Every time I move, like a lot of you, I find it challenging to make new friends. I like to keep in touch with the friends I’ve made, but I also know that I need to make a few new ones in each new location. Here are 5 types of friends I can’t live without.
The Childhood Friend
This friend is great because she knows all the weird stuff about you from being a kid and she likes you anyways! Your childhood friend has really great blackmail pictures of you with your braces. She can make you laugh and remind you of when you said you’d never wear colored eyeshadow. This friend is particularly great when you’re in your new location and have no friends yet because she can remind you that you are cool and will make new friends someday.
With this friend, it’s fun to talk/complain about how you’re getting too old for really loud rap music and new social media platforms that neither of you really understand. Your childhood friend can reminisce with you about the past. You can text her for help to figure out why someone friend requested you on Facebook, and you know you should remember him from growing up but cannot remember him for the life of you!
I feel incredibly lucky to have a few friends from childhood who have put up with me for years and years. They have loved me through braces, boyfriends, college and now, children.
The Comfy Friend
Ahh, the comfy friend. A good comfy friend can be hard to find. But when you find one, never let her go. With your comfy friend, you can send your kid to her house with Cheeto dust on his face. A good comfy friend will take the leftovers from your fridge when you’re going out of town. This friend makes you try all her new Costco snacks and lets you hang out with her instead of going home and folding laundry. Your comfy friend knows you’re far from the perfect parent. A comfy friend doesn’t judge you when you lose your cool in Trader Joe’s because your potty training child just won’t go to the bathroom.
Your comfy friend is happy to ride in your van and doesn’t turn up her nose at the Sun Chips crumbs on the seat and happily moves the collection of sippy cups from under her feet. This friend is cool whether you’re dressed up to the 9’s or chillin’ in yoga pants together. Your comfy friend is the one you call to help with strange errands and favors. The comfy friend allows you to be comfy in appearance, in house cleaning and in child raising. You love your comfy friend because she loves you and you can both relax when you’re together. No pretense here. Phew
The Friend Who Plans and Has it Together
This is your friend who remembered to bring snacks to a playground when you feel lucky you got out of the house. Not only did she bring snacks, she brought extra to share. Your “on top of it” friend reminds you that it’s almost time to sign up for soccer and school. She let’s you know about that hard-to-find whatever it is she found at Marshalls. This friend may not have it “all together” all the time, but she helps with the things you don’t have together. If you’re lucky, the two of you compliment each other. It can be life changing to have this friend, especially after a new Permanent Change of Station (PCS). It feels challenging to navigate your way around a new city and having a friend who has been there and done that can be so helpful.
The Different Age Mom Friend
I’m not talking about your great-grandma’s age necessarily, but for me, this friend has been a mom friend who is a little further along in her mom journey than me. This friend gives you perspective. Much needed perspective. This friend helps you know that it gets better. You can see that her children are growing up to be normal individuals and that there is hope for your kiddos. Every move I’ve had, I have learned so much from this type of friend. Your different age mom friend can help you with your littles because her kids are grown. She doesn’t mind helping you scoot out chairs, and she finds your kid’s little quirks endearing because her teenagers are not that endearing these days. She enjoys your baby’s happy screams because her 10-year-old screamed at her that morning, and it was not a happy moment.
The Friend Without Kids
Let’s face it — it is fun to have a friend who doesn’t want to talk about bodily fluids and tantrums. This friend is a breath of fresh air. Sometimes you have to work hard to make and keep this friend, but it’s so worth it. This friend helps you keep the other parts of your brain intact — the part of your brain that likes music, thinking, literature or other non-kid related hobbies. Hanging out with my friends without kids reminds me of my identity as a woman and person and gives me a break from seeing myself only as a wife and mom.
My girlfriends have helped me through moves, the joys and not-joys of children and personal challenges. They have given my life so much meaning. These friends complete me, help me stay sane, and bring joy to the craziness of motherhood.