daughter was born into my life with just one week’s notice, I went into what
you might call "panic mode." There was one night in particular when I remember
sitting on my couch in stunned silence for hours, completely freaking out about
the ways in which my life was about to change.
though? They went into preparation mode. Day after day, there were knocks on my
door with new clothes and supplies and necessities. Women were in and out of my
house doing laundry and hanging clothes and helping me get organized when I
didn’t even know where to start.
women were there the day my daughter was born and have remained pillars of
strength for me in the year since. They are the women I call with my mommy
questions; the ones I cry to when things just don’t seem to be going right; the
ones I brag to when things do go right; and the women I rely on for wine nights when I
desperately need adult interaction.
are my family, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.
So when I hear
women talking about how they have no mom friends, it makes me sad, because I
know both my own and my daughter’s life are better for these women we call
aunties. But I also know that more often than not, there is a reason those
friendships have been hard to come by. I have seen the same issues again and
again in women who complain about a lack of female bonding. In fact, there are five patterns that
seem to repeat themselves among the women who can’t seem to lock down their own
incredible group of mommy friends.
Quantity Over Quality
Back in high school and even college, it was normal to be friends with everyone. You had a long list of people you could call on for happy hour or study sessions, and your social circle was big. But as an adult, particularly an adult with kids, it just isn’t possible to maintain that many friendships anymore. Not on any kind of quality level. The truth is we only have so much time in a day. You should be spending that time nurturing and growing your quality friendships, not trying to keep up with the 500 people you deem closest to you on Facebook.
The problem with being a queen bee is it can get awfully lonely at the top.
Hanging on to Toxic
We have all had that friendship
that spanned years and therefore seemed to be worth dismissing bad behavior
for. The problem is people grow and change—and sometimes they grow and
change apart. Just because you have been friends with someone since you were
kids does not mean it is still a healthy friendship today. And when cattiness
or gossip or just plain vindictive behavior starts to get in the way, it is
time to cut the fat and turn your focus toward the genuine and loyal
friendships you deserve. Just like hanging on to a bad romantic relationship
can keep you from finding a good one, continuing to engage with toxic friends
can prevent you from moving on to true and secure bonds.
You Don’t Trust Women
I can’t tell
you how many times I have heard some woman or another say “I don’t trust
women.” Back in high school, I think this was the cool sentiment, and the
greatest excuse ever to be a “guy's girl.” But as we get older, it starts to
sound as juvenile as it is. Here’s the thing: Of course there are untrustworthy women in this world. And you will
most definitely come across a few in your search for soul sisters. But to put a
blanket statement across it and make it seem as though all women are out to get
you—well, it just makes you look petty, catty and a little too
self-important. Have you
ever considered the fact that maybe it’s not them, it’s you? If you
can’t see that there are some truly genuine women in this world, then you have
got your blinders on. That, or you are simply drawn to drama. Either way, I
don’t trust women who say they don’t trust women.
Queen Bee Complex
Then there are the
women who need to be the center of attention at all times. They are constantly
engaged in drama with the other women in their lives because they hate giving
up their limelight, even for a second, to anyone else. Ironically, these are
often the women who say they don’t trust women. They are also the ones who
intentionally seek out friendships with women who they don’t believe will ever
try to upstage them. The problem with being a queen bee is it can get awfully lonely
at the top. Real friendship is a two-way street, and if you aren’t willing to
have your needs put on the back burner from time to time so that you can focus
on someone else’s, you aren’t ever going to be able to build any kind of real
connections with anyone.
Look, we have
all been there. Kids, work, relationships—it can become a bit exhausting at
times. And it isn’t totally crazy to want to hole up and separate yourself from
the world when life becomes overwhelming. But when you do that for an extended
period of time, you have to understand that people are going to stop trying.
You can only hear, “Nope, sorry, I’m too busy” so many times before you figure
the person you are trying to spend time with just isn’t interested. No matter how busy you are, we can all make time for a quick coffee
or phone conversation every once in awhile. Good friendships take work, and if
you aren’t willing to invest the time, you can’t act shocked if you find
yourself all alone on girls' night.