Here's the strange thing about being a younger parent: For me (because I can't speak for everyone), I suddenly had a more focused perspective on the big picture — on what is and isn't important. I felt more in tune with myself and my life, in a way I never expected. I felt changed.
Yet at the same time, I had shockingly little perspective on the ups and downs of life. And one of those "downs" is the process of change, and how it affects our friendships.
The post-college 20-something years are inherently riddled with change — but up until that point, all of your friends and classmates have been living relatively similar lives. Paths really start to diverge in the mid- to late-20s, when people make big moves for new jobs, get into serious relationships, change their last names, move back home, find success, etc. etc. etc.
But as a young parent, you probably experienced the biggest life changes before everyone else — the first to step off the path! — and you most likely had a cluster of life changes at the same time. That's tough.
That's why so many of us feel isolated and lonely in our young-mama lives — crippled by comparisons on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe you feel victimized and angry — angry at the friends who stopped calling, or who just don't "get" your new responsibilities and interests. Maybe you think that you'll never make friends ever again — especially considering all of the other parents are so much older. Maybe you're feeling discouraged and alone.
So let me be the one to tell you:
Life changes happen, across the board. And no matter how your life changes — whether it's moving across the country, getting an illness, losing a parent, shifting jobs, or having a baby — some people won't come with you to the next phase.
Some people won't come with you.
And that's okay.
I know it's easy to say this through hindsight, but try not to burden yourself with too much blame and anger. People can react strangely to change — they might feel uncomfortable, or they might feel like you don't want to hang with them anymore. If you can — and I know this is hard — try and be grateful for the role that they played in your life, and understand that you're moving on to new friends and new experiences. And also understand that just because there's a divide between you right now, that doesn't mean you can't rekindle your friendship down the road — after everyone settles into adulthood.
You will make more friends. That's one thing that never changes, no matter how old we are. No matter how impossible it seems, or how long it takes, you CAN find your people.
(We'll actually be addressing this more in-depth in our upcoming webinar, so book a spot while you can! It's free!)
The more we all navigate through life changes — the more perspective we all gain through simply experiencing life — the easier it is to stick together. Because the ones who matter — the ones who get the new, changed you — will stay with you.
Maybe you can take comfort in knowing that everyone, at one point or another, will experience a sudden life change and all of its disorienting side effects.
Your point just came earlier than everyone else's.