I’ve always been a social person. In high school, I was always with a group of friends and we’d make plans for the coming weekend, for the following weekend, and for the next month. I was the same in college and when I entered the workforce.
My female friends were a huge priority to me and I loved having them in my life. They were my therapy, they got most of my extra time, and I felt like our friendships were easy.
Having kids transformed me from an extrovert to an introvert
Having my kids made me more introverted. I mean, what mom hasn’t become a little more introverted? The alone time we used to have before becoming a parent now has to be taken from somewhere else in our lives.
We have to show up for work, for our families, and it’s important to show up for ourselves. Sometimes that means getting some one-on-one time with yourself. I’ve found the first thing that had to go was friend time.
Moms are tired, stretched thin and pulled in a million different directions. I get that. But I’m also a firm believer in having friends you can count on.
I’m not talking about people who will drop everything, change their plans for you, or do whatever you want them to. That’s not realistic, especially if you are a parent, or hold down a job, or have any type of a life.
You need friends like this
- Friends who value the friendship like you do.
- Friends who still reach out, even if it’s not very often.
- Friends who don’t cancel 100% of the time.
- Friends who don’t call to verbally vomit on you.
- Friends who never ask how you are.
- Friends who don’t make you think that if you want to see them, you have to do all the work.
I’ve found as life passes us by, friendships are harder to come by. And they are also harder to keep.
Just like any relationship, they require work and effort of course. I have a friend who I see twice a week even though we’re both super busy. One of those times is a one hour run together at an ungodly hour because it’s important to us to nurture our bond and we look forward to it.
I have another friend who I only see once every few months even though she lives a few miles from me, but I know I’m important to her. Not by how often I see her, but because she makes an effort and I know she wants to see me and spend time with me because she does, even if it’s not very often. You can tell when someone wants to spend time with you, and you can tell when they don’t.
You need to jettison friendships that don’t make you feel good
Those friendships that don’t feel right— the ones that drain you; the ones that make you feel pretty insignificant, are the ones you need to let go.
Friendships can be harder to keep as you get older for sure. It’s a natural progression in life because there are so many other plates spinning.
And I think we get pickier about who we spend time with and who we invest in. But, we also don’t want to feel like the friendship is taking so much work we wonder if it’s worth our time. Let’s face it, some people are really hard to be friends with. There are times friendship fizzle and we don’t know why.
Of course it hurts and of course we take it personally. That’s a feeling you don’t outgrow. I have a few friends that were in my life for decades and in the past few years, things have not been the same and it wasn’t an easy thing to deal with.
I’ve asked myself why over and over and wondered what I could have done to make the situation better. I get handed the busy card as a reason and while I do get that, I know everyone in this earth is busy. We also have a choice to choose how we spend our time.
If people want to be part of your life they will make it happen
If people want to make you a part of their life, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s definitely a hard truth that leads to hurt feelings and unanswered questions.
But I’ve found, especially over the past few years, when you let the friendships go that don’t feel the best or make you feel sad, it’s so much easier to let them go and invest in the relationships that bring light into your life.
And I can attest to the fact that as soon as you do it, you will open your life for new people to enter your life, and everything will make sense.