Bad Friend and Awesome Mom

I came across the best little gem the other day:

Now you may be wondering if I’m trying broadcast that I’m an awesome mother, or a bad friend??

Well it depends who you ask?!

Maybe I’m both. Or neither.

What it reminded me of was a conversation I had with one of my best friends the other day.

I met this amazing girl shortly after moving to Toronto, on my first day of work at the hospital that had just hired me. Not knowing a soul in the city, and both being newbie Speech Pathologists, we connected over lunches discussing therapist woes and slowly developed a solid friendship. We were friends, but led very different lives: her being single, then planning a wedding and me being childless and then having two children. Our lives weren’t on the same path, but we managed to bond regardless – mainly in the work environment however.

Thankfully we built this foundation because our lives suddenly became one when we both had our marriages fall apart within one week of each other. Nothing like a divorce to bond you! We became joined at the hip: talking several times a day, spending every moment I didn’t have my kids with her, spending many moments with my kids and her, celebrating holidays, or going on vacations together. She even would take my boys shopping to buy me Christmas and birthday gifts, or pick them up from daycare when I got sick. We were completely there for each other all the time. I am forever grateful to her and look back on this time as a unique experience to share my life with girlfriends so intimately (I was blessed with a couple more angels during that time too).

We luckily met two amazing men the same year, married within months of each other, and both tried to have a baby. Ironically, we both went through IVF treatments at the same time, however hers resulted in a beautiful baby boy (after a very long and painful road), mine did not.

And so our paths went their separate direction again. Hers facing pregnancy woes and bliss, giving birth, and first year chaos and celebratory milestones. Mine with growing children and stepchildren and finding peace with no more children.

Over the past two years our phone calls have been more limited, the texts more sporadic, the emails more occasional, and the meetings once in a blue moon.

Was I the bad friend – or was she?

When we did make time to catch up, we would CATCH up and the hours would slip by, we’d be back to old times and we would promise to not let the time go by so quickly.

As much as I miss her, and love her and want to spend more time with her, I am ok with how things have gone and how things are going.

We talked about this over Thai food at our favorite Thai restaurant last week:

There is a season for everything in life. Right now, our season is to be mothers.

It doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends (and I hope none are insulted). I truly adore them, have fun with them, think of them often, and wish to spend time with them and talk more. And I could do with being a bit more vigilant in keeping contact, and being more thoughtful- if nothing else than by leaving a message or sending a text (like I talked about here) or scheduling in a certain time to connect (which I’ve started to do more of so maybe I will get better).

What it does mean is it is my season to be a mother, deep in the trenches, NOW.

There are few years where we have our kiddies glued to us, desperately needing us. There are few years where they will absorb what we teach, need specific guidance and help. There are few years where they even want to be with us. I don’t want to miss a thing! I already feel as if I miss chunks of time while they are in school and I am working. Then throw in the time they spend at their other parents – I do have limited time (and I often use this time to dedicate to my husband, to spend time as a couple, because that is the best thing I can do for my growing family. Oh yeah, and he’s an amazing guy and I love spending time with him too:)

My girlfriend, with her growing baby, is struggling with the balancing act of baby, husband, other family, work and friends. I reminded her that this is her season to be focused on her immediate family. Her baby will be up and grown in a flash, she needs to spend her time aligned with her priorities. Maybe she can improve a bit in the friendship area ( hey, if I’m trying, she needs to be too!), but she needs to be at peace that seasons do change and she needs to enjoy the one she is in.

So when I saw this little cartoon this week, I had to laugh!

Maybe I will lose friends over being a bad friend because I put too much emphasis on being a mother and a wife. As sad as that makes me, I know that I need to be in the exact spot I am in right now. And it is only for a short season.

I hope that my closest friends always know they are in my heart, thoughts and prayers forever. I hope they know when they don’t hear from me it’s not them or something they have done, it just happens to be a particularly busy week.

I’m busy being an awesome Mom (or so I’d like to think)!


Comments

Bad Friend and Awesome Mom — 37 Comments

  1. Interesting post. I believe in making choices about where to spend that limited amount of time we have. Choices have consequences, but they can be managed if we chose. Not making choices means that the consequences are out of our control and often unknown. This is wherein problems lie and relationships breakdown. Kudos for making such choices!

  2. sometimes, choices are tough.. and I think it is all about how you prioritize your choices… when you are a Mom and tries to be awesome at that, certain choices have to take a back seat ride to achieve a better balance… 🙂 Stopping by from SITS. Enjoy your day 🙂

  3. Well said, Leah. I’ve often questioned if I am a good friend. If friendship is solely measured by the amount of face time you put in, I’m not doing so well. Even though my kids get a lot of my energy and time, my friends are constantly in my thoughts. Fortunately, my closest friends seem to appreciate and understand my “season of motherhood.”

    Happy SITS.

  4. I love that you call it a “season” in life! That is beyond true. Most of my close friends are still single and in pursuit of all the fun-ness that that brings, but I’m lucky enough that they completely understand that I have 2 children that need me and will take a pizza and movie at my house over an outing any day. We are very blessed women! Happy SITS Day!

  5. Great post, It’s true. I have one good friend who is pego with her first but has been trying for quite some time. I have another friend who may try soon, but not sure. She is living the party life and doesn’t always understand that I can’t just drop my son to hang out. We have to bring him along sometimes…if I have to choose, I choose my son, my life.

    HAPPY SITS DAY

  6. What a great post–open and honest–thanks for sharing! You aren’t the only one who’s had to go through this, but you’re one of the first I’ve seen who’s so eloquently written about her struggle with combining/balancing family and friends. Values and priorities change as we do, and so do the people we surround ourselves with. There can be a lot of loss, but there’s also tremendous gain.

  7. Great thoughts Leah! We must know how to handle every season in our lives and just hope the people in our lives understand.
    Hope you are enjoying your SITS day!

  8. Thank you for this. I know that I feel guilty that I can’t hang out like I used to, and if you want to see me at certain times, I will have the baby with me, and I can’t hang out late on most nights because we go to bed so early. I love the idea of seasons. Face-time might change, but the bond is still there.

  9. I love this post! I get so annoyed by certain friends who will ask me if I am upset with them if they haven’t heard from me in a while. I try to be a good friend and keep in touch but my priority is my family (and honestly I wish theirs was too). It doesn’t mean that I am upset with them or don’t want to be their friend. The best way they can be a friend to me is to understand that we all have “life” to attend to and that when I have a moment for me I’ll definitely be reaching out to them!

    • I too find it hard when someone asks me if I am mad at them for not calling. But my good friends know I may not call, but they are in my thoughts, and do try to connect with a quick text to let them know that they are still important to me:)

  10. I’m in the motherhood season too, and struggling to still make time for friends. I am being especially purposeful about helping out a friend with kids younger than mine. We are planning on trading some child care on Saturdays this summer so we can each get a break, and then coming together in the afternoons to spend some time together.

  11. Well said. I’ve lost friends because they weren’t getting enough of my attention. It took me a while, but I got over it. We all have different needs as friends. The best friends fit well together and respect each other’s priorities. Being a mom is my top priority. It’s not that I always blow off my friends for my kids — I need friend time, too. But sometimes being a mom means my friends won’t see me for a while.

    It’s funny. I read that quote to mean something completely different that would be an entirely different post. I read it to be directed at my kids. Sorry I’m not always the best friend to you kids; I’m too busy being an awesome mom to you. I read it as needing to parent our children instead of getting so caught up in being their friend that we don’t make the tough decisions that would be best for them. Maybe I’ll write that post sometime. Hm.

    • Oooh… don’t get me started about the friend/parent issue! i tell my kids all the time, I’m not interested in being their friend – they have lots of those. I am interested in being their Mom/Smom – as they have one of those:))) We can “be friends”, but my primary role is their parent. End of story.

  12. As we get older and everyone takes a different path friendships change…a lot. That doesn’t make you a bad friend it just makes things different.
    This is a great post. You aren’t a bad friend and I am sure you are an awesome Mom.

  13. Wonderfully thoughtful post! We can absolutely miss those friends who we see less or talk to less because of other commitments, including parenting. But TRUE friends pick right back up where they left off in the moments they do get together. I’ve had this happen just recently when I reconnected with a good girlfriend on a trip to NYC. We hadn’t talked in ages, but as soon as we sat down over coffees, it was like no time had passed at all. We fell right back into our easy rhythms. Life happens. And friends get this. Thanks for a terrific post!

    • I totally agree. Many of my friends I don’t see so often, but when we do get together, watch out! I can easily lose my voice!!

  14. Leah it’s so amazing how you all went through so many similar life changing events together. It seems that your connection would remain in tact because of all that but I am not a mother so who knows. I have mixed feelings about motherhood. I long to be in that position but I also think that I would need balance. I have two best friends and they seem to reach out to me still but then again we weren’t the talk everyday on the phone type anyway. I’m a busy lady. Anywho, I enjoyed your perspective and I’m sure you are SUPER busy being an AWESOME mother! KUDOS and HAPPY SITS day!

    • Balance is key for sure. I’m certainly not one to never have the girl time. I need my friends! I love my friends! But needs change over time and hopefully my good friends will be able to ride out the different seasons with me – and me with them!!

  15. It is amazing, and yes, sad, how many friends we lose when we become mothers. You worded it perfectly how there are different seasons in our lives and we must adjust to them.

  16. We only have so much time so we have to make choices that we should not feel guilty about, but we do. I often wonder what happened to so and so….now with social media it is a little eaiser to keep in touch.

  17. I love this! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s so true that once you become a mother, your friendships change or drift. I’m still close with my two best friends, but most of my other friendships drifted when I had my son. Now, most of my friends are all Mommies with similar age children. Happy SITS Day!

    -Melissa @ Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy

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