There was nothing that really prompted me to write this post but it was just something that has come up in conversation lately, especially among new mom friends. It’s HARD to make or keep friends once you have kids. Some of your old friends might not have kids and while it’s cliché to say, “They don’t get it,” sometimes you just want to vent to someone who has dealt with staying up all night (and not just at a party). Other times, you may have a friend who you’ve been friends with for a while and over time, you just go your separate ways. Your kids end up going to different schools, you run in different circles, and you just find that you no longer have time to include another person. I’m here to say that life happens. If you’ve been on either end of these situations, don’t be offended or upset. Life happens. We get busy and that coffee date we’ve been planning for months is now a year overdue. It’s ok. I get it.
When we have children, life gets complicated. Your kids and my kids might be on different nap schedules. Maybe I’m working and you’re not. Little children are not always the best lunch or coffee dates, especially if you want to have an actual conversation. Finding a sitter is hard. And maybe you’ve never left your baby with a sitter. The list goes on and on. And it’s ok. Say it with me, “Life happens.” These circumstances don’t mean that we aren’t friends any more. It just means we’ve had a hard time connecting lately. We might connect virtually and “like” each other’s pictures or comment on the status about how Mondays are the worst. But that is just a snapshot into one moment of life. As the saying goes, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.”
With kids in school and schools not always being on the same schedule, it’s not the easiest to plan a play date. And really … our kids haven’t seen each other in ages. Will they remember each other? Will they be alright playing together? Do they have the same interests? School also brings on a new set of friends for both you and your child. We get wrapped up in the new and shiny and that is ok. I’m sure we will run into each other at places like the park or the zoo or maybe even the grocery. We will say hello and talk about how it’s been forever since we got together and the cycle will start all over again. Life happens.
Today is February 14th, Valentine’s Day (or if you are more like me, Anna Howard Shaw Day). In the spirit of Anna Howard Shaw and women supporting women, let’s take a moment this day and reach out to our old friends and say hello. Drop a line and say, “I know life happens and I get it.” Let’s not make false promises and plans of drinks. Let’s drop the guilt and move on. Not finding the time to get together or moving forward on a friendship is nothing to feel guilty about. Life is not a static state and people change. That is ok. But let’s still remain kind and nice to one another. And if you happen to see me out and we haven’t seen each other in a million years, let’s not pretend that we will suddenly make those plans we’ve been talking about. There is no need to stand on ceremony. We will remain casual friends. I’ll inquire about your kids or your dog or your life and smile and say, “I hope to see you soon.” And I do. But if I don’t, I get it.