A friend of mine recently sent an advice column article for me to read. It was about a single woman with no children asking why her friends with kids seemed to ignore her, or "not have enough time" for her. My obvious reaction was a minor brain explosion.
Nothing annoys me more than having to "work" at a friendship. I don't mean that you should never have to give a little in order to maintain a great relationship with someone, but I also don't need any more "children" to look after. I've got plenty of work already without having to constantly make sure that everyone around me has enough attention.
The woman in the article even went so far as to make the complaint that she is busy too. She doesn't understand why her mom friends make excuses about running errands, working, and being too tired at the end of the day to go out for a drink with a friend. She claims that she works 8 hours a day, goes to the dry cleaners, the library, and the grocery store too but still manages to have time for her friends. Well, let me tell you something sister...here's an example of how running errands goes for us moms:
Ok, dry cleaners. No big deal, right? Just go in and drop it off and get back in the car. Yeah, well not so fast. First you have to actually get to your car. If you've somehow found the time to pick up the toys that normally litter your living room then you get to skip tripping eight times down the hallway to find your three-year old's left shoe. When you finally do find the shoe, it isn't the one she wants and so you get to talk her into wearing the shoes that actually cover her toes because it's 10 below outside and you're the one that will be in trouble if her toes fall off due to frostbite. Now that's accomplished and you can move on to the coat. She'll want to zip it herself, and you wouldn't want to stifle her abilities to do things on her own, so you stand there and wait as her pudgy fingers attempt the near impossible. Don't worry, you're not bored while this is happening because the baby is crying in the other room. He just woke up and is going to need to eat before you leave. So you get him up, change his diaper (oh wait, he has pooped through all of his clothes and his sheets). You run the bath water, change the sheets, and put his new clothes on in order to begin feeding him. As you're feeding him you notice that he's been coughing and it's been a few days without relief, so you call to make a doctor's appointment. The only appointment you can get is during your three-year old's naptime. So, the only 1/2 hour you were going to get to yourself during the day has now been destroyed. But, you're a good mom, so you'll take your sick child to the doctor and forfeit your moments of sanity. Now you're ready to leave the house...where are we supposed to be going again?
I've got some amazing friends. They understand that I may not call for months, or that when I do call I may just drop the phone mid-sentence in order to take care of some kind of catastrophe (i.e.-fishing the keys out of the toilet). I cherish these friends because they love me for who I am, and they know that I love them and will be there for them when needed. You don't have to be a mother to realize that this job is time consuming. It is LITERALLY raising human beings. Who thinks that's going to be easy? It is physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually exhausting work. So, if I don't have five minutes to text you, you're gonna have to give me a break.