According to Facebook I have 450 friends. Want to
know how many I have seen this week? Three, but only because we had
a school meeting or ran into each other at drop-off. How many have
I talked to offline? Well, if you count texts as offline, three.
However if you mean actual conversations that lasted more than
seven words, zero.
There is a
comic that makes the rounds every few months on
Facebook. It depicts a bedraggled mother holding a naked and crying
infant, with work piled on her desk, dishes on her counter and a
toddler hanging off her leg. The caption is "Can I
call you back in five years?" That is the most
accurate description of motherhood I have ever seen.
I love my friends. I enjoy talking to them and
spending time with them. In fact, I think of them often, usually
very early in the morning or while driving to or from some activity
or appointment - during those 2-3 minutes a day where everything is
blissfully quiet. However 5 a.m. is not an appropriate time to meet
up for a drink and most people are not available for chats at
random times in the middle of the afternoon. I know, because I am
I used to be a really great friend. I sent cards for
birthdays, anniversaries and just because. I used to call and make
plans. Now, you're lucky if I like your status on Facebook or
answer an email in less than a month. Being a mom to small
children, a wife and a fledgling writer takes a lot of time and
energy. It's not that I don't want to be a friend too, it's just
that in order for me to be even a semi-okay mom, I don't have the
bandwidth for anything else.
Here is a great life example that shows how mothers of
small ones (or at least me) just can't hold anything more in our
brains than the day-to-day, million and one needs of our
We recently spent the day with my cousin at the arboretum.
She has one three-year-old and I had all four of my kids there. A
solo outing with four kids ages eight months to eight years
basically means I spend 90 percent of the day counting to four. Is
everyone here? *glances around* One, two, where is three? Anyone
seen three? Oh, there she is. Three and four. Then I repeat the
same thing every 3-5 minutes.
As we were leaving one garden for the next, my cousin got
frantic because she couldn't find number one - her son. Do you know
where he was? In the stroller she was pushing. We laughed. Five
minutes later, while leaving the next garden, it was my turn to
panic. Where was number three - my daughter? Oh my goodness. Where
had we lost number three? Was she still in the maze? Heart
pounding, I ran around while calling out to her. She leaned forward
in the stroller that I was pushing "Mom! I'm right
So basically I'm not me anymore. I'm five, or sometimes,
six people crammed into one brain. I need to think about my needs,
my family needs, work, the house and all of the kids. As much as I
love my friends there is just physically no room in my brain right
now or any quiet time in my life, to fit them in.
I'm sure 90 percent of them understand since they're
parents too. I'm just hoping that when I call them back in five
years they will remember who I am.
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.
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