I can be a lousy friend. I will be the first to admit it.
I am not proud of this fact.
I stink at answering and returning phone calls. Sometimes, I read a text, and I never respond. Well – I do in my head – and then three days later, I see that, in reality, I never said a darn thing. Whoops.
My friends will be the first to tell you, I have always been terrible at texting. But I would always answer their calls. I still do, or at least I always try to.
But the truth of the matter is, sometimes, I am an absent and lousy friend.
I try, I really do. Sometimes, I go days, weeks, and months without talking or seeing some of my close friends. I don’t think it’s because momin’ has taken over my life. That’s part of it, sure. But really, I think it’s just a life stage that we are currently in. I don’t mean to be a lousy friend.
We are busy, so, so busy.
Busy getting kids ready for school, doing school work, sports, and general kid things. Busy changing baby diapers, nursing, playing blocks, or reading books. We are busy making breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Let’s not forget about the snacks, all of the snacks. Don’t forget we are busy working, zooming, and meeting deadlines. We are busy cleaning our home, folding clothes, grocery shopping, and holding it all together. Oh, and we are busy making sure our mental health is in check, especially after the year we all just went through.
We are SO busy. All the dang time and sometimes, something has to give.
I am thankful that sometimes when I drop my “friend” ball, it is not made of glass, and it doesn’t shatter.
I miss my tribe of women – I do. I miss the easy phone calls where I could give them my undivided attention. When I answer the phone now, there is a crazy toddler pretending to be a dinosaur or a noisy baby in the background. I miss the spontaneous dinner dates and shopping trips without having to set up a baby sitter. I miss the time we could spend pampering ourselves at the salon or the spa, because girls, you know we still need that.
The bottom line is, I miss my friends.
I know I could do better to help this situation. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed. I do my best to be a great mom, a loving wife, a caring and non-lousy friend, and a hardworking employee. There are so many different hats we wear every day and it can be exhausting.
There are some days that my cup is so empty. I need time to refill it. I need a long shower or a good book, and, honestly, the last thing on my mind is responding to text messages.
I am thankful that my friends understand that I am not the same friend I was ten years ago, five years ago, or even a week ago.
It’s funny how friendship changes over time.
Here are some of the things that have changed for me:
I have removed toxic friends and relationships that were too much maintenance. I only have so much time in a day. I have decided that I wasn’t going to give my time to someone who would waste it or not treat it with the respect it deserved.
I have grown to greatly appreciate the time spent together. I don’t get to see my friends in person as much anymore, when it does happen, it is so cherished.
I am more flexible in my friendships, and I have learned to give grace. When someone can’t attend an event or has to cancel, I know it doesn’t change our friendship. Life happens. Let’s be real, sometimes that person is me. I know I love my friends even more for understanding when I can’t be there. I have learned that real friends will understand that you can’t always be there for the little things, but you will always be there for the important stuff.
Once you have kids, you have a new tribe. The mom tribe. I have become closer to lifelong friends and gained new ones. I never thought I would be friends with my sons’ friends, moms. But I am, and I am thankful. I guess I have realized that friendships bloom and flourish once you become a member of the mom club. It’s something that bonds us all.
I have also come to appreciate the strength in some friendships. I have been through so much with my friends. We have tackled crazy boyfriends, marriages, divorces, kids, losses, gains, new jobs, and everything in between. At the end of the day, all of these things have brought us closer and have strengthened our bond.
I am going to try not to ‘drop my ball’ as often. I am going to try to answer those calls and respond to those text messages. To not be a lousy friend.
Friendships age like fine wine. They become more complex and wonderful. I am thankful every day for the understanding, love, and compassion I get from my tribe. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them.
As Drake said, ” I am thankful for the nights turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, and dreams that turned into reality.”
Friendship is worth fighting for. So, I am going to try harder.