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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Are Moms bad friends?




For the last six months my blogging has gone into power saving mode or something. Apart from meeting my writing challenges' deadlines I haven't written a word - and I miss it. 

So many ideas - so little time. 

The other day I came across this article I s*** at being a friend right now, and many online friends agreed with it. 

So did - I except for two things:

First of all... Early in the morning, hubby went to work, kids are still asleep, me, my coffee and my computer are having a quiet moment. 

Hahahaha! 

This scenario is absolutely not happening around here, I have an early riser...

Second, When they start to grow, I will have time on my hands.

Every summer I observe moms of 4-5 year olds claiming that as soon as school break is over and their kid starts Kindergarten and is out of the house all morning they'll go to the gym, volunteer, attend classes, meet friends for coffee, write a book, start a business, ...

I have been there, and I know that unless you're super disciplined and organized, this "I'll have more time" is a hoax, and you just end up wasting enjoying more time on Facebook and procrastinating stretching out your chores.

Colin is now eight, and even though he's pretty independent, and I do have more time theoretically, it doesn't feel like time to exhale, I'm free, how about visiting that friend who lives 2 hours away...

Not happening. New, different responsibilities soak up that extra time. Taking and picking up kids to / from playdates and (sports) activities ( ---> more laundry, disrupted dinner time), meeting the teacher, supervising homework, carving that turnip, getting a gift for a last-minute birthday party invitation... 



When I'm not doing stuff, I want to sit down and write, and we all know how well that has been working out. 

Plus my job at the office.

I am never done.

What if this is not just my destiny but my choice?

We can't have it all! 

Or can we..?


This is so discouraging! The triangle doesn't even consider friends, me-time, hobbies or sleep!? Or are they supposed to be part of the sanity?



There are only so many ingredients and layers one can squeeze into a sandwich. 


Source
I was wondering what others had to say, so I posted in a couple of FB groups. This is what I gathered:

Girlfriends are hard to find, and when you do, over time you'll distinguish between real, great friends who are there for you no matter what and 2nd level friends (this term made me laugh, even though what this blogger friend said made total sense: 2nd level friends basically are nice, yet more superficial acquaintances who are more likely to cancel on you.)

Low self-esteem: Moms who think they're bad moms think they're bad friends as well. 
I don't have much to offer, my house is a mess, my cake is a fail, I don't have anything exciting to tell. More often than not this applies to stay at home moms. 



Quality over Quantity: I am not into socialising with a huge bunch of girls, I prefer to have a few good friends, and even though we don't get to spend much time together (worse yet, even if we don't live on the same continent and therefore in completely different time zones) we still feel connected and wouldn't want to miss this friendships.

(personally, thanks to my insomnia, time zones are actually a blessing because during my quiet time in the middle of the ?#@*&%! night I get to chat with my online friends!)

Moms are the best friends to other Moms because we walk in similar shoes and are understanding of each other's challenges. Unless they're overly critical of the other's choices and values:  Don't you think you should have tried harder at breastfeeding? Are you aware about the dangers of posting your kids' pictures on Facebook? Haven't you heard that vaccines cause allergies? Are you serious, you allow your kid to sleep in your bed? Why would you do x or y...?

Moms are not so great friends to non-Moms and vice versa. Diaper Rash vs Board Meeting ;-)

(I don't have many non-Mom friends because most of my friends are Moms, have been before me, actually. The few non-Mom friends I do have are single and / or past the child-bearing age and I love them dearly! There is one couple, actually I have been friends with the guy, who have been going through the terrible infertility journey, and we seem to have fallen out. I sent them a postcard from South Africa last year, and he sent me an e-mail to thank me. I just checked and found out I have never replied. Darn! Time to fix that...)

It's question of priorities. Now matter of your lifestyle, if your friends are important, you make them a priority and find a way to connect! 

Time and Energy Levels are disablers, especially for working moms. By the time they make their way home from the office, pick up the kids, make dinner, tuck in the little ones, the Mom is ready to collapse in bed or at the very least on the sofa herself. The choice between party clothes and a comfy PJ seems ridiculous!



There was one answer I liked a lot because it was spot-on, so I'll just quote what my new online friend Kirsten wrote. Thank you again for letting me use this brilliantly written statement!

I think moms are stretched more thinly than other women because they have to balance the demands of motherhood. Our schedules are not really our own. We are sort of on-call all the time and don't really have any "free time." 

But it doesn't mean we don't need our friends and love going out, love having a good time. I think people think once you have a child, you lose your sense of fun and spontanety but that's just not true. It's just hard to relax unless you know your kids are alright. 


We aren't usually flaky but we do tend to run late. 


I always give my friends a generous time "cushion" of 30 minutes or so because it's so hard to leave the house with young kids. You never know when there might be a tantrum, an accident, etc etc. But I think moms are more real with eachother than non-moms because our time is precious and we don't have time for small talk. We want real, supportive buddies who we can let our hair down with! 


With whom we can be our real selves!


My real life friend (American living in Switzerland) I met for coffee and German conversation today, wanted to contribute to my post. She simply said "I would not have survived without my amazing Mommy Friends here." I'm lucky and happy to be one of them, even though I didn't to anything other than enjoy spending time with her!

How about you? 

What kid of friends to you think Moms are? 
Are you a Mom? 
Are you a good friend? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a comment!

Disclaimer: as a part-time working mom I am equal part SAHM and working mom, so I get both sides. I hope nobody is offended by the memes ;-)