As our move date draws ever nearer, I have started to have a little mini-panic about how the hell I’m going to make new friends. I have never exactly been known for my friendship skills, either in nurturing existing ones or seeking out new ones. Making friends scares the bejeezus out of me, I’m not going to lie!I have a very distinct attitude when it comes to friends, be they old or new. I don’t have the time or the mental capacity to mother anyone other than my actual children. I don’t have it in me to mollycoddle or to be anyone’s be all and end all. Mr C is testament to that, and quite often hears
“Do what you like, I’m not really bothered”
when he asks my opinion for the sixth time on something. I’ve mastered the “Yeah. For sure. Mm-hmm” responses generally accepted during conversations that I’m not overly invested in.
It Shouldn’t Feel Like Effort
More than all of this, I’m not convinced that friendships (or relationships) should feel like effort. I don’t want to have to ignore your calls because I just can’t be bothered right now, and I certainly don’t want to have to explain my reasons for ignoring your calls beyond “I was busy”.
All of this probably makes me sound like a really shit friend (and person!) and maybe it does. But the true friendships that I have work perfectly well on this exact basis. Among my closest friends there are, obviously, mums who have an equal shortage of time (and patience for bullshit as I do. There are those with full time and demanding jobs, and there are those with just as full time and demanding social lives. All of these things mean that we all know that the others are probably busy most of the time. Yet none of us holds that against one another.
I’m Not Even Exaggerating!
These are some very true accounts of conversations I have had with some of my friends just this week.
Me: Dude! Hello!
K: Oh my god, you actually answered your phone! How the fuck are you?!
Me: I’m good mate! Wait, did I miss more than one of your calls??
K: No no, I just called you the once, I figured you were busy.
Me: Mate. I’ve been a bit off the radar, basically cos the kids have been like little dictators all week! Seriously, Wills has been beating the living daylights out of Amelia! Anyway, how’s things with you?
Me: I hope you have something special planned for my birthday.
X: When’s that again?!
X: Is T coming?
Me: Don’t know, he’s probably working. I haven’t actually organised anything, I just remembered it was my birthday and decided I want to drink!
X: Cool. I can do Saturday.
Me: Okies. T is working, I just asked. Pfft.
Me: It’s my birthday Friday, you free??
T: I’m working <sad face>
Me: Ah man… Thought you might be.
These are exactly the kind of friendships that I find maintainable. The kind where we go days, sometimes weeks, without speaking but it’s always cool. So it’s natural, I guess, for me to be filled with a certain level fear of having to make new friends in a whole new town, city, and part of the country.
Making friends requires a certain amount of dedication to nurturing them while they are in their baby stages. I get the distinct feeling that someone I have decided would make a good addition to my new friends list would probably not react favourably to being ignored for 2 weeks!
Surely I’m Not Alone?!
But then I got to thinking; maybe, just maybe, there are more out there like me. I mean, as you can see from above I’ve already found at least 3 of them! Maybe there are other humans, other mums maybe, out there who, like me, don’t want a mate who’s gonna be in their kitchen every afternoon drinking
tea coffee by the bucket load while they try to feign total at ease-ness even though they just want to cook dinner and holler at their kids in peace!
So I’m just gonna put it out there; anyone in the West Country, kinda Trowbridge area who fancies a new mate, hit me up! Just check in quickly below with what you will actually get from me in terms of friendship before you subject yourself to my distinctly unique brand of friend-dom!
As Your Friend I will;
- Always have coffee if you need it.
- Regularly think about calling or messaging you but inevitably forget to actually do so.
- Probably not be the one to initiate meet-ups, but will (mostly) welcome most suggestions (especially if they involve coffee).
- More than likely not contact you more than once a week, if that, depending on daily/weekly stressors.
- Always be totally ready with any advice you may need/want.
- Fiercely defend you/have your back/love you, despite all above failings.
This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums