So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I was never the girl with a crowd of friends. I was more the “a few good friends” type. Those friendships were precious and yet, I nearly let it all slip away.

Several years ago, I was young stay-at-home mom with busy toddlers and I craved adult conversation. I put myself out there (as much as an introvert can) and built friendships. I loved meeting a couple of friends for coffee (even if it was mostly comparing toddler trials and triumphs) and looked forward to the occasional girl’s night. 

I checked in with my friends frequently, sharing the details of our days—both the mundane and the noteworthy. We celebrated our children’s milestones, babysat for each other, vented our frustrations, and kept up in the day-to-day happenings.

The first change came when my youngest child started school and I went to work part-time. My days became a different kind of busy. I crammed everything in on my days off and it left little time for friends, especially when their days off didn’t line up with mine.

 I wasn’t keeping up with the quality of friendships that I was used to, but I was not alone in juggling work and home. So, I took heart that my friends were in the same boat even though we didn’t connect as often.

I assumed things would settle down as the kids got older and more independent, but it didn’t happen. Instead, we faced health struggles in our home. Bad news crashed into my little world like a tidal wave and left our family clinging to each other. I no longer felt like I was in the same boat as my friends. No, I was floundering at sea now, clutching my family and struggling with pain that we chose not to share for a long time. Everything else faded away as I focused on my family.

My friendships were one of the first things set adrift. Good friendships take time and effort to maintain and I just didn’t have either of those anymore. It wasn’t a conscious choice, it just happened one tired decision after another.

Personal friendships became ,“Hey, how’s it going? We should get together sometime,” as we breezed by each other in the frozen food section. But I never followed through.

There were days I felt so drained that the sound of the phone ringing (yes, we still have a landline) filled me with dread. What were we up to tonight? Nothing. Did I want company? Nope. Sorry, I had no energy for small talk. No willpower to produce a fake smile.

Did I blame my friends for my drifting? Not at all. Some had their own struggles and possibly felt like I did. Some went out of their way to show up unexpectedly on my doorstep for coffee or send me texts. I treasured their unconditional love, but I couldn’t put mine into action.

When people around me experienced hard times, I didn’t reach out to share their sorrow. I couldn’t spend time dwelling on their needs because I barely had strength for mine. Offering them a Facebook *hug* and scrolling on was the best I could manage. Anything more than that would break my fragile state.

I avoided extra stress so much that I ignored the news. Tragedies around the world were more than I could bear, so I scrolled on without clicking on breaking news stories. I needed to cocoon with my family, so I became ignorant.

I stopped serving in our church. Didn’t even sign up for the traditional secret prayer sister exchange. I slid from an active volunteer to a pew warmer.

I didn’t know when I would ever find energy or compassion again for those outside my home.

This carried on for over a year before my cocoon cracked open. 

I slowly became aware of women around me struggling and realized that they couldn’t maintain their friendships during their darkest moments, either. Many women who were battling health issues, relationship struggles, or grief must have also let friendships slide. I couldn’t be the only one.

Finally, relief from that nagging guilt

Then, walking by the local coffee shop the other week, I spotted two old friends chatting over coffee. I didn’t expect such strong feelings, but suddenly I wanted that again. Maybe I was ready to dust off a neglected friendship and do more than just survive. I wanted back in the boat.

I can’t bear anyone’s burdens yet, but I can start with coffee.

So, if this is your story, too, don’t beat yourself up. One day you will be ready. One day you will want to put the effort in again.

Until then, I lift my cup to you.

Tanya Teichroeb

Tanya is a wife to a wonderful man and mother to three precious children in northern British Columbia. Tanya is learning to look for the good in the hardships and the beauty in sharing her experiences. In her spare time Tanya enjoys coffee, reading, gardening, and silence. You can follow her at https://www.facebook.com/TeensandCoffeeBeansbyTanyaTeichroeb/

Dear Friend, I Don’t Want To Lose You

In: Friendship
Two women smiling, color photo

I’m sorry I don’t text you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t call you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t check in to see how you are. I’m sorry this friendship can feel one-sided at times. I’m sorry I’m so distant. The truth is I’m struggling. I’m struggling with life. I’m struggling with finances. I’m struggling with trying to please everyone and do everything. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it The problem is I try to please everyone—everyone who doesn’t matter. My problem is I’ve gotten so content with our friendship that I know you’ll...

Keep Reading

Not All Friendships Are Meant for Forever

In: Friendship
Sad woman looking at phone

There are friends for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. When we embark on a friendship, we have high hopes that those beginning seeds will blossom into forever. But the time and nurturing required of that kind of friendship is reserved for a few, special people who mesh into our souls and lives seamlessly year after year. There are reasons friendships are short-lived, and those are often obvious. Maybe it was to fulfill a need for you—whether physically or emotionally. These relationships are short, usually sweet, and the ending comes as swiftly as it began.  RELATED: Our Friendship Was...

Keep Reading

This House is Far From Perfect, But its Doors Are Always Open

In: Friendship, Living
Partially painted wall, color photo

This is my kitchen and dining area in all its unfinished glory. Just one project of many that I don’t have much time to work on but am working away at, little by little. I’m tempted to feel embarrassed about it and not want people to see it. However, I also want to regularly invite people into my home, and I believe hospitality is very important no matter what the state of your home is. I’ve decided I won’t let a messy house, dog hair, or unfinished projects keep me from having people over. Because it’s not about the house...

Keep Reading

I Want to Be a Friend Who Listens

In: Friendship, Living
A group of friends smiling at the camera, color photo

“So then, the kids were so out of sorts since they had stayed up late, that I just totally lost it and . . .” “Oh my gosh, I know! Mine were the same way Saturday night! Everybody was crying and . . .” And no one was able to finish their story. Sound familiar? As a person who likes to talk, a lot, I’m guilty of this conversation style. I get stuck in my own head, and I fail to listen. When a friend is telling a story, I immediately have the thought, “Yes! Me too! Same here!” and...

Keep Reading

Some Friendships Aren’t Meant to Last Forever

In: Friendship
Women walking together

Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold. As a young girl, I remember hearing this song and not truly understanding what it meant at the time. As an adult, I see the value in it. True friendships, especially for women, are priceless and worth more than any amount of silver or gold. We are bonded, like a family or community. The friendships we have as children and the friendships we gain as we get older are not the same. Some of the best relationships in my life are with my childhood friends....

Keep Reading

Can You Be a Gap Filler?

In: Friendship, Motherhood
two women talking with coffee cups in hands

When my sister-in-law had her first baby, feelings of jealousy and anger rose to the surface and caught me off guard. As a mother of four, I expected to feel only happiness for her as she became a mother. But, while I did feel happy for her, I didn’t expect the raw emotions of a year prior, when we welcomed our twins, to bubble to the surface.  I felt jealous her husband had four months of paid leave. My husband had none with any of our four children. I felt jealous that she had a village. Her parents, my in-laws,...

Keep Reading

Find the People Who Will Root for You

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Empty sports field, color photo

My son participated in tryouts out for a new travel soccer team at the end of a recreational fall soccer season one chilly evening in November. He has been playing recreational soccer since he was three years old when we started with the local club. He has been asking about joining a travel team since kindergarten. In recent seasons, I watched him struggle in the recreational league. I watched him wanting a little bit more in the sport as he developed his passion—he was ready to grow.  We knew he loved soccer, and it was something he had always wanted...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

What If the Woman Who Seems to Have It All Actually Admires You?

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood

I’ve known her for a long time, and as long as I’ve known her, she’s always been beautiful. Beautiful on the inside and even more beautiful on the outside. Her makeup is perfectly done, her hair with not a strand out of place. And her clothes? Chic. She is well put together, always in vogue. While I have recycled the same clothes for the past five years, she is on point with the latest trends. She can even rock a pair of sweatpants. Her pictures on Facebook and Instagram posts confirm this as well. (She also has a successful career,...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime