One of my very best friends had her first baby. A baby she longed for and waited for. A baby I prayed along with her for. A baby I couldn’t wait to meet.
Her sweet baby girl came into the world beautiful, perfect, and blessed. I was beyond excited for my friend and her husband.
As a mother of two, I had already devised a plan of how I would be there for my friend when she crossed the threshold of motherhood. I would be the friend who just showed up at her door, ready to take a shift of consoling a new, crying baby. I’d find my way to the rocker and hold her precious little one on the days she really needed a few moments of a peace in the shower or a few minutes of rest in her bed.
I’d be an honest and open friend. Ready to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of being a new mom.
My plan was simple: she would never feel alone in her newfound role as mama. In the day, in the night, in the hard times, and in the beautiful ones. I planned to be there.
But time began to quickly pass. I visited her and her newborn. I sent some texts through the weeks. We would have a few phone conversations and talk about how things were going. But was I there for her like I had planned? Unfortunately, no.
I hadn’t found my way to her home in the middle of the day, so she could take that much-needed shower. I didn’t rock the baby to sleep so she could have a break. I didn’t comfort her on a bad day and assure her she would get through it. As much as I wish it were not true, I wasn’t there the way I wanted to be there for her.
Life was happening so fast in my home. As the 2-year-old tantrums and a newly-teething infant knocked on my front door, I found myself weary and tired. I found myself laser focused on my kids, on my family, on my home, and I didn’t make the time for my friend.
I have a million reasons why it was hard for me to be there, but the truth is I failed her a little. I failed myself. I could have done better. I should have done better.
It wasn’t so long ago I was lonely, leaky, and living on my last fume in a small apartment with two little ones. I remember needing help. I remember wanting the calls. I remember wishing I had someone to visit me during the day. The fog of exhaustion stills lingers over me.
If I could go back and redo the last three months, I would have made the time. Even when it was too hard. Even when I didn’t have the time. Even when I didn’t have the energy.
I know she knows if she really needed me a call would have been all it took for me to be there for her, but she shouldn’t have to call me desperately. I should have been calling her.
So my friend, if you are wondering if I forgot about how hard this time is, please know you were constantly on my mind even if my actions didn’t show it.
If you thought that maybe I didn’t call more because the beginning of motherhood was so easy for me that I didn’t think you needed me, please know that the newborn stage was one of the hardest experiences of my life—BOTH times.
If you felt that I was too busy with my own kids to help, please know I will always make time for you, and I should have made more time for you.
This mothering thing is hard. It is hard to be a good friend and mom at times. It is hard to be everything you want to be to everybody you need to be something special to. And my friend, I know you will know that burden too more and more as your new role as mom grows.
But I want you to know I wish I could have done better for you. I wish I could have been the friend you needed me to be. I wish I could have been the friend I wanted to be.
Luckily, I know there is a lot more of the hard stuff ahead in this whole being a mommy job. From what I can tell, we have our whole lives to need each other. Next time, I will be there.
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