Tired Parent vs. Good Friend

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Excuses. Those of us who parent young children are good at making them.

Perhaps too good.

Two days ago, we invited a family over for dinner. I was tired. My husband was tired. And we literally finished a yoga class right before our guests arrived.

But, the thing is, we REALLY wanted to spend time with these friends.

I don’t know if it arises from the fact that my husband and I both work full-time or it’s our own “we have small children” malaise, but I have to fight the urge to retreat often.

Anything extra on the calendar feels like too much. And the cooking, cleaning, and “get yourself presentable” routine just exhausts me to consider.

But we did it…even if we didn’t get a shower.

And there always seems to be this moment where things don’t go as planned – sacrifices for the sake of community.

“Oh, no!”

The warning seemed to shake the walls – at least internally. Our three children in the room beside us had been “playing nice” for approximately 20 unsupervised minutes.

But then I saw it. The black marker. The pink shorts. My daughter’s haphazardly tattooed legs.

In that moment, I understood the true cost of connection in early parenthood. And I knew life was presenting two choices: cling to the ghost of easy friendship or embrace the mess of trying to be a parent AND a friend.

One day later, that marker – still visible on my daughter – reminds me that you never regret investing time in people.

And that, every now and then, you need to marvel at what you can’t control.

*For more crazy adventures, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter.

One Year Ago: Happy Trails

8 thoughts on “Tired Parent vs. Good Friend

    1. Thank you, Bertie! I must admit, I am not a coder. I am sure there is a much easier way, but here is how I do it:

      1. I scroll to my archives at the bottom of my homepage.
      2. I find the date closest to my post from 2016.
      3. When I write my new post, I click on the hyperlink button and search to tag that particular entry in the bottom window.

      I highly recommend doing this – for your own curiosity, if nothing else! I am always shocked at how my writing has evolved in just one year. Looking forward to continuing this into Year 3 🙂

      And congratulations on nearing that One Year Anniversary! I am always encouraged by your writing, Friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh I know this feeling only too well. Even though I am a total extrovert, I still find myself wanting to retreat from social activities because of the constant pull to get. all. the. things. done., combined with the pull to collapse on the couch after my daughter is in bed and watch Netflix. But it does all go so fast and I never regret spending time with those I love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we might be the same person 🙂 Thanks for sharing your challenges. Parenthood presents this impossible struggle between “you must slow down” and “you must be all things to all people”. My mantra has become: When in doubt, just choose people. Wishing you strength on your journey!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to laugh at the black marker- is it awful that I’m always relieved when they color themselves and not another child (or my furniture, again? 🙂 ) It is HARD to ‘people’ with small children. Our circle of friends almost all have kids about the same age- it makes get- togethers nice because we can all sympathize with each other’s journey. It also makes them rare because we’re all TIRED! Way to make it happen, and hang in there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the struggle! Don’t feel awful – besides her skin and clothes, she kept her artwork contained to the dry erase book that went with the marker 🙂 #momwin It really is a treat to find others on this crazy adventure, even if the visits are nearly as often as we’d like (or need).

      Liked by 1 person

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