I desire friendship was what I wrote in my journal. The tears flowed and I felt stupid. I had mom grief.
What a selfish thing to write, I thought. I have friends.
I mean, I had friends.
Now, I have relationships. Work relationships, Facebook and Instagram relationships–relationships with moms I used to be super-close with and now I just say “hi” to at school events.
And then I realized what was missing.
- I missed calling a friend or two and asking if we could have a play date because I needed friendship and they had time.
- I missed when our families would hang out in chaos on a weekend with the twenty-plus kids between us. Before ballgames, birthday parties, and chauffeuring kids to their social events took over.
- I missed talking on the phone to other moms while folding laundry, cooking supper, or picking up the same toys, repeatedly.
- I missed the weekends hubby and I spent with other couples to learn how to make our marriages and families better for the years to come.
Because now the years-to-come-years are here.
When life is crazy-busy and the time to spend with your kids and partner is now.
Or it’s never.
It’s when you invest in family with the only time you have.
Like listening to the sobbing, homesick college kid who calls at a-not-good-time because you’re getting the science fair poster together for the elementary kid who waited until the last minute to do their experiment and now it’s way past their bedtime. That’s not to mention the younger sib who’s been asking “where’s the toothpaste?” for ten minutes at the top of the stairs while you’re on the phone and the high schooler’s been on the video game forever because no one has checked on him.
Because you’re raising your family–not just taking Insta-pics. Doing the best you can while life speeds by.
But it also means spending hours on the phone with the play-date friend whose marriage is falling apart.
It’s the late night on your other friend’s front-porch because you can’t handle your teen, you feel like a failure, and you need someone to talk to.
It’s taking care of her kids while her husband is in the hospital, again, tucking them in, praying with them, and reassuring them that their dad’s going to be okay.
It’s the summer your college kid’s forever friends get married.
It’s the meals you make when your teen asks if he can bring friends home, and there’s really only macaroni and cheese in the pantry.
It’s telling yourself it’s okay when your Facebook friends are vacationing with other families because this is one of your last vacations with teens at home.
You have friends, just not the way you did when life was simpler.
And right now, being a mom can be lonely.
In just a few years, those friends will come around again. You’ll get together and talk about your kids, grandkids, or how you can’t believe you’re this age. You’ll talk about your weight gain and you’ll cry with each other at the funeral of your parents.
Friendships grief is just one kind of mom-grief at this stage of life. When your kids aren’t little anymore and you realize your years of family life is nearing it’s end.
It’s mom-grief. Life-grief. Friendship-grief all rolled in one.
And some days, you just have to sit and cry over it all.