Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: You've Got a Friend In Me: An Open Letter to My Friends

Saturday, 16 June 2018

You've Got a Friend In Me: An Open Letter to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I am sorry. 

I realise that I don't call, email or even text you as much as I should. I know that there are times when you must feel like I am selfishly absorbed in my own little world and have forgotten the pivotal role that you played at that particularly bad time in my life or how we used to live in one another's pockets without even having to verbalise our shared thoughts because we already knew what one another were thinking about every aspect of every day. I am conscious of the fact that you have things going on, things that as your friend I should be aware of and should be there to offer counsel or merely act as a sounding board, allowing you to vent your frustrations or voice your concerns; things that I would be aware of if I was more present in your daily life.

Me: in your daily life

Whilst, I am not normally one to blow my own trumpet but I like to think that I used to be pretty good as friends go. I realise that my ability to pick up the phone has always been somewhat lacking, fearing the conversation unnatural and stilted, but I made up for it in other ways. I used to be good at just "checking in" or dropping a text or Facebook message when I came across something that reminded me of you or us. I used to make the effort to visit, even if just for one night so that I could see you in person, feel us ease into our relationship like we had never been apart and put the world to rights; solving everyone else's problems and making light of our own.

I used to be a good friend.

Putting the world to rights

Now I struggle to remember birthdays or anniversaries, even when I played a key role in the ceremony. Now, I reply to messages a week later, having received them whilst wrestling with my toddler who is reluctant to get his nappy changed despite smelling like a blocked swear drain and being unable to sit down for fear of sending poop into crevices from where it shall never be recovered. Now, I see or hear things that remind me of you and induce a smile and I put them on the list. I put them on the list of things to do as undoubtedly when I experience such a memory I will be herding the small people from one activity to another or in the middle of a very complex role play. Now, I think of arranging a visit to spend time with you and I have to sit down with my husband and work it when he can alter his rota to accommodate the lion share of childcare. I have to factor in continuity for my kids, resident training required for work and my husband's extra curricular activities at which point we get distracted by a child crying out, unable to sleep and seeking parental comfort and the planning is forgotten for another few weeks.

They can be distracting

But know this, I love you and I miss you. I do remember the way we use to be and I hope and pray that one day we will be there again. 

I ask for you to be patient. 

For my children are two and four. Their world's are hectic but limited and they are the centre of it and I am their moon; their constant. They are the best thing that I have ever done but they devour my time, attention and thoughts like I could never have imagined. They are relentless in their capacity and need for love and attention and I must be there to give it. When I am not there I am desperately trying to look like a professional in a job where I constantly feel out of my depth but valued at the same time. I am spread as thinly as the lactose intolerant would spread butter on toast but it won't be this way forever; one day I will be back.


One day we will have girls' weekends and extended conversations over WhatsApp where we discuss everything and nothing. One day we will get the chance to relax together and be us again. 

One day, my lovely, we will be the best of friends once again.

Mum Muddling Through

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