I have a “best friend.” She’s nice to me most of the time, but behind every good thing that happens there’s a gray cloud hanging overhead. How do you get rid of someone who has been with you for so long?
We try to eat healthy but every now and then being a mom who works outside of the home full-time catches up with me. I’ll get my kids fast food. She wants to know why I can’t keep it all together and feed them the good and healthy food they deserve. She wants to know why I can’t plan ahead and use my time wisely to make sure my kids are nourished with only the healthiest of foods.
I try to take care of myself, but now that I’m in my 40s, little volatile armies of gray hairs are starting to pop through. She will ask me when I’m going to focus on myself and tell me that I need to put more effort into my looks because people look at you and judge you whether we want to admit it or not. Technically she’s right but sometimes I just put my needs last.
Organization isn’t my strong suit. I’m aware and accept it. So, when I do things like forget “career day” at school or don’t remember to send in plates and napkins for the school party, I feel awful. My “friend” wants to know why I can keep it together at work but things with my kids fall through the cracks. Am I too focused on my students and not my own kids? Because while I work with an at-risk population, my kids need me too.
I go out for happy hour with my co-workers on occasion. We aren’t able to catch up during the day so we will sometimes blow off steam from 5 – 8 p.m. for some group therapy over fermented beverages. We remind ourselves that given all the things we complain about, I’m lucky to work in a place where I genuinely like my co-workers. My friend will wonder why I am spending time with people I spend most of the day with. Shouldn’t I be home with my kids since I haven’t seen them all day?
We moved into our new home four years ago. I still haven’t put up curtains. The bare windows seem to call out and ask when I will actually get around into making my house look like a home. She sometimes walks in and comments that she still can’t believe I have been in the house four years and my house still looks barely lived in sans window treatments. She’s right, I know she’s right but it’s so low on my list of my priorities that I just never seem to get around to it.
Most of the time she’s kind and understanding but she always seems to taint the positive with snide or passive aggressive comments that highlight my ineptitude as a mom who works full-time outside the home with two kids.
She’s my best friend but I can’t get rid of her because my “best friend” is me.