Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Momisms: On Mom Friendships


I read a post recently about whether or not moms and not-moms can be friends. 
Good points were made for why they can't. Things like: as moms we become boring creatures with little to talk about except baby poop and nap time and the cute shit our kids say incorrectly that provides us possibly the only entertainment we get in a day, and grocery shopping.
It's true.
Since becoming a mother I have over the last 8 years become increasingly more boring.
And the prognosis isn't good. 
I see myself only becoming exponentially more boring until I basically cease to exists as anything other than a machine that puts clothes into another machine to be washed, and cooks food on yet another machine that gets hot and beeps and smokes.
It will eventually be an endless cycle of my boring machine self, communicating with other machines in order to complete tasks that keep my children alive.
This is quite literally a nightmare I have often.
The writer of the post about moms and not-moms being friends, also went on to say that efforts could be made on both sides: not moms could be more patient, and kindly listen to our crap ass mom talk, and then when we're done bitching talking, we moms can indulge in a little not-mom vicarious living by listening to our not-mom friends tell stories about the normal lives they're still carrying on, in a world where they get to take a shower ever single day. 
I agreed with almost everything the writer was saying.

But it brought up another question for me along the same lines - or maybe another question asked in a different way: can moms and not-moms be friends when their lives are just so different?
Imagine that you did have normal shit to talk about, and you didn't ever tell stories about baby shit or grocery shopping {yeah right}, and you were actually able to get away once in a while for a girls lunch without your babies?
Would you still be able to maintain friendships with your friends who didn't have kids?
Would the two of you be anywhere near the same place in your lives? Would you be able to honestly relate to the things the other person was going through in their very different universe?
Once you live a new life for long enough, your old life begins to feel very foreign. It becomes harder and harder to recognize the native language, and communicate with the inhabitants of that now very distant land.
Do you ever feel like you're a little more grown up than your friends that don't have kids?
I mean, with no disrespect intended to the childless women of the world, but doesn't getting married, or being in a serious relationship, or doing it all alone while raising babies age you a little, if not a whole hell of a lot?
I am 24 years old and I don't feel anywhere near the same age as the girls in my office who are even a couple years older than me, unless they also have kids or a husband or lead a somewhat similar life.
Would your not-mom friends never get bored with just having girls lunch and getting your nails done, if they're still hitting the bars on Friday night, trying to find a man or have some fun, or just enjoy being young and still relatively unattached?

I know that the experiences I've had tell me it's incredibly hard for me personally to have close friendships with girls who don't have kids. 
It's frustrating on both sides when it comes to going out together: I can't ever go to happy hour after work, I cannot go to a bar where my tab will be over 20 dollars for two freaking drinks, I don't can't talk on the phone with them every night and sometimes I get so busy/tired/rundown/forgetful that I may not return a call for several days.
And during the times when I am overwhelmed, lonely from being the only parent/adult in the house, and a little bored after months and months of nothing but Rugrats on T.V. and World War II over getting little kids to finish their goddamn mac and cheese, it's hard for me not to feel a little jealous of my friends who are seeing concerts, going to movies and surrounded by their other friends constantly.
The resentment definitely comes out, and that adds strain to an already fragile friendship, and before I know it I'm saying that our lives are just too different and I need to find more grown up friends.

So I guess I'm saying I don't know how it all works, I don't know how to balance those worlds. 
I don't know if it's about maturity, or parental status, or if one determines the other and in the end they're all the same. I don't know if my own immaturity affected my ability to be friends with people with less responsibility than me, without allowing them to be poor influences on me, or if the way that raising babies just naturally wears you out and wears you down sometimes, makes being friends with people who have less responsibility than you a bad idea because there's almost no way to avoid them being a bad influence.
Oy. It's confusing, and I think there are no hard and fast rules or absolute truths.
I just know that friendships only become more vital, yet simultaneously harder, as soon as someone says
"Here comes the head!"

 Quote = Jerry Maguire


  1. I honestly think the key is finding that right "balance" between knowing who you value as a friend and knowing who should and should not be your friend. Great post :)