To all the friends I’ve lost since becoming a mother:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend. I’m sorry I haven’t reached out to you in months or even years. I’m sorry we don’t have the relationship we used to have. I’m sorry I didn’t try harder.

I have tried, I can promise you that, but sometimes trying just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes our best just isn’t good enough. I wanted to be a good friend, and I did my best, but if it just wasn’t enough, I’m sorry.

I never realized how much becoming a mother would change me. I never understood the depth of that change until I went through it myself. I am not the woman I was when you last knew me. I think my children have made me a better woman, but at the very least, they have changed me.

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If you don’t have kids right now, but do someday in the future, you’ll know what I mean then. You’ll know why our friendship was lost, along with full nights of sleep, my favorite old pair of skinny jeans, and any selfishness I used to possess.

For all that you lose when you become a mother, you gain so much more. But that doesn’t mean we don’t mourn our losses. I’m sorry to have lost your friendship.

For my friends who became mothers first, now I understand why we lost touch when you had your first baby. I was still single back then, and I’ll be honest, it hurt to lose you. I wasn’t warned. I didn’t know. But you probably didn’t know then either.

You didn’t realize how much motherhood would change your priorities. You didn’t realize how draining it could be. But it was exhausting, and our friendship was lost along with my text messages, my attempts to reach out to you. You didn’t mean to lose them. You were just nursing a baby and couldn’t text me back. Or you were rocking your newborn to sleep for hours, and you simply forgot. You made a mental note to text me back, but that thought got lost right along with your sleep and our friendship. I didn’t understand it all back then, but I do now.

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Motherhood is draining. It involves a lot of sleepless nights and activity-filled days. You are balancing a million different thoughts in your mind, and from time to time, one or two slip through the cracks and out into the ether. I am not trying to excuse my actions, but I am trying to explain them.

You were a wonderful friend. We had a great friendship. I needed you in my life for the time I was blessed to have you. I am grateful to have known you and called you a friend. I am sorry I lost you, but I am so glad I had you in my life once upon a time.

Life can lead us in a thousand different directions. Sometimes following one love means leaving another behind.

I will follow my family to the end of the world, but I will still miss what, and who, I have left behind. At some point, I left you behind, or you left me behind. Life caught us like a wave and carried us away from each other.

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Sometimes certain friendships just don’t fit well into our lives as they change, and we must leave them behind. But this doesn’t mean they weren’t good and beautiful friendships. They were. They were friendships that fit perfectly into our lives as we were living them, but when our lives changed, they just didn’t fit as well as they once did. And that’s OK.

Maybe one day, the waves of our lives will bring us back together. I’ve lost friends and then found them again in motherhood. And maybe we won’t find each other again. If that’s the case, I’m sorry to have lost you, dear friend, but I am so thankful I was once able to call you friend.

Shannon Whitmore

Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and freelance writing on topics such as marriage, family life, faith, and health. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.