You know what I love? Friends who don’t make this friend thing complicated.

People who don’t use the “you find out who your friends are” phrase passive-aggressively.

I love friends who agree there’s no need for labeling.

The thing is, there are limitations to the kind of friend I can be.

Whoever says “it’s not hard to text back” obviously doesn’t have a brain turned to mush like me.

So right now, more than ever, I’m thankful for friends who don’t have unrealistic expectations of me.

I won’t always be a phone call away—sometimes I leave my phone inside so that it’s not a distraction when I’m spending time with my family.

I won’t always be there at the exact moment you may need me—I really try but sometimes I’m fighting my own demons and I’m truly just surviving.

I won’t give you my undivided attention—but I will listen to you vent between pushing babies on the swings.

I can’t promise to make it to the events you plan—but I’ll surely try, or I’ll cheer you on in your endeavors while I rock a sick baby.

And I want my friends to know that I don’t expect any more from them.

If we go a whole year without talking much, we can pick up where we left off like we never skipped a beat.

Even if we don’t get a word in between the cries and the screams, we can eat a meal together at a restaurant where strangers are ready for our crew to leave.

You don’t have to be like me.

You don’t have to love the things I do or have the same size family.

You don’t have to fill me in on everything.

But you could text me tomorrow and we could pack up and head to the park down the street.

Don’t you ever feel guilty for not being around enough—because I’m fighting that same guilt that’s lost under my mom guilt and wife guilt and exhaustion and just everything.

So we may not be planning many girls’ nights this year or even remembering to text each other back regularly, but just know that anytime you cross my mind—in the midst of the chaos of every day—I’m thankful for you. 

Because right now, above all else, I need a friend who’s understanding.

This post originally appeared on Trains and Tantrums by Whitney Ballard

 

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Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.