My two cents

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A few of my mommy friends have posted a link to this column on their Facebook pages in the last couple of days. I was intrigued to see it appear more than once, so I took a closer look. The question poser has a legitimate (in my opinion) question although she could have asked it more tactfully as Ms. Hax points out. But I do feel Ms. Hax was a bit harsh in her response. Rather than try to illustrate in a meaningful way why moms are so darn busy, Ms. Hax, I fear, may have only fanned the flames of misunderstanding that exists between moms and their non-mom friends. After all, this non-mom just wants to spend more time with her pal. Here intentions are in the right place.

As I face the imminent prospect of working motherhood, I fear my windows of opportunity for catching up with friends will significantly diminish. In fact, I know they will. My concern is how not to incite the kind of resentment in my friends that the woman who drafted this letter obviously feels toward her friends who are mommies. After all, most of my friends don’t have kids yet. I don’t want the presence of my offspring in our lives to put a wedge between us, but is this asking for the impossible?

To answer this question, I turned to the Internet and began Googling “friendship after motherhood.” Surprisingly, there are many opinions out there, and this is a much written about the issue. In fact, two women have even written a book on this very topic. Known as Motherhood Confidential, The Strange Disappearance of My Best Friend, a Rashomon-style Odyssey of Trials by Parenthood, the book poses the question “does sisterhood stand a chance against parenthood?”

As I mulled that question over in my head (all the while imagining myself as a present day Carrie Bradshaw contemplating this mysterious question while gazing out the window contemplatively), I kept coming back to one example of a friend who has been a mom for more than three years and who is always spearheading our girls’ outings, planning our book club gatherings and regularly calling and e-mailing me with updates on good books, new movies to see, etc. She has made it work so well despite now having two kids, a husband, a home to manage and a full-time job. She is probably one of the best examples of someone I know who is making a concerted effort to be a good parent and a good friend.

Now I realize that there are always extenuating circumstances. Some kids are more high-maintenance than others and require more of their mom’s time. I also understand that not everyone has babysitting options. And it’s true that some people have ill parents to look after in addition to their little ones. Bottom line—no one has it easy when it comes to balancing this thing we call life. But if I can take a page out of my friend’s mommy operating manual and make a conscious effort to be a good parent and a good friend, maybe, just maybe, I can keep my friends from feeling the need to write into an advice column about me.

Thoughts?

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