Dear Friends Without Kids
I'm writing this to you because I care about you. Our friendship doesn't look like it did before, but the quality is good enough that I'm taking one of my very few rest periods to give this relationship a chance by writing this. We need to upgrade our silent contract with some verbiage.
Before I had kids, I made all sorts of promises I now realize I shouldn't have made even though I meant it at the time. These promises and my continually canceling plans make me seem like the worst—the worst friend.
Let’s talk about my last cancelation: our girls’ reunion.
I bet you remember that I canceled an hour before. I know it was only half a day (which you all generously coordinated to suit me instead of a weekend - thanks again!), but when you have kids, time works differently. Half a day is a long, long time for them.
Half a day sitting on the beach with my best gals sipping fruity wine while working on my tan and laughing about old memories is something I would really love to do. REALLY. So what did I do that day?
Well, my youngest decided if I dare to leave her side, she was going to give dad hell in the form of using her loudest voice and her strongest will. I tried to leave an hour early. Yeah, I tried to leave 5 times - yes, F-I-V-E - in an hour, and she wasn’t interested in my needs for sun, wine, or nostalgia.
And my oldest?
Suddenly she had things she needed me specifically for. She didn’t feel dad would understand “because he’s a boy.” She triggered all my issues and left me feeling guilty about leaving her.
I won’t lie though. A part of me loved that they wanted me to stay. You see, for the last few weeks, I had been feeling jealous of how much they wanted to hang with dad instead of me. I was starting to feel like they didn’t need me like before. It hurt after all I’ve done for them. I know they didn’t mean it that way, but that’s just how I felt. So, I caved to their demands because it made me feel good to.
So what happened that day instead?
We played in our backyard pool. It was a lot of fun. I won’t lie. We all got a tan. Dad made us real fruit pops, and they were sugary and delicious. I made new memories with my family. It was one of those days I won’t forget because my youngest finally got the hang of swimming, and my oldest was actually mellow the entire time. She is only ever mellow the first five minutes of being awake in the morning, and that’s it for the day.
So, I got my half a day, but with my girls (and my husband).
I will have to cancel plans in the future. They will often be last minute cancelations until the girls are older (actually, this is my hope. I don’t want to make another false promise here!).
Still, that’s about another decade or more away. And that’s if things go my way. I can only promise that I’ll keep trying to hang out with you all.
So before you decide to stop inviting me for all the things because I’m “not fun anymore since I’ve had kids,” I promise you I cancel only when necessary.
Just know I still love you all just as much as before. I still think about you all. I miss spending time with you all. I will have times I make a promise and fulfill it, but I will break more than I keep. Just be patient and understanding as much as you can.
Thank you for reading this.
All my love.
This is a fictional letter written to convey a mom trying to balance being a mom and a friend.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.