Friends

I was thinking about friendships recently. Mostly about how they ebb and change when your life changes. I guess we all serve a purpose in someone’s life, in one capacity or another.

I’ve noticed, since Lailah was born, some things have shifted. I don’t have the “freedom” in my schedule and cannot be as spontaneous as I used to be. We don’t have family here, besides HH’s niece; she’s in law school and just recently moved her pre-teen daughter down here, so we don’t want to impose on her. We don’t want to impose on our friends, either. So far, we’ve only had one friend babysit.

But anywho, I’ve noticed the people who have sort or backed away, and others have stepped up. Maybe I’m just in my feelings (LOL), but when I log into social networks and see people posting about events/get-togethers that I would’ve been invited to previously, that they didn’t even bother to invite me to now, that kind of sucks. Like, I still want to have a life, too. If I know in enough time, I can make arrangements. Reminds me of when Tiffany in Houston wrote about how her single friends were acting like she was persona non grata when she got married.

Then I got perturbed. I’ve noticed that some people really leaned on ME when they were having all kinds of trouble and problems. Now that life is back in order, I don’t hear from them as much.

Yes, I am a mom now. But that’s not my whole life. I was talking to a counselor about all the changes from 2012 to now. He pointed said that he is a big proponent of “me time,” and that it seems most of my “me time” outlets have gone by the wayside. I never thought about it, but he is right. When we moved to our house, that took me (physically) away from the activities I used to do and people I used to hang with. No more yoga. No more triathlon mentoring/participation. No more dropping by to see friends as much, because we live on opposite sides of the earth now. I think this has been part of my frustration and tension lately, and I’m making plans to address it.

I know they say that some people are only in your life for a season. I guess I’m surprised by some or the people who have become seasonal. Also grateful for the people who still reach out and communicate.

Do you think people can move between friend status and acquaintance status? Or are they always friends, but just move from being close to being distant?

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9 thoughts on “Friends

  1. I think people assume things about your time and schedule when you are newly married, or a new parent, or a new *insert something time consuming here.*
    Most of the people I truly count as friends are steady. We may not see each other as often as we’d like, but when it comes down to it, I can count on them. My oldest friend and I often joke “see you in 2023” as that is when our children will be out of high school. We’re kidding, but we’re not. Life just gets in the way of life.
    Not that you asked…but I think you should reach out to the people who used to reach to you and let them know you’d love to *whatever* again and to please keep you posted and to give you as much prior notice as possible. If they do, great, if not – count them seasonal and press on.
    As far as changing status, I have a tendency to think once you’ve moved to acquaintance status it’s awfully hard to get back to true friend status. Not impossible, but mighty difficult.

  2. I think it’s just life and I try not t let it bother me. I, like you had friends who would lean on me when times were tough but when things got better for them, I hardly hear from them now. That usery at it’s finest.

    I guess I’m lucky in a way though. When I had Jas nothing much changed for me aside from my “Get up and go”. I still have the same friends and people there for me. That part is a blessing because I just knew it would change.

  3. I think you know in your heart when someone is a good friend and worth hanging on to for more than a season. I also think even the best friendships have a natural ebb and flow. But once a person is demoted to acquaintance status, the likelihood of being a friend again is slim.

    My closest friend just had twins and the boys are less than 3 months old. I don’t see/speak to her nearly as often, but we “both” make an effort to keep in touch. Even if it’s just a random text message. When she has time, she calls or text me. When I think of her, I do the same. I’ll admit, I don’t call/text with our normal frequency because I assume she’s busy. I’ll also admit, when I’m planning activities with friends, I don’t invite her because (again) I assume she will be busy. I don’t withhold information from her though. I mention the upcoming activities in our random conversation, but always with an assumption that she doesn’t plan to join us. This isn’t meant to detach from our friendship, but out of courtesy and respect as she adjusts to her new normal.

    One time we were chatting (can’t remember if it was text or phone), she said out of the blue “I’m coming too!” I was shocked, but responded “cool, pick you up at xx!” And that was that. We had a good time, nothing was different. The important thing: she let me know when she was ready to reconnect and I didn’t feel as if I was imposing.

    We had a similar ebb and flow when she first got married, when I developed an interest in running, when she moved, when I changed jobs, etc. Through life changes, good friends are worth keeping.

  4. I use to have three best friends and now I’m down to two because I realized that one of them only called when they need something, were having a crisis in their life, etc. It was a total one-sided friendship. My two other friends have spouses, children and other obligations so I don’t see or speak to them every day but we make a concerted effort to include each other in our lives. At this point in my life, I’m not watering friendships that don’t have any roots.

  5. You definitely have to make time for yourself and it will be easier once Lailah gets bigger and you find someone you trust to watch for you.

    I have (mostly) gotten over behind left behind by some folks I considered friends. I have made some new friends too and the folks that were my REAL friends still are rocking with me. Life will ebb and flows, but it will definitely move on.

  6. I’m just recently experiencing the left behind syndrome. I know I back off when friends have babies because I know time is precious. Back when a lot of friends were having babies, I always seemed to call when the baby was sleep, or nursing or some other inconvenient time. Hopefully now that you’re back at work and Lailah’s in daycare, your real friends with show up. In the interim, can you use lunch for your me time?

  7. Hey there been meaning to reply to this when you posted. WordPress app acting wonky. Sometimes when our journeys go a different way, people get left behind. You’re a mom now. Things will change as you know. Your friends that don’t have kids may think they are intruding on you now that you’re a parent.

    I was a young mom. We about the same age but I had my kids at 20&23. I think when you become a mom after you’ve achieved lots of milestones, things dom. change. In your 30s you’re way more mature. In your 20s your friends still want to hang out.

    You know how folks are when they get where they going after you help them, they disappear till the next drama. I make it my business to know whose a raggedy friend and who isn’t. I don’t have many friends offline because I realized a lot of them were “fairweather”. Johnny Gill may be cool with being one. I’m not.

    Find some you time. Trust me, it will preserve your sanity. Sorry so long.

  8. I have been through so many friendships with women who have had kids…great friends. But as they’ve had kids they have moved on and left me, the single girl with no kids, to spend time with mommy groups and other people who they can relate to better. So, admittedly, when one of my friends has a baby I kinda try to protect myself (subconsciously) by not caring that I don’t hear from her as much or expect to be part of her life post-babies. As I write it, it sounds kinda sad. But I get why and I’ve never been mad about it. But it also makes me pull back.

    QB, my friend from my last job, and I have grown apart since no longer working together. And there are other friends I’ve felt the distance with lately. Sometimes – for me – it’s less about not wanting to communicate and more about not having ever been the person initiating the communication.

    I’m not a phone grabber. I hate calling people and am bad at initiating random texts. I admit that. Once someone reaches out I try my best to engage that person and show interest because I actually am interested and want the person to know that. But – by all accounts – I could easily be considered a bad friend because I rarely text/call anyone. I haven’t even spoken to my mama in over a month and I love her more than anyone else! I just don’t like being on the phone.

    I understand where you’re coming from, though. I feel like the people who were there when things were up in the air in my life have all abandoned me since I started planning this wedding. I know a wedding isn’t a baby, but it’s been kinda sad to see that people who were 100% supportive when my life was iffy, can’t be that way when life is great and I want to talk about favors and stuff.

    I try to think that people are going through their own things and it’s not for or against me, it’s just life. Let’s be honest – when shit is either really good or really bad we often want to hold it in. To pretend to be all together. I don’t think I’ve abandoned anyone, but they might see it differently because they don’t truly understand the hardships I’ve felt over the past year and I don’t know that I want to talk about them all the time either. It was much easier to be 100% exposed when I knew my life was up in the air (literally and figuratively) than when it’s all real and shit is hitting the fan.

    So, try to understand that it’s probably not about you. It’s about them.

    • That makes sense. I was talking about this with a coworker who has a three year old. We were trying to figure out when everyone decided that moms don’t want to be invited to things. Maybe we can’t go, but maybe we can.

      I’m only part of one group, and I don’t go to all their mommy and child events. Every now and then. šŸ™‚

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