Weekends look a lot different these days! Being a mom, a wife, having a full-time job, and attempting to keep up friendships is hard work. You often feel like you can’t be good at all the things at the same time; something has to suffer a little. I can tell you right now, my friends are getting the short end of the stick. This changing dynamic of friendships is a hard pill to swallow for everyone involved. A friend recently posted this on Facebook and it really spoke to me: “There are certain things non-parents will never understand.” The comments came pouring in; lots of moms felt the same way.
It’s a hard adjustment not being able to do things spur of the moment; no real plans, just a text “Hey let’s do something!” Shoot, sometimes it’s hard to remember to even respond to any text! I truly hope my friends don’t take offense. Things are just different now. I probably come off as flaky, and that I just don’t care. None of these are the case. They say going through hard times will make you find out who your real friends are. Becoming a parent totally falls under those “hard times.” And not every friendship will make it through, and that’s OK.
Most friendships go through hard times, and other various phases. If you choose to stick it out with your parent friends, great! But please, the next time you think we are being crummy and not a good friend, keep a few things in mind:
Don’t take it personally
We aren’t tired of you, purposely avoiding you, or making up excuses. Kids take up a lot of time at any age; from babies needing to be nursed, to older kids starting to have activities and practices. Our priorities have shifted a little, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t important to us. Having any kind of outing without kids takes a lot of planning: does my husband work, how long will we be out, what do you want to do etc. I enjoy nights just hanging out at home, letting Isabella be in her own element.
Be OK with having to be “first”
“I haven’t texted you in a few days? Ugh, sorry! I totally thought I responded but then Isabella was pulling all the wipes out of the box.” That’s a real-life scenario. By the time I realize I never responded, you’re thinking that I just don’t care about whatever you texted about last. Not the case, because I thought I did text! So please be OK with having to reach back out, and you’re going to have to make the first move more than once.
Don’t have high expectations
We planned something! It was even on the calendar!! But I had to cancel last minute. I am so sorry! As much as it pains me to say this, you can’t have high expectations for me and our plans. If Isabella is having a rough day, and just wants her mommy, she’s going to get her mommy. Oh, and even when you invite us to come to you, it can still be exhausting and I might not always be up for it. Packing up her essentials, loading everyone up, driving here and there after a long day at work. OYE! Pat me on the back and put me to bed instead. Let’s try again another day, shall we?
Don’t keep telling me I need to make the time
I understand that I need to put myself first, make time and that I “can’t pour from an empty cup.” I get it. But even on the days that a break sounds so good, sitting at home with my husband and little girl refills my cup too. With our schedules, we don’t get a ton of family time, so that time doing nothing with the two of them is special. So do us both a favor and try not to tell me what is best for me.
You are appreciated, and someday we will get back to some resemblance of the friendship that was. But if we don’t, that’s OK.