When you have a baby, you don’t just add another person to your family. You add a lifetime of change.
One thing that has surprised me the most with having children is how much my friendships have changed over the years.
New friendships have been made with mums who have similar aged children to my own.
But old friendships have slid down the priority list because life is busy and unless I’m in the same social circles and we have similar aged kids, it’s hard to keep in contact.
I went through a time where I grieved over the lack of sms’s back when I’d check in on certain close friends (with or without children) and they’d never respond back. Didn’t they realise I was busy too and making time out of my chaotic life to check in on them? One friend admitted she loved the messages but was often too busy herself to reply or she’d simply forget.
It was through that conversation where I gave myself permission to let go of the guilt of not organizing to see my older friends more often. I stopped pressuring myself to be the one to keep the contact going.
Instead I chose to embrace the season I was in as a mother and sought to find friends in the places where I was hanging out most.
This year I have made some gorgeous friends with the school mums at my daughter’s school. It was an unexpected blessing and one that I have loved seeing develop as our kids grow and learn together. We will sometimes walk to school together and being in the same suburb makes it easy to catch up with each other.
I still love my old friends. But I also know they are busy with children and work, and I’m sure they’re making friends in the social circles brought about by the current seasons they’re in as well.
And if they’re not, I’m only just an sms away.
This post about I suck being a friend right now rang true for me because there have been times where I have felt like a crap friend. A chance interaction with an old friend will have me saying ‘We should organise a playdate’ but then kids get sick, work deadlines pile up and suddenly that playdate gets pushed along in the diary. Or it never eventuates.
Rather than feel guilty for not coming through on a catch-up, I accept the season I’m in and embrace the imperfections of parenthood. Maintaining friendships in this busy season of life is hard. It will get easier as my kids learn to be more independent.
But maybe it won’t get easier as their schedules get busier. Rather than get bitter about the time constraints, I choose to embrace the new friendships that are made as my children get older.
I don’t put a timeline of when I catch up with my old friends either. I know we will pick up from where we left off.
Friends come and go, but good friends can go long periods without speaking to each other with no question about the friendship.
I’m thankful for all the friends I’ve made and continue to make in this life. They definitely make life bearable when it becomes overwhelming.
How has motherhood changed your friendships? Have they changed them for the better? Have you made new friends in this busy season?