I was on a group text earlier this week with my girlfriends back in Los Angeles (actually one of them moved to Phoenix the same week we moved to Austin). We were somewhere between chatting about pregnancy weight gain and the latest lice outbreak at someone's preschool when one of my friend's mentioned that National Margarita Day had reminded her of me-- the nicest compliment I could ever hope to receive, by the way-- which led us down the rabbit hole of our happy hour meet ups pre-kids. Figaro's on Vermont! The mexi-tini's at Mexicali on Ventura! (That time mexi-tinis were followed up by shopping for lots of things we didn't need next door at the Gap.) In the beginning the topics of conversation were often the guys we were dating or our latest job or career evolution. Then they evolved to husbands and vacations and here we were many years later discussing over text pregnancy and everyone's most feared parasite. In so many ways, I feel like that perfectly describes friendship, post-motherhood, though. There are jobs and preschool drop-offs and ballet classes and swim lessons and meals to be made and husbands to be paid attention to and, at least for this season of life, friendships take on a different form. I feel really fortunate to have friends that have known me pre-husband and pre-kids that I can pick back up with over text and not have to feel guilty that we don't talk on the phone for extended lengths of time or make time for a weekly happy hour. I think that you do what you can, when you can and you don't feel guilty about it. It doesn't make you a bad friend, it's just motherhood. The truth is there are just not always enough hours in the day and this baby is going to be three in April and it goes by too fast. To make friendships in this season of life really interesting, we recently moved halfway across the country. Text conversations, visits to LA, and our annual family vacation extravaganza are wonderful and so very special, but you kind of need friends that live in the same city as you, too. People that can come over with the kids for a glass of wine when your husband is out of town or meet you at the park last minute for a play date. Friends that you can text and ask for swim instructor recommendations or a good sushi spot when yours doesn't have reservations. There's a difference between the friends that have known you for a decade and been a part of so much of your life and new friendships that you are just beginning to create likely based largely on the fact that you wither have kids the same age, mutual friends, or live in the same neighborhood, but I think those relationships just have to be given time to evolve. There are a couple of gals here in Austin that I knew just prior to moving to LA that I have been able to keep up with throughout the years and have welcomed me back in the form of book club invitations and play dates, and for that I am so forever grateful. It's been a crazy whirlwind of an eight months since we left LA, but those new (and old) friendships feel like roots are beginning to find their way here.
How have you made new friends? I have found moms groups, local parks, and kids activities are a great way to meet people. You could also host a book club and ask everyone to bring a new friend along with them. My closest friends in Los Angeles were made at the church that I was a part of, so that or volunteer work is always a great way to meet people, too!
For now, can we all agree to ditch the friendship guilt and let our best be good enough? Be sure to check out these other posts on friendship from Emily || Cyd || Alex || Erin
(We'll be back next Friday with another round of Weeknight Meal Plan!)