Earlier this week, we shared the evolution of friendships. Amy enforces this notion and the need for all of us to find our friendship comfort zone.
There is no one “right” way to do friendship as an adult, and especially as a mom. You may have a bazillion friends, one in each unique sphere of your life. Or, you may have one solid BFF and very few acquaintances. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, a Type A or a Type ?, however you choose to navigate friendships is up to you.
And for many of us, 2020-2021 was a game-changer for friendships. We were stuck at home with our families, and many of our usual social spheres were N/A for a year or more. We became a lot closer with our neighbors and/or we may have had to cultivate relationships online (Zoom happy hours, anyone?).
But now that COVID is *mostly* over, we have some perspective and freedom to rethink how we do friendships and which ones we want to invest in.
Some of us need to whittle down our list of who we consider to be close friends and admit that we are spreading ourselves too thin (it’s okay to have “work friends,” “school friends,” etc.). It becomes difficult to balance investing deeply in many people at once, and you risk becoming the “flaky” friend who can never commit to plans because there’s just not enough time in the schedule.
You also have permission to remain acquaintances – some moms are looking for their new best friend, and you’re not obligated to become close with every potential friend that crosses your path. But just like in dating, don’t lead someone on and let them think things are getting more serious than what you intend.
Some of us are new to town, new to motherhood, or have fallen out with our old crew and are lonely. But here’s the thing – if you want more friends, you are going to have to do something about it. We don’t live in a Hollywood movie – the perfect BFF is not going to fall into your lap if you actively avoid social interaction when out in the world. Will you potentially strike out and get your feelings hurt in the process? Yes. But could that mom that you’ve run into at the PTO meeting and also takes the same spin class at the gym be your next BFF? Potentially, but you’ll never find out if you don’t work up the nerve to strike up a conversation.
Also, it’s okay for our friendships to evolve and change with our life stages. We may have some life-long friends that weather life’s changes, but we may also have different friends from when we were single, then got married, then had kids, but then our kids grew up, or we moved across town, or moved across the country, or got divorced, then got remarried … you get the idea. If you’re lucky, maybe you can collect a few from each major life stage and compile the ultimate dream team of friendship.
Finally, despite how many friends you currently do or don’t have – always stay open to new friendships. You never know whether that mom that’s new to your school district is funny, gives great parenting advice, shares your affinity for bad reality shows, or makes a killer mojito. Or, maybe she’s none of those things, but hanging out with her while you both volunteer for the preschool fundraiser made it more fun than it would have been otherwise.
Adult friendships can be tricky, especially for moms, but when done well are so worth it.