“If they really cared about you then they would make time for you.”
I get so frustrated when I hear that phrase. I’ve heard this so many times and frankly, it is simply not true. I know in some cases it is, but in the case of moms with small children, it is often a huge misconception.
I do care. I do want you as a part of my life. I am just busy right now.
I think about you often. While standing in the grocery line. While taking a shower. While hanging laundry. While driving in my car, I think about you. I think about texting you to check-in. I have a list in my mind of things that I want to ask you. So many things I am wondering about your life. A list of things I want to share with you about mine. You are frequently on my mind.
But before I can reach out, almost immediately my train of thought is gone. My kids are fighting, someone needs to pee, the phone is ringing, someone is asking for a snack, the trash is overflowing, someone needs a diaper change, the toddler is climbing the entertainment center again, the oven timer just beeped, someone spilled their juice or milk or cereal, the toddler is pulling things out of the cupboard, someone skinned their knee, the toddler is trying to put her hand in the fish tank, someone needs an ice pack, I just stepped on something sticky. The list goes on and on.
Before I know it, another hour has passed. Sometimes a day. And unfortunately those days often turn into weeks. My days are full. They are rarely calm. By the time I stop and have time, it’s too late to call you. Or sometimes it is too early. At 5am, you are not up and wanting to chat. During a 3am feeding is not really texting time for you.
As soon as something comes into my mind these days, it often gets interrupted. When I was single and didn’t have kids, I had hours every day to text, call, email, hang out with you and my other friends. I worked during the day and only had to care for myself in the evening. I only had to clean up after myself in my small apartment. Laundry for one that I could complete once a week. Now, I am cleaning up after three kids and a husband. The dishes are never ending and the laundry piles up at an astronomical rate.
Are some moms better at keeping in touch than others? Yep. I am not one of those moms and I am sorry for that. I am sleep deprived. My brain only holds so much information at a time. I am running in 100 different directions. I am often running on empty. Many days I start one household chore, get interrupted and start a new one without finishing the first.
Talking to me on the phone while my kids are awake is often challenging for both of us. If you want to talk-please reach out to me. Text me. I will text back when I can. We can schedule a call after the kids go to bed from time to time. If you don’t mind noise and a possibly messy house, drop by. I would love to have you visit. But, I might not think to invite you over. You may have to initiate contact. And when you do, I am thankful and excited to hear from you.
It is truly not that I don’t care about you. I actually care very much. It is not that you are not important to me. It is not that I would not love to be spending more time with you. I am simply in a phase of life right now that makes that difficult and sometimes near impossible. My phase of life is simply not the same as yours and it can be hard to relate.
This is my season of life. This is where I am right now. It will not be this way forever. My kids will grow up. I will have more time on my hands again. I hope you will still be around then. I want you to be part of my life. I want to be part of yours. You do matter to me. Please, remember that and just be patient with me.
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This is a great reminder for non-parents like myself when I feel sad about having a tough time staying in touch with some of my friends with children. But I can’t help but feeling bad for the author who does everything including “cleaning up after three kids and a husband.” This is how my mom lived 30 years ago and she completely lost her chance at a career as she was too busy caring for everyone while my dad worked 60-hour weeks. It was accepted then, but now it’s 2021… I hope to avoid that problem as I’ve found a woman to marry instead 😉