This blog post was originally going to go in a completely different direction. Originally I wanted to write about how to make friends when you’re a parent. I sat for a couple days and was really struggling with where to begin when it hit me. There have been a million posts about this exact subject and they all say the same things. I could tell you to join a parenting group or to go to playdates to meet other parents. As parents I don’t think making friends is the hardest part. I think it’s maintaining the friendships we have, while also being able to let friendships go.
Keeping FriendsBeing an adult is hard. We have jobs, and if you are reading this, probably kids too. I think we kind of forget how easy friendships were without kids. You could meet for a drink whenever you wanted or make plans without having to worry about tiny humans needing a babysitter or having activities to attend. Luckily for me, I am still close to my best friends from high school. We went different directions for a while. We moved, went to school, got careers and maybe didn’t talk for months at a time. The important thing is we were understanding.
I think the most important key to keeping the friends you have through the chaos of life is mutual understanding. Understanding that family comes first the majority of the time and that being busy doesn’t mean you care less. It all comes down to valuing the time you have together. It means picking the phone up to make plans and putting the phone down when you are together. Sometimes it means squeezing in a coffee date on your lunch to catch up. It takes effort from both sides, but also the ability to not always expect them to reach out first. Maybe they are just as tired as you. Maybe their mental health isn’t the best at the time and that’s why they haven’t reached out.
Moving on From FriendsUnfortunately as we get older and our lives change so do our friendships. I think coming to terms with letting friendships go that no longer serve me has been one of the most difficult things for me to deal with. Someone once told me “People come into your life for a reason and sometimes when they have fulfilled their purpose it’s time for them to go.” It’s so true. I have had friends who helped me get over nasty break ups, helped jump start my career and even friends that just gave me a new perspective on life.
People grow and change. It’s ok to move on from people who no longer fit your morals or lifestyle. Yes, sometimes it’s sad, but in the end it is just leaving more room for people to enter your life when you need them.
It’s not the amount of friends you have, it’s the value that the friends you have bring to your life. I hope you feel fulfilled by your friendships and don’t feel guilt over the friends that were lost.