My son will be three years old this fall. I remember the exact day I discovered my pregnancy, the first time he moved, the day I gave birth, and every single spectacular moment of his 2.5 years on this earth. However, I cannot remember the day I became a “bad friend”.
Before motherhood I imagined a busy life, yet not one too busy to maintain some very important parts of my life… like friendship. I imagined that by 30 the vast majority of my friends would be parents. Or would be headed in that direction. I imagined us having brunch with little one’s attempting to roam the restaurant or enjoying them play in the park on a warm spring day. But only 20% of my close friends are parents. Even I had my son later in life at the age of 28.
Yes, as I said before, I understood that I would be busy… But not this too busy to think straight kind of busy. I have a tremdous amount of financial and spiritual support as it relates to motherhood. Babysitters… Not so much. And the one or two that I generally have usually cost so much more than it’s worth. For example, a $20 movie date turns into a $75 weekend after driving 25 minutes away from your desired designation, paying the sitter $25, and driving back to get the love of your life. Not to mention the mental anguish you endure trying to pack a toddlers bag, getting them to wear a pair of pants, and making sure they’re fed. Going out is nearly no longer worth it. The real problem slaps you in the face when you are in that 20% of the friends with children and no one understands. All they know is that YOU DON’T SHOW UP. Even though you try really hard to be as available as your life allows. I mean… I really do try (scouts honor).
As time passes you trade nights on the town for nights in the house. Dinner at Coopers Hawk for pizza in front of Frozen (singing let it go with a mouth full of pepperoni)… In a living room full of toys. And slowly, you prefer it. Yes, sometimes you really wish to attend functions and you yearn for the life you had once before. But ultimately, this life is amazing. And because of this (plus your lack of time) you’re a horrible friend. A terrible friend who never supports, never shows up, and is completely unavailable. I mean you could invite them apple juice and sandwiches in the park.. But many of them will pass. They would rather travel, enjoy a night on the town, and stay up waaaaaaay past your bedtime. Can you blame them? Absolutely not! That’s the life. But you… MOM… Are a horrible friend that could have “at least showed up to the no kids allowed” event that your sitter flaked on and your toddler developed the flu right before. You should be ashamed.
When did choosing to be a mom become the lame choice? Or trying to be available wasn’t good enough because the “thought doesn’t really count”? Or when my child being sick was not a good enough excuse and deemed me to be selfish? All I know is that I suck. To everyone else. Except to my son.
And because of that, I don’t mind being the horrible friend so much…
p.s. My invites to the park and my home will always be open ☺️