what led to my what the fuck moment. On my birthday the only person that called me was my mum who I went to lunch with. She was the saving grace for my birthday. There were no presents to open and even though Facebook reminds everyone very few people contacted me via msg to say happy birthday. I felt forgotten.
I could do the standard perfect life blog or instagram post saying how perfect everything was for my birthday. I think that would be unjust as I’m not the only person/parent that feels isolated and alone sometimes. So many people like to pretend their life is perfect or fabulous and don’t share the lows only the highs. This gives people unrealistic expectations of the life they want to achieve when looking at social media. Like hey that persons life looks perfect when in reality its only what they allow you to see as they aren’t willing to be vulnerable. I think there is beauty and strength in vulnerability. To really celebrate the good things you also need to embrace and work through the low parts and not be afraid to speak your truth.
I’m not the only person that has these what the fuck moments about how did my life get this way. Don’t get me wrong I love my child and the life we have together but, for a well balanced life it’s a balance of family, friends, hobbies and work. It is like doing a puzzle without a box filling in the pieces working from the outside in and realizing that some of the corner sections are missing pieces. I did have dinner with 5 fantastic friends on Saturday night which was fun. I looked around the table and appreciated each one of them for making time to celebrate my birthday.
At 33 that’s where my life is, feeling forgotten by the world. I had 5 people that came to celebrate with me, which I appreciated but at the same time felt sad how small my friendship circle had gotten. I rarely get out and feel cut off from the world a lot of the time. In moments of sadness I look for the positives, I had 5 friends to celebrate with me. I have an awesome mum who took me for lunch and an amazing daughter who is happy to eat cake and sing me happy birthday any day of the week.
Among all the positives I still thought of the puzzle that is my life and the different sections of Family, work, friends and hobbies. The family section of the puzzle was filled in and that gave me a proud feeling to have such a strong family base.
The work section of my life puzzle according to society is missing as I can’t currently work while focusing on all my daughters therapy stuff. I believe it has a few pieces though. I’m a Personal Assistance without pay and crazy hours for my adorable daughter. It’s rewarding getting her on track but I need something for me in the future and that’s not selfish it’s having a dream and ambition to set an example to my child to follow her career dreams.
The friend section of the puzzle has some solid pieces but I also feel has some pieces missing. It is something I need to work on to try get more balance by trying to find more time to socialize. We are by nature social creatures we get lonely and its important to have time to catch up with friends.
The hobbies section of my puzzle is a section of my life I love with writing and following my dream those pieces are slowly materializing.
So with all the sections together it’s clear for me that being a parent and getting older isn’t simple. We are all trying to find balance. We all have different hurdles in life and at one point or another we get sad that our lives feel unbalanced as we struggle to put our life puzzles together. So now my birthday and wtf moment has passed I’m writing, reflecting and sharing with other parents to say it’s ok. It’s ok to have sad moments, it’s ok to have wtf moments and it’s ok as you get older to question everything, so you can work towards a better balance.
In the harder moments reflect on what the reasons are for being sad and the things that got you there. Then instead of letting it break you or keep you down, learn and use it as strength to work towards your happiness and figure out the next pieces to go in the puzzle of life to make you happy.