The after thought friend

I remember when I had Reuben, holding him so close in my arms, this feeling of contentment. I had someone, things who loved me so much that I was always the first on their mind. I wasn’t going to feel that sting of loneliness for a time. It might not be coherent company, it might not be the most satisfying conversation but I wasn’t an after thought.

 I know it might sound a touch… needy, but I have always been the after thought friend.

 What the hell is an after thought friend? Well, you would know if you were one.

 The after thought friend is the one you invite to the restaurant to make up numbers. The one you forget to invite and have to text last minute. The one you forget completely and then wonder why they are a little bit sullen that they see you all over Facebook having a blast as a group, wondering what they did wrong when it wasn’t anything at all, they just don’t *quite* make the cut.

 The after thought. The one you can take or leave.

 The after thought friend is my slot.

 An acquaintance is someone you would know to say hi to, but not really much more. This isn’t that. I often think that a lot of us become after thought friends after we’ve had children; or left that job or moved into a different phase in our lives, yet I’ve always been that gal. I think my biggest issue is that I’m fairly self sufficient. Friendship is a two way street, it’s a something that both parties have to work at and when life gets in the way of the “hey how ya doing?” It becomes harder and harder to be on someone’s radar. I’ve always felt slightly on the outside, slightly to the right of the centre and never quite important enough. It’s most likely partially through my own making and partially the way that life unfolds. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I longed for that friendship that would last and last, the kind of girlfriends where I had been friends with them since childhood and continued to be friends with them for no matter how old, wrinkly and daft we became. The one that ALWAYS thinks of you first, just like you think of them. The one you speak to every day and are hardly ever separated from. The one you share your latest Gossip with, share your break downs and highest moments with first. The one you almost text to say “I’m pregnant” before you text your mum or your husband/partner knows… and by almost I mean do and then instantly think SHIT and text her back to say I haven’t told anyone… please pretend I haven’t said!

 That isn’t me though. It never will be.

 I see bestie memes and wonder if everyone else has that because, honestly, I don’t and I don’t think I ever truly have. Drifting has been commonplace for me. I can see friends from years ago and it’s like we’ve never been apart; the connection is there, but so is the drift. I can see my current friends who know everything about me, but would I be the first one they called if they found out they were pregnant (excluding the familia and baby daddy, obvs)… no. Would anyone be for me?

 Probably not.

 I think the after thought friend is both a product of their own engineering and of the way that people are. It’s a common place for new mums and mums who have friend’s without children, to inhabit. Your children take over everything, take over your whole being… so eventually your other relationship fade – not into obscurity, I have some really good friends, but just into… less. Some days it doesn’t bother me, other days, when everyone else is enjoying time together and I’ve been overlooked, it drives me up the wall and I spend ages wondering what I did to be overlooked AGAIN.

 I don’t think I did anything though… I think I’m just an after thought friend and that’s that.



  1. October 30, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    This is me, but I do think a lot of it is my own fault. I am both a social person, fun to be around when there is a gathering, but to get me to actually go is more than half the battle! Some people, quite rightly, can’t be bothered putting in the effort to coerce me to go, and so I do become the after thought friend. The friend the invite if they remember, but assume I won’t show. I get it.

  2. Natasha Davies
    January 11, 2018 / 11:00 am

    This is so me! All my ‘friends’ went to a party on Saturday, I was unable to go. But I had been added into a group message about the party. Another 1 of girls were unable to go aswell. So the party came and went and on the Sunday they were all messaging about how fun it was and one girl said it was so nice for all the girls to be togther, they were just gutted the other girl couldn’t make it. No recognition at all that I wasn’t there. Thanks MATE!!!! I have my own life and love it but just to be not thought of at all wasn’t very nice.

    • Harriet January 11, 2018 / 11:36 am

      ARGH YES – THIS. This is exactly what happens and it drives me loopy.

      • Natasha Davies
        January 12, 2018 / 12:04 am

        We can all be the after thought friend together haha x

  3. January 11, 2018 / 12:25 am

    Big love xox

    • Harriet January 11, 2018 / 11:37 am

      Back at you beaut, if only we lived closer x

  4. January 10, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    Awww this makes me sad! I’m going to come down just to visit you so you know you aren’t an afterthought to me!

    • Harriet January 11, 2018 / 11:37 am

      You must, thank you my love xx

  5. January 10, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    So totally relate. Even in school it was the way. At the edge of the group, hoping for the in, but not enough to stick the neck out and potentially be rejected. Since parenthood it is definitely enhanced. You are not alone. My family are my friends, working on the rest!

  6. January 10, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    I am exactly this friend, even more so now I have twins. I’ll get a message last minute ‘oh, if you haven’t got the twins and are free, we’ve all arranged to meet’. It stings. It hurts. And it’s always worse if your partner was invited and you still get forgotten ❤️

    • Harriet January 10, 2018 / 4:47 pm

      Yup, thanks lovely x

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