Thursday, August 1, 2013

About losing a best friend.

I don't talk about friends often here on the blog. In fact, I probably can count on my hand how many times I have mentioned the word "friendship." I'm not sure why that is. Maybe because my main focus here is my family? And always will be. Maybe because that's just not a big part of my life in this chapter of our book. I know that friendships are important. I know that I have had some great friendships in my life, and many of those friendships have impacted who I am today. But I would be lying to you if I said that I was a good friend. In fact, I'm probably pretty crappy in that category. Very.

Since getting married, getting pregnant 8 months later, having our daughter, getting pregnant again 18 months after that, and then welcoming our son into our lives.... friends kind of get put on the back burner. Life goes by fast, time is not on our hands, and friendships come and go. For me, lots of going.

I wish that statement wasn't true. I wish I didn't have to say that. Perhaps it's my fault, perhaps it's the other person's fault, perhaps it's life that gets in the way. But the truth of the matter is that marriage and children change friendships. Friendships get lost. Friendships fail. Friendships have heartaches and pain just like any other relationship out there. Friendships are hard.

I don't have many of them. Anymore. Perhaps it's by choice. Perhaps it's just not what fits in my life right now. Perhaps it's because I'm just not good at keeping up with them. I'll admit that fault and flaw of mine. But I just don't.

It wasn't that way when I was in school. When I started college I knew every fraternity and the people in it, the parties that were going on every day of the week, and my phone had hundreds of numbers in it in which I would spend the majority of my day texting and "aiming" with the countless amount of "friends." Who remembers aim by the way?

Everyone was my friend. I was everyone's friend. And during that time of my life? That was important to me. I wanted to be liked by everyone and I wanted to know everyone. But at some point in my life, that slowly became less and less important to me. Perhaps around the time that I had met Andrew.

My phone address now? Consists of maybe 20 people. Majority of those being family members.

I often ask myself why this happened, and why I am the way that I am. I wonder if it's something that I need to work on, be better, and put that extra effort in. The answer? Is always yes. I then ask myself what I am doing wrong and why this happens? The falling out. I realize that it's because I put my family first. That sometimes I get texts while I'm out with my kids and I don't respond until later that evening {if I even remember then}. Sometimes I have a missed call because I'm changing a diaper and I just forget to pick up that phone and call back. Sometimes they ask me to do something and although initially it sounds nice, and I may even say yes at first, but when it comes down to it, I always end up cancelling so I can have extra time with my husband and kids. Sometimes months will go by and I'm asking myself..where did the time go and why have I not talked to this person? The thing is, that is who I am now. Now, I choose family. Now, my time is precious.

Now? I have a new perspective on friendships. After losing a best friend through life's changes, I learned a very important lesson in life.

You get out of friendship what you put into it.

You choose who you want to be friends with.
You choose the interests that you may have in common.
You choose who to turn to when you just need to talk.
You have that choice.

And sometimes you choose the option of walking away from a friendship that no longer works.

As sad and hrad as it may have been for me to come to that realization, it was the truth.
And the truth is that friendships... come and go. But family? Is forever.

And some friends? Turn into family. Those. Those are the ones that truly understand.

24 comments:

  1. I feel that same way about myself! I am so busy with my son, husband & making time for extended family and grandparents that I totally throw my friends on the back burner. A lot of moms, I'm sure, have lost friends this way, just like us! It sucks, but it is a part of life. Hang in there, momma!

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  2. I think as we get older and lives change friendships do come and go or the dynamics of them change. For different seasons of our lives we have different friends that meet the needs of those times, I think.

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  3. I was just thinking this today! Life is just too busy, snd things are too hectic getting into the swing of things having two now. It's hard to have friends who don't have kids because they just don't "get it". Why I can't just go out on a Friday night, or spend an hour on the phone in the middle of the day. Friendships are hard. My family is everything to me so when I have the option of spending extra time with my husband and kids-family will win every time.

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  4. I think 75% of us are like this, I know I am...I lost a best friend after I got married though it wasnt on me, it was because I couldnt go out every weekend and wanted to spend more time w. my husband and she didnt like that.

    But I do have a few friends that even though I may not talk to them for a few days, sometimes weeks, when we do reconnect its like we never stopped talking and THOSE are the best kind of friendships

    But family definitely is most important some people just dont understand that yet! :)

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  5. I think we all fall into that though, I am the only one of my friends with kids, and my "kidless" friends don't talk to me anymore, or invite me polaces. Sure its a 2 way street, but they have to understand I need more than a 30 minute heads up to make plans. I dont get to talk to them often because they are out or don't have time or when they do I am busy or Max is crying and at 8:00 they are going to dinner and I am in bed with my child. We just live in 2 different worlds now and I wish it wasn't like that because I miss them.

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  6. This is what I love about you and your blog. You are so relatable. I am going through this right now.. this process of losing not only one friend but many. After getting married, a lot of my friends have been extremely distant... some of them have been very negative about my marriage... and I have chosen not to be associated with them anymore because at the end of the day... my husband... my family.. will always come first. It's nice to hear such honesty from you about this subject. I am not the greatest friend either. Family is definitely forever. .. cliche or not. =D THanks for this, I needed this today =)

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  7. I can relate to this so much. In fact, I know that I have put friends on the back burner for so long that I really do not have friends anymore. I have a couple girlfriends at work that we get together occasionally, but all of my time goes to my husband and family, because they are the best friends I could have. But sometimes, I wish I could call a girlfriend to go to happy hour or go shopping. I hope that when we have kids that I can find a moms group to join in our are. The funny thing about blogging is that I get that connection from people like you that make the lonely times, less lonely.

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  8. This post kind of makes me sad Becky:( I have a few of the best girlfriends and maybe it's easier to maintain b/c we all have husbands and kids. But I think it's so important to keep those connections alive. I hope this is something that you can find a good balance for in your life:)

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  9. I see a lot of the comments state how they can so relate and this is what they are going through right now, etc... I am married to my best friend and have two littles and they come first as always but I have the best of friends anyone could ask for and the thing is, they are all my friends from high school and we have stuck together through it all.....marriages, kids, moves and we are still just as close. We all live in different cities or even different states but we make it a point to get together as often as we can and we text, talk on the phone and just make it work. There are 6 of us and I don't know what I would do in my life without them. I think having girlfriends is SO important in your life. Yes, everyone is busy and I get that but if your friends truly matter to you, you make the time. I also understand that for some people it is just not a priority and that is ok but for me, I will be forever grateful for my girls and will always make them a high priority!!!

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  10. I can absolutely relate to this 100%! My closest friends now are the moms that I spend every day with at the ball park or cheering competitions. And my bff's? They happen to be those two little souls who call me 'mom' and I wouldn't have it any other way!

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  11. I feel as though I could have written about 90% of this post.
    I had a lot of good friends growing up - friends that I would call/text/aim all the time.
    These days I still have a few close friends, but what you say about "what you put in, you get out" is incredibly true.
    I know I'm not the greatest friend for the same reasons that you listed. I'll often WANT to go out and hang with friends, but if I do a majority of that time is wondering what my boys are up to back home and then I'm bummed I'm not spending my time with them.
    There just isn't enough time, and what time there is I really enjoy spending with family.
    It's funny how your priorities change when you grow up and have a family. :)
    Love this post.

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  12. I have to agree with LC's comment. This makes me a little sad. Although, I think that friendships definitely change with the seasons of life we are in. I probably had far fewer friends when my daughter was really little, like your kids are. But, as your kids get older and are more self sufficient (and certainly once they go off to school) it is so, so important to have friends that you can turn to. Family is always there, yes, but the dynamic is so different with a friend. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand wanting to spend time loving on your family and savoring every little moment. But, as moms I feel that it's also so important to not lose ourselves. I think that you'll find that once the kids are a bit older, friendships will become something that you need again. Maybe it takes our kids not relying on us 100%? As long as you're happy though, that's what matters most. :)

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  13. If I could like this post a 1000 times I would. My husband and I just had this conversation last night. We've had a lot of transition with friends since having our daughter a year ago. Some of stuck with us and some haven't. Some we've fallen off track with and some we haven't. I chalk a lot of that up to most of our friends being single/ engaged/newly married and kidless so they just don't understand. Some times it makes me sad to think about how our relationships have changed and other times I just shake my head and think one day they too will understand. But always, always, my husband and daughter will be the number one priority to me.

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  14. I've been feeling bad about this myself lately. I wouldn't consider myself a good friend at.all. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one, but I'm sure you're a better friend than you give yourself credit for. <3

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  15. I'm going to a local pool for lil splashers for kids age 2-4 with 2 moms I met through a support group when Chase was a newborn and a friend I made through blogging. My best friends are my friends from high school. The closest lives 45 mins away the furthest 8 hours. One isn't married we still text and try to see each other. I lost a best friend because I didn't go to her wedding. I was close to my college roommates until I started dating my husband and two break ins caused me to move out by myself which also caused drama. It makes me sad to see them together on Facebook and be missing out on that but I don't regret one decision I've made. I would give it all up for my husband and kid(s). I do hope my husband and I find a couple we can be best friends with.

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  16. I find it interesting to read about this perspective. I'm on the opposite end where I have basically lost a friendship with my best friend that I was friends with for like 13 years. There are a few different circumstances in our friendship, she's really kept me at arms length for awhile now. I tried to keep in touch with her but when I didn't try, she didn't either and the kicker was when a close family member was killed in a car crash and she didn't call or text me to check on me like all my other close friends, she wrote on my Facebook wall. I realised we weren't really friends after that.
    My advice to you is if you have DEAR friendhips, meaning the ones you don't want to lose, try to hang on. Take few minutes to keep tabs on what your friends are doing. A quick text to wish your best friend good luck on her job interview or first date goes a LONG way. Remember, your kids will grow up and get older and you may get lonely and wish you'd kept those dear friends around. In my opinion, girlfriends are a very close third to husbands and kids. I can't live without mine. They lift me up when I need them and it feels good to do the same for them. Don't miss out!

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  17. Ooops to clarify, I am married but no kids and my old friend had a baby last year.

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  18. Oh I so relate to this all I can say is thank you thank you for posting. I think you got into my head and have been thinking my thoughts. At times it really does make me feel bad, but I have 6 mos. old twins and sometimes even leaving the house to go to the grocery store is a challenge much less having coffee or lunch with a friend. I too really don't have many and it is because family comes first, of course in my only free time (I work full time), I want to spend time with them and only them. Given my limited time it's them I want to see. I am so so glad to see I am not the only one. Yes there are times I wish I could go out shopping and be free but this is the life I chose and I wouldn't change it for the world. I love my family.

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  19. Sadly,I can definitely relate! I often wondered if it was me as to why I was losing friendships and I figured out it was. I put my all into my marriage, our fertility issues and our daughter. I feel so bad that I dropped the friendship ball with so many people. Thankfully I have been able to reconnect with few understanding friends.

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  20. I have a couple friends who I call family because I know it doesn't matter how angry we get at each other, we still love each other and we're not going anywhere. I went through an experience where I said goodbye to three of my closest friends at once because of a misunderstanding we had and I thought - 'you know what? I don't have time to keep up with friendships that require so much work and maintenance - if they don't get me, I don't need to waste my time pleading and trying to explain myself to them. It's just not meant to be'. Maybe that's callous, but I have a few great friends who I don't have to be careful around - I can just be me - and I think that's more important.

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  21. i feel like i could have written this post (altho probably not as good as you!) im currently in this type of situation and i feel the same way you do. I hope you dont mind, but i mentioned this post in my most recent blog post, but dont worry I made sure to give you full credit and linked back to your post.

    the sweet life of a southern wife

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  22. "And some friends? Turn into family. Those. Those are the ones that truly understand." You summed it all up very beautifully with this sentence. I've have friends come and go - but 3 have remained constant in my life (since high school) and they are like family. They are the ones who have been there through it all and I know they'll be there through what's ahead. When you have sunch friends, that's all that matters. I loved this post. It was so relatable for me. I don't consider myself a good friend either:-)

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  23. That last sentence? The ones about friends turning into family? Those are the friends I cherish, I have a few of those that I cannot imagine my life without! I am very much an all or nothing girl, you are either like my best friend or just an acquaintance, which is probably really bad for me to say, but I've always been 100% or none at all. I should probably work on that.

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