Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ch 4. Life on Planet Mom

This chapter was intriguing. It was called "The Club that no one talks about--but Should! Specifically it discusses the impact of motherhood on friendships, how we find it hard to maintain friendships with the child free, and vice versa, and how our friendships center on the kids, or people in like situations, kids the same age and stuff. I remember when TTC how I noticed a visible difference when I met someone new and they'd ask if I had kids, I would say NO, and the demeanor would change if they had kids. Suddenly, I was an outsider. True I had pets, I thought that was not really. And I desperately wanted to be in this Club. This Motherhood Club. But really, you can't enter the club until you've got the kids. But we can work hard on being members of other clubs. One of the things I really liked was a list they put out, of things (not your children) interests, and stuff, they said, look at this list, and ponder WHERE you could go to meet people with similar interests. Hmm...given my priorities of Family, Faith, and Social Connections, I thought Church...and the groups there. Oddly enough, my closest friends are in my MOPS group at church. :) Funny considering it's a MOPS book.

1. Do you have a best friend or numerous best friends? Where did you find them and how did each relationship become a heart-felt, long-term friendship? Yes. I don't use the term best friend very easily, I've been burned in the past, but I have a couple of super close friends. I found them at school and through my marriage. None of these friendships became best friendships overnight, it came with long periods of discussion/emails, lots of talk about kids. I find I'm closest to people that feel about parenthood like I do, that it's the hardest best job in the world.

2. Have you ever hurt a friend (or has she hurt you) in a significant way? How did you get past that? Yes. When I was younger, I would latch on to one best friend, and she would be my Busom Friend. It would be great for a couple years, then things would change; moves, or school changes, and though I would try to hang on, I lost them. I think I clung on too tightly. We'd fight, mostly over me being too clingy and overbearing, and they would move on, leaving me crying in the dust. Now that I'm older and wiser, I see the pattern, so I TRY not to cling too tightly to any one friend. I try to just be myself, instead of trying to be someone that she would like. A problem with that is I often don't use my filter, and say or do things without thinking first. I know I've hurt people acting without thinking. I try to apologize, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

3. Have you ever had a one-directional friend--someone who expects the friendship to be all about her? If so, did you confront her about it? What changed? Or did it end the friendship? I wonder, maybe that's one of the reasons that my best friends of the past have left, because maybe I was too Self- Self-Self. But I do have one friend that is a bit like that, I come running when she needs me, but she doesn't run in reverse. I actually have not said anything, she expects me to remember every single thing that has ever happened in her life, but doesn't know my dog's name. But I have backed off our visits. I guess you can say I'm Passive Aggressive, if I don't like the situation, rather than DO something about it, I Do Nothing, or Say Nothing, and just drift away, no fighting needed. I hate fighting, or hurting feelings, so I'd rather just not see her as often. But I do still care for her, still enjoy our visits, for a few hours anyway, a little bit goes a long way.

4. What are your friendships with non-moms like? How do you make them work? Actually, it wasn't until I was reading this chapter, that I realized I don't really regularly associate with non-moms much anymore. I have some friends from school or church that I bump into, but I feel bad that I can't totally listen to them or have a deep conversation with them without interruption, so I've backed down from them too. I'm sure they Understand, and they always seem to love the boys, wanting to smile and love on them, but it's hard to hold them still for loving like that. I realized I really haven't made them work. I'm going to work on that!

5. How many friends do you need to feel satisfied on this relationship front? I can't put a number on it. I'm Pretty Darn Blessed with the friends that I have, but since the winds of change are constantly flowing, I'm not going to say I'm locked in with the friends I have. But really, I am pretty satisfied.

6. Do you intend to seek out and forge new friendships? How will you do so? By doing Lunch! I meet new gals in our MOPS group, or at church, and we can arrange a playdate or lunch, or my favorite, lunch WITH a Playdate! Though with my blog stalking and facebook, I get to make friends, keep friends and getting to know friends of friends, so I'm sort of making new friends that way too. So yes, I look forward to making new friends.

It's like that song, "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is Silver and the other Gold!"