I'm sure I wrote about a similar topic before. Your life simply can't stay the same after a child. The first thing I noticed was my eating habits and ability to keep my already messy house in any sort of order. So the first thing that was very obvious to me was that.
But it's been a while now and as everything else settles into a day to day routine of regular life, I notice the next thing that's gone by the wayside is my ability to keep up with friends. I think about my friends a lot. But I don't drop them texts or have a chat like I used to. It's not even that most of my friends are local. Maybe that's part of the problem. I already have to use various technologies to keep up with them. I'm not going to see them by accident.
And I have to say, my friends have, in general, been great about keeping up with me, with one or two glaring exceptions which are another story entirely. But even that has a limit. I noticed more recently that I haven't heard from people who made an effort to keep in touch with me, and I have to admit with some chagrin that I have not been good at keeping up with them either. The burden can't be entirely theirs.
But it's hard! When it's the morning, or the immediate evening after work, my life is all about MJ. Her new toddler status means she can be particularly volatile and challenging to get changed, get fed, and get out the door. I can't sit idly by and hope she gets things done. I have to do everything for her. That's fine, but there's little time there to communicate with others.
After she goes to bed, I have to feed myself (generally) and I have about an hour to myself. Now, I could spend that hour texting all my friends far away, or I could sit on my sofa and watch the next episode of Jessica Jones (or whatever else I happen to be watching). And then it's time for bed. Get up and repeat.
It's not that I'm unhappy, but I think I'm being a shitty friend. My friends are great, and I don't want them to drift because I'm being an asshole. And at some point when MJ is older, I will have more time to reach out to others. If I don't nurture those relationships, those friends may be gone.
So really I know what I need to do- I need to make more of an effort, even if it's just to cycle through my far away friends on a rota and send them a 'What's up?' message occasionally. Because currently that's slipping. In the long run, I don't think it's a good idea. And in the short run, I could inadvertently be messing up some great friendships.