Have you ever noticed how we search for common ground when we’re talking to people? A mother at the park engages you in a conversation about your child because they too have a daredevil. An elderly gentleman in the grocery store chuckles as you juggle three children and reminisces about his last visit with his grandchildren. A neighbor strikes up a conversation about the neighborhood park. We are comfortable with others when we can find something shared.
Making & Maintaining Friendships
Obviously, shared experiences are important to a friendship. I’d even venture to say that shared experiences are a base for which many friendships are built upon. So why is it that we as mothers sometimes struggle to find or maintain friendships? With approximately 85.4 million other mothers in the United States alone, how could it be that maintaining a good solid friendship is so hard?
I’ll break down some of the obvious answers:
- You’re constantly chasing after smaller, sometimes faster little people.
- You had time for a shower sometime in the last 4 days, but not much else.
- You’re trying to make time for the baby’s checkup, your 6 year old’s request for a game of battleship and the fact that your poor middle child still can’t count to 20 properly.
- You’re taking up a lot of brain space trying to sort out the essential oil wars and the vaccine debate and so many other qualifications that might label you as a “good” mother.
- You can’t quite remember why you started this list so you’ll put it on the once organized cork board with your 50 other lists.
It becomes apparent that as mothers we have a lot going on!
How much easier is it to log onto Facebook and take a quick cruise through your news feed to see what everyone is up to than it is to actually send a text or make a call? I’ll tell you one thing that I see; Facebook doesn’t mind interruptions. Did the baby have a super explosion that requires a full change of clothing, bed sheets and a bath? Did you spot your son in the backyard tossing a chicken in the air to see if it could fly? Is your 4 year old yelling “Can someone come wipe me?!?” at the top of her lungs? Facebook. Doesn’t. Care. Facebook will wait while you change the baby and start the laundry. Facebook will wait while you have a heart to heart about treating God’s creatures with respect. Facebook will wait while you scour a tiny bottom.
You want to know something else I’ve learned through my long journey of struggling to be a good friend?
A good friend doesn’t care.
A good friend will stay on the line and laugh with you as you change and bathe a poo covered baby.
A good friend will agree to a return call when you need to have a heart to heart.
A good friend won’t mind being set on a counter listening to bathroom noises.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Maintaining Friendships
One thing we have to stop doing as mothers is we have to stop telling ourselves that we are too busy to do something that is good for us.
- We DO have 20 minutes for a quick chat with a friend. Our kids need to learn patience and respect anyway.
- We DO have 30 seconds to shoot off a “how is your week going” text to a friend. Do it while the oatmeal is cooking.
- We DO have time to grab a coffee sometime in the next two weeks. It’s only $4 and an hour or two. Daddy, Grandma or a teen from church can handle the munchkins.
Mommas, we have to quit denying ourselves the friendships that can help strengthen us as women and mothers.
- We have to quit denying old friends of our time.
- Log off of Facebook and make that call.
- Make the baby’s appointment and then send a quick text.
- If nothing else, write down the people you’re thinking of throughout the day and then send an email or a private Facebook message when you finally get around to it at 11:30 at night.
There are never too many times to let someone know you care.
God knows the longings of our hearts. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who loves to have a huge group of friends or if you prefer a handful of close friends. God knows. He has placed these people in your life for a reason. He wants you to foster a deep and loving connection with other children of God.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.