Monday, March 14, 2011

You Got to have Friends

Women need a support group of friends.  Women also need a variety of friends.  There are friends we can tell anything too.  Then there are more casual friends that you bond together over a particular thing.  We have childhood friends, mommy friends, co-worker friends, internet friends and the list goes on and on. It's good to have a variety of friends that you can lean on for support because they each fulfill you different needs in a friend.
I have a few close friends but a large support circle of  friends.  I think in each of my circles I have one or two go to friends are can discuss anything with. 
I have an old childhood friend that I have lost touch with a few times but somehow we find each other again.  We were the best of friends through middle school and high school.  We lost touch for a few years after she moved out of the area and our interests became more varied.  As most teenagers, we had a stupid spat and it separated us for a while.  But, we're like sisters, bonded for life.  We found our way back to each other and I attended her wedding about 12 years ago.  She was living out of state at that point so it was hard to keep in touch.  She was a busy newlywed and I was single working insane hours as a retail store manager.  We lost touch again.  It took another 8 years to reconnect.  We had both moved several times since the last time we spoke so it was took a lot of hard work to find each other.  I finally bit the bullet and joined Facebook because I saw this mini photo of a person that looked a lot like one of her sisters.  I signed up and immediately sent out a message asking the person if they were who I though they were.  I was blessed to find out it was indeed her sister.   I was immediately given her email address and told that my friend had been searching for years for me too.  It was joyous reconnecting again.  She is like the sister I never had.  Even when we've been apart, she's always been in my heart.  I believe every woman should have at least one friend like this.  I feel very blessed.
Another type of friend is the co-worker friend.  I have several of these type from past jobs.  However, it's great when this friend becomes more.  Unfortunately, I've also been burned badly by numerous of these types of friends so I'm now much more leery of this type.  My close co-worker friend was someone I didn't even connect with when I first started that job.  I felt we had nothing in common and she was the distant sort.  That all changed when I became pregnant with my first child.  She too was pregnant and due 8 weeks before me.  We bonded after that and have been close ever since.  She went on maternity leave and never returned to that job. I think that helped our friendship because we didn't have any work drama after the kids were born.  Nine years later and we still keep in touch weekly and get together at least a few times a month for lunch and shopping at the mall.  I can share anything with her and I know she'll listen with an open mind.  She's there with advice and support.  I love this about her. 
My third type of friend is my mommy/school friend.  This is a friend who has kids in your child(ren)s school.  You may have met them while hanging out with your kids in the neighborhood, at the local part, in the school yard or at a school function.  Beware of these friends because some are fake and like to cause "mama drama".  You might miss the clues at first but when you see them run as fast as you can in the other direction.  You do not want to get sucked into mama drama.  Been there, done that.  It's so not worth it.  After all is said and done you may lose a person you thought was your friend, you may lose shared friends who don't really know what happened and your child may lose a friend.  I'll touch upon these things in another post.  For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember a post about a bully mom.  Those are the ones that cause mama drama and are so not worth having in your circle of friends.  Find moms that you can connect with.  However, do not try to force friendships between your children.  It may become an issue later.  I can think of one particular friend when I write about this category.  Our children are not friends but will play with each other and, I guess, are friends of a sort.  We connected in a way through my son and her daughter.  Our kids were in speech together during kindergarten.  We didn't meet until I moved into the house behind her right before first grade.  She has become a wonderful friend and neighbor.  What connects us is she has two daughters with disabilities and my son has a hearing impairment.  She is a great support system.  I can always go to her when I'm looking for advice on how to handle a situation at school or a CSE (Committee on Special Education) meeting.  She gets it.  My son is not considered "special needs" and sometimes I have difficulty maneuvering channels. If I don't fight for him he'll get lost in the shuffle.  She is always giving me advice and feedback on my questions.  I can talk to her about anything and she's non-judgmental.  Truly an amazing woman.
When I look at my close friends I realize how truly blessed I am.  I have 5 or 6 that are my go to woman.  I know that they will listen, offer advice and support me whenever I need them.  Everyone should have at least one friend like that.  Foster those friendships and you will reap the  rewards of someone who will always listen and have your back.  Remember to return the favor to them too.  You get back what you put in.  Also, cut any negative, gossipy, mama drama types from your llife.  They are not worth all the energy they are sucking out of you (and possibly your family).  These woman can come back to haunt you.  Trust me, I know.  It's been a year and a half since I cut one of those from my life and she haunts me because her daughter is in my son's class and she is a neighbor.  It's truly like hell.  If I'd known then what I know now I wouldn't have allowed myself to become so close with her and her family.  Hindsight is 20/20 so we have to accept, move on and learn from our mistakes without becoming jaded.
I am truly thankful for my wonderful friends.  Without them I think I would be lost.

1 comment:

Kathy (p/t writer, f/t mom) said...

And then there's your twitter friends, doling out support and laughs 140 characters at a time! :)