Talking about this subject and being able to adequately put my thoughts onto paper is difficult. I have talked to a lot of my mom friends, and several friends who are married but do not yet have children and sorta reached out for as many perspectives on this subject as I could within my little network. This is what we talked about, what we brainstormed together and the conclusion that my heart eventually came to in order to move forward.
The Magic Of Childhood Friendships.
Oh how nice it was to be so free and innocent, to be friends with everyone with the only concern being were we all going to wear matching colors the next time we got together and did we have enough sidewalk chalk. Those days have long passed and one by one each friend grew up and went to different colleges, took different jobs, moved to follow their future spouses or just went their separate ways. Slowly but surely there was less texting, less communication, and eventually people who I spent all of my spare time with became just “Someone I used to know.”.
If you are lucky this transition will happen gradually. Each step you take away from each other is filled with celebrations and cheers for the next big achievement you’ve both been waiting for. There may be a bittersweet feeling knowing you are growing apart, but you will always be friends. Time will pass and it will be years since you’ve talked. Families grow, homes are made, careers change and just like that you’ve all moved on. You all grew up. If you have lost friends in your lifetime I hope with all of my soul you lost them this gracefully.
Not All Friendships Are Forever
Not all friendships end that way. Sometimes they end leaving behind a trail of confusion, anger, and so much that was left unsaid. Regardless of the memories made or the adventures you planned that will only ever be hypothetical, there is a part of you that is just broken and confused. How did we end up here? We used to do everything together. How much time and energy are you supposed to put into maintaining a relationship that only drains you? When is enough enough?
It takes two to make a friendship work. It takes two to put in effort. It takes grace, understanding, and forgiveness. But sometimes…It’s just time to call it. Is that fair? Not always. Is it going to hurt like hell? Yep. But there comes a point in life where you need to truly find the self respect you deserve, know your worth and stand up for yourself and your mental health.
I encourage you to fight for that. Fight for your mental health. Fight for the goals you have set out to achieve. Fight for your family. Fight for children.
No, not all friendships will last forever. That’s okay. I truly believe that the people that come into your life are there for a reason. Every relationship you have, no matter how small, will shape you into the person that makes you who you are. Set out to be the best possible version of yourself. Sometimes that means outgrowing people. Sometimes that means that your life is going a completely different direction than where your friend’s life is going. GIRL, THAT IS OKAY!
Accepting New Seasons and New Friendships
I have noticed that for me it is easier to maintain friendships with people who are walking a similar lifestyle to mine. When my husband and I were first married he worked second shift so that he could continue college courses full time. So we never saw each other. I had a LOT of free time and it was easy for me to drop everything to meet for coffee, have an impromptu dinner date and babysit. I did so much babysitting. Though I thoroughly enjoyed that season of my life I was desperate to get into the season where I actually saw my husband during the week. When that season came for us my free time shifted towards my spouse. So, I changed the status quo, and I lost a couple friends. But I gained my husband.
I would like to think I have not changed much over the years, but I know that is not true. Now that I am thinking about it, Oh my gosh I am so happy I have changed. Huge events in life seem to be where the most change takes place. Cancer took a family member and threatened another, my perspective on what is important changed and I started my interest in photography. I got married and started my happily ever after, my focus shifted towards being a wife and supporting my husband through finishing college. We got pregnant and then suffered a miscarriage, I fell into a pretty deep depression that took months for me to come out of, while I was recovering depression my father almost died from legionella. Time passed and we got pregnant with our rainbow baby, my entire world changed.
From the moment our daughter was placed in my arms I vowed to myself and to my family that I would always put my mental health at the forefront of my priorities, for a couple reasons. I never wanted to return to the darkness that is depression. I am so fortunate to have made it to the other side, but I don’t ever want to go back. I have a husband and daughter who need me in their lives and I want to be there for all of the things with them!
You Don’t Owe Anyone Else an Explanation For Your Priorities.
Another mom I follow on Instagram with the handle @HonestlyMommy shared a post this week that resonated with my soul and I had to share with you. You do not have to explain or defend your choices to anyone. You do what is best for your family, for your kids, for yourself. Honestly, everyone else will deal. Or they won’t. That is not on you. You are not responsible for anyone else’s sunshine. It is not on you to fix anyone else’s demons that they are fighting. Their story is not your story.
One song that comes to mind and is played on the regular in my home is Kacey Musgraves “Biscuits”. If you’ve never heard it I encourage you to do so now. But the lyric that I run through my head on repeat is this:
Pouring salt in my sugar won’t make yours any sweeter
Pissing in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener
And I wouldn’t know about the rocks in your shoes
So I’ll just do me and, honey, you can just do you
So hoe your own row, yeah raise your own babies
Smoke your own smoke and grow your own daisies
Mend your own fences and own your own crazy
Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy
You Won’t Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea.
The sooner you realize that even with the best intentions there will always be someone who just doesn’t like you, the better off you will be. Accept that you cannot change anyone else’s opinion of you but you can control how you see yourself. Remember that they are just that, opinions. They do not define you. Accept that you are not everyone’s cup of tea, and keep striving to be the sexy shot of whiskey you are! Or whatever type of drink you prefer.
The point is, you do you. Know that you are not alone even though momming can sometimes be the loneliest thing you do. Friends come and go. But the impression that you leave on your children will last a lifetime. Choose who you want to invest your time in wisely.
Personally, I have struggled with friendships. But there has been a pattern that only recently I have seen. When my personal or professional life moves closure to my goal a friendship falls apart. That doesn’t mean that that person failed me. That doesn’t mean they are wrong and I am right. It means that a season of my life has ended and a new one is beginning. Some friendships have ended when I changed jobs, others ended when I got married, and a few more fell apart after I miscarried and then had my daughter. Every single one of them has added to the person I am today and I will be forever grateful for the memories.