Man, I used to have a LOT of friends. And I used to be the most reliable person I know. If you needed me, heck if you just wanted me, I was there.
And I loved being that guy. Most of the time.
I was the yes man. I rarely said no to anything, from a coffee to a last minute weekend away. Even after my first child was born I still tried to balance it all.
And then I threw in a full time job into the equation, mixed with a whole lot of solo parenting. And that’s when I discovered the word maybe…
Maybe is the worst word of them all. But, it’s also the best. It’s non-commital, but also still gives you the option of attending if you want/can.
It’s also very selfish.
I recently really pissed someone off by telling them I might be able to get a coffee with them soon. Soon just kind of never happened, honestly they weren’t a priority. And whilst I know that sounds incredibly nasty, it’s not meant to be. It’s just that as a working pregnant mum I have so few opportunities/ little energy to get out with my friends. So when I do, it’s for those friends who have always made time for me. Not just fun Cass, but stressed Cass, sad Cass, Mama Cass– all of me.
What I should have said is no. No I probably can’t catch up, because I’m fucking exhausted and to be honest you kind of make me feel bad about myself.
Because all of that is true. But instead I felt guilty, and I didn’t want to make them upset. So I went with a much more upbeat I might be free in a few weeks, I’ll let you know.
In turn, I pissed them off even more. What was meant to be an easy let down was actually kind of like peeling of the bandaid slowly. And I felt like a jerk.
Not because I got them out of my life, it was kind of overdue. As I’ve grown up I’ve learnt that I am just not compatible with everyone, no matter how much history we have or how cool they seem. And that’s okay.
But I felt like a jerk because I actually really hurt them. Which was never my intention. I just didn’t want to confront them. And I didn’t want to see them. So I couldn’t say yes, but I never said no. And I just should have said no.
I remember reading somewhere once that having a child is equivalent to having a friendship detox. At the time I scoffed and thought to myself, I will always have hundreds of friends no matter how many kids I have. I will always make them my priority and I will always be there.
Now that I am about to have my second child, I know that that is simply not possible. My kids come first. My husband comes second. My job HAS to come third (gotsta get paid). And my friends and family have to fit in around that.
And those that matter, really don’t mind. They get it, they get me. They know how much I adore them and they know when I say maybe there is a possibility that I simply can not- and I may not know until 20 minutes before.
I used to have a lot of friends, and I really thought I would always be the girl with thousands of friends. But I’m not. But they are worth their weight in gold. And you know what, so am I (and at 34 weeks pregnant that’s a lot of gold). But I’m also a Mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, an employee and human.
If you want me, I might be able to make it. If you need me, I will be there. And if I don’t want to, I am learning to say no!
Are you any good at letting people down? What do you find is the best technique?