Friendship really is a two-way street! What I mean by that is both people should contribute to the relationship. Not just one, BOTH. It has been my experience, with most of my friends, that if I don’t initiate conversation or time together, then it doesn’t happen. Granted this is not how it is with all my friends… just most of them. Also, when I do finally have a minute to stop and text or call them, the first thing I hear is “haven’t heard from you in forever, where have you been?” and that comment is followed by guilt; Guilt for not contacting them or making my schedule accommodate our friendship. I don’t know if wanting that response from me is intentional, but it happens quite often. Then I have an epiphany and think to myself, wait, they can call me just as easily, if not more easily, right? Is it just me or are there other people out there that feel this way?
I love my friends but when you are young and don’t have a care in the world, it’s so easy to just pick up the phone and say “Hey, let’s hang out!” and sure enough, we make it happen. Fast forward 10 years… I am married, work full time, and have an infant; my friend, on the other hand, is single with no other responsibilities than work. You hear it all the time that once you get married and have kids, life changes, but you really don’t fully understand until it happens.
I recently saw one of my longtime friends from my teenage years and she has been married for almost as long as my husband and I. She actually ended up laughing at the fact that soon after I got married, she remembers calling me and being so upset that I never hung out with her or talked to her as much as I used to. I even remember apologizing and reassuring her that our friendship still meant so much to me even if she didn’t hear from me every week. At that time she was still single and didn’t understand why things changed between us the way they had. She now admits that she didn’t understand because she wasn’t in that season of life yet. Now that she is married, she said she totally understands and once she has kids, I’m sure another light bulb will turn on.
It really is a hard thing to swallow that some of the people you have been closest with for most of your life will not be as close as they used to be. Especially with me being such a people pleaser, I hate the idea of “losing friends”. Maybe that’s not the best way to say it but that’s what it feels like. Friendships are wonderful and definitely needed, because when you need a night out, the first people you call are your friends. Hopefully I will still have some to go to in those moments of need. If we are being honest though, friendships come and go, but your family is always family and you children are your world. So maybe I should stop worrying so much about my “obligations” to my friends or feeling guilty about spending so time with my family making me inadvertently “neglect” my friends and just do what I can and let the rest go.