Have you ever been dumped by a friend? Ever outgrown a friend? I think we can all say yes. I've been dumped. It hurts. It's hard when you realize that you no longer have anything in common or have drifted apart.
I tend to hold on to my friends for a very long time. It's hard to get rid of me. I have friends I have known since I was 4 years old. Trust me, she has seen and heard it all. And still takes my calls.
I was dumped by one of my best friends right after the birth of our son. I was devastated. To me, it was out of the blue. What had I done or said? I was never given the chance to talk it out. I received an email informing me that our friendship was over. Four years later and I realize that it was for the best. I realized that I never felt good enough around her. I never felt like I could just be me. I always felt judged.
The comments and put-downs were subtle but they were frequent. My daughter, who was 4 at the time, even commented once that "your friend doesn't seem to like you very much, Mommy". What kind of example was I setting for my daughter? Friends are supposed to build you up, support you and be kind to you. I didn't want her thinking it is ok to be treated or treat anyone that way.
I've learned (the hard way) that is ok for people to come in and out of your life. People change. Their situations change. Not everyone stays friends forever. I have friends from all walks of life - different backgrounds, lifestyles, etc. As I get older, I have learned that it isn't about where you come from or how much money you have. Some of my best friends are people I have nothing in common with on paper.
Here is what I look for in a friend - kindness, patience and a hell of a good sense of humor. I can be as sarcastic as the next person. I can tease and be teased but I know where the line is. I don't have the time or energy to waste on people who call themselves a friend but put me down. I have had enough of people who brag, criticize, judge and complain. I've done the mompetition.
I've hung around the friends who not only judge my parenting, but feel the need to parent my children in front of me. I know I am far from a perfect mom. Trust me, there are days that I am proud my kids are alive at the end of the day. But, I have no desire to parent anyone else's child. I am done with the "keeping up with the Jones's" friends.
If you are picking your friends based on their 401k plans, you need to re-evaluate. I wonder about the people who brag about their fancy houses and vacations. Are they happy or are they hiding behind their status? And, why does it seem, do they always brag in front of the people that they know are struggling to make ends meet? Are they clueless or just really insecure? If you come over to my house, you will be tripping over toys and shoes. There will be dishes in my sink. My kids will probably be fighting. Someone's house will always be bigger, fancier and cleaner. And I am perfectly ok with that.
We are blessed with what we have. We are even more blessed with who we have in our lives. I am not a perfect friend. I will forget to call. I may forget to ask about your latest family drama. But, I will not judge. I will be there when you need me. I will listen and support you. I will laugh with you but not at you. I don't care about your credentials, education or finances. Funny, smart, kind people, come on over to my messy house and have a few laughs.
To read more from Barb, visit My Crazy Life - Live, Laugh, Love