To My Friends Who Became Mothers Before Me

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mothers-firstMother and baby via Shutterstock

To my seasoned, knowledgeable, forgiving best friends who jumped off the cliff into motherhood long before I did:

I’m sorry I ever uttered the words “I’m so tired” in your presence; I had no idea what tired really means.

I’m sorry I bought you that book about making homemade organic baby food. REALLY sorry.

I’m sorry I thought it was fun for my boyfriend and I to be your house guests when you were a few days from giving birth. What was I thinking?

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I’m sorry I called you crying about my single girl drama when you had babies and toddlers and husbands needing you 24/7. I know now that talking on the phone when you have small children is pure torture;  I don’t know how or why you made time to listen.

I’m sorry for not shutting up when you were sleep deprived. I didn’t know what it does to your attention span. I should have sat with you in silence and rubbed your feet.

I’m sorry for not bringing you food. I should have done your dishes. Or taken out your garbage. Or folded your laundry. I remember the day you made me lunch while you fed your toddler and made a cake. Are you human?

I’m sorry for not coming over more. We could have watched TV in our sweats after the kids were in bed. Why did I think you would want to meet me downtown for margaritas?

I’m sorry about my baby envy and for letting it get in the way of my ability to be fully present for you.

I’m sorry for being totally oblivious to your kids’ meal and nap schedules.

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Thank you for standing by me through my self-absorbed years while you wiped butts and scrubbed vomit and soothed screaming babies and forgot about yourself while I obsessed over totally meaningless things.

I wish I would have told you what an amazing job you were doing every day.

I am so truly grateful to (still) be your friend.

Related post: What Matters In a Friendship

Comments

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  1. says

    Perfect. I wish I had done more for my mommy friends before I was busy with my own. It’s amazing how much perspective is gained once you see things from the other side. Great stuff. Thank you.

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  2. Jessica says

    Hit a nerve! I used to view baby announcements as an annoyance, because it meant that my friend would no longer be fun or have anything in common with me. Not I have two beautiful boys and spend my days doing endless piles of laundry and trying to reassure myself that I still have an identity. And ALL of my closest friends are mommies. Thank you for articulating the feelings in my heart!

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  3. says

    My sister had children before I did and I cringe about all the parenting advice I tried to give her. Now I look back and see that she was really struggling. All I did was tell her “try this” and “try that” and of course I’d pop in for a drink before I headed off to the bar with my friends. She didn’t need parenting advice. She was doing an awesome job. What she needed was a friend, someone to stay home with her on a Saturday night. :( Flash forward five years and I remember practically begging my non-kid friends to come over for a visit. The Stay at Home Mom gig can be pretty lonely.

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  4. says

    I can, thankfully, say I never did any of this, except maybe the tired part…but I did come by that somewhat honestly being in a business that requires travel. A LOT if travel. But I would go to my friends’ and hold their babies while they took a shower. I went and took over their kitchens and did my most hated chore: by the dishes, then cooked enough food for days and cleaned it again.
    I sat vigil on Mother’s Day when my friend’s 4 month old underwent open heart surgery and got yelled at by a nurse for loving the sick baby in the next bed who had no one.
    I went on shopping sprees for baby clothes/toys. And I loved it.
    THESE are the things moms need! I wish If had someone to do that for me.

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