Oh my gosh — we forgot to bring a dish, or a dessert, or even politely OFFER to bring something. Anything! This was the conversation my husband and I had this past Thursday evening as we were unloading 4 excited little kids out of the minivan at the home of friends from church. The kids were already out of their seats and heading towards the door. A bit too late to pile everyone back in the van and head to the store to grab something. And to make matters worse, we weren’t walking in the door with empty hands. No, we were carrying in empty containers because this particular couple had also recently provided the snack for the youth group at church (my husband is the director). I had put the dishes in the van a few days earlier, knowing we would be seeing them soon and not wanting to forget them during our (inevitable) mad rush to get out the door in time for dinner. When we got inside, we profusely apologized to our host, who graciously said it was no big deal and they had plenty of food and were happy to have us over, but we still felt horrible. They have 2 grown children and we were invading their home with 4 little kids….with NO food!
I used to feel organized, like I had it “all together” but it seems like, at least for now, that’s no longer my life.
It was only a few weeks prior to the dinner I mentioned above that I received a text from another member of church asking if I could bring her dish back to her on Sunday. Dish? I thought to myself. What is she talking about?! It literally took me at least 20 seconds to figure out what she was talking about. Before then I was thinking she’d texted the wrong person or just had me confused with someone else. Then it hit me….she had fixed the snack for our youth group like TWO MONTHS ago. I’d taken it home (she wasn’t at church that evening) figuring my kids would finish off the little bit that was left, then I’d wash it and get it back to her the following Sunday. Our main refrigerator was full that night when we got home from church, so I put it in our spare refrigerator in the basement. Well, I must have cleaned out our upstairs refrigerator shortly after that, leaving plenty of room in the main refrigerator. So, of course, there was no need for that basement refrigerator for food storage and I forgot it down there. Literally forgot it. After the text I went down to the basement and sure enough, there it was. Mold and all. You guys, I felt HORRIBLE, mortified! I’d had her casserole dish for weeks! She probably feared I’d never give it back! When I saw her at church that Sunday (it so happened we had nursery together that week) I apologized again and she said, really, it’s no big deal. I only had to borrow my mom’s’ dish once or twice. You GUYS – oh my goodness, I truly felt horrible! (But also laughed at myself and the mess I’ve become!) I also mentioned that she shouldn’t feel bad in the future to remind me sooner.
Then there’s the mom’s group I signed up for at the end of August. I fully intended to start attending again. I used to attend regularly when I just had 1 baby,then semi-regularly once the second baby came along……and then I dropped off the face of the earth when babies 3 and 4 came along. But as the year started back up again, I thought to myself that my kids would like the playtime with other kids and I’d really like some friends in my life again. So I went to the orientation day. I signed up, talked to a few moms, I was SO ready to start going again. There have been 2 meetings since it started and I haven’t made it to one yet. I’m either busy with writing deadlines, the kids have other activities, or I just have other pressing needs as a wife/mom, like going to the grocery store or folding the 6 loads of laundry I just washed.
So I’ve reached this point in life where I feel like, try as I might, and no matter how much I’d like to be a good friend and be social outside of my home, (besides being social through blogging, which I can do late in the evening once the kids are in bed), it’s just TOUGH. I can’t schedule a lot of playdates and a night out with a gal pal is even less frequent. I have to prioritize family, and right now, that doesn’t leave time for much else.
But friends, I haven’t forgotten about you. And, I promise I’m not a rude, space cadet who can’t keep track of playdates or casserole dishes. (Okay, well maybe I am, but I don’t MEAN to be!) Life for me right now is just chaotic. I think about you while I’m rocking the baby to sleep or driving the kids to the library and I wonder how you’re doing and miss hanging out with you. I still care about you and I hope you know that. I’m sorry I’m not a great friend right now. If I can’t make it to your Pampered Chef party, miss your girl’s night out, or forget your casserole dish, it’s not because I don’t care. I’m just a mom trying to take care of her family first. Thank you for forgiving me when my friendship comes up short!
If you’re a mom who’s also feeling like a failure in the friend department right now, know you aren’t alone! I’m over here forgetting to send birthday cards and missing appointments. I’m over here showing up empty handing, forgetting casserole dishes, or not even showing up at all. It will be okay. One day we will be better friends again!
Or maybe you’re on the other end of things and feel like your mom friend doesn’t care about you. Chance are, she does. She just busy being mom and/or wife. Love her still. Show her you’re there still. I promise, she’ll appreciate it!