How Friendships Change When One Of You Has A Baby

You Had A Baby. Things Aren't The Same.

I'm still your friend, but this friendship is new.

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Everyone progresses through life at different rates. You were ready for a baby, and I wasn't. You want kids, and I am still figuring out how to take care of myself. No one has done wrong here, you wanted different things than me, and that's OK. Maybe one day my desires will align with yours, but that day is not today. I still love you, and I still want to hang out, but you've got to understand that I still enjoy doing the things we used to.

Things are almost impossible with your new bundle of joy.

We used to go on great adventures that were risky and sometimes a little crazy, but now it's all car seats and strollers and little hats. I love your baby, and I love you, but you've graduated into this new version of yourself, and I became friends with the old you.

The you that didn't have to pack an extra bag to go out to eat -- the you that didn't have to worry about changing a diaper every hour — and I'm not mad, but please understand I didn't sign up for a baby.

Not yet, anyway. I'm still where you left me. I'm still doing risky things, I'm still staying out all night, living fast and free without the stress of keeping a tiny human alive. I get it, it's stressful, and I want to be there for you like we used to be for each other, but I don't know this life you've become accustomed to.

I'm not ready to settle down yet, please respect that.

You made the decision, and there's nothing wrong with living out your dreams, but please don't be angry with me for living out mine. I've heard it said countless times that you learn who your friends really are when you have a baby, but I find that to be a little unfair. When you have children, you change. It may be a subtle change or it may be a dramatic turn-around, but change is change. It's hard to figure out new, baby-friendly activities when just ten months ago we were riding bucking horses and swimming in questionable ponds.

I am still who I was, please don't demand that I change too.

Our friendship was built on this mutual support of each other's hopes and dreams, so please support me now. Let me live out the rest of my wild years. Give me time to find love as you've found. Allow me to catch up to you in my own time.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Being A Military Wife Is Not The Same As Serving In Active Duty

It's about balance, and it's hard to find a happy medium between serving and supporting your spouse.

yahairas
yahairas
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I enlisted into the United States Air Force as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. I had just graduated high school and never experienced life on my own, away from what I knew and my loved ones and friends. The military was my first legitimate job. Thankfully, I knew independence since I had parents that ensured I knew how to handle myself. That does not mean I joined knowing everything there was to know. Far from it, actually, but that's OK.

My first and only duty station was Malmstrom Air Force Base. Before you think that Malmstrom is some exotic and foreign land, it's definitely not. My first base was in Montana. A very cold and unpredictable climate where you could experience beautiful summer sunshine one day and the next, find yourself running back up to your room to escape from the unexpected blizzard.

I was stationed in Montana as a security forces member (military police) for six very long years. During this time, I met some wonderful people as well as some people I know I would not mind never seeing again. I did a lot of my growing up at this location.

There were hard lessons that needed to be learned and experiences that I had to have in order to know what and what not to do in the future. Security forces is not the easiest or best job in the military. There are more challenges as a security forces member than most careers in the Air Force. There is the very likely chance of deployment into hostile locations where the member will face life and death challenges and have to make quick and ugly decisions and the schedule and duties are not ideal.

However, the good often outweighs the bad. The rewards for surpassing these challenges that seemed insurmountable at the time are some of the best in the world. I can say that the life lessons during my time in the service, no matter how uncomfortable it was at the time, is an experience of a lifetime. These challenges are unknown to the military spouse.

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Not long after separating from the military, I got married. We met while I was still in the military. My husband is still active duty in the Air Force, turning me into a military wife and dependent. It was a different role to take, knowing how many people in the military viewed military spouses. I found myself in a different bracket or tier than a lot of people. I was a military wife that was prior military. I understand the challenges my husband still undergoes in his enlistment because I knew the military life at one point. I did not have to be introduced into the military and the way it works blindly.

Throughout my enlistment, there were stories and jokes regarding military spouses, with emphasis on the military wife. Even now that I am no longer in the service, I still see memes on social media where military wives serve as a running joke. The jokes involving weight, attractiveness, infidelity or wives wearing the rank of their military spouse while attempting to utilize what power that rank may hold. Due to the stories I heard while I was in, I had a pre-conceived idea of what to expect as a military spouse. Some of the stories and jokes came from a center of truth. However, the stigma for a military wife would follow any and all military wives no matter the validity or lack thereof.

Photo of Yahaira Seawright at her Airman Leadership school graduation Yahaira Seawright

When I became a military wife, I wanted to make sure I did not fall under that stereotype. Becoming the dependent gave me something else to consider. It gave me the unheard side of those military spouses. There are so many challenges that we also face while being married to the military.

For example, we pick up and go at a moment's notice and often leave our careers behind if our spouses get moved. This makes it really hard to make friends and connections with other people. Plus, there's the reality that our spouses could lose their lives serving for our country.

A lot of the time, we become a single parent when our spouses are deployed. If we do go with, finding employment is really competitive and hard to do at all. It's hard on both of us because neither party will ever truly understand why things are done a certain way. Some things just aren't fair and that's a hard reality to deal with.

So, yes, the service of the military member is the military member's service, not ours. That fact does not mean we do not have our own sacrifices we made when we decided to marry into the military family.

The experience of the military member and the military spouse are two different sides, but they're both equally important.

yahairas
yahairas

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