My Friends Help Me Be A Better Parent
I don’t have a lot of super close friends. I never have, and never will – although funnily enough, having a large audience on social media does make me feel like my friendship circle has increased a lot.
However, even at school my close friends could be counted on my hand. As I grew older, and moved through different stages in my life, the people who I classed as close friends still existed but moved on to do other things in life.
So my friends changed too.
I have now got a couple of amazing friends, who over the last year, have helped me to be a better parent; and I don’t even think they realise they’re doing it.
The last time I had friends like this, I was at High School. You know the ones – where you would chat every day on the phone for hours.
The way we chat has changed, but it’s effectively still the same thing.
While the kids are at school, we have a group chat that we talk in all day long. If we need some support of any kind, then the group “chat” becomes a video chat.
And this is where things really change.
Because we chat through video, we get an insight into each other’s lives; including how we parent our children.
I have seen my friends parent their children, and it’s actually a truly wonderful thing to be able to do.
Because it made me realise I actually am a normal mother; who parents pretty normally.
It’s so easy to get caught up in my own bubble where I criticise myself over every decision I make as a parent, and forget that others are out there doing the same thing.
When you get a glimpse of someone parenting – TRULY PARENTING – it really changes things.
We see parents at the supermarket, or out in public, and they’re parenting. But more often than not that isn’t REAL parenting. I mean, it is, but it’s more of a facade.
I know when I’m out in public I don’t parent the same way as if I was at home – mainly because I try to make it look like I’m a sane person and not a batsh*t crazy mum.
But when all of that facade crumbles away, and you’re suddenly with friends, in an environment where everyone feels comfortable; that’s when the magic happens.
That’s when you see what it’s like for them when they have screaming kids, or when their kids do something “naughty”.
Or you see what it’s like when their kids push them to the brink of insanity.
I have seen these moments with my friends, and by golly I feel so much less alone now after actually having seen it.
I wish all of us could get some insight into how other people parent, because it’s wonderfully encouraging to know that none of us are actually doing it wrong.
So the way my friends help me be a better parent, is by feeling relaxed enough to be themselves. I feel absolutely privileged to have them in my lives and to see that we are all the same: struggling with the day-to-day grind of parenthood.
Having the clarity of this really helps me relax more as a parent. And that’s good for everyone.
Nobody likes uptight Maria LOL.