Friday, February 17, 2012

As promised.

The conclusion of the GLORIOUS WEEK of theme posting is one about making time for relationships. Well, kinda.

I bet if pressed to make a judgment call you thought this was going to be about date night with the hubs, and how important that is...GOTCHA! it's not. I mean, that is important, I guess. But hubs and I have successfully had 3, count 'em 1-2-3 date nights, by ourselves in the last 7 months. So, I don't think I am qualified to talk about that.

Not that we aren't doing great. Check out this lovely candlelit dinner for two, er, three we had on Valentine's!

Wedding China and all...Ev's future partners are going to have to be way creative and romantic. "Candlelit dinners? Psssh. I have been having them on the REGULAR since I was seven months old, loser."

Now don't get me wrong, I do think your relationship with your husband, and your child(ren) are of course at the top of the list. But, a girl needs friends too.

See, here's the thing. This post is really about the fact that sometimes I am a bad friend. Not in the, "I'll sleep with your boyfriend and then talk about it behind your back" kind of way. Number one, I am MARRIED. Number two, duh, that's not me.

The kind of "bad friend" I mean is with communication. I am a pretty great friend, actually...when you can nail me down.

Generous to a fault, yup. Willing to paint, or help clean or help you move, sure no prob.

If you can get me on the damn phone...or email...or text...or anything.

Every year the only New Year's resolution I make is to be better at keeping in touch with people. I love my friends, really I do...I just lose track of time. Especially because of all the social media stuff...I feel like I know what is going on in my friends' lives without actually reaching out to them. Bad, bad friend.

My biggest excuse before Evelyn was born and I decided to stay at home was lack of time. Well, turns out I have no more "free" time now than I did then. 

But, I do have something important, even as I strive for more structure in my week, and that is flexibility of time. Hands down, the single greatest benefit to staying at home. I plan on valuing it as much as possible while I am at this phase in my life. If you are too, do not lose track of this benefit.

You know, and the benefit of all this time with your kiddo.

Because I have no real "set" schedule, I can now do things on a whim, and work better around people's schedules, which is helping me to be a better friend. And put more time into relationships. I love being able to do what we did last week, and drive to Richmond for dinner to see a friend in town. I love that I get to schedule lunch dates with my friends who have alternative schedules from the typical 9-5.

Even if A had gotten out early that day, when I was still working, I wouldn't have been able to leave early for such an occasion. I love that when he gets a day off, I don't have to go into work and sit at a desk and wish I was able to spend quality time with him. The military pulls you apart as a couple, physically, so much...when your partner does in fact get time off - you want to be there too. And now I am.

It is also really easy as a stay at home parent to slip into being alone at home with your baby...and being completely satisfied with that. I have always been an extrovert (hello Myers-Briggs, look! I am using stuff I learned in grad school! On a blog! Yay!), which essentially meant that I got my energy "recharge" from being around other people.

But, more recently when I have been looking at myself, I know that I have been sliding down the scale toward introvert. I still love being around people, but my recharge was starting to come more from being at home, with my husband, relaxing on the couch. That's totally fine, but add a baby to the mix, and your home being your new office and...well that is a recipe for a hermit if you let it happen.

I still like going out and doing things, and was glad when I did them...and I still had my days of "HOLY SHIZZ WE MUST GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE. RIGHT.NOW." For the most part, though - I have been really happy chilling at home with my baby, checking things off the to-do list.

But, I have found that I still do need my people. And for that, you have to carve time out of your day, and make a commitment to seeing said people. Sometimes life isn't like college or Friends (sadly) where you just see your people all the time, because "your people" aren't you know, at your house with you, or just swinging by all the time. It was pretty easy to keep up with friends then. Now the hard work begins at making time and prioritizing that time.

Some girlfriends and I have started meeting up regularly on Monday mornings. Yes, it is time for our girls to all play together, but really the most benefit comes to us. We get a set time to look forward to where we can catch up a bit while chasing our kiddos around whomever's house. We typically meet up for an hour or two, but just that little bit of time really makes a difference. You have to be committed to reaching out and scheduling it though, these things don't just happen magically.

My biggest advice on this, only because I have learned it myself recently, is that if someone reaches out to you, really think about making it work before you say no. Don't just assume, "Oh goodness, I dunno, I'd better not because more than likely if I plan something the laws of chaos will ensue and my child will be off their nap schedule or whatever that day..." Blah, blah, blah.

Your kid is always going to have good days and bad days. And more than likely those bad days will be when you are out in public. Relax and realize that this is going to happen, inevitably, but if you shy away from all opportunities, you will NEVER leave the house. The more relaxed you are while out, the more relaxed your kiddo will be. Plus, you always think your kid is way worse than anyone else does.

{Probably. You know, unless you are the mom who lets your kid run around screaming their head off and don't say a word to them. Then, worry about it.}

All this is to say, I think I am able to be a better friend because I am at home, and I have been able to concentrate on being a better friend.

Do I still miss phone calls and forget to call people back and let my voicemails pile up to 12 at a time? Um, yes.

Do I still completely miss emails from people I actually care about because I don't check my mail in days and then have to mass archive hundreds of messages from 12 million "coupon sites" that I signed up for when I thought I could do that too because I can't deal with the number next to "Unread"? Yes, that too.

But, I'm working on it.

Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and I really hope that I continually strive to model good friend behaviors for my daughter as life goes on.

Thanks for sticking with me this week!


  1. Loved the posts this week! Makes me want to do the same...

    More so, however, I love our Monday Mom's Coffee - it always gets the week off to a great start. Thank you!

    1. I love it too! If you do a theme week, I know I would be an avid reader <3

  2. Such great advice. Being social totally takes a LOT more effort than it used because I'm always worried about getting "off" schedule. But life goes on, and sometimes too quickly. So we've got to enjoy it while we can. :)

    1. Laura, you are the best! Thanks for all the sweet comments this week <3

  3. I think your starting to see why I just enjoy staying home. Not that I don't enjoy my self when I go out. But I enjoy the time at home, with your Dad. I would also enjoy a little grandbaby and some children to thou. love you mom