Friday, May 5, 2017

I'm A Terrible Friend When My Friends Have New Babies

When my friends have babies, I absolutely fail as a friend.  I can have good intentions for ten solid months and then that announcement text comes through and I am a total flop.

You're probably assuming it's because I want to be a mother and am not a mother and I have those issues to contend with when those announcements go out.

And at this age, maybe a little.

But the real issue is that my anxiety takes over my body in weird ways sometimes.  And as is often the case in my life, it all goes back to me not wanting to ever be a burden.

Have you ever played double Dutch jump rope?  Where two kids stand on either end of the long jump rope swinging it around and around and two more kids have to coordinate their rhythm to jump in the middle?  

Or maybe you've never played but surely you've observed this activity at some point in your life {if not, find a video online}.

Anyway, when the second kid is getting ready to jump in the middle, with two kids swinging the rope and another kid already jumping, that kid often does this little move to sort of will themselves into the rhythm and timing.  Like a lot of little false starts.

That's what I feel like.

I want to say congratulations and may I bring you dinner and would you like to talk because I'm often awake late when everyone else is asleep and how are you feeling.  I want to do and say and be all the things.

But I panic.  I start to text or call or reach out.  And then I delete it.  Over and over again.

I don't want to bug people.  I don't want to intrude.  I don't want to be one more person they feel like they need to talk to when all they really want is to close their eyes for five consecutive minutes.

Then, after I play this false start game for a few too many months, the gift I have already wrapped and waiting on me to just ask for an address, is now too small.  And I feel like it will be weird to reach out after a baby is already six or eight or 20 months old.  I feel embarrassed and guilty and like a terrible person.  

My heart is in it to win it.  But my mind is a beast that gets the best of me far too often.  It holds me back from being the kind of friend I want to be.  It holds me back from being the kind of person I want to be.  Sometimes the battle feels never-ending.

I'm working on this.  Because a person who cares as much as I do about everything should be able to send a gift.  It shouldn't be this hard.

{This doesn't end with baby announcements.  Last week I found a wrapped, monogrammed Christmas gift from at least five years ago and a wrapped, monogrammed wedding gift from at least seven years ago.  I also have not one but two baptism gifts from my Godsister's kids...both have long since outgrown these gifts.  All because I felt like I waited too long to send them and now they are still here...taking up space...making me feel guilty...and reminding me that even though I went through a lot of effort to show my friends love, they never knew, because it's all sitting here going to pot.}

My motto for this year is to Keep Moving Forward.  So I am going to find a way to make it up to Godsister, going to send the insanely belated wedding gift and hope she finds humor in it, and making a note that I have this Christmas gift ready to send come December.

I'm embarrassed.  But having this stuff here, reminding me of my failures, isn't healthy.

So today I am {sheepishly} going to keep moving forward.  


1 comment:

MCW said...

I once bought my friend monogrammed overall for her newborn - size 6-12 months. I kept forgetting to send them. He grew out of them before I sent and I took them to Goodwill. Oops.


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