I’m Not A Good Friend


I’m not a good friend. And I’m not too proud to admit that.

Before I had kids, I was a great friend. (If I do say so myself.) I was thoughtful and remembered birthdays. I celebrated my friends’ successes. I brought chocolate and flowers when they were having a bad day. When something small reminded me of a specific friend, I’d pick it up and deliver it as a little “thinking of you” gift. 

And then I became a mom.

I told myself that my life wouldn’t change once my daughter came along. But we all know that’s impossible. My brain now had another human to care for and her needs to anticipate.

I vividly remember, during a very sleep deprived state, telling a friend “I’m not a good friend right now. And I think I’m okay with that.” 

For many months after joining the ranks of parenthood, I felt guilty that I couldn’t remember friends’ birthdays or their moments that deserved celebrating. (I mean, I couldn’t remember my own first name either but that’s another story.)

In the midst of the newborn fog, a new friend reached out and had me over for lunch. She totally pampered me with a delicious meal on a peaceful porch. At the time, she was single and saw my desperation for connection and took action. I felt bad that I couldn’t reciprocate. I felt completely empty. I had little to give in return.

And then I realized: that was okay. I needed to give myself permission to release the pressure I’d placed on myself, and just be a good mom and a good wife.

I’m now eight and a half years into parenthood, our family has continued to expand, and my friendships have ebbed and flowed. I’ve found new ways to care for friends. Sometimes that looks like dropping off an iced coffee or taking their kids. It may look like a quick text sent after Facebook alerts me to their birthday.

It’s not a lot. And that’s okay.

Do you ever struggle with being a good friend?

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Kate Rhea
Kate is a self proclaimed news geek who has worked in radio, on the air and behind the scenes, for the last 17 years. She and her husband moved to Columbia in 2011 with the intent of staying just five years...but they never ended up leaving. Originally from upstate NY, Kate has also lived in Chattanooga and Los Angeles. (Notice the theme? She moved away from the snow and never wants to deal with it again.) Kate stays home with her three children and homeschools the oldest two. Her work from home gig includes editing audio for a radio program that airs worldwide. She is active in her church, is passionate about orphan care and will never turn down chocolate. When stressed, you can find her baking or crafting while singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack.


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