To my wonderful friends without kids,

Know that I love you just as much as I did before I had the babe.

I know it can be irritating when I suddenly have to drop the call during a serious conversation because she’s suddenly begun climbing the stairs chasing the cat’s tail . . . again. I know it must be frustrating when there’s a crying terror in the background of every Skype call or that the only times you have me to yourself are during in-and-out conversations on my car phone.

In fact, I’m having trouble finishing writing this because she’s taken a liking to my computer. Stop. Pressing. The. Keys. lkjiuet kdf

I know a majority of my conversations with you involve her and the excitement I feel that she’s successfully eaten carrots without my having to force her. I know it doesn’t make sense that I’m super excited she didn’t break out when she tried peanut butter or I think it’s amazing that when I say, “Get your shoe,” she picks it up and brings it to me. Yes, I think it’s incredible that my one-year-old has the same intelligence as a dog, and sometimes I want to brag about the little pup.

I know it puts you in a tough position when you want to go out or host events. Sometimes, I will ask if it’s OK to bring her because I just can’t get a babysitter for everything. Also know that I will only ask to bring her to the bars and night clubs that are baby-friendly, so you know, like none of them.

Know that I want to see you and have one-on-one time, but sometimes I just can’t. And I know that puts you in a tough position because I also want you to know that I don’t want to stop being invited.

I know that’s unfair. It’s unfair to expect you to continuously invite me out even though 90 percent of the time, I just can’t. Whether it’s because I can’t get a babysitter or because I genuinely don’t want to because I’m so exhausted, know that it’s not you. I love you. At one time I will be able to again, and I’m so afraid you’ll stop inviting me.

Contrary to what it may seem like, I don’t want my daughter to be my only friend. I think she’s a super cool kid, but she doesn’t always get my Parks and Recreation or The Office references. I can’t talk about steamy Outlander got or who will die next on Game of Thrones. No, I don’t think our friendship is just based off of TV shows, but it’s these little things I enjoy—like every time you invite me to go somewhere.

Know that I care about what happens to you. Know that I care about that guy you’re seeing and the other one who didn’t call you back. I care about your new job and that you’re considering graduate school. I want to hear about your terrible roommate and the car you’re thinking about buying.

I know it’s selfish, but know that my life isn’t too busy for you, it’s just busy. I know it’s unfair to ask you to keep trying even though you won’t see me a majority of the time. I miss you, but I need you to work with me a little bit. I’m not ignoring you. I’m not obsessed with my daughter, even though I can’t believe she turned out to be so awesome. I’m just exhausted.

Please know that just because I have a kid doesn’t mean I think you should or that your life is less than mine. Just because we’re in the middle of different paths doesn’t mean one is better. It means mine is mine and yours is yours. It doesn’t mean your life is over because you don’t have one and it doesn’t mean mine is because I do. I love my life and I love yours, even if I just don’t have the energy to show it as much as you deserve.

Know that I love you. Yes, my stories of the babe chasing cats may get old to you or her growing a tooth or waking up at 2:00 a.m. can get annoying, but hearing you say, “Man, that sucks” means the world to me.

An exhausted mom who loves you

Originally published on the author’s blog 

Tierney Cashman

I am a mother, wife, teacher, and part-time blogger where I reminisce about the various options you have as a mom, and how you will never choose the right one. To someone, you are a horrible mom, but it’s OK, because apparently I am, too. Find me on Facebook and Instagram