Ok, so I am watching Real Housewives of New York as I write this…I love Bravo reality TV! As I am watching I find myself yelling at the TV, which then sparked me to blog. There is a group of women accusing one of the other women of not making time for them, choosing her daughter over her friends. This particular lady is divorced and only has her daughter some of the time. The other woman said, hey I have two kids and I can make time, it seems like she isn’t trying hard enough. I say, these two things are not at all the same.
I can completely relate to this. I have lost friends, particularly over the last 5 years since my ex and I split, because they simply CAN NOT understand. Two of my kids are only at my house from Wednesday after school until Sunday afternoon. Now that I am remarried, 3 of our kids are only at our house every other weekend. When you ask me to do something, if it isn’t on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday chances are REALLY good that I won’t be coming. At a minimum I am going to think long and hard about whatever the event is and if it more important then spending that time with my kids.
My whole life is planned like this now. As a part of my job I do trainings for Child Care professionals in the evening, I always try to plan them for Monday’s or Tuesday’s, that way I can still have family dinner on the nights where more kids are at home. Sometimes I have to work on Saturdays, I try to plan those for the weekend when we don’t have our 3 oldest kids. They are only with us for 4 days of every month, I don’t give that up easily.
Sometimes people take offense to it, but guess what? I really don’t care. Our kids are amazing and you are welcome to come over and hang out with all of us any time you want. We have a few special sets of friends who invite us to things and include all of our children in the invite and it’s no coincidence that those are the friends we are closest to. They themselves don’t have children, so it’s not a life that they understand. They love us and our children enough to respect us and our life. As a result, each of them has an incredibly special and unique relationship with our kids.
This is actually a wonderful way to weed out people from your life. Sometimes it really hurts, like when a group of friends you’ve had for 10 years, just decides to walk away because you aren’t making enough time for them. It also worked well while dating after my divorce. You could real quick weed out the wrong type of guys when you tell them you are only available to hang out on Monday’s and Tuesday’s. People who choose to stay in your life need to be very patient, sometimes it will feel like years in between visits. Those who are worth making time for, will completely understand and embrace the crazy!
I can guarantee if you want to make me feel guilty for choosing my kids over a night out, you and I probably won’t be having any more nights out. We all make different choices, that is OK. I will respect yours, you respect mine. Unless you have kids, who live in another household part of the time, you can’t wrap your head around this. I have said it before and will say it again, no one has kids expecting to spend half their childhood without them. As soon as a court of law decides this for you, due to life circumstances, you start to prioritize In a much different way.
I am going out this Saturday night with some friends. They are getting together in the afternoon, then headed to a bar for dinner and drinks. I am having dinner with my family before I meet up with them. That is not something I am willing to give up. Sure I will miss some of the festivities, but these friends understand. That is why I am choosing time with them too.