Dear Friends, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I don't call or text. I'm sorry I don't go to every event you invite me to on Facebook. Know this: I want to do all of those things. You're important to me. The reality of my life as a single mother is that socializing takes a back-burner to laundry, messes, runny noses, school involvement, cooking healthy meals, snuggling on the couch when he's sick, trips to Disney, doctor appointments, and whatever I do for myself when I can...like sleep, eat and bathe.
I'm still me. Vibrant, fun-loving, creative, adventurous, hopeful, caring, and happy. I still enjoy dinners out, drinks at the local, movies, museums, dressing up...I still want and NEED to have a life. When one first gives birth too a tiny human you all come out in droves to the little guy/gal. I should have charged admission to cover the hospital bills. But some of my friends have slipped away. 4 years later and I just want to remind you...I don't have an infectious disease or anything...I have just lost track of time. Literally. I have no idea what day it is and the only reason I know the time of day is because I'm counting down to bedtime. I am sorry.
I'm sorry that I may not reach out to you first, or be the one to initiate communication. Motherhood has me feeling a bit insecure. To be real: I've tried to reach out, but your life is moving forward and full and I'm over here like, 'I hope they aren't forgetting about me.' I'm sorry I don't just pop up at events. I feel a bit awkward just showing up alone. I'm sorry I don't invite you over all the time. I just assume you don't want to spend time when my child is here, because you've never offered to before. I'm sorry I am a creature of habit and go to the same places all the time or don't really do new and crowded. Motherhood has also given me some anxiety and I just want to be where I feel comfortable and safe. I apologize for letting life get the better of me sometimes, but you are all the key to helping me through it. Remember, I don't have a significant other here to help clean up the messes, cook the meals, dress the kid or pack the lunch...and I'm OK with that. BUT I do need friends like you to remind me that I am more than just the cleaner of play doh, repair engineer of toys and kisser of playground boo-boos.
Can I give you some tips on how to help a friend out? Call me. Text me. Offer to meet up with us for dinner...WITH the kiddo. Come over to our house. You may end up playing light sabers or legos or watching something animated but we promise you'll have fun and more importantly, we won't lose our connection to one another. You may see a glimpse of what I do everyday. You will witness the reason for my unintentional isolation. I need friends. I need connections to people. I need to feel like a priority to someone else sometimes. I need you to know I am lonely without you. Please, I'm practically begging you to get involved in my life. Pester me. Force me to stop for a second and connect with you. And for goodness sake, if I actually text or call or PM you...RESPOND. Recognize that as the call for help. Help to feel connected, feel relevant and feel human.
At the end of the day, I am happy to be single. I am happy to be a mother. I'm not whole without my friends.
Your Single Mom Friend
PS: When the shit hit the fan, my soul sisters and closest friends gathered around and helped me through it all. For that I am eternally grateful. I couldn't survive without the compassion and thoughtfulness of all of you. You know who you are and since we are really more like family...most of this letter doesn't apply, but just know you're my ride or die and I love you.