The Day I Forgot To Be A Good Friend

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.

forgot newborn

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.

forgot infant

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.

forgot toddler

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.

forgot motherhood

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.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon

You may also like

29 comments

  1. I’ve been really slack at this too – mostly just because I find it takes all weekend for me to manage my own energy levels so I can recover/prepare for the next week.

  2. We had children long before our friends. We also had 3 under 3. I just found it easier to lose some friendships and find new ones because I couldn’t be the go out at a moment’s notice friend that they were use to.

    1. That’s true too. My single friends seem to struggle with the fact that I can’t spend ages on the phone anymore. I’m always either driving, on public transport, or doing something with the baby. I can text or Facebook but sadly I’m starting to think phone calls are a thing of the past.

  3. Great post and I’m intrigued cos I’m on the other side of the equation… I’ve always been single and guess I’ve struggled when my friends have gotten partners and then suddenly only hung with other couples; and then had kids and hung more with people with kids.

    I guess the not having kids thing is also a sore point for me (as I wanted them) so they probably know it’s difficult for me and try not to rub it in.

    It’s interesting to see things from the other side!

    1. I remember not having kids and trying to schedule things with my friends that did. We didn’t think we’d be able to have a baby, so there was always a slight obscure pain at being around friends with babies that I’m not sure some friends ever understood as they kept asking why we weren’t trying. I’ve let those ones slip away since I had Henry, because I don’t need anyone telling me we should try for another.

  4. Don’t be hard on yourself , true friends will undertsand and be there for you when you step back out of the fog.
    Great ideas too.

  5. Like the others said, I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. My son is now 4 and I admit, I still neglect my friends because I work, I spend time with my family on the weekends and when I don’t work, my friends are working. It’s just life and life doesn’t tend to work out the way we want it too. The best thing I find is that when I do manage to catch up with friends, even if it’s after months, I enjoy it and treasure the fact we can pick up where we left off.

  6. I could have written this Tory – except replace 18 months with 12 years! Admittedly I have gotten better about this over the years but I’ll never be as devoted a friend as I was pre-kids. And that’s just the way it is. Savour the opportunities you get to have with your friends and try to enjoy your life as a parent and a wife, guilt-free.

    1. I’ve managed to schedule in a coffee with some very old friends on Sunday – I’m taking Henry with me, but still looking forward to it so much! I’ve decided that my main problem was thinking I had to leave him behind, if people mind Henry coming along, then they probably aren’t worth my time at the moment sadly.

  7. We’ve all been there done that I think. I have reached a point in my life where I have decided who my real friends are and I make the effort to see them for coffee and a catchup every month or two. I hate the phone, so this works for me, along with texts and Facebook!

    1. I think Facebook has helped me a lot. It’s a way I can catch up at midnight while I’m up rocking the baby, where I still try and be a little involved.

  8. I feel like this too sometimes. When you do catch up, or get that text or pass in the street, make it count. If they fall by the wayside, well it’s just one of those things. When the kids have grown up and I have matured, there will be plenty of time for like minded friends and doing the things I want to do, when I want to do them.

    1. I’ve very lucky to have had some great girls in my mothers group. Lovely lovely women who I wouldn’t have survived without honestly. There’s still something about old friends though.

  9. I always seemed to write a response to a text then forget to press senses one of my four children call me away. I am trying to improve that.

  10. I sometimes feel like a bad friend because I avoid inviting people over to my house because my 3 year old refuses to let visiting children play with ANY of her toys!! Play dates are just too stressful. I must say I do reply to messages pretty quickly 🙂

    1. My husband hates people coming to our house because it’s so untidy. We’ve recently kept it super neat as we are selling so maybe I should take advantage!

  11. So understandable, and I think many of us are guilty of this to some degree. I often find meeting up with friends ‘gets in the way’ of all the other things we have to fit into our week… And yet when I do meet up with my friends, I feel so content and reconnected and energised! Need to keep reminding myself of that

  12. It so easy to get caught up in our lives & that of our children when we become a mum, I think we’re all guilty of it, I know I have been. I think it’s just about making it a priority and making that effort.

    1. Definitely. I managed to get out for coffee with some friends I’ve not seen for about 4 years on the weekend, and it was so worthwhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.