Sometimes I’m a bad friend.
And look, this is a safe space, so let’s be honest here—sometimes you are, too.
I’m not saying it’s OK, but I’m saying . . . let’s have some friggin’ grace for each other. Life is hard, and we are walking around waitress-style balancing four plates on both arms, glasses in both hands, probably a tray on top of our head and a set of napkins in our mouth.
We’re wife-ing. We’re mom-ing. We’re daughter-ing. We’re working. We’re volunteering. We’re giving to about ten thousand different areas 27 hours a day, which is insane, because there are only 24 hours in a day. But yeah . . . that’s kind of what it feels like most of the time.
We are trying.
But sometimes, something just gets dropped, because we are all just ordinary people.
No Wonder Women here, just women scratching their un-washed top knots, wondering how in the world they’re going to possibly get it all done.
It’s not because we don’t care. Not because we don’t love you. Not because we are trying to hurt you. But because . . . life.
Sometimes we forget to respond to that text. And yeah, I know, they only take 10 seconds to send, but when you get them while you’re in the middle of making dinner while also trying to convince your toddler to put on pants and help your older kid with their homework, sometimes you just forget. Sometimes you need an hour after everyone’s in bed to catch up with your hubby without a phone in your hand.
Sometimes we have to decline that invitation even though it breaks our heart internally to reply with a “sorry, I’m out tonight.” Kids get sick. Obligations arise. Money gets tight. Schtuff happens. It doesn’t matter how much FOMO we may have, or how much our soul is craving that sisterhood, we just can’t be in two places at once. Again, ordinary people.
Sometimes the situation is even worse and we are battling depression and anxiety, and we pull away and go into hiding, even though that’s probably the time when we need our friends the most.
We are trying.
But, I’ll tell you what: If you’ll make a promise to me, I’ll make the same promise to you.
To do the best I can. Always. To reply as often as my extremely exhausted brain will allow. (Seriously, I threw my keys and my wallet into the trash today. Sometimes, it just ain’t staying on top of things.) To pick up the phone every chance I get. To say—not just yes—but hell yes, as often as I possibly can.
To cheer for you. To help you often. To listen. To include you. To talk good about you behind your back. To think about you. To tell you the truth. To be nice. To be fun. To be there in an emergency. To love your family. To love you.
To not make you feel guilty. To not add drama to your already full life. To talk directly to you when I’m upset, and not to go to somebody else.
And also, and maybe most importantly, to forgive you when you mess up too. To go easy on the unrealistic expectations and chill out for a hot minute. To give you the benefit of the doubt. To remember that I KNOW YOU and I know that sometimes, crappy behavior doesn’t mean you have a crappy heart, it just means you have a lot going on.
To make sure I do my part to make this the kind of un-delicate relationship that doesn’t sway back and forth when the wind starts to blow, or walk away the second things hard, or make you feel like you need to walk on eggshells to make me happy.
I don’t want you to walk on eggshells. Life is too short.
I don’t need you to make me happy. That’s an inside job.
I don’t need to be the only thing going on in your life. That’s completely unrealistic and unbelievably selfish.
I don’t need you to be perfect. I just need you to be yourself and to be a part of my life, as often as you possibly can.
This article originally appeared on Sister, I Am With You