The phone rings. It’s 10pm and your friend Tammy calls upset about one of her kid’s report cards. You desperately want to console her, but you have a meeting first thing in the morning – so you do what any ‘bad’ friend would do – you rush off the phone and go back to sleep. The next morning you wake up feeling guilty, so you try to call Tammy back – no answer.
What you just witnessed was one example of how women at times can be bad friends. As mothers it’s important for us to have friends who can help us through trying moments. However, despite how good your character is, every woman has had times when they just can’t be emotionally available. Sometimes it’s shown when we haven’t supported a ‘bestie’ at a special event, other times it is shown when we lack compassion.
Sometimes we get so caught up being a wife and mother that we forget what it means to be a friend. However there’s a code that we mothers have to live by when interacting with our other mother friends. It’s mostly unspoken, but no matter what part of the country you live in – you have to abide by it or get labeled as the woman who’s not a good girlfriend.
- Always listen to our friends (and their problems). That’s a tough role but it’s a necessity as friend and especially as a mother. Listen doesn’t mean judge- it means to stop talking and listen. We’ve all had those moments when a friend calls stressing over their kid’s injury in soccer or their husband’s not helping around the house. Stop what you’re doing and listen.
- Never date a friend’s ex. This is probably the rule that can get you excommunicated from the Church of Friends quickly and without remorse. Never is it acceptable to date a friend’s ex- despite claims that you got it ‘okayed’ through your friend. All exes are off limits for the length of your friendship with your girlfriend. Seriously these relationships never end up well- just leave them alone.
- Support your friends at their important events. These events may range from baby showers to recitals, but if it’s important to your friend, be there. As mothers we usually understand if you can’t stay the entire time, but at least show up.
- Always tell your friends the truth- even if they don’t want to hear it. Part of being a good friend means saying what (sometimes) your friends don’t want to hear. So if your friend is in a relationship with someone who’s using her, tell her. She might not appreciate it immediately but your job is to tell her the truth.
Are the people you call friends really your friend?
Words: Franchesca Lane Warren