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Leave me alone…but not really

Life has a funny ways of turning things upside down. Growing up, I was surrounded by family and friends. As a Pastor’s kid there were always meetings and social events and church picnics to attend. My parents’ friends had kids, which meant I had playmates almost everywhere we went. In fact, I never really had to “make” a friend until I was in my 20’s. My friends were simply built into my life. Easy peasy.

College was also relatively easy (aside from the so-called “relationships”). I joined a very small sorority and had a core group of built-in friends. There were also a few people I worked with and my room-mates who were friends from church. I had people. We had each other, and I am still friends with many of them, albeit from a distance.

And then I got married. I found ‘the one’ and we wanted to bask in that amazing life change. We could breathe. We enjoyed each other. We were in love. And we still are. We focused inward and that was (and is) a good thing. But something had to give. Of course one, and now two children later, my friendships are relegated to passing tweets and facebook likes on cute photos. We keep up with each other online because somewhere in our day we can make a pass at a computer. But making a plan that may take one or two hours of interacting is much more daunting. And when there are one or two free hours, I just want to be left alone.

Mostly.

But then I lie awake at night and trace back the pattern of my years of focusing on my boys and my husband and my personal well-being and I see little cracks in my friendship walls. I understand, they say, it’s crazy for all of us. And it is. Crazy. For all of us.

Still, I miss my friends.

So I am here in this place where I long for the types of friendships where we can pop in to chat or meet for coffee. I want to be the friend who calls to check in and can pick up your kids if you are sick. I say that I am that friend, but I am stuck behind these walls of time where I have excuse after excuse to keep everyone at arm’s length. Some kind of protection I am sure.

Our church community group ended in June and the summer sent everyone in different directions so I think that I am really feeling the distance. I found a couple more groups that are close to our house that we might try. But getting to know people in my 30s seems harder than ever.

Starting over is never easy.

In the same way that I want to be a certain kind of wife or mother, I long to have quality friends in my life that complete the village that surrounds my family. But in order to get this, I have to give of myself and this seems much harder than it used toIs everyone this anxious? Why do I feel like I am dating all over again? Or am I just being totally unrealistic with this expectation of camaraderie and bake sales?

Just know that if you are my friend and I am weird, it’s not you. It’s me. 

andrea

ABOUT ANDREA

I'm a travel-loving boymom living in Raleigh, NC. I love making life a little bit easier and a lot more fun by sharing easy recipes, travel tips, and holiday treats. Read more...

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Roo @ NiceGirlNotes

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

It'd be a lot easier if everyone lived next door to me.

Carmen Raymond

Monday 24th of September 2012

Nicely, and so accurately expressed. I love truth...Even when it's not what we would like it to be. I like what your mom said, this too shall pass. I will say from the other side of preschool aged children, it get's better. At least as far as time and attention. However, anything can occupy our time. I will say, I love my friends and very much enjoy spending time with them. Our home is often filled with friends we love - but there are those times when like you said, just the thought of interacting is daunting. Thankfully, throughout my life, those life friends that I have made, despite the gaps in our communication at times, we reconnect like there was no distance. It's not true for all friends, because life journeys sometimes do separate us a bit, but the love remains. It's all in the seasons. I say embrace the season for all that is good in it, and every once in awhile, when you need it, get together with friends....and go on a cruise! (just a suggestion) <3

cindy w

Monday 24th of September 2012

So, back when I was in marriage counseling (which I'd like to amend with a hearty, BWAHAHAHAAAA!!! Fat lot of good THAT did! Sorry, one of those things where I have to laugh because the alternative is too depressing), I remember the therapist saying this is normal for a lot of moms of young kids. We spend so much of our time focused on our kids, and when we finally get a break, we're too exhausted to want to do anything. So it's normal to let things like friendships, hobbies, or other outside interests sort of fall by the wayside.

She also said that for most women, when the kids hit around 10-12 years old and are suddenly WAY more independent (to the point of wanting nothing to do with their parents), then these moms find they have a lot more time and energy to resume those things. So... all is not lost, I guess? You'll have friends again in a decade or so? This probably isn't helping you feel better at all, is it?

Honestly, I think social media is a huge help in this case. It keeps you from feeling completely isolated, and you can engage with it on your own time, on your own terms. You want to spend all day on Twitter? Go for it! You want to check Facebook once a month? That's ok too! There's no scheduling and logistics involved, no paying a baby-sitter, no worrying about mealtimes, naptimes, etc. You check in if and when you feel like it, but it still allows you to maintain a little bit of that connection with your old life. So, hooray for technology. I know I'd be way more lonely without it.

Lilkidthings

Monday 15th of July 2013

I don't know why I never responded to this before. But I just came across this post and I needed to read it again. As it did the first time, your comment helped me now. Thank you for taking the time to respond and commiserate :)

Jennifer Bullock

Monday 24th of September 2012

I feel the exact same way!! Wish we lived closer!

Doreen Lawrence

Monday 24th of September 2012

This was a great post that, I'm sure, every mom can relate to. Welcome to the world of "pre-school motherhood", the time of your life when one eye and one ear are always occupied no matter what else you are trying to do. "This too shall pass..."

Angie

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

....when? ;)

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