Making friends is a struggle for me. Part of it is that I was raised in the same town I was born in and went to a K-12 school, so I never had a need to make a ton of new friends. Naturally, my friend groups somewhat changed as I moved through school, but I always at least knew everyone, even if we weren’t close.
A year ago, my husband and I, with our little man, moved all the way across the country. We moved to an area where we knew no one. All of the sudden, we both had to make all new friends. Now, I’ve always considered myself a friendly person who made friends decently easily. But that was with people I already at least kind of knew. That was at a time that I wasn’t looking for immediate, deep relationships.
The Need for Relationships
I truly believe that we all need close, intimate relationships outside of our marriage. I love Chris dearly, but he cannot take the place of a close girlfriend. And she cannot take his place. I need both. You see, Chris is not a man of many words. He is concise and gets to his point in relatively few words. My parents are just starting to feel like they know him after 6 years of knowing him since he is so quiet. To say he doesn’t do chit chat or deep feelings talks is an understatement. Well, I do chit chat, and I crave deep emotional conversations. And where Chris will do some for me, he will never be at the point that he enjoys it or to where it comes naturally. Therefore, I need girlfriends.
Every woman needs girlfriends, whether your situation is the same as mine or not. We were created to live in community, both in marital relationships and in friendships. And when you become a mom, the friendships become even more important. Yet somehow they become even more difficult maintain and create.
The B.S. Stage
My least favorite part of any friendship is the B.S. stage. That awkward stage where you are past small talk but not close enough to go super deep without being impertinent. You go back to some small talk and maybe go a little deeper into things, but in general, you just talk about the weather and small things happening in your life. It’s draining and awkward and gives me social anxiety because I don’t know what else to talk about.
And it’s worse with moms. We drag out the B.S. stage even longer than we would with non-mom friends. I think it’s because we have our children to fall back onto. We use our kids as a conversational security blanket. “What is your toddler doing?” and “My toddler is saying this now!” And while this isn’t necessarily bad to talk about (heck, it’s what’s going on in your life currently), you don’t dive into real talk.
I realize that the B.S. stage is necessary. Friendships take time to build trust and grow into something real. But, I’m lonely. I’m tired of just talking about our kids. I want to know you, and I want you to know me. True friendships have to go beyond just our kids because someday they are going to be grown up. They are going to grow up and move away. We don’t want our identity and friendship to move away with them.
Why Moms Need the B.S. Stage
We’ve become a culture of judgemental moms, so we have to use the B.S. stage as a testing point. If you say one thing wrong, that other mom will jump down your throat for your comment. If you choose formula or breastfeeding, cloth or paper diapers, do baby led weaning or traditional baby food, every mom has an opinion on the right way. And we have become a culture of moms who shame each other for every decision. No wonder we B.S. as long as we can. Because the second we choose to be vulnerable is the second that we may lose that friend that we so desperately need.
If someone is going to judge you for what you feed your baby, how in the world are you supposed to confide in them about your marital struggles? Or how you are doing financially? Or that you just aren’t loving being a mom? Instead of supporting each other in the big and small, we attack each other in the small so that the big never gets voiced. The real struggles are never said and we continue struggling on our own.
Stopping the Judgement to Stop the B.S. Prolongement
What if we all agreed that there are many ways to raise a kid instead of just one? Once we got that agreement out of the way we wouldn’t need as long of a time to decide if we could trust each other. We could become the friends we both need. We could talk about the things on our hearts without fearing attack. Knowing that you support me and my choices with my child allows me to trust that you will support me in other areas of my life and vice versa.
We have an abundance of lonely moms out there. We’ve come to accept that motherhood is lonely and that is just the way it is. Well what if it didn’t have to be? What if we dropped the judgement and B.S.?
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Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.