I am a bad friend. It’s true, I can’t deny it. Not in the standard definition of the word, though.
I do not ignore my friends for my own selfish reasons. I don’t make promises I have no intentions of keeping, or say i’ll be somewhere and never show up. I don’t blab secrets or spread false rumors. It’s not that I don’t care or am using people when I seem to stop talking to them. I don’t get tired of someone and just write them off. I’ve never stolen someone’s boyfriend or broken up a relationship for no reason other than that I could. I didn’t fall in love with your brother or use you to get to him, and I never got mad when anyone liked mine (though I did question their levels of taste). I don’t peer pressure, or judge anyone because they do things I wouldn’t necessarily do. I don’t make excuses for not going out that aren’t true.
Hell, it’s not even because I just don’t care enough to make the effort that friendship deserves. I do.
I am a bad friend because I have kids. And no, I do not blame them- as it was my choice to have them.
I still try my best to be there for anyone who needs me, to stand up for someone if they need back up, to be a shoulder for them to cry on- but I can’t drop everything in a moment’s notice and run to someone’s side anymore. I can’t always make phone calls, answer phone calls, talk for more than a few minutes at a time, or at all. Sometimes I can’t even respond to texts.
If someone wants to make plans, I can’t always make them because the schedule doesn’t work out, or I don’t have anyone to watch the kids- it’s not that I don’t want to.
I can’t stay up late at night talking- not because I have work in the morning, but because I have people who depend on me to do the things they can’t do for themselves, and there’s no calling in for that.
I’d love to keep in better contact, but most of the time with everything going on just contained in the 4 walls of my home- I forget.
Sure, i’d invite you over- but the warning always has to be that we won’t be alone or we can’t be loud. I wish I could come to your party, but it’s right in the middle of the bed time routine and it wouldn’t really be fair to leave the husband to do that on short notice.
It’s not that your spontaneous invitation to go to the movies, or to get coffee, or to go here or there isn’t appreciated. It isn’t that I wouldn’t love to go- it’s that my life just doesn’t work that way anymore.
So no, i’m not a bad friend because i’m BAD at being a friend. I’m a bad friend because I made a choice when I popped out my offspring to put them first. 99.9% of the time, and occasionally that makes me suck. I can apologize for it, I can explain it until i’m blue in the face- but it’s not going to change for a long time i’m afraid. I’m not a bad friend by choice, but because I haven’t been able to physically stretch myself that thin. I’m sure others have mastered the art of time management- i’m still a work in progress.
And I have this feeling that any good friend would understand that.
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