Dear mom, I just lost a friend…

Dear Mom,

I just lost a friend. It happened so fast I am sitting here shocked. I didn’t think I was being unreasonable, but they thought I was being selfish, and basically told me so and told me good riddance. And we had been friends for a long time.

Maybe I was being selfish. I guess it’s a question of perspective. I prioritized my family’s comfort over my ex-friend’s needs. It’s one of those things where if you ask me a favor, I will try to do it, especially if the only effort that is required is mine. But if at some point the favor becomes something that is going to require a lot of effort from my family then it is going to lead to a lot of conflict at my end, unless they are also willing to make sacrifices for you. And they may or may not be willing to make sacrifices for you – depending on whether our friendship includes them.

In this case the friendship did not include my family – they basically had no relationship to my friend, or my friend’s children. So when she asked me to take her children to school for the rest of the year, meaning that my children will have to get up 15 minutes earlier, and leave the house 15 minutes earlier, I told her I could do it for a few weeks to give her time to make other arrangements, but I couldn’t do it long term. I know she’s feeling at wit’s end, and like there was no one else to ask. I know she thinks she would drop everything for me and do whatever I asked, and that I am unwilling to show the same loyalty and commitment. I know it took me a couple days to get back to her, because I was having to think things through and think about how it would work and whether there were any other options I could suggest. So I made some mistakes, and I was avoiding the conversation because I didn’t have any good suggestions. And I knew she would be hurt.

But here I am – dumbfounded – I didn’t think our friendship would really end over this.

It makes me really sad, but I really don’t feel I could make that commitment. It was doomed to fail. My kids would have been complaining and dragging their feet. I would have been arguing with them. Everyone would have gotten tardies on some days. My car isn’t very large (it only seats 5 and there would have been 5 of us), and everyone would have been crammed in, especially with musical instruments and backpacks, etc. My kids would be resentful. I would get resentful.

But I guess I was being selfish. And now I have to pay the price.

I weighed my options, and decided that I would rather deal with my friend’s anger and hurt (intense but short term) than my children’s moaning, groaning, arguing and resentment (ongoing, day in and day out, a constant for the rest of the year, long term). And I didn’t realize that the scale would unbalance with the weight of her hurt, crashing to the ground and taking our friendship with it. I guess I didn’t value our friendship enough, I wasn’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices. I must just not be a very good friend.

Would I redo things? I don’t know. I am still in shock.

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