So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

When I was pregnant with my first child, I imagined my future afternoons would be filled with mimosa-powered playdates, and I looked forward to that group mentality I hear and read about so frequently. 

Then, reality occurred, and it turns out balancing a full-time career and motherhood while also maintaining friendships was not going to be manageable for me.

As an introvert, it felt absolutely exhausting to even imagine attempting to socialize once the weekend hit. I guess I eventually stopped trying and then most of my friends did as well.

I had seemingly forgotten the elementary-level lessons that teach children the importance of maintaining friendships, which was especially ironic since my career as a school counselor includes teaching these lessons. 

RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it

At first, while I was in the depths of postpartum depression, I didn’t notice that I was failing as a friend. I began to notice how lonely I felt after I returned to the daily grind of life as a working mom. Some days, I found myself thinking it would be nice if I had someone to meet up with for a walk or glass of wine, but for some reason, it felt unattainable.

Even if I was able to muster the energy to connect with someone, I worried that reaching out to a friend I had not seen for months or even a year would just end in awkward rejection. 

Then each time a social media post reminded me my friends were doing just fine without me in their lives, I gave up a little bit more.

I was torn between a desire to be part of that group, even a very small one, and apparently not even having the energy required to be an active, contributing member.  

It really hit me when I was pregnant with my second child and a co-worker asked when my “sprinkle” would be. I realized I would have only one (maybe two) friends who I could even invite. And I definitely didn’t have any friends who would be willing to throw this party to celebrate my baby. It was such a selfish realization, but I guess things had just been so busy I hadn’t realized how lonely I truly was.

As my pregnancy progressed, I pondered my lack of a social support system and found myself wishing I had put the effort in earlier. As my due date was approaching, it felt so strange not to have had any type of celebration to welcome this new life. Sure, I would have welcomed the help with gathering baby essentials, but I felt sad and oddly guilty thinking about how this baby was not being born into a village.

My family tree resembles more of an indoor bonsai than a massive oak, and I had always hoped and imagined I would maintain close friendships that would be more like a chosen family.

It became apparent that I had not put in the energy that was required to make this a reality. 

Looking back, I think checking in with my friends would have gone a long way, even if I didn’t always have the energy to make plans to hang out in person. Maybe if I would have been honest about how overwhelmed I felt, then my MIA status would not have possibly been misinterpreted for a lack of interest in maintaining that friendship. I also think it would have been good for my mental health to get a babysitter and send myself off for a girl’s night even though I never truly felt that desire to be away from my child.

RELATED: Dear Daughters, You Have to Show Up for Your Friends

In the end, it seems that it really comes down to the fact I didn’t follow my own classroom lessons that teach children the importance of spending time with their friends and taking a true interest in their lives. 

The act of balancing motherhood, a career, and meaningful friendships may be a challenge but it is a challenge that is worth the energy and time each area requires. My second daughter is almost 9 months old now. COVID-19 may be making social connections more challenging than ever before, but I am glad to have the self-awareness required to put in that extra effort toward old and new friends even though it is from a distance. 

Kendra Fogarty

Kendra Fogarty is a school counselor whose greatest accomplishment in life has been raising a Gemini (ifykyk). Follow her page, You got this, Counselors, to add some good vibes to your feed. Her soul is fueled anytime she gets lost in the woods, nails a dessert recipe, spins a fresh vinyl, or makes one of her students smile.

I’m the Forgettable Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood, Relationships
Woman sitting by window looking out

Dear mama, I can feel the sadness in your heart from a mile away. It hurts to know that you’re riding through this repetitive storm just like I am. I’m sorry your friends keep excluding you. I can totally relate to your embarrassment, mama. You see . . . I’m the forgettable friend, too. RELATED: It’s Lonely Being the B-List Friend I think there must be one of us in every group of friends. When we become mothers, we tend to reformat the way we do friendships. As children, we stuck to one or two BFFs. As mothers, we learn...

Keep Reading

8 Tips For Making Mom Friends

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Three woman holding their children, color photo

A lot of people forget how lonely it can be as a mother at home raising children. “You’re going to need a mom friend.” That’s what they say. Sure, we all need one, but how do you maintain friendship with other women who are in the same boat you’re in? Women who feel inadequate, moms who are largely unsocialized themselves while they thrust their efforts into raising capable and intellectual children? We plug into our phones as our only outlet to adult interaction, and we’re expected to make organic connections when so much of the context and content online is...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughters, You Have to Show Up for Your Friends

In: Motherhood, Relationships
Dear Daughters, You Have to Show Up for Your Friends www.herviewfromhome.com

  Dear Daughters: Make sure you show up for your friends. It’s more important than you think. Show up for the important things, like milestone birthdays and weddings and baby showers. And show up when they need you but don’t want to ask, like during a tough break up or when they suddenly lose their job or their parent’s funeral. Make sure you return the call when their voice cracks in a message because they are exhausted from staying up with a newborn three nights in a row. Make sure to send a text letting them know you are thinking...

Keep Reading

Good, Long Distance Friendship is Hard But So Worth it

In: Friendship
Woman getting into car

I cry every time she arrives, and I cry every time she leaves. Because each time I see her, I feel a little more like myself, and each time she leaves, I feel like a big piece of my heart drives away in her car. Because one of my very dearest friends lives far away. And it’s just hard. We can’t just hop in the car and meet for coffee. We don’t make weekly shopping runs to Target when we both need to get out of the house, and I can’t run her over a plate of cookies when she...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime