As a mom it’s hard to make new friends. Most of the time the only activities I get out to are PTA and the kid’s sports or other activities. Otherwise I spend my days writing and cleaning the house. Because I work from home it’s pretty hard to meet people. It’s like dating all over again.
So when a friendship ends up being more toxic than fun, it’s particularly difficult to drop the friendship. It’s like wearing a tired old bra that isn’t really working for you anymore because trying to find a new one that fits right is a pain.
But, toxic friendships, can add drama you don’t need or have time with. This situation gets complicated when your kids get along. With the limited time and energy you have available you shouldn’t be wasting any of it on friendships that suck the life out of you. Here are a few times you should consider ditching the friendship and finding someone more compatible:
You are being used: Even if your kids get along, you don’t have to be the free babysitter. Yes, you should be giving in your friendships and help out when needed but if you aren’t getting any love in return, it’s likely your “friendship” is more like a master/slave relationship. Before you jump ship, talk to your pal and make sure she understands that you want to hang out but you need her to give a little in return.
You feel belittled: We’re women. We have opinions and lots of them. A good friend can disagree with one of your parenting choices without making your feel like an idiot. If you are a normal mom you already take enough guilt trips without a third-party railing on your perceived parenting shortcomings. If nasty Nancy keeps hounding you, make it clear you don’t appreciate the bashing. If she doesn’t stop, ditch the judgy-Mcjudgerson and find a better friend.
She isn’t nice to your kids: I tease my kids. My family teases my kids, but it’s all in fun and it’s never mean. I’ve had friends, on the other hand, that teased my girls in a manner I thought was inappropriate. There’s nothing quite like seeing your kid get their feelings hurt by a grown up to bring out the mama bear. You know your personality and your children’s personalities. Draw a line. If your friend is clear on what’s okay and what isn’t but still rags on your kids, shove that friendship overboard and find someone nicer to hang out with.
You feel crappy: Friendships aren’t supposed to make you feel bad about yourself. Sure, a really good friend will be honest and tell you what you need to hear. But there is a difference between loving concern and flat out malicious attitudes. If you spend more time feeling miserable than enjoying the friendship, it’s time to say farewell.
I’ve had a toxic friend or two and I’ve had get out of those relationships. As mom’s we want our kids to respect themselves and we should be teaching them to find friends who respect them and make them feel good about themselves. The first step to teaching our kids healthy behaviors is to live them.
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