Let’s talk about friendships…
What type of “friend” are you? Do you have a tight clique and tend to keep your circle small? Or do you keep your options open and have friends everywhere from all walks of life? I like to consider myself a “floater”, which is awesome because I get to have lots of fun experiences with all different groups of people. I have never been exclusive to any one group. If someone makes me laugh, makes me feel comfortable, and thinks enough of me to invite me to something, I’M THERE!
I am honestly so blessed in the friendship department. My husband always asks me how I can possibly maintain so many relationships, because to him it seems exhausting. I don’t see it that way. I have made and maintained friendships from almost every stage in my life. Not to say I have 600 besties, but I do have a large network of “friends” and “acquaintances” with whom I have either grown up with, went to school with, worked with, befriended through my children or social media, or just randomly crossed paths with. I enjoy these connections. Some I strictly see on social media, some I mostly text with, and some I see in real life.
The friends I grew up with are all scattered around. Many still live in our hometown where they are raising their families. Some, like myself, have ventured out and planted roots elsewhere. I am still close with many of them. We share a history and memories together and a bond that no amount of time or distance can break. Shoutout to all my “forever” friends! I don’t see or speak to most of them often (besides on facebook…thank GOD for facebook) with the exception of 4 of them which I have an ongoing group text with. The 5 of us communicate almost daily and get together once a year for a girls weekend away where we drink too much wine and reminisce about old times and overshare and laugh until we cry. I love (and equally can’t stand) these girls like sisters.
As a mother I’ve learned that most of your adult friendships are based around your children and your work. Thanks to my daughters and miscellaneous jobs throughout my life , I have made countless connections and friendships. When I moved away from “home” for the first time, I was completely out of my element in a strange place and my only friends were the moms of my oldest daughter’s friends and a couple of women I worked with. I had no family around and they all welcomed me and my children into their homes and families. Our time together was brief but made a lasting impression. I’ve since moved away from but remain connected with these gems on facebook.
I’m pretty sure that at least 90% of the people I spend time with now are parents of my children’s friends, teammates and classmates. This gets tricky at times because one day your kids may be BFFs and the next day they are calling each other names and swear they will never be friends again. Sometimes as they get older they just drift apart or go in different directions, which is normal. I try to separate the relationships in my mind. I prefer to see these mom friends as simply “my friend” and not “Ella’s friend’s mom”. Look kid, just because little Suzy didn’t invite you to her sleepover does not mean mommy is cancelling tomorrow’s boozy lunch with her mom. Figure it out. Not my problem.
Most of the time it is a blessing to be friends with these people. I mean, if you have to sit through back to school nights, family fun nights, award ceremonies, concerts, rehearsals, recitals, tournaments and commencements for the next 15 years, you might as well have friends enduring the torture beside you. If you can’t discreetly send a text message that says “kill me” to someone in the same auditorium in the middle of a 3rd grade recorder concert and instantly get a reply that says “this is bullshit, I’m waiting in the car”, you seriously need to reevaluate your social status.
Some of these mom friends I’m closer with than others. Some are casual acquaintances I bump into at school or the grocery store and greet with a quick hug and pleasantries. Some I am a bit closer with because we run in similar circles. We may spend time together at mutual friends parties and have easy conversation over a glass or two of wine. We know each other’s husband’s names and kid’s latest accomplishments because we follow each other on instagram.
And some of these mom friends are my MFing people. The ones who get the unfiltered Dee and the countless but hilarious snapchats and texts. The ones who know not to show up for a playdate without wine and taco dip. I don’t care if it’s 11am. The ones who know I’M JUST KIDDING when I say something completely inappropriate so no need to explain myself. I can drop my kids at their house, starving, disheveled and in their pjs without judgment and they can do the same here. They KNOW I’m bat shit crazy and they still love me. These superstars make being a middle aged mom more fun and I’m grateful for each of them.
We’ve all heard the “reason, season and lifetime” poem. God willing, we will all be blessed with at least one person who will never leave. Nothing better than a ride or die. But realistically, some friendships naturally fade over time and some people are toxic assholes and need to be walked away from. These are our reason and season people. Or maybe we are theirs. Don’t think for one minute that these people play less of a role in your story than the lifers. Let the lessons you take away from these relationships gone wrong shape you into the type of friend you want to be and don’t accept less than that for yourself either.