Having close friends has always been important to me.
And I prefer quality over quantity.
Since becoming pregnant and giving birth to my daughter, finding and keeping close friends hasn’t always been easy.
The friendships that have lasted and those which have faded out surprised me. I’ve learned some very valuable lessons.
I’d like to share some of my discoveries with you in this blog post in helps that you will make new, or strengthen existing, friendships.
The core components of true, lasting friendship doesn’t always come down to what philosophies we share on parenting or lifestyle, age or race. It comes down to matters much bigger than that.
“All you have to do is get along.”
It is our similarities in personality, not lifestyle, that make or break friendship.
The most important thing about making new friends after becoming a mom is learning to keep an open mind about who you might end up being friends with.
I learned we didn’t necessarily have to be “like-minded” even though that is what I had expected to need from friends (being such a odd-ball home birther).
I was introduced to a friend of a friend while I loved in Portland. My first overview concluded she might be materialistic because she was what I considered to be “done-up” for a mom. Hair done, flawless makeup, perfect nails, big bling of a ring, nice clothes, etc.
I never thought in a million years I would be friends with this woman.
She just didn’t seem my type. I was more hippie-dippie, and she looked like a preppy cheerleader (she was a cheerleader in high school by the way).
Boy was I ever wrong!
We hit it off so fast! Within weeks we were close friends. Our time together was always filled with laughter and story telling. Although I’ve since moved back to Michigan, we’re still good friends and talk often.
“There is nothing wrong with being completely different from your friends if you share a mutual respect for each other.”
She gave birth by epidural in a hospital while I gave birth at home, all natural. She circumcised her son, I plan to keep mine (if I have a boy) intact. She’s wouldn’t consider herself organic, while I’m almost overboard strict on making sure I eat organic food. She’s a Christian, I somewhere between agnostic & atheism.
The list could go on. But it doesn’t matter. It never has. We like and respect each other too much to let anything like a lifestyle difference come between our bond. That would just be silly! We both believe the other is a wonderful mother. What could be more beautiful than that?
“Treat your friend as you wish to be treated.”
If you’re giving more than you’re receiving, the friendship will likely not last.
Seeing eye-to-eye on the philosophy and/or concept of friendship is really important to maintaining a strong and sustainable relationship.
This topic is a sore spot for me.
I’m a giver to a fault. Always have been. My art teacher warned me if I continued behaving that way, I’d have little to nothing left for myself.
I argued, couldn’t these friends I’m emotionally supporting return the favor and help replenish my well? It doesn’t always happen that way. Not everyone is the same kind of friend you are.
My tip is this: make sure you’re compatible before investing too much time and energy. And if your ideas of friendship don’t match up, understand there is nothing wrong with either of you. You’re just different, and your friendship will be what it is (not necessarily what you want it to be).
Friendship can be tricky business!
Mixing people together and watching the result is always interesting. A constant surprise; often a humbling experience.
What has been your experience in making mom friends? Do you agree with these components? Add your friendship-making expertise in the comments below!