It has become apparent in today’s society that the word “family” doesn’t hold as much significance as it did 30-40 years ago. Back then, the word family meant parents and children living together in a household and interacting with one another. Now, the word family means you share genes, you share a last name, and if you are lucky, you eat a meal or two together during the week.
Since being married (and even before that), I have been a terrible friend. Why? Because I tend to cleave to my family. I’m an active part in the kids’ lives when it comes to running errands, making appointments, attending sporting events, etc. I make it a point to build their trust while doing things that a “normal” mom would do. But, doing so tends to fill my schedule and not allow much time for myself or for others outside of the home. Does this mean I don’t appreciate or don’t miss my friends? No. But I don’t expect Shane to run the house by himself and we don’t expect anyone else to have a hand in raising M&M and any future baby Pete’s.
When we do get time to ourselves, we have every intention of doing things with others, but you realize that you miss your spouse. Even though you have been by their side through the hectic schedule that is life, you haven’t had an in-depth conversation for 13 days, you haven’t watched a movie with them for a month or two. You can’t remember the last time your date night consisted of anything other than dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, and bill paying. Or there are times you decide to sit on the couch for a moment or stretch out on the bed to relax and before you know it, four hours have passed and you completely wasted the day away.
We don’t visit our families nearly as often as we wished we could. We would love to be around our nieces, nephew, our parents and siblings more. But the time that we have is limited and we can’t always make an escape for a day. But this weekend we are headed up to my parents to spend a day there. We can’t remember the last time we went to their house just to visit. (And that’s sad.)
Shane and I have had the conversation multiple times where we feel that if we can’t do something as a family, we aren’t doing it. All four of us hold a special place in our family and without one of us, our family is incomplete.
We love the movie Lilo and Stitch. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you should. One of the quotes from the movie is “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” But all too often, we see the opposite.
So friends, I’m sorry I’m a flaky friend. I promise to converse with you, I promise to send you ridiculous SnapChats, and I promise to keep you up to date with everything going on in my life. But I can’t promise that I will be able to take time away from the home to go out to the bars on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday night for a couple of drinks, sit and have a meal with you, or to spend an entire day shopping. As much as a “get-away” sounds fun, my family needs me; I need them. I’m not leaving them behind to fulfill selfish desires. I love you and I thank you for understanding and continuing to be by my side (mentally and emotionally).