I’m a Crappy Friend, and I’m Okay With That

I’ve heard it, and I’ve said it a million times “Let’s get together, have a girls night and go somewhere we can pee alone and in silence!” I want to wear a cute outfit and do my hair and makeup all while making it out of the house without someone else’s boogers on me. I want to sip a glass of wine in a Pinterest worthy home while NOT talking about potty training or battle tactics of getting pants and socks on a toddler without a power struggle. I want to be a friend who can commit to plans and write them in my planner weeks in advance but I can’t. I hate “flaking” or letting someone down because trust me – I need that time with a gal pal just as much as you do! But it never fails as soon as I’m ready to go, the sitter is booked all of a sudden there is a diorama to be made, or taekwon-do lessons that were rescheduled. 

In this season of life I am perpetually busy, I’m 28 and a mother to two amazing children who keep me tripping over their sudden movements and change in pace/ direction. I am a wife and my amazing husband works for BNSF and is on the road all week, which means by default I also play the role two parents during the week. I am a hairstylist/salon owner and recently purchased and renovated a building in order to expand my salon. I am a friend, and blessed by so many friendships that vary in length, time, place, and role in my life of which I am eternally grateful for. But the best of these are those other mom friends of mine who get it, those friends with about an hour to maintain a social life per week. 

I am a mother first, above all else.  You see these children of mine were given to me, not by mistake but because God chose me to be their Mommy. It is my responsibility to provide them with enough love, guidance, compassion, encouragement, and discipline in eighteen short years to make them a decent adult human being that contributes to society. And that is a hard job. I tend to over analyze everything from my tone of voice and the way I respond, to the thousand questions I’m asked during the ten minute ride to daycare, my weekly meal plan, and whether or not it could potentially be lethal to use GooGone to scrub gum from my dryer (here’s looking at you son) and the amount of possible neurotoxins released, or if I should stick to those essential oils. So when it comes to my friendships, I don’t even think about the time that has passed since I saw you last, or we talked on the phone. I simply know that we did, and I loved it. You see the days are long but the years are short. I’m not bothered if I go two weeks or three weeks without actual face to face time because I know that we will pick up where we left off. 

My children need me now. They want me now. I know that the toddler years are rough, but I also know that right now while my daughter is 2 she comes running to me to fix her problems. When I make time to look my 8 year old in the eyes while he tells me about his day, it is professing to him that the things he tells me are important to me. My hope is that being present and focused on my children now while they are young, will show them that as teenagers they can and should ALWAYS run to me. I won’t be able to fix every “crisis” that being a teenager will bring, but I will absolutely take time to listen, validate their feelings, and give them words of affirmation or encouragement when they are needed. The time will come when our home is empty, and I will have the ability to devote more of my time to my friends. But for now the scales of motherhood are unbalanced and I’m okay with that. For now some might say I’m a crappy friend, and I’m okay with that too. 

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