My husband Andy and I have always had a large, diverse group of friends from many different life facets.
- Childhood friends
- High school friends
- College friends
- Grad school friends
- Work friends
- Parent friends
- Neighborhood friends
- Friends of friends
These friendships are more than acquaintances. We see these people semi-regularly. We have a history of shared activities, we grab lunch or double date occasionally. It is an incredible blessing to have so many people that we actually call friends and have face-to-face relationships with. However, what we don’t do is hang out on a regular basis because all of these friends have only one thing in common, us.
Throughout our lives together there have been periods of time where we had a core friend home, but circumstances would change, people would move and there we were again stringing together all of our favorite people like a round rug with a fringe.
Fast forward to the realities of working parenthood and the fringe begins to fray. It is hard to keep all of the relationships, even ones you want to have. Now we find ourselves on the edge of others groups and when our friends come over for events or birthdays there is a large group, but most of them don’t know each other or they have only met because of us.
This doesn’t seem to be an uncommon occurrence. Some research suggest that adults on average only have two close friends. Other opinions are that social mediums like Facebook are actually making us less social. The need for shared experience and face-to-face interaction is critical to building relationships and it goes beyond a like or comment on a social status. However, people are spending less time interacting and more time in front of their screens. Thus hurting our ability to build friendships.
Now throw working parents into this crazy ever changing social sphere and things tend to get a little sticky. I occasionally look at the pictures of core friend groups on Facebook and wonder, how did they meet these people. Did they luck out in the neighborhood they picked? Do they make a greater effort than we do? What is the secret? Are we missing out? Or even better, is there something wrong with us? Laugh, I know, but if you are honest with yourself some of you have thought these same things at one point in your life or another. For now, I am holding on to my fraying fringe friend rug. Even if I don’t have a core group to hang out with every Saturday night, I have a lot of friends I care about. Hopefully they understand that this working parent thing is only a part of my now, not a part of my forever.
How does being a working mom hinder your ability to have and make a core group of friends?
Peace, Love & Friendship,