To all my childless friends from my pre-baby days:
First and foremost, I’m sorry. Very sorry.
I’m sorry if it seems purposeful that I’ve fallen out of your lives. Trust me, it wasn’t. You see, 3 years ago, I took on this grueling job. A job that I mistakenly thought would allow me more free time than I am actually afforded. In short, working overtime is a joke in comparison to the hours I’m actually spending putting real effort into these little people who rely on me. I have so little free time, that I frequently go days without having even the smallest window in which to take a 5 minute shower, let alone to socialize with adults that aren’t directly in the area of my home.
I’m sorry that my sleep deprivation and literal constant effort toward the smallest things in my life has made it difficult for me to remember to reach out when I should, or to keep up on the comings and goings of your lives. I am very rarely coherent enough to even have a real conversation with my husband, let alone remember how normal people socialize without making it super awkward.
I’m sorry that the parenting path I’ve chosen means that I don’t send my kids to a babysitter or family member to spend time out of the house. It’s not that I look down on anyone who does, but I have literal panic attacks for every moment that I’m away from them, and R is a very difficult child who endlessly cries around others, something that makes watching her a very unpleasant task that I’m loath to throw upon anyone who values sanity.
Second of all, I really miss you all.
It may seem silly to say, as it probably seems like I’m doing nothing, and therefore have plenty of time to see anyone. But it’s hard. It’s hard to reach out when all I have to offer to a conversation is a story about children you don’t really know. It’s hard to reach out when I know that you all have other things going on, and the spare moments I have often coincide with your busiest times. It’s hard to reach out when I’m so emotionally drained that I don’t know how to feel feelings.
But I do miss you. I miss being part of your day to day experiences. I miss being someone you want to share things with. I miss just having people who know that I’m a human outside of being a mother.
This isn’t really about me suddenly realizing I haven’t been a part of your lives, but rather by a confrontation I recently had with an old friend who accused me of not being a good friend since I started this journey into motherhood. I’d like you to know, it was never my intention. Truly, I’d love to be a friend that someone can count on to listen, and care, and reach out in hard times.
But right now, all of my energy is going to my kids. They only have one mother, and one small period of time when they need me so much, while you have lots of other friends still capable of being there for you, thankfully. I have a big job to do with them, and I only hope that you will still be there to reconnect when I reach the other side of this endlessly needy stage of their short childhoods. In the meantime, I’ll be wishing you all the happiness in the world and hoping that you’re out there achieving the same joy in your lives as being with my kids brings me.