A letter to my pre-child friends - Thank you for sticking around.

I never return your calls, I’m distracted and I don’t get out much. So really, I’m amazed you’re still here.

To my Girlfriends,

I’m sorry. Since becoming a mother, I’ve slowly turned into a crappy friend. I chose this life path, I chose to be a parent and I chose to have a baby relatively young.

For the most part, parenthood is magic. But being a parent can also be really hard sometimes.

What I would give for a decent shower where I actually get to wash every part of my body in the one sitting, or one night of silent uninterrupted sleep without the annoying waltzing hum of the baby monitor in the background, I can’t begin to tell you.

Like my unfolded washing that I know is there waiting for me to get to, I’ve let our friendship sit in the cluttered laundry of my life and I’ve said “it will still be there tomorrow”. I’ve let things pile up. Now it’s a mess and I have some sorting to do.

At times, when you’ve told me about your relationship issues, I’ve secretly thought to myself, “you’re not married, you have no idea how hard it can be”.

When you’ve told me about how you’re tired and drained from work, behind my gritted teeth I’ve thought “Pfff, tired? You wouldn’t know the meaning of tired, just wait until you have kids!”

When you’ve mentioned you’re off work sick and are in bed feeling dreadful, I’ll admit, I felt like saying “yeah, try being sick yourself and caring for a sick toddler. I don’t have time be sick. At least you CAN revel in your own snotty misery ALONE!”

I’ve offered you my half-hearted sympathy when you’ve told me about your struggles, I’ve been playing out the “my role harder than your role” card and I’m wrong. Very wrong.

Life has changed from those carefree high school days. Time has passed, we’ve grown up. We’re now walking very different life paths. Neither more important or superior than the other.

Just different.

While I’m drowning in crazy toddler meltdowns and endless washing, you’re drowning in work deadlines and dealing with a nagging boss.

While I’m agonising over just why the heck my child won’t ever touch a vegetable on her plate, you’re agonising over why you haven’t got that job promotion you worked so desperately hard to achieve.

While I’m at times lost as to how to keep my marriage afloat while raising our child, you’re feeling lost as to how to balance work/uni/social life and your relationship.

We may be living very different lives now, but in our own worlds, our problems are important, stressful and deserving of support and an ear to hear when life feels overwhelming. Each triumph is valid. Each is real. And you deserve more respect than I’ve been giving you.

Remember this? Yup, this doesn't happen much any more.

I'm sitting here today, scrolling through your texts I haven't responded to. The missed calls I've let slip my mind, I've realised that my excuses aren't good enough and that I have become a really. Bad. Friend.

On the flip side,  I have expected you to "goo" and "gah" over my thousands of status updates about how cute I think my daughter is. I've filled your newsfeed with my awkward pregnant belly photos when I was basking in my whale-like glory. I've expected you to show your sympathy when I told you how hard it is when my daughter is sick.

I've moaned about the countless nights of broken sleep, whinged about how I never get a proper shower uninterrupted. You listened to my rants about juggling working from home and motherhood. And while right now you can't relate to my motherhood woes, you listened and have continued to listen because that's what good friends do.

So to my girlfriends - I am sorry.

I'm sorry I missed your third call today, I know you just wanted to chat. I was too busy being too busy. An excuse I find myself making too often when my brain has reached its full capacity consisting of kids show theme songs stuck on repeat and answering toddler questions such as "why can't I drink the bubble bath water."

Lame excuse.

I'm sorry I cancelled our dinner date. I do genuinely miss you, but the thought of trying to find something to wear and actually getting showered and dressed all while trying to settle a tornado toddler for bed was too overwhelming to contemplate after another day of mayhem. So I cancelled yet again.

Not good enough.

I'm sorry I responded via text when really I should have picked up the phone. I'm sorry for expecting you to applaud my life and be there for me when I haven't wholeheartedly done the same for you lately.

Before motherhood, I never would have excepted these excuses time after time from you, regardless if you were a mother or not. I've been a lousy friend, and I am really, really sorry.

Thank you for sticking around.

I'll try harder, I promise.

Your friend - Bridget x

How do you keep your friendships going alongside the pressures of motherhood? 

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