Mamas, it’s time to step up our friend game. Our bestie status. Our babies are not excuses for bailing on our besties. Well, they kinda are. But, what I’m saying is we moms can do better.
Last week, I outlined 5 Ways Childfree Besties Can Stay Besties With Mommy Friends.
This week, I tackle how moms can hone in their inner homie.
Yes, mamas, we’re exhausted, and juggle life like a circus clown on crack. Everyone already knows that—and if they didn’t—you make sure to remind them.
But, just because we have less time to devote to a friendship, doesn’t mean we have no time. Don’t turn your once face-to-face friendship into a Facebook friendship.
We were childfree once. You remember what is was like a little bit? I mean, I know you’re not remembering much these days, like where you put your keys, or which child has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, but I know you remember your former, cool, unencumbered self. You know how I know this? Because I fantasize about my old self all of the time. I idolize that time in my life and call it the good old days. “BB,” Before Baby. I can’t be the only one.
Don’t we owe it to ourselves to keep some shred of that former life alive? For ourselves? For our number one homies? To honor that old self, and not belittle or begrudge our besties, for still living the life we once had.
Here are five things all moms can do to keep a friendship with their childfree bestie.
1. Exercise discretion when texting baby/kid pics to her. Like, she doesn’t need a million. She gets that you just gave birth to a human being. Duh. A human being that’s really cute. Double duh. She cares adequately. But she doesn’t give a damn about your play-by-play, tummy time, slow-mo slideshow that you sent to her. Or pics of the baby in every cute outfit you own. She doesn’t need an update every day on what your kid can do now (that shit’s for Facebook, yo). Limit your updates to the major ones—walking, talking and using the potty. Side note: Don’t send her pictures of your child actually using the potty. Nor pics of the “presents” in the potty. You know what? DON’T SEND THOSE TO ANY-FUCKING-ONE. But DO request pictures of her dog. Show interest in her fur baby.
2. Just say “yes” whenever possible to going out with your childfree bestie. And, I mean, out of the house. I know, I know, I can already see you rolling your eyes, like yeah, right this bitch is cray! Go out?! Bah!
A night will require you to get dolled up, arrange child care, and possibly pay for it. After a long week of packing lunches, work, bedtime stories and night terrors, I’m sure a night out doesn’t sound all that enticing. I’m spent every day of my life. I’m on empty. My idea of a fun Friday night is putting the kids to bed early, downing a bottle of wine, and binge-watching Netflix in my pajamas. But, someone needs to break us out of our hermit habits. That person is your bestie.
So, when your gal pal suggests a night out at the new, chic, local restaurant. Say “yes” if financially feasible. Mama you need this. Drink a cup of coffee (or a vodka Red Bull), and pretty soon you’ll be in the mood to put on a face of makeup, slip into some cute clothes, and spend quality, uninterrupted time with your bestie. Alright, mostly uninterrupted. Babysitter texts are totally important interruptions.
3. Try not to let every single disruption with your child break the plans you have with your bestie. You don’t want to be a flaky friend. Sick kids, injured kids, emotionally distraught kids, and babysitters that cancel all take precedence over plans. And I’m gonna go out on a limb here, get ready, cancelling plans just because you “don’t feel up to it anymore,” is a completely acceptable excuse for any adult of any age. Just own it. Be honest about why you are canceling, do it ASAP, and apologize profusely. Basically, don’t be a dick.
4. Carve out time to talk on the phone with your bestie if face-to-face isn’t always possible. Texting is totally acceptable, and probably preferable—most of the time. You don’t want to talk to her while your kids are screaming bloody murder in the background, or when your toddler interrupts your phone conversation fifty-fucking-million times for a snack.
“Mommy, I want a snack.”
That’s just annoying. Try to carve 30 minutes every few weeks or every few months (depending on how close you are) for a phone conversation sans screaming, whiny kids.
5. Be understanding and empathetic. We remember a life without children. I know it seems like a million years ago, but it’s true. You, too, used to only worry about yourself. (And your own food, your own ass, and your own happiness.) We used to have a lot more time to cultivate meaningful, social relationships. We don’t have the same amount of time anymore. We just don’t. It’s no longer about quantity. The quality of friendship you have will diminish, if you let it.
Like any other relationship it takes work. To keep the spark alive, I suggest you both agree on a set day/time every single week or month (again, depending on how close you are) that you either get together for a meal or talk on the phone, Skype, FaceTime or whatever. A wine Skype date is always fun. Treat it like a mandatory business meeting. My point is, get creative if you have to! Use technology to get faux face-to-face time.
Mamas, don’t think because we’re moms we’re suddenly exempt from being a good friend and all forms of social etiquette. I know you don’t pee alone anymore. I know you don’t come up for air very often. Your bestie, if she’s a true bestie, should give you a break. Just don’t take advantage of it. Try hard to keep the bond strong, because you never know when shit could completely fall apart. If it does, your bestie is the only one that will be able to make sense of it.