Why I Don't Have Time for Fake Friends
When I was in college, I had multiple groups of friends. Classmates, drinking buddies, or friend-of-a-friend who would be a good time to hang out with on the weekends. But as I get older, I am finding that those kinds of relationships aren’t worth it.
I recently read an article about moms not having time for fake friends and it really resonated with me. There are more important things to worry about than your standing with these “friends” and useless drama. When you're a mom, your priorities fall differently than when you were in college. Keeping a small person alive and loved takes a lot of energy and a lot of effort - which doesn't leave a lot of room for superfluous friendships that are shallow. It's as simple as that.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the occasional play date, casual text conversation, or get-together, I would rather have a few good friends that I can sit with on the couch and cry about life over a bottle (or two) of wine.
This doesn’t mean I hate casual friendships or the conversations I have with other moms I see at story time once a week. But I am at the point where I simply don’t have time. There are so many things that take priority over simple, shallow friendships. I need friends who keep it real. Friends who don’t judge when I say I can’t stand my kid today (and say it back about their own).
If you want to get down-and-dirty with real life, real mom moments, and all the crap life throws at you, let’s hang.
As I grow as a mom, I realize that I need friends that can talk about every single aspect of life with me: the funny, the sad, the embarrassing… without getting uncomfortable. I want friends that can openly talk about anxiety, postpartum depression, or sex without cringing or holding back the dirty details. I need friendships that rely on each other to be a resource of venting and sharing about their struggles, empathize with my struggles, and are willing to get real about marriage problems, struggles with raising a child, and finding a healthy balance in life.
It’s hard, but I find myself cutting people out of my life. I don’t have the energy or time to put effort into relationships with people who exchange simple niceties or brag about their kid’s milestones. The ones who want advice? The ones who are honest about motherhood? The ones who will talk about their inner hurt and their child’s struggle with the class bully? Those are the friends I want. That’s where I want to invest my time.
Being patient isn’t easy, and finding friends who share the same values as you is hard, but no one is perfect, and I don’t want to be friends with the women who pretend they are.
I have a handful of girlfriends who I can go to a 4-hour dinner with and never run out of things to talk about. I can’t talk to my husband about the same kind of things. I can't talk to my family about these things. I need these girls and our relationship to refuel me and feed my soul. These are the kinds of friendships that don’t happen during a 30-minute story time or afternoon play date. No one is going to talk about the deep s*** with women they hardly know.
Although if we did, I bet we would find that a lot of women feel the same way. A lot of moms feel ashamed when they speak freely and honestly about their frustrations about parenting, so they don’t say anything for fear of rejection.
It can take some trial and error, but once you find your tribe, hold on tight.