Recently, life has thrown me a curve ball. Let’s set the scene: Enter a 30-year-old, married, working mother of a toddler. She’s got a great set of close friends- those she’s known for 10-15 years each. One friend is married with no children, while the other is single and looking for Mr. Right. This mom cares for her aging parents through medical issues and they keep her free time very occupied. There is an absent, long distance, older sister who is in the picture when it’s convenient for her. Careerwise, she is working in an administrative position that hardly evokes passion and purpose in her day to day life. But overall, life is good! She provides for her family including a loving husband and darling 2-year-old, has the guidance of her parents, and best friends to remind her of the fun in life.
When I became a mom, it was a difficult adjustment, but my love for my son overrides any pain or exhaustion I might feel. Every heartache melted away when he smiled. Things were great- my dream life was slowly falling into a place. Supportive parents, check. Wonderful husband, check. Cutie pie fun-loving child, check. Girlfriends to gossip and be girly with, check. Life was grand.
Then in the past year, things changed in a hurry. The single girlfriend gained a boyfriend of the not so grand variety. Let’s just say, on paper, it didn’t look good. Not to mention part of his not-so-goodness brought involved drama that made things awkward for our other close girlfriend (the married one). She went against the grain with everyone to be with this guy- her family, her two best friends, and even herself in some instances. But love surpasses all. Needless to say, her attitude changed when she realized she was the only one thinking it was a good idea to be with this guy. She changed, we changed, and the friendship became nonexistent.
As the friendship with the single one dwindled, the stress and drama of it all brought me and the married one a little closer. It was nice to have someone that understood the situation as well as I did. Our conversations grew better, and hangout time was much fun. Then after a few months, she got some good news that all of us were happy about. We were so happy in fact, that I told some people about it. When people ask about your good friends, sometimes you can’t help but share in their happiness. I guess we crossed the line by spilling the beans. Next thing you know, the conversations turn into short texts, the hangout time turns into once a month (if that) dinner in groups, and everyone is so busy at work they can’t seem to make the time to eat or converse. Exit friendship 2, Stage right.
This, coupled with additional sister drama- a blatant discussion about not being able to come home even though dad’s condition is worsening- made solid girl relationships absent in my life. Within a year, I went from having a stable support system for any woman and mom, to losing 3 people I considered to be my sisters. It isn’t fun to raise a child without the support of people you’ve known at least half your life and thought would be there to be a guiding force for your child. Worst of all, I had no doubt in my mind that these women wouldn’t be there for me when I needed them. But now, things are different and every other day I wonder- did I fail the friendships somehow?
I watched Sex and the City 2 with my cousin last weekend…and I cried. I cried when Charlotte discussed the stress and guilt of being a mom. I cried when Samantha called the girls her soulmates. I cried when I saw the girls truly enjoying their time together and I thought, I miss that so much. So in true SATC form, I pose the question:
True or False? Can a mom in her 30’s maintain close girlfriends?