An Open Letter to My Childless Friends in This Season of Life

My Dear Sweet Friends,

Where to even begin.

It seems like just yesterday we were 22 years old and our biggest concern was figuring out what we were going to wear for a night on the town.

Here we are 5 years later and oh, how things have changed.

We used to be life of the party and the ones shutting down the bar on a regular basis. Nowadays, I am in bed many hours before last call. The only reason you will ever catch me awake at 2am is to feed a crying baby.

I know that things have changed; I know that I have changed. I can no longer go and do as I please, and honestly, I don't want to. I know you can't understand, and I know you think I am an absolutely terrible friend, but I promise that one day, you will understand.

I promise wholeheartedly that I will love and support you fully when you reach this season of your life. I also promise that you will probably look at me with tear-filled eyes and tell me that you get it now and that you are sorry for ever giving me a hard time, although I would never expect you to apologize.

This is just a season of life that can never be fully communicated; you will never really understand it until you experience it for yourself.

Before I had kids, I was like you. I didn't get it. I simply just did not understand. When my friends that had kids would miss events or bail on dinner at the last minute, I would take it personally. But now I can see so clearly that it is not personal.

Before I became a mom, I might comment occasionally on how quickly time would pass by, but I never really put an extreme amount of thought into how I would spend my time. If you called me on a Thursday night and wanted to drive to Nashville on a whim, I was all in. I was a go-and-do kind of girl and I was a believer in the spur of the moment. I lived and loved life, and I still do now, just in a different way.

Since I have become a mom, I have learned that there is nothing more precious than time. It seems like every single day of my life is over before it even begins. I get a few hours with my kids in the morning, then it's off to work and daycare. We get a few hours together at night, but before I know it, it's time for bed. Then we have the weekends, but we all know how quickly those fly by. It just feels like there is never enough time.

After Thomas was born, I would show up to things and I would go to dinner and brunch with you, but it was mostly because I knew how mad you would be if I didn't show up. Since Blakely was born, I have changed my outlook on everything.

The little things are so important to me. My babies will only be babies for such a short period of time. Because time is so absolutely limited, I choose to spend the time that I do have as selfishly as I can.

When I first started this mom gig, I made the mistake of overloading myself. I wanted to be viewed as this super mom that could do it all. Postpartum depression hit and that desire totally went out the window. I let go of everything that was extra and now my entire focus is on taking care of myself, taking care of my family, and work. No more fluff. No more stressing myself out unnecessarily. Every decision that I make now is with my family in mind. If it takes away from them in any way, then it isn't going to happen.

One day in the not-so-far future, my kids will grow up and their need for me will decrease with each passing day. So for now, when my son is overjoyed by the idea of going to the park on a Friday afternoon, I am going to choose to do that in a heartbeat over spending the evening at a glitzy girl's dinner with you. And please remember, this is not personal. I love you deeply. But I know (or I hope) that when the day comes that their need for me has decreased, that you will still be there and that our friendship will remain unchanged.

In these few precious and fleeting formative years, I want to be there for everything. I don't want to miss out on reprimanding my two year old for trying to color on the hardwood floors with sidewalk chalk. I don't want to miss watching my four month old rolling around on the floor and blowing bubbles with her mouth. I want, I NEED, to have those memories and I want and need to give my kids a childhood that's worth remembering. I don't want to be a super mom, but I do want to be the happiest and most loving mom that I can be. I want to have dance parties in the kitchen and I want to giggle every time I hear my son call me Mater and call himself Lightning McQueen because that makes him grin from ear to ear. I want to be there for every little thing and honestly, I want you to be there too!

I admit, I never want to go anywhere and I always use the kids as an excuse. But the reality is, it isn't an excuse, it IS my reality. Schedules and routine are king and if I make plans that don't include them, everyone is effected by that. My husband has to make arrangements and both kids get thrown off of their schedule and it is just simply not fair to anyone involved.

My door is always open to you and my kids love you dearly. I know it is out of the way for you to always come to me, and I never expect it of you. But please don't be disappointed in me when I can't come to you.

The time will come where I have more freedom and I can be there with you. But for now, I hope you understand how important it is for me to be with my kids and smother them in a million kisses before they reach the age where they no longer want me to even be in the same room with them.

When you welcome babies into this world, I will be at your house more than you want me to be and I will be at your beck and call. Just remember that while I am in the thick of raising my babies, I will always communicate with you and I will always love you, but I might not always be there with you. You are the guarantee that I need in an ever-changing world.

God gives us friends that are more like sisters to love us when we need them the most. I am so blessed that God has given me you and I am even more blessed that my children get to call you Auntie and that they get to grow up loving you.

Love me through this season of life. It won't last forever.




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    [Sign off]