This past weekend I turned 35. I celebrated by going to get a massage (aka, a few hours of much-needed alone time), and then opened presents at home, with my husband and kids, and ate some delicious cake.
It was nothing like the birthday celebrations I had a decade ago. In my mid-20s, I’d go out and party with my friends until the next morning. Back when we didn’t know what hangovers were and didn’t have preschool to pay for.
These days I prefer quiet celebrations at home. This is just who I am now. I’m busy raising tiny humans all day, every day. And I scavenge what little quiet time I can get for myself.
This is why I don’t make new friends (aside my awkwardness and the fact that making mom friends sucks in general). There just isn’t any time for new relationships in my life. I struggle with keeping up with the friends I already have.
I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve told people we should hang out — and then never followed through because I’m terrible at keeping plans. But my kids are 3 and 5, and I’m exhausted all of the time.
My favorite way to be “social” these days is sitting on the couch, connecting with friends via text or Facebook. It gives me the flexibility I need to be there for my kids and still carry on some semblance of a conversation.
And I don’t have to put on pants. Everybody wins.
I love my friends. They are my family that I’ve chosen over the years. These are people who’ve been part of my life through thick and thin. I treasure them, but even they take a back seat when it comes to putting my family and, yes, even myself first.
So whether I meet a mom at the park or through the PTA, I already know it’s not likely that we’re going to be friends. There is only so much of me to go around, and as far as emotional investments are concerned, I’m already tapped out.
You want to go out for margaritas on a school night? Well, I’m doing homework and reading then making dinner and, at some point, I’ll need to finish the work that didn’t get done during the day.
Or a Friday night? Can’t, because my husband and I are paying way too much money for a babysitter just so we can go out and get a few hours alone, without our kids talking over us.
Want to go out on a weekend? Well, that’s when my husband’s home and I use the time I can sneak away to not have to talk to anyone for as long as possible. So turns out that won’t work well for me, either.
It’s very possible that when my kids start sleeping on their own through the night and I get some more sleep, I will have more time and more energy for new friendships. But in the meantime, my life is centered around trying to be a good mom and an okay wife (sorry, babe) and I take the moments of silence I can get somewhere in between and hoard it for my damn self.
So if you want to be friends, you can text me any time. Just know that I probably won’t have any time to hang out in person for the next decade or so.
Unless you want to go to the movies, where neither of us has to talk for a few hours, in which case we can probably work something out.