Sometimes it really isn’t you. That’s right. It’s just better to be upfront about things and over the course of the next two months, I become the solo parent while my husband works day and night filing taxes for his clients. This isn’t a pity party and I’m certainly not looking for sympathy but what I am looking for is a little grace.
Have you noticed that sometimes what you need from those whom you call friend is to just let you be you? We all could use a little grace in our lives and still the people who love us the most can sometimes be the hardest on us. Communicating feels demanding and when you’re spent – whether it’s because you really are a single parent or because your partner travels frequently for work – the last thing you want to do is pick up the phone and text. It’s just a text after all but sending out that energy to communicate when you’re trying to hold it all together sometimes feels like it is the absolute last ounce of energy you have.
It isn’t you. If I decide to ghost you; if I become a very small version of Howard Hughes, believe me when I say that I’m not mad at you. You haven’t done anything wrong. Believe me, I’ll tell you when I’m hurt or angry.
Life is hard enough. We feel these pressures to be perfect mothers, perfect wives, perfect friends, perfect employees. Sometimes, just every once in a while, I think we need to take a look at our lives and realize that we cannot be everything to everyone and that is okay. If I’m ghosting you, girl friend, it’s because I am beat. I am exhausted and having to have an adult conversation is just not what I want to do. I want to sit in my bedroom and binge on mindless episodes of whatever Real Housewives franchise is airing.
We should be able to look at what’s going on in our friends’ lives and give them grace. What does grace mean? We use the word a lot in American culture but did you know that the concept I’m referring to – to grant or give grace to another – is a Christian concept. The definition means, “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” If I’m asking you to give me a little grace, I’m asking you to look favorable on me even though I do not deserve it. The world would be a kinder place if we could grant each other a little grace, don’t you think?
- Your friend isn’t calling you back and you’re starting to get frustrated with her? Give her grace; what’s really happening behind closed doors that you don’t know about?
- Your pregnant friend cannot seem to think about anything else other than the baby she’s carrying? It’s to be expected and give her grace. What were you like when you were pregnant?
- Your friend used to text you every single day but now that her husband is traveling all the time you rarely hear from her. Shouldn’t she want to talk with adults since she’s all alone? Grant her a little grace; maybe she’s just tired.
- You best gal pal just got a promotion at work and you haven’t heard from her since. Surely she’s just too important now for you, right? Wrong. Grant her a little grace. She may be taking on more responsibility with her job and doing her best to not neglect her family.
I think that if you and I are going to be the change that this world needs today we have got to step outside of ourselves and assume the best in those whom we call “friend”. There’s a lot of expectation and privilege associated with the title best friend but I personally think that calling someone friend is privilege enough. If you’re my friend know that I’m going to assume the best in you until you prove me wrong. Let’s teach our children how to grant grace to their friends. Let’s show our daughters how to handle conflict in a healthy manner that isn’t passive aggressive or manipulative. If I’m hurt or mad with you, I’ll tell you. If it is you, believe me, I’ll let you know. Can you do the same for me? Assume the best in me. That’s what real friends should be doing anyway. You can’t call yourself a friend if you’re always assuming that the person in the friendship with you is out to get you.
Be confident in your friendships and please, grant each other a little grace.
As the creator of the lifestyle blog Me Before Mom, Bert supports millennial moms facing the challenges and changes of motherhood. Me Before Mom is an online community that offers support through real life stories, encouraging advice, and answers to questions about how a woman maintains herself during this self-sacrificial time of parenthood. Stories from Bert Anderson have helped women across the globe through the Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, and on the Harry show. Whether weathering the first year of motherhood or walking through the later stages of motherhood, Bert has helped many continue to find herself while still in the throes of motherhood.