It’s all about forgiving friends and having forgiving friends. Confused by that? I’ll explain.
One my best girl friends since Junior High (twenty some years ago) and I have worked to keep as close a friendship as we can going with marriages, young kids, jobs, and a distance of 3000 miles. She’s one of those friends that I can not talk to for months, then pick up the phone and it’s like we hung out yesterday. She’s one of the good ones.
On a random weekday I called after work, great for me on my commute home sans kids, yet right in the middle of her dinner time. She answered anyway. Again, she’s one of the good ones. Aside from the awesomeness of getting to talk to her because I love her humor; I enjoy her view on the world and her way of saying things from husband antics, to politics, to potty training. It felt so good to talk about what it means to be a working mom and what it means to be a mom in terms of impact on being a wife.
But, at one point in the conversation, she apologized. She apologized for having not called sooner, not checked in recently, and that a few months had gone by since she stayed in touch. I was stunned. Stunned because, in my mind, she had nothing to apologize for in our friendship. Neither of us had called, emailed, or texted recently. She has a toddler under two years old, works full-time, and a really cool husband that she enjoys spending time with; plus, I live far away with a two-hour different time zone.
I realized and told her she was suffering from mom guilt because friendships change after kids. We change as people, priorities changes, and even if the first two didn’t change, the amount of free/personal time we have changes. We’re doing our best, the very best we can, and that we can say we’ll do better, and mean it, and still not call/email/text more. That’s okay too.
So all I can say to her, to myself, and to all mamas out there: forgive yourself, friend. I have nothing to forgive. Let’s not be hard on ourselves. Let’s forgive our friends and cherish our forgiving friends.