You're Late and You're Off the Hook

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: July 06, 2020
Before having my daughter, I was of the mentality that if you’re late, you’re being inconsiderate. Now, my mentality is that if you’re on time and you have kids, you’re incredible. When My daughter was first born, I had some anxiety around being late to gatherings with my other mom friends, all of whom were older than me and had older babies than mine. I wanted to look like I had my stuff together for a first time mom of a three month old. Naturally, the first time I was invited to a hike with everyone, I was running so late that I called to cancel. My friend responded with 

“We’re all running late, don’t worry, and never apologize. We’ll see you there."


I hung up and got the rest of our stuff together and headed out. When I finally made it to the hike, I wasn’t even the most late person, and the other moms told me that as a collective group that they don’t like to apologize or give explanations for things that happen in life. I was off the hook with my friends, and this was the beginning of letting myself off the hook too— to be more easy about our schedule, and to worry less about who I was disappointing. Since that day, there has been an unwritten rule amongst my mom friends that if we are to run late or cancel, even at the last minute, nobody worries about it. There are no rolling eyes, no “but you did this last time,” no judgement, no grudges. In my small circle of mom friends, our babies range from four months to three years old and all of us have sent the group a version of these text messages:

  • “Diaper explosion, be there in 10”
  • “She just went down for a nap, we’re not going to make it”
  • “We’re just nursing in the car, we’ll meet you soon”
  • “Does anybody have an extra onesie?”

It feels so relieving to have this kind of relationship with these women, and it makes me think about my relationships with non-mama friends prior to giving birth— it would be so much easier for everyone if we all had a little bit more compassion as life happens to each of us.
 I’m not suggesting to use your baby as an excuse to be late or cancel events that you didn’t want to go to in the first place, (but also, no judgement if you do).  I am saying:

Give yourself some grace when you thought you had the day perfectly timed only to have it derailed by a poop explosion. 


Be easy on yourself when your anti-napping baby is finally down for a snooze and you have to bail on the group event that you set up. Find yourself a group of mama friends who don’t hold themselves or you to an unrealistic expectation of maintaining plans. Soaking in those moments of chaos with other mamas who “get it” makes all the difference.
Category: Parenthood
Tags: first time mom , support system , new mom , mom friends , self compassion