By Celeste of And What a Mom!
I am a sucky friend in a lot of ways. And you know what? You probably are, too. No offense, and perhaps you aren’t and this post has nothing to do with you, but the majority of female friends aren’t all that great.
Don’t get me wrong. They’re good people. I like to think I am, too. But we have developed some nasty habits that are all bringing us down. We cancel plans at the last minute, we’re late to everything, we’re far more interested in talking than listening, and besides, my problems are worse anyway. Am I right? Oh, and the gossip. The gossip is the worst.
The gossip is brutal. Female friends are the finest form of backstabbing bitches you’ll ever come across. Yes, I’m calling you a bitch. But don’t worry, I’m one, too. These friends will hug you and tell you they love you while calling you a “psycho hot mess” two minutes later when you step away. We will nod and listen as you air your grievances while taking mental notes on what to text the other girls that night.
And it doesn’t get any better now that we’re all mothers. Now, instead of judging and critiquing you for your fashion, career, and boy troubles, we attack each other for our parenting style and kids’ personalities. Mommy wars are brutal, and we’re not talking rival gangs, Jets vs. Sharks. These feuds happen in our very own circles.
Fear of commitment. Even if you manage to keep the gossip at bay, whatever happened to commitment? Mom friends don’t want to commit to anything. Birthday party? Girls night? Book club? “Let me get back to you when the date nears.” What are you waiting for exactly? A fever to emerge? A better invite? It’s pathetic, really, that we can’t even promise our time to our friends more than a few days ahead. But we’ve gotten into this habit of fearing commitment, and it shows with every unanswered RSVP and every “maybe” response to a lunch date.
We’re all just. so. busy. “I’m so swamped right now.” Sound familiar? It should, because we’ve all used it. We are all just so damn busy. And we’re not lying either. Between work, chores, family, soccer practice and clarinet recitals, we are all going a million miles a minute. But if you’re waiting for things to “settle down,” then let me know so I can find a good book and a glass of wine or three, because that’s just never going to happen.
Showing up late. Have you ever arrived at Starbucks on time to meet friends and sat there waiting 5, 10, 15 minutes for them to arrive? Is there anything more awkward than sitting there, killing time on your phone while you look up every time the door swings open and make uncomfortable eye contact with strangers staring you back down like, “Look at that poor lady all alone drinking coffee.” No? Then you are probably the friend who is always late.
You’ve got a great sob story in your back pocket that you pull out and we all laugh and shrug it off. But secretly, here’s what I’m thinking: You don’t value my time. You don’t think my time is as important as yours. It might not even be true, but I’m thinking it because that’s how it feels. Don’t be that friend.
Here’s the deal. We all do these things because they’ve become so commonplace, they’re now considered socially acceptable. But let’s cut the crap. Let’s stop being lame friends and decide we deserve more from each other. Let’s stop the gossip and only say what we have the guts to say to each other’s faces. Let’s value each other’s time the same way we value our kids’ baseball games and school talent shows. Let’s commit to events more than a few days in advance and make a concerted effort to be on time. If we change our expectations, we can change our actions and be better friends as a result.
I want my friends to know I do value them and our relationships. I’m going to make these changes to be a better person and better friend. Maybe others will follow, maybe not. But at least you know that from here on out, you can count on me. Maybe… hopefully… this can make me a better friend.
About the Author
Celeste is a mom to a toddler and expecting another boy in 2016, and loves to write about the good, bad, and the “what the heck am I doing??” parts of motherhood. She is also a marketing professional, which has armed her with bountiful experience in cleaning up poop and managing temper tantrums. Sign up for her weekly dose of reality at And What a Mom!