Saturday

When Motherhood Ruins Your College Friendships

The joys of motherhood can often be shadowed by the pain of ruined friendships. Sometimes motherhood has a way of ruining college friendships. The following is a look at when motherhood ruins your college friendships, and what you can do about it.

Why it happens: The first thing you have to address is why it happens. The biggest reason that being a mom can ruin a college friendship is because if you are a mom, and your friends are not, your lives are on different tracks. They are in the career world, or out at clubs, etc. and you are up to your elbows in laundry, dirty diapers, and finding the right preschool. Your interests and priorities in life are suddenly very, very different. You no longer relate on the same level because you are not longer on the same level. Instead of being able to talk for hours on end, you usually end up sitting around with nothing to talk about. Basically, if you are a mom and they are not, or if they are a mom, and you are not, life is different.

How to make the results less painful: Many people feel a great void when they lose their college friends because they now have kids. While their kids bring them fulfillment and joy, it is still hard to not have as many friends, or to lose friendships that were once so strong. So, one of the things you can do to lessen the impact of the blow is to make new friends that are moms as well. You are not going to relate as well to those who are not moms, so if you lose one friend to motherhood, make another because of it. This really helps. Another thing you can do is simply fill the void with your child. You can take mom and me classes, teach them things, or spend time focusing on them that you would have spent going out with friends.

Protecting yourself from friendship loss: While the above suggestions work well, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is simply not to let your college friendships fall victim to motherhood. The following are three tips for helping you maintain college friendships, even after you have children:

1. Have kid-free outings with friends. If you get together with your friends, leave your children at home. Pay for a sitter. While your friends may think your kids are cute, and enjoy a moment or two with them, they are not going to want a shopping trip hauling kids around, or a movie where they are dealing with shushing kids up so they do not bother other movie-goers. So, when you do get together, don't take your kids unless they ask you to bring them along.

2. Don't lose your identity to only being "mom". One reason the friendships get ruined is because you have changed a lot. If you want to keep your friendships up, then don't lose your identity. Maintain the things that keep you unique. If you are only "mom" then your friends may not want or need your company.

3. Talk about things besides your kids. When you talk on the phone with your friends, when you are out with them, when you run into them at the supermarket, talk about politics, weather, past memories, the latest fashion, etc. DO NOT spend every second talking about the adorable things you kids did and said. It is not nearly as adorable to them, and can actually be obnoxious.


By Beverly Frank

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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