I have been fortunate enough to have made a few great friendships that have lasted for several years. Friends that most people dream of having. You know, the ones you share the good, the bad, and the ugly with. We have been in each other’s weddings, been present to wipe tears, and even through distance we had always made time to visit often. I am the first and only one out of my close friends to become a mother and I was not prepared for how things would change.

To my friends after I became a mother,

It isn’t just you. The birth of my daughter has changed my relationships with everyone in my life. My husband, my sisters, my parents and in-laws. It’s even changed my relationship with myself! I have become close with some people I never thought I would. I have found other mothers to share my parenting excitement and woes. On the other hand, I have become distant with people I never thought I would grow apart from as suddenly my daughter became my world and to no one’s fault, we lost touch. Self-care became a part of my routine, which is something I realized that was necessary to be the best mom I could be. I knew things would be busy, but I was not expecting this much chaos. Free time is rare, and when I do find it, it’s quickly filled with chores, work, or that oh-so needed time for myself.

I know that I have been out of the loop. I may not message you each day and I may not call as often. I may not be able to join you on dinner dates or FaceTime chats. My annual trips out of town look completely different—if they exist at all. Topics of discussion are different, too. Some things that were once in the forefront of our minds are suddenly not as important to me and things that were never mentioned before have become increasingly necessary to have my attention. Plans have been canceled more often than usual, and sometimes even at the last minute.

Please know I still love you, I still need you and you are often on my mind. I will return to you. Just know that my life has changed significantly and will continue to change at every milestone, growth stage, and life experience with my little one. I am constantly learning a new “normal” and sometimes struggle with this.

I am sure you notice that some months I am more talkative, able to leave the house often, or even seem bored. While others, I am missing in action completely. Try not to take this personally. This is just me being thrown another parent curveball. Another sleep regression or stomach bug has hit. Potty training is requiring me to be away from my phone or I am having family time after having to stay late at the office all week. I will learn from it and I will return to you again. The balance will be found. Everything I once knew has been turned upside down. Some days it is right-side up again and every which way the next.

Please be patient. You are important to me.

I have changed a lot as I have grown into a mother. I assure you, I am still a friend. I’m still me—just a busier, sometimes more anxious (on the bad days) or happier (on the good days) version of myself. I have learned to value change for a life without it would be dull. The ups and downs are not easy, and I truly do want to answer every time you call. I want to join you on those dinner dates. I long for the days when I can pack up my bags for a weekend getaway and not think twice. Or hire a sitter at the blink of an eye and not experience any worry. For me, that time is not now and I don’t know when it will be.

My relationship rollercoasters are no one’s fault. Not mine, not yours, not my daughter’s. I chose to be a mother and strive to be the best one I can be. I love this crazy, new adventure but perhaps I need more time to learn to juggle it all. I hope to find consistency or some magic parenting trick that I somehow missed. But there is no button to push that calms things down or no advice that I can receive that adds more time in the day. I’ll learn how to roll with the punches over time, and I hope you stand by me. I miss you during the times we don’t talk much, and when we do, I hope we can easily pick right back up from where we left off.

Aryn Carnaya

I am a hardworking wife and mother, among the many other roles I take on each day. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I recently found that it is a great way to unwind. I hope that my experiences with motherhood can share some insight with others.