When I was younger, I always wondered why my parents didn't have more friends. I always had lots of friends I talked to or visited or did things with and my parents just seemed to have each other. I thought it was so weird and that they were kind of lame because of it. Here I am, years later, married and a mother, and I look at my life and I realize I've become my parents. Sure, I still have friends but I'm lucky if I talk to them once or twice a month on the phone and maybe if see them once or twice a year in person. We're scattered all across the country and we're busy with our own jobs and families. My husband has become my best friend and he is the one I talk to and do things with. My spare time is completely devoted to him, the baby, our extended family, chores and errands and at the end of every weekend I want to kick myself that I didn't find the time to make overdue phone calls to catch up with my girls. I find myself thinking about my friendships quite often and always try my best to acknowledge my girlfriends with emails or cards ore pictures of the baby each month. I want them to know that although our communications have dwindled, they are always in my heart and in my thoughts. Sometimes I feel a bit melancholy and mourn the loss of the girls' nights out and hour long gossip sessions that made the telephone burn up my ear but I imagine those will return in time when I am not a single, working mother for most of the week and spending my weekends trying to make up for lost time with my husband. I want to be able to do nice things like buy Christmas and birthday presents for our friends but our budget is tight because Husband and I are buying a house yet continue to live two separate lives in two separate cities. Plus, we're parents now and any spare change really belongs to Casey. However, when I say these things aloud, they always sound like excuses I'm making to justify why I am failing as a friend. I don't know what brought on this overwhelming sense of loss and sadness but here it is. Spilled on the pages of this blog to lighten the burden on my mind.

MORAL OF THIS STORY: Girlfriends, if you are reading this, please know I still love you and hold you in the utmost highest regard, I just haven't figured out how to balance my life yet. I wouldn't be the woman I am without you and can't imagine a future where I couldn't call you friend.


April said...

A true friend understands that your life is not what it once was. She understands that you can't buy her a present, talk for hours, or have a girls night out.

I'm sure you know this, but the feelings you're feeling are completely natural. A GOOD parents life DOES change and revolves around the baby and family. What kind of mother would you be if EVERY free moment you had you spent on the phone or out getting a beer? I know you've seen those types of mothers before. Horrible.

You are absolutely right that you're trying to balance your life right now and it's most definitely NOT an easy task. That shit is HARD! Work, baby, husband, house, trying to get some sleep....and only 24 hours in a day? Seems impossible.

I just have one suggestion. Right now while it's hard to get out and do things separate from Casey and Hubby, take a few minutes a week to send an email to your besties. Make sure that email isn't only about the baby. (not that you do this at all) Not because they don't want to hear about the baby but because it gives you some time to think about something for YOU. Talk about something goofy that happened at work or about your annoying neighbor. Ask them about their life, men, work, or their kids.

When you have this new life that you're responsible for, it's so easy to lose yourself and who you identified as. Of course you should identify somewhat differently now because you're a mom and a wife, but you shouldn't let yourself ONLY be a mom and a wife. Once you get this balancing act down pat, I'm sure you'll find time to do more things for YOU.

Obviously, I don't know you outside of your blog and Facebook, but I think you're doing an awesome job. Seriously. And if I, a measly internet friend, can see that, I'm positive that all of your real life friends can as well.

Andrea said...

It's just growing pains. You'll adjust, likely.

If I recall my childhood correctly, my parents still hung out with their friends for special events, but not all the time. But every summer that I can recall? My parents were with their friends, who also happened to be most of my friends' parents.

But, I'm from a wee small town and my Dad grew up there and had been friends with most of those people his whole life. They were the same age and all started families at mostly the same time so all us kids were in school together.

Dads would golf all day every summer, Moms would have all of us at the pool, then we'd all gather at the farm every Saturday for oldies, cook out, go-cart, motorcycle fun times. It was awesome.

Small towns have an advantage that way, maybe.

I lost my point...

OH! You'll adjust. Your friends know your life is different, your friends' lives are all different, and contact is sporadic. What matters is that the love is there when needed and it doesn't need daily contact to survive.


Coodence said...

Well said, ladies!

All you can do is your best, I say. Conversations can still happen - just via text and email and instant message. Luckily for us technology has become much faster/easier/better. I have a lot of conversation through text and it makes me feel close to peeps even though I spend very little time on the phone.

In some ways, for me, friends are absolutely mandatory because I don't live near my family. I need other people to bounce ideas off of, to chat with, to eat with, to show my buddy to, otherwise it's just me, babe and the buddy. That's not nice for my little girl. I think if I lived in San Diego I would spend much more time with my sisters and much less time with the people I have met over the years. Who knows though? I've lived this way for so long it's hard to tell.

hotdrwife said...

Man, I remember feeling that same way!! And I agree with everyone - my big source of contact was IM and email for a while.

And you really do return to having girls nights and long gossip sessions. I promise you will be there again someday.

And really - they will all certainly understand where you are and what's going on with you. :)

You aren't failing as a friend. This is something we all go through and have to figure out how to balance best for ourselves.

cindita said...

Rock on sista! No friend guilt here. It gets easier, it really does. I believe 100% that we're all doing the best we know how at every given moment to get our needs met and to meet the needs of those for whom we are responsible. I can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks, where we'll pick up right where we left off. Cheers!

Sassy said...

April took the words out of my mouth.
Good friends understands these changes in life. A friendship changes through time and your true friends stand the test of time. When you do get a chance to "sit" down with them, things just pick up right where they left off.