When it comes to surviving parenthood, mom friends rank right up there with food, sleep, even caffeine. But not all mom friends are created equal. In fact, some may be holding you back or even dragging you down.
It’s not always easy to spot these culprits – sometimes they look deceptively like the right kind of friend, at least at first. But if you learn to identify them and start the process of easing them out of your inner circle, you can focus on the friendships that build you up and move you forward.
The All-About-Me Friend
From Day 1, this mom likes to get personal. A week in, and you feel like you know her life story. But does she know anything about you? Probably not, because conversations with her are a one-way street. She’s quick to ask for favors, but rarely offers to reciprocate, and when you try to share a parenting success or worry, somehow she finds a way to quickly tie it back to her own life. Relationships may not always be 50:50, but they definitely shouldn’t be 99:1.
The Judgy Friend
Your child’s teacher informs you that your little angel used an expletive on the playground and announced he “heard Mommy say it about another driver.” You cringe, burst out laughing and text your mom friend an emoji-filled recap. She replies, “Yikes…hopefully none of the parents will be offended.” Now you want to cry. Whether it’s breastfeeding, the food you pack for school lunches, or TV time, the judgy mom finds a way to insert her (strong) opinions about the way you do things, often with a smile and innocuous tone that distract you from the sting. Over time, however, these digs really leave a mark on your confidence.
The Teen-Angst Friend
You may miss certain things about your teenage self – the energy, the lack of responsibility, the metabolism – but you probably don’t miss the anxiety of feeling left out, whispered about or otherwise on the outs. The Teen-Angst Friend brings you right back to that mindset. Maybe she never acknowledges your suggestions for a play date or moms night out, but immediately chimes in when someone else raises the idea. Maybe she spends your conversations at school events scanning the room, as though seeking a better option. Whatever it is, she makes you question whether you’re likeable enough, fun enough, interesting enough, and on and on until you make yourself crazy. Stop the insanity and move on!
The Kiddie-Pool Friend
This mom gets her nickname from the body of water that seems cool and inviting, until you step in and it only reaches your shins. The interactions are nice enough but never move beyond pleasantries. Everything with her and her kids is always good or great. Full stop. What you know about her comes mainly from her Instagram stories. If you’ve tried to go deeper and just can’t seem to get there with this mom, it’s best to towel off and look elsewhere.
The Humorless Friend
Momming is messy, hard and often hilarious. Those who fail to see the hilarity only make it messier and harder. Look for mom friends who know how to laugh at the beautiful absurdity of loving and raising these little humans.