This decision sometimes causes a disrupt in a friendship, even with those friends who are “just like sisters.”
Here’s how to maintain your friendship:
1. You’re not on opposite sides. Your days are just different. Your both still moms who are juggling and trying very hard. And tired.
2. Have a “How are you?” session. Staying at home and going to work are two distinctly different ways of looking at motherhood, but it happens every day, between sisters, between friends. Here’s an example: Say you’re on the phone together and you realize you can hear birds chirping where she is and you realize she’s on her porch having coffee as her baby naps (but what you don’t know is that the baby was scream-crying for the last two hours). You’re standing next to the copy machine and what she doesn’t know is that you’re suddenly missing your baby. And hey, maybe she’s suddenly missing going to work, especially after the last two hours. Check in with each other emotionally. You need each other.
3. Listen to her without judging. If you’re running for a train every day and your friend is running around trying to find a bib, you’re both busy. Both jobs are important. They’re both necessary. Learn to accept the other without judging her. If you’re that close, she’ll hear the judging in your voice, and it’ll hurt. Say you’re on the phone, checking in like you do, and she’s using a rushed way of speaking. You understand, but you can’t help but be slightly offended, and you’re not even sure why. These are the little strains that come up in friendships. The best thing you can do for her at that moment is respond to how you think she’s feeling. “You sound exhausted. I hope you can rest on the train ride home tonight.” She’ll probably pause (remember, she’s rushing), soak in the kindness, and thank you from the bottom of her heart. Hopefully she returns the kindness next week when you’re at the pediatrician’s office with two babies who have a giant cold and a broken dishwasher at home.
4. Find an easy time to catch up. Sometimes, friends discover their old time slots of checking in don’t work anymore. That’s okay. How about an early Saturday morning walk, so you can each get some exercise and talk? Or join her on the porch for coffee and a have laugh together.