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from one Heart to Another

How to Be a Mom and a Friend

How to Be a Mom and a Friend

Moms Often Make Terrible Friends

Moms get so used to putting their family’s needs ahead of their own that often when it comes to relationships outside of their immediate circle, they forget that there are other people who are depending on them as a friend.

You know what I am talking about. There is drama born out of disappointments, hurt feelings, too much quiet between, no time for themselves to grow together… There are moments when expectations come crashing down into smithereens taking the relationship down with them. Distances are created by misunderstandings that create havoc. There are families that are different in ages, values, or interests that ensure that moms finally decide to let go. 

What we need to realize is it is not only the children who need a village to grow. It is us! 

Granted, every relationship has a life span, but these constant scratches create marks on our soul. With all that is constantly going on in our lives, it is important to remember to nurture our friendships. How do you create everlasting ties you ask? By being a real friend first. 

Honest Conversations That Are Heard

Superficial conversations are the first thing to kill budding friendships. Be open. Have friends from all walks of life. And be okay with discussions that are new to you. Conversations with mothers who have different aged kids, cultures, and opinions help alter your perception. Don’t get offended by anything another mom says, especially during times you need advice. She’s saying things true to her nature and trying to help the best way she can. Accept it as her opinion.

Invest In Your Relationships

Invest in relationships as you would in your IRA accounts. Keep your expectations low and be happy to give.  Make time to be there for those who you wouldn’t hesitate to call at 4 a.m. if the need be. Show them that you care. 

Be Above the Want

Often I see people befriending only those who can do something for them. That rarely leads to true relationships. Keep your mind open to every kind of person as you would adventures. People will often surprise you with what they have to offer. Not everyone who meets a need is someone who is worthy of your time.

Keep The Drama Low

Expectations not being met often leads us to react negatively. While we cannot control what’s happening in another’s life, we can control how we respond to things. Everyone discusses things, but don’t cross lines into meanness. You know you have when you are scared that those words will get back to your friend. Drama doesn’t just happen. Either we create it or invite it or associate with situations that we know encourage it. 

Accept Her As She Is

We inherently know how a person is when we associate with them. The way they are, they way they do things, the way they speak. And somehow when our closeness grows, we tend to get surprised when the person behaves in a manner true to their character. No one magically changes their behavior with those around them. Accept it as is. It in no way speaks towards your relationship. That is just how they are. 

Remember to Connect Really 

In the age of digital messaging, it’s important for us all to step away from the devices and nurture relationships. Step outside of the electronic era and into real coffee shops, and let our friends know that we care. Set up a “play date” with your friends and have some laughs. If you haven’t heard from them, call and check up on them. 

Keep Lines of Communication Open

With all that’s going on in our lives and tons of messages, it’s often easy to misinterpret the actions of another. Take time out to talk. And don’t penalize your friend for feeling a certain way. There is a base to every feeling. Address the issue and accept that you both are allowed to feel differently about a given situation.

Share a New Experience

Volunteer, have a dance party, congratulate each other on your respective achievements, and learn about new talents. Do things together that help both of you grow. Even recognizing a friend’s talents or going out of your comfort zones together is a big step towards a shared experience that lasts a lifetime.

Focus on the Positive

None of us is perfect. We all have flaws that hamper our relationships. But after a while when we start getting too close, those flaws start to reveal themselves. More often than not, characteristics that didn’t bother us earlier start to increasingly offend us. Focus on best parts of your friend. That is the only way to keep any relationship going. 

Ask for Help and Accept the Answer

Asking for help is one of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome personally. I pride myself on doing things my way and by myself. This may often have created the impression that I don’t like to help either. So ask for help and be willing to be helped. It only makes the relationship stronger. But remember that your right to ask for help is equal to another’s in saying no. Often it is not that they don’t want to help, it’s just that the timing is not right. 

Be Your Own Friend

And most importantly, be your own friend first. Being dissatisfied with relationships is a state of mind which arises from the lack of comfort with being yourself. When you are happy being yourself, you are better equipped to enjoy the company of others.

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