Dear New Mom,
Isn’t is crazy how much life and perspective changes over the years? In middle and high school, friends are your life. I don't know about you but just about the only thing I was concerned about was what we were going to do on the weekend. The thought of missing out on something with friends was painfully unbearable. College wasn’t much different. For many, class and exams seem to take a backseat to friends and parties.
We then find ourselves in our 20s. All of our friends begin to go their separate ways. Perhaps we find ourselves in a serious relationship, starting our career or getting married.
And then, one day, you find yourself a mother. Life changes all over again.
What was important before, suddenly becomes meaningless. We grow up. No matter if you are a CEO, a stay-at-home mom or something in-between, our days are busy. Our alarms wake us up before we want them to, we rush out the door, we have appointment after errand after obligation. Our evenings are even busier.
You already have to give so much of your time doing things that have to be done, don't you want the few spare moments you have to be spent with the people you actually love? To enjoy a glass of wine with your husband? To just be able to simply sit and stare at your baby with no time limit, no having to rush to the next task?
You owe them nothing—and you don't need to feel bad about that.
But, we don't. We, especially as women, have been conditioned to put others before ourselves. We care what other people think, we want to try to do it all and please everyone.
So, we put the baby down because we have to call what's-her-name back.
After a crazy day, we have to run around the house picking up all the crap everywhere because the friend we haven't seen in a year suddenly wants to stop by and see the baby.
And then there's that girls' night on Friday that we really don't want to go to … but we feel like we have to. We try so hard to hang on to stale friendships, but we DON'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO SHOWER!
So, stop! Stop doing it. Stop wasting time on crappy friends. You know, the friends that only call when they need something. The friends whose kids' birthday parties you go to EVERY stinkin' year, but they never seem to make time to celebrate your kid. The friend who doesn't have time to talk when you really need someone, but always has time to post on Facebook. The friend who is always trying to one-up you or the friend who relentlessly questions your parenting. The single one who makes you feel bad for not making more time for her or not having the freedom to go to Happy Hour on Tuesday.
These people aren't your friends. You owe them nothing and you don't need to feel bad about that.
Just because we know exactly what they do everyday, see pictures of their dinner and front-porch pictures of their kid on the first day of school, doesn't mean you're friends anymore. Facebook friends, sure. But real life is too short for crappy Facebook friends.
As moms, we're always worried about everyone else's feelings, but, it's time to think about your own feelings, too. It’s time to spend time with the people you love and do the things you want to do without feeling guilty. If it takes you a day to text someone back or you decide to skip an outing to put your kids to bed, your real friends won't mind. They'll understand. And those are the friends you consider sisters. The ones who are truly there, good or bad. The ones you can trust and laugh with and cry with. Your husband. Your children. Your family. Those few special girlfriends. Those are the ones worth making time for.
As a new mom, you might still be trying to figure out how to balance it all. But, truth be told, your baby will be off to kindergarten soon. Life goes by so quickly. Too quickly.
So, here’s your permission, mama: Stop wasting time on the crappy friends. It's OK. You have so much on your plate already; don’t stress yourself out with more. Cherish the good friends and gently let the others go. Trust me, life will be better this way.
A mama of five who took way too long to learn this