So, many of us SAHMs don't have many friends. Let's face it. It's not we're a bunch of anti-social wall flowers. I'll admit, I'm guilty of this, too. I guess I don't have a lot of extra time to invest in friendships. (Remember, time is the key ingredient to making any relationship work.)
But if you seem to find yourself with time on your hands, and you're thinking about picking up a friend or two, what do you need to keep in mind?
- Pick friends and acquaintances that are smarter than you. Forget about a "I'm the dummy" complex before it even starts. The point is to be around people who inspire you to grow and stretch your potential. Good friends make us better SAHMs.
- Allow yourself only friends that support you as a SAHM. If they sabotage you (i.e., make you feel bad or ashamed of being a SAHM), they aren't healthy. And that means they are not friends. You may need to remove yourself, physically or emotionally, from the negative relationships that sabotage your job as a SAHM.
- Women that bring out the best in you. Friends are supposed to be fun!
- Other SAHMs (to begin with). They "get" what your life is like. Plus, there will be other kids around to keep your kids busy while you chat.
- Somebody you'd be ok with your kids being around from time to time. Being a SAHM, there are many times that kids are with you during social calls. If you're comfortable with this person being around your precious little ones, then that's a good thing.
- Friendships with people with whom you feel compelled to compete with. This is a waste of time. Just relax. You can't judge yourself based on your house, your figure, or your children's accomplishments. This is shallow and self-defeating.
- People who have addictions to drugs o. You just don't need to invite that into your life.
- Stay at Home Dads. I'm not sexist or anything, but in my experience with Stay at Home Dads, the "working spouses" don't seem to appreciate this dynamic. Is it a little too cozy? On the other hand, my husband has women coworkers and I don't go bonkers. There seems to be different criterion when mixing SAHMs and SAHDs. I don't know, but it hasn't worked for me. Maybe you and your husband are more liberated.
- Women that just want to gossip about others. It's a waste of time, especially when you're wanting to improve yourself as a SAHM.
- People you feel compelled to fix, save, or mentor. It will become a one-sided relationship and take more than you receive. I did this a couple of times in my twenties, and I ended up getting involved in stuff that I had no business being involved in. I ended up quietly distancing myself from women who were already in rough shape emotion-wise. I really regret it.
- Refrain from being someone's side-kick. This is different from being a friend. If you are looking for a mentor, then go into the relationship with that intention and definition and ask the woman specifically to be your mentor. But mixing a girl-crush and friendship is a deadly combination.
- Don't confuse acquaintance with friendship. The first is essentially a stranger whose name you know. The other is someone you can trust. Be careful about sharing too much personal information with someone you don't really know. You never know where it will end up - and that kind of information has to be earned over time.