It’s been more than a day actually. It’s been 18 months of being a fairly shadowy presence in most of my friends lives.
When Bear was a newborn, he never slept without being held due to some pretty crazy reflux issues. I hated having visitors and I think I made that pretty plain. Still everyone gave me a free pass because I was a crazy new mother.
When Bear was six months old, I was obsessively trying to spend as much time with him as possible, knowing that my return to work was looming on the horizon. I was obsessed with being supermum and packing as much into his days as possible to make sure he would remember who his mother was when I wasn’t around as much anymore. Yup I’m aware how silly and insane that sounds by the way. Hindsight is 20/20 after all.
When Bear became a toddler, I had just started as a working mum and his seizures began to appear so our life was pretty much work/hospital/doctor’s office/occasional trips to the beach for sanity. At this point I stopped even trying and withdrew because this meant I didn’t have to tell anyone I was struggling to cope or go through the pain of explaining what was going on in our lives.
I’ve figured out now that there will always be a reason to not make my personal relationships a priority. Now Bear is 18 months old and we are finally off the doctor’s visits roundabout for a while, I can see just how much I’ve let my friendships lapse. I tell myself it’s hard being being a mum and working full time but really I’m just making excuses for myself not to have to get out in the world and see the people I care about. See once I’m actually with them, I love it and I can see it’s worth it, but getting out of the house just feels so hard. Not to mention the amazing guilt of not spending every spare moment of my weekend with him because clearly that’s working for me as a parent. I know now I need some time to talk with people my own age that I don’t happen to be married to.
In the spirit of keeping my friendships alive I am going to do the following things:
- When I get an email/text/Facebook message I will make an effort to respond on the day it was received. I’m probably never going to be able to fit in phone calls but by God I will reply to anything where I don’t have to talk. See I’m not even going for the same hour, just the same day – I’m realistic like that.
- I will schedule times to go and see people and try to stick to them barring illness/dismemberment. No-one likes the flaky friend who constantly cancels at the last minute, not even me. And I am that friend.
- Most importantly I will find the time to show I care. Telling someone they are in your thoughts without showing them is like being rich but making other people pay your bar tab – nobody knows so it doesn’t matter. I promise to stop forgetting birthdays, anniversaries and other important things that good friends do. Look, I’ll be honest, I might end up a day late, but dammit I will remember.
Is there something important you’ve forgotten recently? Fess up in the comments or join the link up over at My Home Truths.