I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of friendships as we get older. The article said that we should be placing more effort and energy into our relationship with our spouse and friends because ‘our children will grow up and our parents will die’. While it’s not so tactfully worded, there still is wisdom in that statement.
I do not think that friendships should take priority over our families or that we should neglect our parents. However, so many marriages are under so much strain because a spouse is placing more attention on caring for their parents, siblings or other family members; than their partners. We also pour our hearts and souls into being parents ourselves, that we neglect our partners. My relationship with my husband is my number one priority above all others, even my children. Cringe. It’s so hard to say that because I adore my children so much and really prioritize being their mom, but he was here before them and if it wasn’t for him they wouldn’t even be here. It is really hard to make my relationship a priority at times. I hate leaving the kids, especially now that they are at school and we don’t have as much time together like we used to, but we do go on holidays without them and on regular date nights. I still want to put my little girl in our bed at night, but I have to be strong and tuck her into her own bed. (This is actually a lie, she sleeps with us every night, but you get the point.) Also no matter how close we are to our children they are not our companions or our friends. While many do prioritize their relationship with their spouses; between working and family and all the rest, honestly, who has the time to think about friendships? Our friendships are often disregarded, if not dismissed altogether, and it is assumed that when we are ready we can just start them up again. While that may be possible for some, I think it sets us up to be quite lonely as we go through life. When the kids have grown up and our parents have passed on, and even well before then, I want to have these special friendships. I believe that they set a positive example for my children, are part of what makes my marriage so much fun and makes my life fuller and filled with even more love. So while it isn’t easy and our lives are only getting busier, make the time. Tell your cousin that you are going to miss their child’s 100th dance recital because your taking your partner dancing instead. Then, send your friend a Whatsapp and tell them you’re thinking about that time the two of you danced all night.