friends

I’m starting to think that I might not be good at making friends anymore. We had two parties to go to this weekend, both of which involved lots of new people, and I really didn’t feel like talking to any of them.
Maybe it’s not that I’m not good at making friends, but I just don’t want any new ones.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m losing track of people. I made a vow this year that I would try to have lunch with a friend at least once a month, and I’m not sure that I’m keeping it, so far.

I find it really hard to balance work and parenthood and being a good friend. Adding new people will surely only make me feel guiltier.

Part of my problem is that I used to see a lot of my work-friends at meetings, but as I’ve moved into more of a statewide job, I don’t have as much time to go to meetings locally as I once did. I mean, hell, this is the first post I’ve put up in a week–I don’t even have time to blog any more! Another part of the problem is that most of my friends are as busy as I am.

Sometimes, I wonder what it will be like, when the kids are grown enough that every day isn’t a rush to pick them up from school, to get home and do homework, eat dinner, have some quality family time. Will I then be able to go out to a casual dinner with friends, the kind that right now takes a month of planning to arrange?

Sometimes I think I should just work harder at maintaining my friendships. After all, how will I have friends left to have casual dinners with, if I’m not working hard to cultivate those friendships now?

How do you keep your friendships going, in the face of all the other competing pressures?

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June 22, 2008. random other things.

17 Comments

  1. Andy replied:

    It’s really hard. Personally, I feel like I hardly have time for old friends, let alone new ones.

  2. Procrastamom replied:

    I’m a terrible friend. I’m kind of phone-phobic after using one so much at work, I really don’t want to be on the phone at all during my off hours. So, I never call anyone. I wish all my close friends had a blog, because at least I could keep up with their lives that way.

  3. alala replied:

    Yeah, I tend to be sort of socially awkward anyway, and that, compounded by the language barrier, means I’ve made very few friends since moving to Germany. The friends I’ve had since before then are just very, very patient and don’t mind not hearing from me for months at a time. It helps that they nearly all have kids now too, and are as busy as I am.

  4. MetroDad replied:

    Might be harder with older kids but for me, playdates kill two birds with one stone.

  5. granolasusan replied:

    It is hard–partly, I try to combine with playdates, as Metrodad says, but that’s hard with my work schedule. Mostly, I guess, it’s that most of my friends are in similar situations so we don’t mind the time between contacts.

  6. Jody replied:

    A very long time ago, a good friend told me that he believed that there were three aspects to adulthood: work, family, and friends. He believed you could do any two well, but not all three at once. We were in our twenties then, and I think the unspoken take-away message was: there will be a season in our lives when our friendship will have to be on the back burner.

    I have to believe that it will only be for a season. And I hope that the foundation of friendship can weather the neglect. But it’s only a hope, not a promise.

    I wish I were better at drop-in/potluck dinners. But you know, when I look at my own family, most of their friendships when the kids were young were either casual “while we’re all at kids’ activities” friendships or gatherings with cousins/siblings.

    I guess it’s always a work-in-progress sort of thing.

  7. Anjali replied:

    I think it’s one of the hardest thing about parenthood…Keeping connected with friends. Unfortunately, the only way I can do it anymore is through blogging or Facebook. If I have a friend who doesn’t do much email, we lose touch almost immediately.

  8. Jennifer (ponderosa) replied:

    With 2 other couples we’ve arranged a kind of babysitting club, where one couple watches the kids of the other 2 couples, and then we rotate. We’ve agreed that we 3 are the only ones involved in the swap, that we will do a date night (5pm-8pm) only, and that kids watching movies & eating pizza is a-ok. And guess what? We can only find one night every SIX WEEKS when all three couples are free!

    I used to think I was a horrible friend but now I figure, it’s just that time of life. Sad because I keep meeting people I think I would really like, but have no time to get to know them.

  9. jo(e) replied:

    Making time for friends gets so much easier as the kids get older …..

  10. Jeff replied:

    I’ve always had a real strict definition of a “friend” (to loosely quoute a song by my favorite band of all time, The Afghan Whigs). Therefore, I’ve never really been close to anyone other than my wife (aside from immediate family). I have never found anyone that I could relate to, shared interests with or who cared very much about my passions in life. So, as a result I spent a lot of time by my lonesome…best thing that never happened to me was the whole circle of adolesent friends thing. Kept me out of a ton of trouble.

    In short, friends are vastly overrated.

  11. Ashley M. replied:

    I have a hard time in general opening up to total strangers and tend to stick with the people I know. Fortunately for me, most of my friends have email so that I can check in with them fairly regularly. One of my friends is good about calling, which makes it easier on me. I’m a phone-a-phobe and generally don’t even call family.

  12. Jessica replied:

    Ack…I’m the last person to be sharing advice on this matter….I have felt lately that I’ve let a few friendships go too long without maintenance.

    What I have been trying to do lately, though, is send a quick e-mail or phone call – just to check in and see how things are going – to stay connected, etc. I’ve been thinking more and more about dropping handwritten cards in the mail to a few friends who I particularly miss…..just to let them know they are never far from my thoughts.

    I’m hoping, as well, that I will soon be able to offer some flexibility in terms of actual get togethers – I’ve been doing this on occasion but there are one or two friends who I feel I haven’t seen in a long, long while. Need to make a date.

  13. Velma replied:

    I’m the same way, but I’ve come to peace with it. As the kids get older, I’m finding a little more time to meet up with friends, or even just talk on the phone. It’s still nowhere near the level of social interaction I had before kids, but most of my friends have kids themselves and they get it. I think the trick is to make that jump once you actually have the free time, not worry about it now while there is nothing you can do about it. 🙂

  14. TEOM replied:

    I make regular hiking dates with my friends – that way we both accomplish two things at once – maintaining the friendship and the fitness level.

  15. Kimberly replied:

    Yeah….I find that anymore my friends can be found online. Which is great. Except when you want to actually go to a movie or have lunch or need someone to bring you tissues and ice cream….The internet really is a double edged sword.

  16. Library Lady replied:

    It’s hard. Truthfully, the Man and I are not social butterflies anyway, and we have a limited number of people we really give a damn about anyway.

    I just came back from seeing my dearest friend. Sadly, we often know more about each others lives from our blogs than anything else. And yet, when we do get together each year we pick up as if we’d never been apart.

    I think you outgrow a lot of friends at a lot of stages. And having kids makes it really complicated. But the true friends are there, no matter what.

  17. MommyWithAttitude replied:

    This is really hard and especially because our friends are not on our timelines — we can’t all be pregnant or have young kids or have grown kids, etc. at the same time, so everybody has their own set of constraints that everyone else can’t necessarily relate to and… Yes, really hard!

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