Motherhood is the most challenging yet empowering experience a woman can have. It is busy (understatement), but there is one thing for certain, motherhood is so much better with friends. But there isn’t the same amount of time to nurture relationships as their was in pre-parent life. In your busy mom life, you quickly realize, it’s not about having a ton of friends; it’s about meaningful relationships – because there isn’t time for anything else. Here is why I don’t need a lot of friends:
Nurture What Matters
All relationships, including friendships take work. But you have to nurture the relationships that matter and cannot cater to everyone. You don’t need a squad or tribe or any other team of women to share your motherhood journey with. It’s much more important to have one meaningful friendship than several less fulfilling friendships. That is why it is so important when you are pulled in several directions to nurture the relationships that really matter to you. The beauty of friendship is that it makes both people feel good, connected, and fulfilled. Stick to those that you feel that way about.
Share Real Laughter
Nurture the friend that shares real laughter with you. The one that shares the humor with you when you show up at preschool with your shirt inside out (again). The one you can just exchange a knowing look with and she knows what’s caught your attention (it’s your husband’s savage humor). There is nothing more cathartic than laughter. That’s the friendship to nurture.
Nurture the friendship where the husbands get along. As wonderful as someone might be, it can strain a relationship if your husbands do not get along – think square peg round hole. It’s not something you can control whatsoever but when the respective husbands are happy, everyone is happy. It makes everything seamless. That’s the friendship to nurture.
Nurture the friend with a similar lifestyle. Lifestyle matters when time is your biggest and shortest commodity. No longer do you have the luxury to commit to every friendship, instead you have to choose to prioritize the friendships that accommodate both people’s lifestyles. At the end of the busy day, week, month, and year, it’s the friend that I play tennis with, go to the children’s museum with, and am able to just chill at home with that I see. That’s the friendship to nurture.
Nurture the friend with a complimentary parenting philosophy. Although no two people will ever parent the same way, it is important to compliment each other rather than clash. We don’t have to implement all the same practices but we have to be able to talk freely and openly about our parenting choices and philosophies. Whether we agree on the latest way to handle the epic toddler meltdown in public doesn’t matter. It’s the free flow of ideas and shared confidences that help to develop our own respective parenting practices. And of course the mutually exchanged affirmations that “we got this” because we are in it together. That’s the friendship to nurture.
She’s There Even In The Worst Of Times
Nurture the friend who is there in the worst of times. It’s easy to find friends when things are good and celebrations are planned. But what about the bad times? Life isn’t all good – the bad times are always lurking. I nurture the friendships that I know will be there in the difficult moments, because they have been there. The friend that picks you up when you can’t find the strength is worth all the time, energy, and love you give them and more. That is the friend you can’t live without. That’s the friendship to nurture.
So next time you feel guilty or a stigma about not having a large social circle or not tending to every friendship left lingering – don’t. Life isn’t a popularity contest. Friendships with depth don’t come around a lot, but they are the ones that matter. Nurture the friendships that matter.
Photography By Kelly A. Read
Kelly is a talented local photographer with an eye for catching the perfect moment in beautiful light. We particularly love her whimsical stylized sessions that bring out the beauty, playfulness, and magic of childhood.
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