The title says it all: I can’t be a great friend because I’m too busy being a great mom. This is my open letter explanation to every friend I have now, or have had in the past… particularly friends who don’t have children.
Motherhood is a whole different world, and once you take the dive from being a woman to also being a mother, everything changes in so many ways.
I pride myself in the fact that I am a good friend. I will be straight with you when you ask me my opinion about something, I will be loyal to you, and I will not say anything to anyone else about you that I haven’t already said directly to you.
I will keep your secrets. I will do my absolute best to be there for you during breakups, or for emotional middle of the night phone calls.
I will cheer you on as you pursue a new job, schooling, or whatever else in life. I will encourage you, love you, and support you.
But there are a lot of things I can’t do, because I’m too busy being an amazing mom, and running my household. Here are a few of the ways that I fall short as a friend, and the reasoning behind it.
I probably won’t reply right away.
Yes, you do see me active on Facebook and I am absolutely scrolling mindlessly. I don’t check my messages unless I have the mental bandwidth to do so.
If I am exhausted physically and mentally from a long day of motherhood, I might get online to do nothing but scroll through posts, read about other people’s lives or check out the latest crazy celebrity story.
That takes no effort from me mentally, but replying to a message the way I want to takes focus and I just don’t always have that.
I can’t go out every weekend.
I’m too tired and have spent too much money on my children’s wardrobe and toy box all week that I don’t have the energy to go out and spend $30 on drinks and then Uber home. I also physically cannot stay out that late.
My kids wake me up at 5:30 with endless amounts of energy every day, so every second of sleep or even just laying in bed is so very necessary.
So when I do go out, I will probably leave by 11. I know that makes me a party-pooper, and I am totally fine with that.
Week day hangouts just aren’t really a thing.
As much as I would love to go get tacos and margs with the girls after work, I simply can’t.
That involves me taking my kids home, changing clothes and showering after a long day of wiping butts and being sneezed on, putting on makeup, going out with no energy, then coming home with no time to catch up on all of the things I have to do to keep my household running. It does sound amazing though, and I appreciate the invite.
Ask me again on Saturday.
I will 100% bail when I am too tired to go to plans we made if it stretches me too thin.
(Unless it was just you and me and the cancellation is too last minute, I will definitely be there. I don’t totally suck. But if it’s a group, or I have enough notice, sorry girlfriend.)
Listen, I know this makes me sound shitty.
Actually, it probably flat out just MAKES me shitty. But I have to prioritize my physical and mental health.
I spend my days keeping my children as well as others, happy and healthy, all of their needs met, etc., and rarely do that for myself.
So if I bail, please know that it was for good reason. I love you, I’m not mad at you, I don’t hate hanging out with you, and I’m truly not trying to be flaky.
I just don’t have it in me.
(Side note: If you are ever down for wine and Redbox movies, or want to do our own paint-and-sip at home, I’m your girl. I can’t go bar-hopping every weekend, but I will absolutely host a movie night slumber party, or a night where we all just hang out and do nothing but talk or work on a hobby.)
Please remember that motherhood is a full-time job in itself.
Add on to that running my household, keeping it clean, doing the laundry, paying the bills, grocery shopping and making meals, homeschooling, pursuing a career, taking an online class, trying to find time for hobbies and reading to restore my soul, on top of remembering to eat 3 meals a day and get some sleep every night…. and so much more.
One human can only take so much.
I hate being the flaky friend.
The friend that says she will be there and then bails the night before. The friend that you don’t even expect to show up.
I work hard on trying to include my friends in my schedule, because I do love them and need that ME TIME.
But I would love for you to know that after we make plans, I put it on my calendar and count down the days until it’s time because I’m so excited. But as it gets closer, I get more tired, and end up running on empty with no more time to give.
Please be patient with me and any other mom friends you have.
These aren’t excuses, but rather me trying to give some insight to my non-mama friends. I truly do work hard to be the best friend I can be, but often I end up being a good friend, not a great friend.
I am, however, a great mom, and that is my top priority in life.
This post originally appeared on Mighty Mamahood