I firmly believe we have different friends for different reasons and different seasons. Our childhood friends know us from “way back when” and can understand why we have all those weird idiosyncrasies. Our work BFFs will know where (and why) we hide our lunch in the office break room. Our mom bestie will understand why we “just can’t even” with the weekly PowerSchool updates. And our “cheerleader” friend is there to send us motivational GIFs and pep talk texts when we need them.
But the real MVP in the friend circle just might be our bitch buddy. You know, that friend who you can vent to about your mother-in-law or annoying thing your husband said this morning. The friend you can complain to about your kids’ constant fighting and the shitty weekend you had. The friend you can complain to about your first world problems, who will then respond with an “I hear you, I fucking hate that too. #FWP.”
My bitch buddy and I generally start each week with a “Hey, how’s it going” check-in text. What follows is a no-holds barred summary of all that is going on. We might bitch about how we’ve got a case of the Mondays, or maybe confess that it might be something more serious. We’ll bitch about the super-annoying-but-totally-inconsequential thing that our husband did the other day. We’ll talk about our families and work and, of course, our kids.
We vent. We complain. We bitch. And while I can’t speak on behalf of my bitch buddy, I know that at the end of it all, I feel better. I feel a little less alone and irrational. I feel calmer and a little lighter.
Turns out, there’s a reason I feel so much better after a bitch sesh. That’s because bitching is actually good for you. In fact, studies show venting actually reduces stress, and we could all use a little stress-relief given the shit show that is parenting, and the dumpster fire we’re living in these days. Just think of it as self-care.
Of course, no one wants to be surrounded by Debbie Downers or pulled down with constant negativity, but that’s why it’s important that the bitching be done the “right” way. In other words, it isn’t about burdening someone with your doom and gloom, but about a relationship of mutuality and authenticity. Nothing is ever sunshine and roses all the time. With a bitch buddy, you acknowledge that life can straight up suck sometimes. And even when life is pretty amazing, there are things that are stressful, burdensome, and just flat out annoying AF.
With a bitch buddy, we’re saying I see you and love you – good and bad, ups and downs, highs and lows.
Bitch buddies also understand the importance of mutuality. It doesn’t work if one person is bitching all the time, and the other person is nodding like a bobble head doll while sharing all the glowing details of their fabulous weekend with their fabulous family. There’s give and take, even when it comes to spilling tea and bitching. There’s also a healthy dose of tough love, because your bitch buddy isn’t going to sugarcoat things for you. If you’re off-base, they’ll tell you.
And because you’re constantly sharing the good, bad and ugly with each other, a bitch BFF also gets that you don’t always have the emotional bandwidth to take on their troubles as well as your own. They’ll take your emotional temperature before going full-on, five alarm vent with you. They won’t burden you with problems that could be triggering for you. And they might straight up ask, “Is it okay if I complain for a minute?” before letting it all hang out.
A good bitch buddy isn’t just someone who will feed off your venting, but someone who will listen and empathize. Extra bonus points for doing all of that and also giving helpful feedback that brings us out of our funk a little bit.
Not to mention all this bitching is good for our kids and families. Because we’re less stressed, we’re better able to handle the shenanigans our kids dish out on the regular. Not to mention, we’re showing them the importance of authenticity and acknowledging the rough edges in life. Life isn’t an Instagram filter, after all.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to text my bitch buddy about the crappy morning I’m having and see if her day is going just as bad. Then we’ll send each other a funny GIF and both feel a little bit better.
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