I saw a TikTok today that showed me why I’m terrified of female friendships.

It challenged women to stop texting their friends first in order to see what dead plants they’ve been watering.

I teared up thinking about the fact that if all of my friends stopped texting me first, they’d consider our friendship a dead plant.

I rarely text first. A lot of times, I forget to even respond. I don’t initiate hangouts much. And I’m the one who cancels often for a multitude of reasons.

And it’s not because I don’t value those relationships.

It’s because when I’m not teaching, I’m probably lesson planning. Or grading. Or booking. Or shooting. Or editing. Or playing with my kids, the ones I haven’t seen since 7:15 a.m. Or cooking. Or cleaning. Or doing laundry. Or talking to my husband for the first time all day at 5 p.m. Or giving baths. Or fixing hair. Or putting kids to sleep. Or just breathing for a minute after they all go to bed.

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It doesn’t come natural to me. I’m not good at responding to texts. I’m not good at being intentional. I’m not good at showing up, again, because of the list above.

But I care. And I’m rooting for you. And I still love you.

The societal image of female friendships is hanging out weekly, dropping everything for one another, reaching out daily, remembering every special date, regular FaceTimes and phone calls and texts and life updates and get-togethers and celebrations and a million other things.

And I can’t keep up.

Tell me I’m not alone.

All of that to say, if we’re describing our friendship as a plant, and we’re defining watering it by texting first, it’s not dead because I don’t want it to be alive. It’s dead because in my current season of life, I just don’t have any water to pour.

I crave intimate female friendship. So bad. But it’s just hard to meet the expectations set by our idolization of unrealistic examples.

This isn’t a justification post promoting shallow relationships. It’s a plea for grace, for patience, for more attainable expectations.

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Your full-time working mom friends are trying. She genuinely may have nothing to pour into your friendship, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. She does. She wants intimacy and depth with you. She probably feels like she’s been given the choice between being a good mom, a good wife, a good employee, or a good friend.

Because doing them all well feels impossible.

Give her a break. Give her time. Don’t count her out. 

This article originally appeared on Facebook

Kayah Roper

Kayah is an openly imperfect wife, foster/adoptive/biological mother of 2, grandma to 1, teacher, and photographer.