Our friendship was born in a time when both of us needed a friend, floundering in the clouds of depression and anxiety with no one to teach us how to cope. We wounded each other unwittingly, I’m sure - and we’ve witnessed each others’ highs and lows for years. Which is why, of course, we will always be friends. I will always care for you and want only the good things in life for you. But it’s time that we address the reality of our friendship as grown women with full lives.
I know you’ve chosen a life without children (at least, up until this point). I’m very happy for you - honestly, seeing you blossom into the person you are today through intentional self-love has been astounding. You’ve impressed me and your life is so full - not just busy, but full! It’s a great feeling to have so much purpose in your life. Gives you something to look forward to in your day and week. You’ve developed a habit of self-discipline that is enviable. Kudos to you for so many things!
As much as there is to celebrate in your life, there is to celebrate in mine also. But something about having children - one I crossed that line, you felt like you couldn’t come and walk alongside me any longer. I would say maybe the word betrayed is too intense. Honestly, I think it’s less of a conscious malintent than it is a rather neutral drifting apart. It’s just that I still don’t like the way it makes me feel. This notable absence - it feels like you’re punishing me for choosing to have children. Maybe you see me current busy life - the fact that it’s harder for me to come spend a weekend out on the town with you - as a punishment, and this is just a retaliation. Maybe you aren’t even aware that this is how it makes me feel, or how it comes off! But it’s not you - this is something that happens between women who become mothers and women who aren’t mothers all the time.
It’s just that even though it’s common, and even though it’s not personal, it hurts.
I didn’t want us to drift apart. On my wedding day, seeing your face made me feel like we’d be sitting on my porch at 50, having drinks and relaxing. Hopefully we still will! Once I became a mom, things between us became...stilted. I realized that something about me being married, being a mom, made you feel uncomfortable. It was the little moments when I noticed your absence. My baby shower, even after you RSVP’ed. My son’s first birthday.
It’s not that I’m mad at you, or looking for some sort of fight. It’s just that - I think we can acknowledge the elephant in the room. The optimistic part of me wants to think that calling a spade a spade won’t cost us those porch-sitting years later on, when our lives are back in a similar sliver of space-time. I can’t make your birthday party in Vegas, and no part of you wants to attend a toddler’s birthday. That’s not a crime. It’s just where our friendship is right now. And it’s because I’m a mom, so I that’s changing anytime soon.