The love of my life and I are eagerly waiting the birth of our precious baby girl. We can't wait to hold her for the first time and see with our own eyes the miracle we helped to create.

We are not the least bit concerned about what our daughter will do to our social life. Why would we care? Especially after 6 children between us?

Well, a new British study (aren't they all...when was the last good study out of Norway?) finds that 2/3 of mothers claim that having a baby all but destroyed their social life. The ladies studied also resent their partners for continuing to hang out with friends just as they had before the birth.

I am no expert. But after several children, I certainly have a few opinions and thoughts I will share with you.

Having a baby changes EVERYTHING. You will never look, feel, taste, smell, hear anything in the same way every again.

You will see that harmless lost Lego as a potential choking risk.

You will be awakened by the simplest change in the sounds of your child's breathing.

You will brave the thickest jungles of uncertainty after you survive your first messy diaper.

You will realize that a parental instinct will kick in (or SHOULD kick in) that would allow you to disembowel a 50 foot giant if any harm came upon your little one.

And yes, you will notice a change in your social life. No doubt about it. Things will never be quite the same again in terms of your "hanging out" lifestyle.

BUT...this is not a negative thing. So don't let it become one!

You learn that your child becomes the most important and special thing in your life. Those Tuesday bowling nights with the guys and your weekends of fun with the girls SHOULDN'T be as important to you after the miracle of a child!

You just adapt. I don't mean to be too harsh, but I think the women who are affected the most are the ones who can't get past the fact that they are not 16 year-old social magnets anymore. So what? Do you really WANT to be? That's fun when you are young and stupid, but come on! There comes a time when nursing your child to sleep should take the front seat to a fruity microbrew at the local pub.

You might notice that your single friends or friends without kids might slip out of the picture for a while. Maybe forever. It's sad when this happens, but the pressure should be on them to adapt to YOU, not the other way around. They shouldn't expect you to be able to take off on a minute's notice and head for the mountains. Life gets more complicated, but it's a GOOD kind of complication.

You might start hanging out with other new parents, too. The more, the merrier! There is nothing wrong with socializing with people who share such an important thing in common with you! Plus, this makes for a nice mutual support group (Did Janie get sick too today when she ate the fleas off of FiFi's back?).

So if you aren't ready for these radical life changes, you might want to reconsider having kids. They WILL change everything. No more movies whenever you want. No more fancy restaurants as often as you used to go to them. A night at the opera might be replaced with a day at the zoo. But so what? THE BARBER OF SEVILLE is awesome, but so is watching a gorilla stare you down and scratch its chin.

And there's always grandparents, friends, and neighbors who could make great baby-sitters when you find the urge to bowl with Len or sip a cold one with Vickie gets too overwhelming.

As for the guys bolting on the ladies and having fun as usual while their better halves stay home with the responsibility? That is inexcusable! Shame on the men who do this. It doesn't even occur to me to do this. I WANT to come home and have fun with my family.

Bowling can wait. And there are only so many fruity microbrews a guy can drink before people begin to talk.

So suck in your gut and realize you are a parent first and homecoming queen or kind second. Grow up! Life changes! You just had a BABY! Smile! Enjoy every beautiful moment of it!

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go clean up some spilled fruit punch and pick up dirty Sponge Bob undies.