Mom friends or mommy friends are amazing. It can be difficult to survive without a few good ones, after all, they share the horror stories, sympathy, and any inside info about well… everything. Bringing up tiny humans is definitely a highly emotional marathon, and it can be super simple to get tripped up by gossip, judgement, and anxiety. We may not always realize or notice when a friend is being “that guy” so we want to share ways to identify the types of friends that can suck the joy out of our parenthood journey, with some advice on how to manage!
Identifying A Taker: You enjoy picking this friend's kids up from school, but somehow you’ve become their daily driver. Carpooling is a huge hit with them, but you’re the only mom driving. Basically, takers take without ever giving. Friendship is a two-way street, but in the world of takers their road only goes one way, and that’s their way.
Dealing With A Taker: It’s important to recognize that a “taker” is taking advantage of you. Takers will rely on you and almost demand you give without ever getting anything in return aside from more expectations. Set your boundaries and make sure they’re respected. If you have open and clear communication about what you both can and can’t do for one another, the friendship can flourish.
Identifying A Know-It-All: Almost any topic brought up is something she’s experienced, conquered, and has the best advice on it. Everything is easy-peasy, and they know everything there is to know about anything. Breastfeeding (even if they didn’t), the best diapers, making homemade baby food. Whatever there is to know, they think they know it, and how dare you question their authority on the topic.
Dealing With A Know-It-ALL: Without meaning to, a know-it-all friend tends to make others feel like crap. If you ever feel like your friend has it all figured out, and you’re blowing in the wind, own up to your envy. Then, reaffirm the things you value most about YOU as a parent and try to dispassionately assess your know-it-all friends intentions. Sometimes when you share a concern, and they share their story about how they handled the situation when they dealt with it, it’s a clumsy way to empathize, yet their heart’s in the right place. However, if they offer unsolicited advice in a way that elevates them and puts you down, cut off the conversation right then and there. Tell them that they might be right and then stop sharing your concerns or issues because they’re THAT friend!
Spotting Complainers: Complainers do just that, they complain about pretty much everything. Any discussion leads to an in-depth complaining session even when there isn’t much to complain about.
Dealing With Complainers: If you happen to have a relationship with a “Debbie Downer” and it’s worth fighting for, you can empathize without actually joining in. Complainers are looking for sympathy and emotional validation. The fastest way to avoid being sucked into a negative downward spiral is to validate their grievances and express sympathy. After that, redirect the conversation and attention as you would a toddler having a tantrum. Complainers usually aren’t looking for advice, so it can be pointless to offer any. It’s best to acknowledge that you hear them and move on.
Having Mommy friends is an essential part of parenthood. However, you don’t need the wrong friends in your life because they can only make things stressful and frustrating.