IS IT TIME TO RE-EVALUATE YOUR FRIENDSHIPS?
As soon as we have children, so many parts of our lives change, and although we don’t want a shift in everything, often it is inevitable. One of the hardest shifts to handle is the shift with our Friendships. I have made some of my best friends since I have had children, and sadly I have lost a few of my old friends along the way. The main reason for this is our change in values and importance, as well as our lack of free time. Time is no longer an asset that we have on our side, with the constant growing demands that running a family require, it forces us to re-evaluate our friendships and choose who is important, who you want to spend your time with and who is good for you and who is good for your whole family.
I have listed some different types of friends and how they will impact our lives.
1. YOUR FRIENDS THAT DON’T HAVE KIDS
These friends can still be your best friends, the thing is that although your crazy chaotic home might be something that you have grown to love, it can be a little too much for people without kids. Remember that you have grown with your kids, and so there are a number of things that you except as a normal part of the day in the life of a mother. These things can cause people without kids to be totally freaked out. They may truly love your kids, but be mindful, sometimes a coffee date or a dinner with just the adults may help to keep the strong friendship that you have.
2. THE VACUUME CLEANER
You know those friends that can literally suck the life out of you. The friends that leave you feeling completely drained. We all have problems and there is nothing better than a good friend that provides a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen to a much needed vent. These are great friends to have, I am talking about the friend that leaves you feeling completely deflated every time they leave. These friends are not great to have as a one on one, they are better in a group as this will not give them the opportunity to target you alone. These negative friends, can often leave you feeling bad about yourself or second guessing the decisions that you have made. Take a deep look whether these friendships are the ones that you need.
3. YOUR FRIENDS CHILDREN
I think for me this is the hardest one of all. I have had some amazing friends that meant the world to me. The problem was once we both had children and our children started to grow, it was becoming more and more apparent that we were not even on the same book when it came to discipline and raising our children, never mind on the same page. Although you try and let things slide, you find yourself often being stricter and less tolerant on your children, to try and compensate for their lack of discipline. It is almost like deep down you hope that they will be able to see that the intolerable way their children behave if you noticeably clamp down on your kids. This is unfair to your children and so rather do not accept to go away on family vacations together. Rather spend time with just the two of you, instead of putting your children in the middle of this rather confusing situation. Another big problem that I have not had too much experience with, but it is a hot topic with a lot of mothers out there is when your friend’s children are mean, manipulative or bully your kids. This again is really unfair to the children. As adults, we do not enjoy forced or false friendships, so don’t force your children to have them. Yes, kids have to learn to get along, but if there is an ongoing situation between the kids, rather choose your children.
4. FRIENDS AND ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
There are a few different scenarios under this type of friendship, and although as friends it is our job to support our friends and be there through thick and thin, this also has to be done without damaging or affecting our own relationships and marriages. The Friend who never has anything nice to say about their partner, who is always finding fault in them and who takes any opportunity to put them down, can have a really bad influence on your own relationship. Often, after spending time with this friend, you find yourself looking for fault in your own relationship, things that would never have bothered you in the past. It is also difficult to say how happy you are and how fantastic things are when someone is unhappy. On the odd occasion, it takes a good friend to provide the kind of support needed, but always ensure that it is not negatively affecting your own happiness and relationship. The single friend that wants you to party with them. You are entering very dangerous waters. I love going to dinner with just the girls when we laugh and joke and all talk at the same time, it is so refreshing and uplifting. It makes you feel human again, but bars, pubs and clubs without your partner, are always worth re-evaluating.
5. THE FRIENDS WE NEED
At the end of the day, all we really want is friends who we know are loyal and honest. Friends that make us laugh and uplift us. Friends that drive us to be our best, and yet they don’t constantly compete with us. Friends that don’t judge us, instead love us enough to offer sound advice. Friends that are good for us as well as our families. Friends that are truly happy for our happiness and empathetic toward our sadness. Friends that are there no matter how much we see each other and how often we speak. Friends that we love with all our heart and know they feel the same.
I am not by any means saying that you need to go through your phone book and see who you are going to delete. All I am saying is, in our busy lives, make sure that you are making time for the people who count and not just the people who guilt you into it. Love all your friends, yet evaluate what will be the best way to spend time together. Throughout our lives, friends will come and go, just make sure you don’t lose a good friend because you are at a different place in your life.
At the end of the day, our friends are our rock, our pillar of strength, our sounding blocks. They understand us and still love us for who we are.
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