Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Too Much Give

Do you ever feel like you are a terrible friend?

Like all of your friendships are people giving to you and you cannot give back?

Like you always have an excuse and even if it's a very valid excuse, it's still an excuse?

My life is hard.

While here on my blog, I'm more honest about that, IRL, I try to focus on the positive. I know it's hard. I know I have a lot on my plate, but it is what it is and it isn't going to change, so why dwell on it?  Muddle through, make the best of it and focus on the blessings.

I mean really, if all I ever do is complain, who is going to want to hang around me?

But it is hard and perhaps I'm doing too well at hiding it, perhaps I focus too much on the positive...

Because, sometimes I get overwhelmed and the stress of it all... the-full time, sole primary care giving of my children, the full-time job to support us, the upkeep of the house... makes me forgetful and as a result, unreliable.

I was supposed to watch a friend's children recently so she and her husband could go out for their anniversary.  She asked me about it over a month ago, and I apparently agreed, but she said nothing again until the week before when she posted on my facebook page asking if her son could bring a something the following weekend.  

I was truly puzzled. I had no clue to what she was referring.  I sent her a quick text, calling "Brain Burp" and asking for clarification.  That's when she told me about our agreement.

It did not ring a bell.  AT ALL. Which may have caused me to freak out a bit, but it wasn't a big deal because I hadn't inadvertently made other plans.  I could still honor my commitment. We laughed it off and she excused my forgetfulness, chalking it up to stress, but perhaps I made it seem like it would be an inconvenience.  I didn't intend to, but it's the only thing I can think of...

Later that day, I got a text from a coworker who had watched The Girl for me the previous week, letting me know that she'd just found lice on her daughter. I checked The Girl and sure enough, we were having a recurrence!  I was so distressed I couldn't even cry, but The Girl did...boy did she as I commenced combing and shampooing again.

Feeling like I couldn't win, I fired off a text to my friend telling her ~with a week's notice~ that The Girl had lice for the second time and she might want to come up with a Plan B since this was the second time in a month and we wouldn't be out of the woods yet the following weekend.

I heard nothing, so the night before I was to watch her children, I sent another text...still nothing. I never did here from her.  She never did confirm whether or not they were coming.

I let her down; she who is always willing to help me out.  The one time she asks me to do something for her, I bail.

Yes, my excuse is valid, but her silence tells me that its just another in a long line of excuses and perhaps she has reached the point where the friendship is, on her part, too much give with nothing in return. I get it.  In fact, I have been distancing myself from another friend who is unreliable and doesn't follow through.  I feel that right now, my life is so busy and my free time so limited, I want to spend it with people who I know will not cancel. 

It seems that with this friendship, the shoe is on the other foot. I am sad. I feel guilty.  It makes my heart hurt to know that my life is such that I cannot be there for those who are there for me. At the same time, it makes me angry that she, with her husband and her part-time work and her "cushy" life, if you will, cannot, or is not willing to, be more forgiving of me, nor give me the courtesy of the notice I gave her.


DysFUNctional Mom said...

I once forgot I was supposed to watch my niece. My sister came to my house to drop her off and I wasn't home. I had just completely forgotten! It happens....and you gave her notice. It sucks that she's ignoring you. =(

Shell said...

You're only human. And your excuse was completely valid!

I have ignored texts b/c my boys read them and I don't know they come in. LOL

Heather said...

I think you were fine, not unreliable at all. Sometimes I get a text and I read it, but it is not an appropriate time to answer it or I get interrupted. I feel like I answered it because in my head I did, but in reality I didn't. Does that make any sense?

I do not know what I would do if my oldest had lice!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

I agree with Shell - you're human, mama.

And UGH! LICE! I know it and HATE it!! :( Do you need a pro's #? I have one. ;) Seriously. (And now I'm itchy!)

But back to friendships. I think we are all having that window of sadness these days. Sometimes friends are just so not aware of where we're at and I hate that they take things for granted. Sometimes it makes me think that that's why I'm not connected with people locally to that extent, even though I miss it SO much, maybe it's just not where I'm at? I don't know. I'm sorry she's taking it out on you - you have a valid reason and I would just suck it up. (hugs) p.s. miss you!

"GB" said...

Your excuse was valid. If you are really feeling bad and she is still not talking to you, try telling her that you will be happy to watch the child at a later date, to make up for the missed date. Hang in there, it will get better!

Mimi B said...

Ok, for real, it's not like you said, "I decided to do my nails, can you find someone else?" You gave her a weeks notice and it was LICE for goodness sakes. I'd actually be thankful you told me as much as it would stink having to find someone else. As a single mom it does get challenging trying to do it "all".

Robbie K said...

Shit happens. You gave her ample notice. Yes she might be frustrated but I hope she gets over it. What about calling her up and talking about it to clear the air?

Paloma said...

We all go through seasons in life when we feel we're just receiving and not giving... but if you have friends you must be a good one and valuable to them! :) Don't be too hard on yourself! Big Hugs to you! (oh! And you can definitely link up older coffee posts!)

theworkinghousewife said...

People forget - it's a part of being human..
As this is my first time here, I'm not sure if you are a forgetful person (my husband is -- he doesn't do it on purpose but things just don't stick in his brain) so maybe try writing down any appts and promises as soon as you make them.
And, maybe call your friend up and offer to babysit - or bring her by a bottle of wine and apologize again - there's not much else you can do. Hopefully things get patched up!
enjoyed your post.