I can vividly remember the months before I had my first baby, and how I felt when my two best friends also had their babies. They had their boys first, and just like that, overnight, they fell into the newborn hole ( a.k.a. the parent hole) (a.k.a will this hole ever end?). It was all of our firsts, and I remember thinking in the last month “what the heck!”. We had gone through our entire 9 months together texting, calling and anticipating life with our first babies. Now they had theirs and it had been 2+ weeks since I had heard from them.
I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand how hard it is to do simple things like pick up your phone with kids screaming in the background. And I didn’t realize how real the concept of ‘mom brain’ is when you read a text and respond in your head, but forget to actually send the text back. The energy that it takes to bring a grumpy kid out is sometimes more than I have in me late in the afternoon. Naps, eating schedules, and bad attitudes are all big decision factors on if you can make a lunch or playdate and sometimes those interrupt your plans hours or minutes before. I fell into my own newborn hole with each of my kids, and am very guilty of not answering, not calling, not texting, disappearing for weeks on end.
I get it now.
That being said, over the past 2.5 years I have drastically changed my expectations, given more grace and asked for more forgiveness.
Here are 7 things that I don’t care about anymore since becoming a mom.
If you don’t pick up the phone when I call
I’m probably calling because I’m running a quick errand, the stars aligned and I don’t have any kids in my car. Or both of my kids somehow decided to fall asleep at the same time and I have 15 mintues. There is a good chance that while we are on the phone one of them will wake up and there will almost always be screaming if we are on the phone for longer than 30 minutes.
So, if you don’t pick up, I get it. Know that I miss your voice and I still want to stay in touch, and if text is the easiest in this stage of our life, lets text, but never feel like you have to pick up. Let me go to voicemail and I will gladly leave a 2 minute long message with all that is going on in my life, only so you can call back and leave me a voicemail in return.
If it takes you a week or more to text me back
I am horrible at texts. I tend to read them and get distracted by kids and forget to text back. It’s not against you, I want to respond and usually do in my head but forget to do the actual typing. Eventually I will get back to you, and if you really need an answer text me again. On the flip side if you are too busy to text or just needing some quiet time away from your phone and computer, i get it. Ignore my texts for a week and when you have the time and brain energy pick up your phone and text me back – I’ll still be here.
If you cancel our plans
Since having kids, all plans are flexible. You don’t need an excuse or explain why you are canceling. Your kids sick, you’re sick, sleeping, you’re just too dang tired to get everyone dressed and get in the car is a good enough excuse for me. You can keep saying no and canceling, I promise I won’t stop inviting you and when our chaotic mom lives match, we will meet up and it will be like no time has passed. I’d rather you cancel on me than let our meetup add more stress on your already busy day.
If you are running 20+ minutes late, or don’t show up to our lunch date
Don’t drive faster or skip changing a diaper because you are afraid I will be upset I have to sit an extra 20 minutes at a restaurant. If we are doing a meet up without kids, I promise I enjoy the quiet and sitting by myself.. If we have kids in tow, I’ll let you know if I have to leave earlier or can’t wait, but you take care of you, without letting it stress you out. I’ll bring activities to keep my kids entertained and if I get hungry I might order food without you, but most likely I am running 15 minutes late too so promise to not be upset when I’m walking in after you.
If you wear sweatpants and no makeup to any of our playdates
I don’t care, I’ve never cared. Wear the same thing you wore last week, I won’t notice. Wear what your comfortable in, wear what you have time to put on, wear whatever is clean. Not only will I not judge, like I said, I probably won’t notice … and might be in matching sweatpants.
If your kid is throwing tantrums in public or at my house
Babies cry, toddlers thrown tantrums and I can promise you I’ve been there. Don’t be embarrassed if you are with me because if it’s not your kid, it will be mine. If you are in the grocery store and your kid is laid out on the floor screaming about how you wouldn’t let them have the pink juice from aisle 2, it doesn’t bother me.
If you want to throw a tantrum yourself
Sometimes I need to throw a tantrum and I won’t judge you if you need to also. Let’s vent about how hard it is, complain, cuss, yell it out, do what you need to feel better. I won’t think you love your kids any less, sometimes it just feels good to vent. It’s OK to come over in a sour mood. Not everything has to be rosy all the time, these are some of the most difficult, exhausting years physically and mentally. So come over, pour yourself a glass of wine and lets whine.
Next time you want to cancel our plans, not pick up my phone call or are running late for our playdate please do it guilt free, knowing that I get it. I’ve been there. It’s not that I don’t want to see you, but I know that we are all in a little bit of survival mode right now. The best thing we can do for each other is offer grace and the option to cancel without cause.