Why Motherhood Can’t Be an Excuse to Suck at Friendship

There have recently been some blog posts circulating that center on a common theme I see in the mom community, especially mommies with littles. It is the concept that because we are mommies, it is okay to suck at being a friend, and well, I simply refuse to accept that.

Now before everyone starts losing their minds and jumping to the defense of these posts, let me just say I have read many of them in their entirety and can relate with much of the content. I am a mother of 4 {10, 7, 5 and 3}; I work full-time {and so does my husband}; I am halfway through a master’s degree; and on September 11th, we launched a church – like for the first time ever! {And oh yeah, I have my first book launching on September 27th.} This is by far the busiest, most overwhelming season of life I have ever experienced – hands down – so I get it. Which is why I need good friends right now more than ever! But just as we learned in kindergarten: “You have to be a good friend to have good friends.”

And you know the key group of people that have gotten me through this particular season of life without my kids revolting and marriage falling apart?

My friends.

I am going to be bold enough to say being a mom cannot become an excuse for not building community with other people. Or worse, permission for you to not invest in others. Here are a few reasons why I think we use the excuse of motherhood as a reason to not invest in friendships…

We refuse to be transparent.

I don’t know why we as women struggle with this so much! The issue of transparency and authenticity, and the need to show the world that we have all our crap together is at an all-time high. It is imperative that our lives be painted in just the right shade of incredible, and unfortunately, with the aid of social media, we have the power to do just that. While we may not say it out loud, we think if we allow too many people to get too close and really do life with us, they will see just how big of a hot mess our lives really are. Well, NEWS ALERT, they already know because theirs is too! No one believes your Instagramed pictures of heart-shaped sandwiches for little Johnny’s Valentine’s Day lunch. We all know that right after that picture was taken, the dog jumped on the counter, ate the sandwich, and little Johnny peed on the floor because for some reason he was naked after you already dressed him. We are on to you girl, so cut yourself some slack and invites others in on the crazy.

Literally just last week, I called a friend and simply said, “For the love of everything good and holy, I need your help! My life is kicking my rear right now!” And, she has made the same phone call to me before; don’t be so prideful as to miss out on meaningful friendship – don’t be afraid to let your cards show. Teamwork makes the dream work … or something like that.

Why Motherhood Can't Be An Excuse to Suck at Friendship | Houston Moms Blog

We have a jacked-up definition of friendship.

Being a good friend does not mean that you have to spend every waking moment together. I mean, that is ludicrous. And if you have a friend that has that expectation, that is called co-dependency, and you need to go ahead and bounce up out of that mess. But seriously, we aren’t in college anymore, so our friendships can’t look like meeting up at the Student Center after class and sitting around for hours trying to figure out what we are going to do that night. Or going to someone’s dorm to help them get ready for a first date with the cute guy from the basketball team.

Most of my best friendships these days are maintained through group texts and FB messages asking about how those two year molars are coming in and what I can do to help. Phone calls in the car as I am driving from karate to soccer to swimming and back home again. It looks like doubling recipes and dropping off dinner to a friend that is a single mom with 3 kids under the age of 4, because y’all, SHE IS THE ONE THAT IS TIRED – not me. Or sending a text message on my way to the grocery store to see if anyone needs a gallon of milk for cereal in the morning. It means calling a neighbor at 9:00 p.m. and asking if she wants to jump in the car and ride with me to said grocery store, so we can steal 20 minutes of uninterrupted conversation even if it is while walking through the produce section.

Why Motherhood Can't Be An Excuse to Suck at Friendship | Houston Moms Blog

We don’t plan well or with intention.

The truth is we are ALL busy in our own ways. My busy may look different than your busy, but it is busy nonetheless. So, we have to be intentional. You are absolutely right in thinking that friendships are not going to form from 6:00 – 7:00 a.m. in the morning as you are trying to feed a baby, pack a lunch, find your husband’s black dress shoes, and sign a homework folder. But, friendships are also not going to form as you wait for the busy season to pass … because it never passes. I have friends that are parenting teenagers or even empty nesters, and you know what? They are busy. I learned a long time ago that if I just assumed everyone was busy and waited for someone to initiate an invitation or phone call when they are less busy, it was never going to happen.

I recently left a job that I had at the same organization for almost 10 years. I immediately went from seeing two of my best friends everyday to never, and I simply did not want to accept the fact that those friendships were over. So we scheduled a once a month lunch date … same day, same time, same place every month. There are times in which I have had to come with kid in tow, but I still came because friendship is important. I also have a standing girls trip on the calendar every year. Sometimes they are glamorous vacations, and sometimes they are more like stay the weekend at someone’s house and watch movies because we have no money! But it doesn’t matter because it is on the calendar and we are together!

Why Motherhood Can't Be An Excuse to Suck at Friendship | Houston Moms Blog

Listen, the things I am saying are not easy. In fact, they take a lot of work, but it is so worth it! You {even in motherhood} were made for community and human interaction. Don’t lose sight of that in this busy time, and don’t ever feel guilty about leaving those little bundles of joy and letting someone else take over for a bit. Who do you think is illustrating to your kids how to be a good friend and make time for others? It’s you.

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Jenny truly believes Houston is the best city on the planet and that is why she has never left! She met and married her high school sweetheart Chad, and then added three children {via womb} and 1 child {via adoption} to their family all while living in this great city. Jenny works full-time as the Executive Pastor of Real Hope Community Church, and absolutely loves her job! In her not so free time, she enjoys doing Crossfit and binge watching Netflix – generally not both at the same time, but that would be amazing! She also has an odd obsession with presidential libraries and people using the correct form of your and you're. You can stay connected with Jenny at www.jennydayjones.com and on Twitter and Instagram @jennyjones76.


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