I Stopped Sending Birthday Cards: Letting Go Of Guilt In Friendships

Right before we moved to Washington I realized that I needed to cut some things out of my day to day. I was balancing life with two littles and preparing for another big move. Letting go of some unnecessary things would give me the space I needed to breathe.

So after years of sending birthday cards (and yearly Valentine's/Galentine's cards) to family and friends I decided to stop (or at least take a break for awhile). I know that these cards were never truly expected and not an expectation I put on others. But with my love language being words and living so far away from ones I loved, it was my small way of connecting on someone's special day.

I had to decide that my friends will still like me even if I don't send them a yearly birthday card. That the relationship shouldn't change because of it. But because of whatever weight I had put on these cards, I believed I was being uncaring if I didn't continue the tradition.

So as I learned to extend grace to others I had to extend that same grace to myself.

Instead I wanted to be prompted by love. To send a text. A card just because. Or whatever else. Relationships don't have to be as rigid as I believed them to be. And when I let go of a task it gave me the freedom to reach out in more natural and spur of the moment ways.

I still sometimes expect myself to be able to do the same things I did before I had kids. But the truth is, I am learning it is okay to sacrifice good things for the sake of my sanity. And that it doesn't change who I am, but instead how I spend my time. I still desire to be a good friend - but one that can do so freely and aunthentically.