Uh oh. I think I struck a nerve from my post here.
I wish people would share their comments right on my blog because you readers have some amazing perspectives to share and would benefit others! But thank you for the Facebook comments and the private emails.
I guess the first thing I want to clarify is that if you are a “Good friend”, it does not mean you’re a “Bad Mom”. And vice versa – not all “Bad friends” are “Good Moms”. It was just a cute cartoon:)))
But I do think it speaks to the choices we make, as one wise reader suggested.
Did I choose to set out and be a “Bad friend”? No. Never.
I was going to do it all.
Be a loving wife. Be a great Mom. Be a perfect Step Mom (this was added to my list much later on in life)! A devoted daughter, sister, aunt and Godmother. A wonderful daughter in law, sister in law and ex-wife (?!?!). A considerate and constantly available friend. A stellar Speech Pathologist and self employed business woman. An amazing cook and baker. A woman who kept a house of order, a rock solid body, a mind constantly challenged, a spirit fully nourished, at all times. A volunteer at church, at school and in the community. An avid reader, writer and runner. A musician, tutor, home decorator, crafter, and developing artist and photographer…..
You get the point. If I could be it all, I would.
But I am not super woman.
And hats off to all of you who can do it all!
But for me, somewhere along the way, I let some things slip.
In all areas.
Sometimes I AM a bad Mom. I do forget to call my own mother. I am a terrible sister and aunt! I have forgotten friend’s birthdays, been distracted with my clients, left the house in shambles, burned the most basic recipes – (and served them anyways), fed my kids cereal for dinner (actually just told them to get it themselves), not finished a book in months, stared in the mirror wondering how I could get rid of my pooch without really having to exercise, winged it in my church calling, not signed up to volunteer at the school fair and, have run on terrible sleep for YEARS.
Conscious choices? Initially, no. Eventually, yes.
I chose to realize I can’t do it all.
At least I can’t do it all NOW.
There is a season. And somethings may not take top priority in this season.
That does not mean I don’t do my best to try to squeeze in as much as I can the best way I can.
But it does mean I will not beat myself up over it. I will treat myself kindly and not let guilt get the better of me. I will accept the seasons and I will embrace the things that I feel are the top priorities in my life now.
We all have different priorities as we all have different needs. And our priorities do shift as time goes on and we enter different seasons.
And I do know how important friendship is. And I do greatly value my friends (I think some interpreted my post as not valuing friendships??). And I do try to be a good friend. But sometimes I let others down, and I am a crappy friend…. I am very very aware of how friends can be there when/if your life falls apart. Or to just be there to celebrate the big and the little. Or to have a quick pick me up. To have fun. Or to understand when no one else can. Or to be there for them too!We all need and want friends in our lives. So we all need to nourish our friendships. I am so grateful to have my friends. I value my friends greatly. I just hope that they are also the friends who understand and not judge me when I have a hard time balancing it all. And certainly not write me off because I can’t seem to balance my life the way they choose to balance theirs.
There are many competing demands in my life right now, and I recognize the importance in all of them. However, there are only a handful that I feel I can put on my main plate. I have chosen to put being a wife and mother on my main plate and let everything else fall into the appetizer, salad, side dish and dessert plates (and let’s be real, those dishes are some of my favorite and a meal would not be the same without them)! But the main dish is what gets eaten every day and night, consistently, so I don’t go to bed hungry at night and so I don’t run on empty during the day.
Thanks for sharing your perspectives. I’m glad my post allowed some of you the permission to live in your season guilt free and know that I will always still be your friend – forever. I’m sorry that some of you felt slighted or offended or marginalized. I hope I’ll still be your friend regardless:) We all do make different choices, but maybe we all are also not all living in the same season.
Or hey – maybe we’re all just unique people with different needs, wants, characters, values, dreams and goals? That’s the beauty of friendship – to share all our differences and love each other anyway.