So, the other day my mother posted an article on Facebook called Dear Girls, Life Is Too Short For Crappy Friends. (You can find that article here.) I’m assuming she posted it with my 19 year old sister in mind…. and all her other friends with daughters. It seemed geared toward a younger crowd- with references to Justin Beiber and One Direction. It talked about how important it is to be yourself, how not important it is to be popular, and how having one good friend is better than 1000 crappy ones.
But, this article wasn’t just for the girls struggling to survive their middle school years (remember those? ugh). As a 30 year old mother of three, I found my head nodding in agreement, and my head tilting/eyebrows raising in a “yup, that’s true” kinda way. At 30 years old, I’m still learning that life is too short for crappy friends.
During our teenage years, life is different. I don’t know about you, but just about the ONLY thing I was concerned about was what we were going to do on the weekend. Who was having a party, who was invited, who asked who to the dance, who was wearing whose football jersey to the game. Careless, trivial things… that meant everything. As we grow up, we realize how silly those insanely important things were. We all know that all the popular kids from High School aren’t always still cool when they’re thirty. Most of your “friends” from High School you haven’t talked to since freshmen year of college.
We grow up. Some of us get important jobs. Some of us have babies. No matter if you are a CEO, a stay at home mom, or something in between- our days are busy. Our alarms wake us up before we want to, we rush out the door to get somewhere, we have appointment after errand after obligation. Our evenings are probably busier- beating rush hour traffic, trying to get dinner on the table, the house is a mess, the laundry is piling up. Throw a new baby into the mix… you already have to give so much of your time doing things that have to be done, don’t you want the few spare moments you have to be spent with the people you actually love? To enjoy a glass of wine with your husband? To just be able to sit and hold and stare at and love your baby? With no time limit, no having to rush to the next task? Or do whatever. the. hell. you. want?
But, we don’t. We put the baby down because you have to call what’s-her-name back. After a crazy day, you have to run around the house picking up because the friend you haven’t seen in a YEAR wants to stop by and see the baby. And there’s that girls night on Friday that you really don’t want to go to but feel like you have to. WE DON’T EVEN HAVE TIME TO SHOWER!
Stop! Stop doing it. Stop wasting time on crappy friends. The friends that only call when they need something. The friends who’s kids’ birthday parties you go to EVERY stinkin year, but they never can seem to make the time to celebrate your kid. The friend who doesn’t have time to talk when you need someone, but certainly has time to post on Facebook. The friend who is constantly trying to one up you, or the friend who is constantly questioning your parenting, the friend that invites everyone else except for you. The single one who makes you feel bad for not making more time for her or not having the freedom to go to Happy Hour on Tuesday. These people aren’t your friends. You owe them nothing- and you don’t need to feel bad about that.
Just because we know exactly what they do everyday, and see pictures of their dinner, and pictures of their kid on the front porch on the first day of school… it doesn’t mean you’re friends. Facebook friends, sure. But real life is too short for crappy Facebook friends. As mother’s, we are always worried about everyone else’s feelings. It’s how we’re wired. But, it’s time to think about your own, too. Spend time with the people you love, do the things you want to do. If it takes you a day to text someone back, or you decide to skip Bunco to read a good night story to your kids instead… your friends won’t mind. They’ll understand. And those- those are your friends. The friends you consider sisters; the ones who are always there- good or bad; the ones you can trust, and laugh with, and cry with. That don’t even ask if you need something, they just show up with it. Your husband. Your children. Your family. Those are your friends.
As cliche as it sounds, your baby will be off to kindergarten soon. Life goes by quickly. Too quickly. So, stop wasting time on the crappy friends.