My therapist has been gently (sometimes not-so-gently) pushing me to consider my friend groups.
I have three types of friends, I guess. My “real” friends–the ones I would call if I found out horrible new. My “local” friends–the ones I would call for lunch. And, my “local parent” friends–the ones with kids.
There are not many in each group, and there aren’t really any who overlap. My friend friends are only two, and they both live over 600 miles away. They’re the ones who were in my wedding, who knew the real ins and outs of how I almost died delivering my daughter. They’re the ones who text when I tell them a grandparent died or the ones who listen when I’m having problems with my mom. We don’t talk often–maybe every couple of weeks–but they’re always there. We’re in for the long haul and have a long shared history.
As I wrote about last week, my local friends are the ones with whom I work at the university; many of them hang out with me and my husband as couples. I’ll get lunch with them and chat almost every day. The problem? NONE of them have kids. It feels wildly incongruous with my own life. They have no desire to hang out with my kids, which I absolutely respect… it just means that we’ll never be best friends. I’ll never call them to discuss my anxiety over my kids or ask for help when one of them breaks an arm or needs stiches.
The last group is the one my therapist is most interested in–the local parents. I have a couple friends who I met through my kids’ school. They’re the ones at field trips and birthday parties and soccer games. I’m honestly not that interested in cultivating friendships with people just because they also birthed children. But, there are maybe one or two I actually like and could imagine trying harder to foster friendships with.
I told my therapist I’d consider it.