Life is so crazy busy sometimes it’s hard to just sit back and look around and not feel overwhelmed.
I feel, especially now that my life kind of has some rhythm and order to it, that i’m not being a good daughter, a good friend, a good sister, and especially a good mother. It’s been difficult to find the balance of keeping my sanity while also trying to please those around me so they don’t think i’ve forgotten about them or don’t care about them. I’ve found a love in friends who took the time to call and check up on me and say, “Hey, I know shit’s tough, just seeing how you’re doing with it all.” I’ve also found some friends who didn’t even ask about anything going on with Lacy or school or life. They saw I had a kid always making an appearance in my Snapchats or Instagram and chose to not ask. They thought that I should have called them and informed them of the situation! They assumed I didn’t care about them in turn and were personally hurt I didn’t involve them in this big change in my life.
This happened recently to me with a friend from back in Philly and it’s made me think a little of how I now manage this situation with all my friends and family as I move forward. I never ever want my friends to feel as if they don’t mean the world to me. Just because we don’t talk as much or we don’t see each other, doesn’t mean that doesn’t weigh heavy on me or make me yearn for the carefree life I had before. It just means I have shit going on. I have a little girl to figure out, teach, care for, and raise. Most of the time don’t have the disposable income necessary for a sitter. I don’t want my parents to have Lacy 5 nights out of the week so I can go out and party. I already feel guilty for having Lacy in daycare 3-4 days a week while i’m home-but without that, I would never get my schoolwork done! On the 4 nights a week I don’t work, I like to be home with Lacy. It gives us an opportunity to cook dinner together, read books before bed, and have a normal night at home. Those are the types of nights and things she needs so that she knows that a comfortable life is attainable and something she can have as opposed to the chaos she had the first 3 years.
Her needs have been my top priority and in some ways, I can definitely see how i’ve let my friends sit on the sidelines as I figure it out. I sometimes have a hard time letting people in and defensively think I can control everything. That sometimes has led me to my ruin. So while i’m trying to do it all and stressing myself out to the point of no return, I could have just taken a few minutes and called up a friend and said, “Hey…this is what’s going on. Let’s talk.”
It’s a double edged sword and in the beginning things were so crazy and there was so much happening in my family that it was sometimes very difficult to get through a day. Looking back, I wish I would have occasionally calmed down and asked for help. Maybe taken a few more deep breaths and allowed my friends to be my friends instead of thinking I can handle everything by myself.
So now that the system is worked out and I realized my flaws and found a peace in some people not understanding the situation I am in with Lacy…how do I balance it all?
I’ve always said that this is not how I imagined myself living my life. Raising someone else’s child…by myself. I always thought i’d have someone to help me. We could tag team this life and raise good kids together.
And then Lacy shows up.
The drama of her and her mother’s situation allowed me to forget about my personal drama and dive headfirst into getting them on track…and in turn, getting myself back on track as well. I needed something to slap me across the face and tell me to wake up. My success depended on her success…so I better get my shit together.
It was a good diversion until Lacy was in bed.
It’s 9pm on a Friday. All my friends are out having fun…and i’m sitting on my couch alone.
Loneliness has probably been the toughest part of this experience. I’m happy to say i’ve got out of the constant sadness of “poor me” bullshit and found ways to take my time after 9pm and do other things. I make sure my place is clean, because it’s useless cleaning a house with a toddler running circles around you. Much to some people’s amusement, I began crocheting-it keeps me off my phone and allows my mind to just relax. I have some awesome friends that come over and just watch movies or sit around and keep me company. Sometimes I do homework, but usually by that time of the day, I just need a little break from the day. Sometimes I even go to bed early because I am always tired!
But in all reality….I have to allow my friends to be my companion sometimes. I have to make the effort just as much as them while life is happening. Isn’t that what friends are for…..to help us when shit gets real?
I’ve found a good place in my “time after 9”. I’ve found a solace in the alone time and am thankful for the few minutes a day I get to just relax by myself.
As far as my friendships….I’m thankful for them all. The ones who understand the situation and choose to stick around and love me anyway….and even the ones who don’t understand and have taken my absence in their life personally. To be honest, if roles were reversed i’d probably feel the same way. The mindset of “…well they just decided to take care of this kid and they can’t even pick up the phone to call every once in awhile!?” is probably something the old me before Lacy would have said in a snotty, stuck-up way.
But again, i’ve had to swallow my pride and my words and look back at how I viewed my friends and family who all started to get married and have kids when I was still single and partying and being crazy. I thought very differently back then and my priorities and future have completely changed.
Beyond all of this i’ve realized….I have so much to learn. And that in itself, is overwhelming to think about.I truly hope I can continue to be a good friend and have great friends. I hope that we all find an understanding of how life works…that we may get busy and life gets nuts, we may not talk as much as before, but when we do it’s like we never skipped a beat and pick up right where we left off. I hope that the people I call friends and family know that I love them more with each passing day just because they choose to stick around and take my bullshit and love me beyond it all.