Friendships

I don’t have many long term friendships. I was an awkward kid and din’t make friends easily. I had friends in high school that for various reasons I am not friends with anymore. Nothing majorly bad but a variety of things – I told a good friend her boyfriend was cheating on her when we were 17 and she ended our friendship, when I started dating my first girlfriend we weren’t out and it made it hard to maintain friendships in the high school to college transition, and my first girlfriend and I were introduced by my high school best friend – when we broke up their friendship continued and ours fizzled out.

I have friends from college/college age but few of those are easy. One of my closest friends with college I had an intense love affair with and while we are on good terms we are not close. My best friend from college aged that I kept for a long time came to visit over Christmas and I decided I fully hate her wife and can’t be around their family dynamic. I don’t miss it much but it was a long friendship and I feel bad but it is what it is.

I tend to make close friendships that last for a few years and then explode. There are various reasons but it really comes down to my personality. I try not to be one of those people who says things like, “I don’t know why drama follows me”. I know why – I am sometimes hard to deal with. I am direct and firm in my opinions and loud. At some point I say something and someone can’t deal. It’s hard for me to understand because 90% of the time these things would not be a big deal if people knew how to communicate their problems but no one teaches life skills so here I am.

This isn’t to say I don’t have friends but that I have few very close friendships. My two closest friends I don’t talk to enough and live in New York and Vancouver. Most of my other close people are internet folks so it’s just different.

I am okay with this but it is odd to see people who have been friends for a long time. People who are in their childhood best friend’s wedding. A lot of my high school friends are like that and it is mind boggling to me.

This has been on my mind a lot when thinking about friends for Gus. I worry that because I suck at maintaining friendships that I am doing him a disservice. I talked about this recently but I feel like an outcast in mom world. In middle school I wondered if everyone was hanging out without me but now thanks to facebook and instagram I know they are. We don’t get invited to things and I struggle to put in the effort when it feels one sided.

I’m actually pretty okay with it. I relish my family time and enjoy our unit of three. I like adventuring and being together without having to worry about other people’s schedules. We do have some parent friends we hang out with regularly and it can be tiring. It’s harder to parent Gus when other kids are around. I genuinely do not like a lot of people. I don’t have the energy (I am fully the friendship maintainer in our relationship).

But while it is not the end of the world to me (although sometimes it really sucks) I wonder if I am doing Gus a disservice. I wonder if I should try to be a more acceptable lady and play the game better. If I shouldn’t go on about political issues or being gay or whatever weird shit I end up going on about. If I should work harder to maintain friendships even though I am exhausted. I wonder if my personality flaws will affect his quality of life because I don’t have a built in group for him. I worry about this more since he is an only child.

I don’t know the answer. I feel like I try with people and it goes no where. I feel like I don’t actually care. But I also want to give my kid everything and it’s hard that I may not be able to give him this.

Advertisements

Posted on May 10, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Disclaimer: I am in a very similar boat, and I really have no room to be making any grand proclamations here, but I’m going to anyway. You know what I think? I think no matter what, we’re all going to do our kids a disservice somehow. Personalities are complex and no one has a perfect one. Some part of every single one of us will be a disservice to our kids by our very nature. And that’s okay. We are good moms. We love our kids. They are happy and healthy and they may not always be both things, but they will mostly be both things and we are doing a fucking great job. Besides, isn’t changing our nature to try fit in better with other people exactly the opposite of what we want our kids to do? Fuck other people. We are awesome. Our kids think so too–for a few more years, anyway–and then maybe they won’t for 20 years or so–but then we’ll be awesome again!

  2. I think everything will be fine, Gus will make his own friends over time that won’t have anything to do with you. I have some old friends from when I was a teenager, but we aren’t very close either. A big part of that is that I moved away and making friends as an adult with responsibilities is difficult, part of that is parenting differences. Right now, while everyone still needs pretty much constant supervision, I’m totally ok with mostly just hanging out as a family.

  3. I could have written this.

  4. I don’t have experience with this as a parent yet, but my mom had zero friends – she just hung out with her horses all day- and I grew up with only one or two select friends. But now, now that I have like minded people who came together in the same graduate program and we all actually like each other, I have tons of friends and an active social life. So I may have turned out like my mom in that I was very picky with people I chose to spend time with, but I still understood how to have friends once I found people I really liked. I don’t think that you not having a huge social circle of parent-friends is going to make Gus antisocial or not able to form friendships. He may turn out like you with the same preferences for friends, or he may not. But however he turns out, that’s HIS personality, and it’s great.
    Sorry, this was rambly.

  5. I am super jealous of people who have close friends that they have known forever. Besties, I hear they’re called, but UGH what an awful word. Perhaps that attitude is why I don’t have any. I joke that I am only a bride, never a bridesmaid. Okay, I don’t, but I could. Still, it works out better for my bank account that way. All that money I haven’t spent on butt bow dresses for receptions and p3n1s cakes for bachelorette parties? All the better to enjoy tropical vacations with my besties! Oh wait.

    P.S.- I don’t think you need to worry too much about Gus.

  6. It’d be more of a disservice to teach him to be fake with people and have sham friendships where he’s overly anxious & not able to be himself. Not to dismiss the worry, I’ve felt it too – parenthood is equal parts awesomeness and worrying about every fucking thing – but I ultimately said fuck it, it’s not worth it to pretend to be someone I’m not. In theory I want to go make super fabulous mom friends, but when I have the opportunity, I’m just not into it (or them?) or I don’t have the time/energy to pursue contact, or I’m too busy interacting with my kids to interact with the adults I’m supposed to be making mom friends with…so it is what it is.

    Gus is grand and seems like the kind of extremely social kid who can do well in any situation – and he’s probably too busy making his own friends to notice anything much about yours. I basically hated the children of my parents’ best friends anyways, so I would’ve preferred that my parents not have had close friends. Maybe you are doing him a favor?

  7. I have exactly one close friend, and then a handful of people I see on a somewhat infrequent basis whom I like having in my life but probably wouldn’t call in a time of crisis. I wish I had more friends, but a) I find socializing exhausting b) perhaps in part because of this, I have exacting standards and it needs to be really worth it for me to pursue friendships, c) it takes me a lot of time to open up to people and d) I think I’ve forgotten how to make friends entirely and feel so super awkward making small talk and I think maybe the friend boat left in my 20s.

    Gus will be fine. We’ll all find our own unique ways of messing up our kids, but we are doing our best so that’s gotta be enough, and on the whole, they’ll be fine. Your kid is great, you’re great.

  8. I don’t have any answers, but I love you just as you are.

    Also I don’t have any friends either.

  9. I was a painfully shy child and while my parents encouraged and facilitated some of my friendships (arranging play dates, having birthday parties, etc) they weren’t really involved with my friends’ parents. There seems to be more emphasis on that now than in the 80’s, but as the kids get older I think it gets less and less. Brian has befriended the pre-teens in our court, completely on his own. Now they come knock on our door asking if he can come outside and play. Awkwardly standing around chaperoning a toddler playing with eleven year olds is way harder than my forced social attempts with mom friends haha. I have a feeling Gus will lead the way for friendships. I think it’s interesting that so many of us in blog land identify as introverts and find ourselves struggling with the social aspect of child rearing.

  10. We were just talking the other day about how we feel like we have to do all the work or our friends would just forget about us. It’s exhausting and who has the time for that? And it definitely lets us know whose priorities are where. Solidarity, friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: