13 February 2012
I keep seeing the quote 'friends for a reason, friends for a season or friends or life' recently.
I quite like it and particularly the 'friends for a season' part. I used to get upset when I realised I'd lost touch with certain friends. I was surprised that people who I had connected with and shared my life with, either at school or at work, seemed to go quiet on me. Once we no longer had that everyday proximity we drifted apart.
Now I understand that we can't be lifelong friends with everyone we connect with. It takes too much time and energy, particularly once you have children. I'm glad I shared a season with these people, I'm also happy I have a handful of lifelong friends.
Plan B wrote a wonderful post on making new friends recently, I would urge you to take a look, but do come back. The comments are excellent too, full of wise words and advice.
I make new friends in two ways now, online and via my children. They are very different types of friendship.
This became particularly apparent last week. It was the last week of term. We had been to nursery every day for six weeks and the boys were tired. They love nursery, but they needed a break and a rest. Consequently it was hard getting them to put their boots, coats, gloves and hats on and out of the door. When I say it was hard, I mean I had turned into a screaming banshee. There are only so many times you can ask a child to put their coat on and keep it on before you lose your rag. I hate to admit it, but the tedium of this daily battle had me in tears of despair.
When I got back from dropping the boys off, I went on Twitter. I started chatting to @kateab and mentioned I was having a hard time. Before long @pantswithnames and @vwallop were also chatting about the school run. We were all relieved that it wasn't just us and we discussed possible reward chart ideas. I love that my blogging friends are on the same wavelength and that they are there for me, even if we haven't yet met in real life.
Contrast this with the Other Mothers I know from nursery. We are sizing each other up at the moment. Who do we get on with? Do we have anything in common other than our children? Will our children all get into the school attached to the nursery? Will we be friends for life? Will Presley marry Lola? (Okay, that's probably just me being daft).
We have started meeting at each other's houses for play dates. This is going well. We are getting know each other over coffee and our children are learning to share their toys (some better than others, but that's another story).
I shared my frustrations with them, admitting to despairing at how hard it is to get a 4 year old and a 3 year old out of the door to go to nursery. They looked at me like I'd just done a poo on their Ikea rug (I hadn't). They looked at me with a mixture of pity and contempt. None of them admitted they shared my problem. Instead they offered advice like put their clothes out the night before and start getting ready earlier. Well, DUH!
I mentioned this contrast to my (very wise) mother-in-law and I think she got it spot on when she said that bloggers were used to sharing and the Other Mothers were used to saving face. I hope the Other Mothers do let their guards down soon. Perhaps I'll be brave and suggest a night out. Maybe the perfect parent masks may slip over a bottle or two of wine. I hope so.