BFFs on the Brain

There’s a lot of talk on the interwebs these days about friendship.  If you read blogs, you probably know a blogger who is featured in the anthology about women friendships, HerStories.  Many wonderful women whom I adore are featured in there (see ’em here) and because I am a very good person, I am 99% thrilled for them and only 1% pea-green with envy that I am not a part of that collection. (Hashtag devastated, hashtag ExtraTherapy).

Ahem.

Anyway, I think about friendship all the damn time these days, in part, because I have so little free time that the friendship slice of my life pie has been whittled away.  I’m not enjoying this friendship diet, but I’m not sure of a way around it.  I have two small children, a job, a blog, a manuscript, an exercise compulsion, and a marriage. (Not in that order, Honey. Love you!)  The snippets of time to call a friend or grab a quick lunch have disappeared into the haze of the mundane mechanics of my life.  I have no idea how to change that.

And I’ve always been a little anxious about female friendship.  I had some unfortunate experiences in fifth grade that atrophied my trust muscles.  As an adult, I’ve spent too long in friendships that weren’t working.  I’ve chased friendship with the wrong people (men and women) for misguided reasons, while ignoring friendship gems right under my nose.  I’ve also come to terms with the truth about myself: that true intimacy with another person is messy and makes me feel vulnerable, and honestly, sometime it’s easier to just be alone.

The latest wrinkle in my friendship musings is projecting all my fears and anxieties on my kids.  Will they have friends? Will they be life-long? Will they inherit my relationship idiosyncrasies?  WILL THEY HAVE BFFs? And if they don’t, is it my fault?

My worries for them are wasted because Simon has a BFF that he met on his very first day of school, and Sadie has also declared she has a best friend: herself, which is a better answer than I could have ever hoped for.

If you are having a slow Friday, pop over to Mom.me to read my post about my daughter’s take on BFFs.  As usual, I have a lot to learn from that little lady.

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31 thoughts on “BFFs on the Brain

  1. i used to be such a good friend. and i’ve always been very loyal, but lately, i’m also overwhelmed and it is sometimes a lot easier to be alone. my friends are all thinking i’ve become a recluse. i know that’s a mistake. today i;m taking deep breaths already. damn.

  2. Oh, Christie, please don’t feel excluded from HerStories at all. This was our first project, and the way that we chose submissions and contributors was certainly not a purely scientific process and no reflection on anyone else’s writing. Ironically, the more that I write about friendship and collect others’ stories about friendship, the less time that I have for my own friends. Since having my son two years ago, my friendships have also suffered. We moved a few months after my son was born, and it’s been extremely difficult to create a new network of friends. Maybe that’s why I got so interested in the topic! In any case, we’re about to introduce the details of our new friendship project, and I hope it appeals to you enough that you submit a piece!

    • I can do the piece about how I fail at friendship because I make other peoples glorious successes about me. Ha! I hear you on the irony of having less time for Friends now that you’re busy with a friendship project. And kids? Who has time for friends???

      >

  3. Out of the mouths of babes…Sadie is one amazing 4 year old. And I think it’s so healthy she’s open, engaged, social and NOT codependent. I wonder how much a BFF is like a security blanket for lots of kids – not that I relate or anything. Happy 12th!

  4. Your daughter is such a genius. I swear. You’re an awesome mom and a lucky lady. I totally get how you’re feeling. I’ve been there too. Two years ago I made the extra effort and starting making time for friendship the way all the books tell you to: some day is not a day of the week, put it on the calendar bla bla. Here’s the thing: to your point, something else always suffers (I also have a job, a blog, a writing project, a child, a relationship, etc.). So I end up like a pendulum as usual – putting out one fire to start another one. Point: I love my friends, and I would also love more balance in my world. I think that’s code for more hours in the day. If you figure that one out please let me know! XO

  5. This couldn’t have been more timely for me. My 7 year old is currently going through a friend crisis, and of course, I’m all over it. My first instinct was to call the other moms and force their kids to include my kid, but then I realized how ridiculous that was!! So, I didn’t. (thank goodness). Instead, we are talking a lot about how she can better befriend these two girls that seem to be leaving her out. But, maybe what I need to be doing is teaching her how to love herself more, and be happy being everyone’s friend!
    And, I totally love how you spelled out hashtag. Made me LOL.

  6. I am struggling with this in my life. I have a crazy busy life like all of us, but I try to still make time for friends. I am extremely loyal and try to be a good friend. The problem…I think I have less tolerance now for the BS and energy that it takes to maintain a friendship if it isn’t reciprocated. As my age increases my tolerance decreases…not a good thing.

  7. Agree! And the more time that goes by without catching up with some old friends, the bigger the energy obstacle it is to even consider calling them up for a chat! Also feel the pressure to sort this out for my daughter. She’s three and and her daycare buddies are already having birthday parties. So not ready! Trying to avoid the shame spiral that I’m setting her up for a life of loneliness if I don’t bring her to the Gymboree or whatever!

  8. That’s a wise little girl! Probably due in part to her great mama. My 13-yr old has an amazing little group of friends. The kind of friends you hope & pray your daughter might have even one of & she has 4. They’re amazingly self-aware and accepting of each other just as they are.

  9. Good for Sadie. Playing alone, and enjoying it to boot, is not something every 4-year-old does easily. Maggie is the opposite – she has one best friend and little desire to play with any other kids. And of course I worry a little about that, because that’s what moms do, isn’t it? I feel the same as you about female friendship. Not only are my free hours scarce with 2 young kids and a job, I had an experience like yours, except it was in 7th grade instead of 5th, and it was my two best friends instead of 10 girls. It haunted me for years, and I still keep even my closest girlfriends at arm’s length to some degree, not wanting to be hurt again.

  10. Pingback: A New Year, A New Project: Our Call For Submissions - The HerStories Project

  11. I wonder what it means that my BFF lives in Michigan, I have seen her a handful of times in the past 10 years- and we rarely, if ever, communicate. But this is the kind of friendship that works for me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it- and I know if I needed her (and I did- about 2 years ago) she’s be there. Just as I would for her.
    PS- I love that your daughter’s bff is herself. Awesome.

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