Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Does Being a Mom to a Bunch of Kids Make Me a Bad Friend??
I've been thinking about this topic for a while and I can't quite figure out if I'm being ridiculous and overly neurotic and obsessive or if it's an actual fact. And thus: blogging it.
Do you think being a mom to a bunch of kids makes you a bad friend?
I'm saying a "bunch of kids", because I believe in making time for friends and that this was easily possible for me until the people in diapers outnumbered the people not in diapers in our house. Now I'm not saying making time for friends is calling them everyday, or seeing them whenever you want, because that's a much more difficult prospect once you've birthed another human, but intentionally maintaining friendships can be easier than we think. Just a phone call every so often if it contains a meaningful conversation, or maybe keeping up texting, or even just a hello every once in a while on the ol' book of Face. Just something to let you know you care enough to check in, and ask them how they're doing means so much.
I'm also asking this lately because I have always been believed strongly in women and mothers keeping up their friendships while having kids. Friendship is one of the most important relationships in life, you can't get around it. I'm sure you've known the girls who've naively thrown off friendship in favour of boyfriends, or husbands, and end up lonely a few years later. Or maybe women who have become so completely enamoured with their babies that they simply forget how to make time for pursuing and maintaining the bare minimum of friendship. I know while we grow and mature friendships change, but even though they may change their importance and existence is something worthy of our time and priorities. No matter how strong a marriage or how much we love our children the fact that we need other women who understand us, talk to us, sympathize with us, and laugh with us doesn't change.
Lately though I've wondered if I've been an awful friend. I feel as if I've been stretched to my limit with kids, toddlers, baby, then husband, then a little time to myself. There's simply no extra time. Beyond that if I do have time away I feel as if I'm a weary killjoy, counting the hours because of babysitters or needing to get back to a nursing baby. I feel like I'm a terrible listener because my attention span is as short as the time it takes to be constantly correcting toddlers behaviour and manners. I boss friends around to place to place, keeping things running on time, and doling out fashion advice because I'm so used to commanding a small army of wayward child-size barbarians in need of civilization. I feel as if I'm losing sociable skills because I'm constantly surrounded by toddlers, all day every day!
These frustrations become amplified around my single and/or childless friends. I know that maybe they'll understand me one day, but I worry that in the present we'll drift too far apart; that we won't even be in touch by the time they become mothers rolls around. These frustrations and worries have been weighing on me recently. Knowing that there is no easy fix, that I can't simply plug quality time into the friendship bank and have instant success, makes my friendships seem precarious in a way.
Am I worrying too much, fretting over my weird insecurities? Or is this something I just need to mature about and get over? Have you figured it all out? And if so-give me all your wisdom!
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