posted: October 22, 2016, 8:06 am
By Jamie Lincow
I recently read an article written by a stay-at-home mom who explains why she doesn’t have time for friends now that she has two daughters under the age of 6. She has happily bid farewell to any phone conversations with friends and plans to reignite those relationships in about five years, when her topsy-turvy lifestyle of raising little kids has concluded and the little ones are more self-sufficient. Until then, her friendships are reduced to texts and the occasional email, and she favorably concludes that this lifestyle is fulfilling enough for her. She hopes her friends will understand.
I am one of those friends who has been put on hold by moms who decided not to nurture their kids and their friendships at the same time. I can’t understand these moms.
I am a mom of three who works full time, and I still want to make time in my life for my friendships. While I don’t find fault in the author’s choice to stay home and raise her two little ones, I have trouble sympathizing with her decision to alienate herself from her former self as a friend. Why would a mom have to give up her former self completely in order to be a good mom?
We all change our priorities after we are thrown into a world of sleepless nights, diaper changes, and the craziness that the birth of a new child brings, but this new mom-self has chosen to neglect and even forget her former self– the one who took refuge in phone conversations with friends and the occasional Girls Night Out.
I also find fault with the philosophy, presented in the article, of not talking over your kids when they want to play an activity. While I cherish my time with my kids, I sometimes need to and WANT to talk on the phone with my girlfriends. In addition to working full time, running my household, and raising my kids, I need to gossip, divulge, and vent about life to someone (other than my husband).
I love playing with my kids, don’t misunderstand me, but there are times when they are immersed in their own world of make-believe or even watching a show, and I pick up the phone and have my own conversation. Admittedly, there are times when the kids are being too wild, and I have occasionally pressed the mute button to reprimand them. I have even asked them to “hold on” while I’m finishing up a conversation with a friend. My kids are my life and they will always have my attention (even when they are more self-sufficient), but I refuse to completely relinquish my phone conversations and put my friendships (or my Girls Night Out) on hold until those little ones are grown.
I have some friends who have forgotten their former self and, as a result, our relationships are reduced to the occasional text and the random email. Unfortunately, those relationships have dwindled over time, as I have found more and more moms like myself who actually want to and need to converse. Maybe we have just learned to multitask better than others. We have found a way to make everything work harmoniously in life, finding a balance between raising kids and making time for ourselves, including phone conversations and personal relationships with others.
I miss those former friends who are lost, and I hope that they understand that a mom can raise her kids and be a friend at the same time.
What’s your take on motherhood and friendship?