It’s 7 p.m. on a Saturday night.
Freshly showered and ready to take on whatever the night brings. I’ve just gotten dressed and am finishing up my makeup when the phone rings.
“Hey, I’m about to leave in half an hour. Do you want to meet around 8 p.m.?”
“Sure! I’m almost ready. I’ll be there at 8!” I say excitedly.
I finish my makeup and start working on my hair when a text comes through.
“Hey, Ash! Just wanted to let you know we’ll be there around 9 but we’re definitely going to make it! I can’t wait to dance!”
Awesome, I think to myself, tonight’s going to be a blast.
Fast forward another hour and I’m pulling up to the local bar, searching for familiar cars and faces.
I start seeing my friends and I jump out of my car and run over to them, grinning ear to ear and embracing them in a huge hug. We’re laughing and walking to the door as we joke about how much fun tonight will be . . .
Did this used to be you too?
The girl who had a blast every single weekend, no cares in the world, and friends who flocked around her?
Got a little too drunk a bit too often and did it again the next night?
Dressed up just to shake her booty on the dance floor?
Yeah, it was me too.
I was the girl who my friends would call at 5 p.m. when they got off work and say, “Be ready by 7, we’re out!” and I was ready by 6:45 p.m.
I was the girl who would text a group of people and say where I was going to be for the night and they all changed their plan±±s so that we could hang out together.
I was the girl known as “Miss Bud Light” at our local bar. (Yes this is a real thing, don’t judge me!)
I never turned down plans and always had a plan if you didn’t.
Fast forward to now and as I’m physically typing this article I’m pausing for breaks to feed my one-year-old puffs. I’m 30 years old and might go out once a month (if that) with my friends. My phone doesn’t ring from my friends unless Nicole (Hey, girl!) is calling me on our almost-every-other-day phone call and my text messages are primarily from my bestie, Vicki (we’re in constant contact and have been for the last 18 years).
I chose this life—the one I never thought I’d have.
After struggling with infertility for many years I had accepted my life without children and was preparing to be the “fun aunt” that everyone talks about.
But then one day I got that positive test and my life was suddenly forever different.
Am I absolutely beside myself with joy because I have my son? You bet.
Do I love my boy more than anything in this world? I’d take my own mother out to save his life.
Do I miss my old life sometimes? Yes. And I don’t apologize for saying it.
I was go, go, go for SO many years that the transition from parties to puffs was hard for me at first. It’s still hard sometimes.
There are still days when I get an itch to call up my friends and try to plan something last minute but guess what?
It’s just not the same anymore.
My best friend has two kids and is a single mom.
Nicole isn’t always available like she used to be.
Tiffany is pregnant, has a small son, a husband, and a full-time job.
Megan has three kids and a husband to take care of plus works a million jobs like me.
And that’s the extent of my friend group.
It isn’t this massive network anymore like it used to be and in some ways, I’m grateful for that and in other ways, it makes me incredibly sad.
There are days when I miss being able to text a group of people and have 99 percent agree to do something without a second thought.
There are days I miss the feeling of being out on a dance floor doing the wobble until 2 a.m.
There are days I miss getting texts from people telling me that a new DJ was at the bar and I should come.
And you know what I’ve come to terms with?
I’m allowed to miss it and it’s okay to feel this way.
Why? Because I’m a human too and that was a big part of my life for the better part of about six years.
I was in my twenties—no kids, just a dog and all the time in the world.
I know things are forever different and I’m not saying I’d want to go back to those days . . . I just miss the carefree experience I was so used to having.
And although I miss it sometimes with such a sad feeling in my stomach—I’d much rather be feeding puffs.