modernmommymadness

Making Friends with Epic B*tches (& Ditching Basic Ones)

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Parenthood is lonely, even though I am rarely alone. Someone is always crying at me, climbing on me, calling for me, and yet … NO ONE HEARS A WORD I SAY. It feels like I’m always talking but my words don’t land anywhere, they just disappear — into the walls, into thin air — not into the ears of my family.

That feeling of invisibility can really eat at my soul, making me feel lonely, unheard, and unimportant.

Sometimes I just want to slam my spatula down on the counter and inform my family that I have an education and I have creative thoughts and I have an extraordinary tolerance for pain and they all just need to shut up and listen to what I say, because I am a fascinating creature. This is why I need my people: friends who see me for what I am beyond motherhood, beyond the state of my home, and beyond the quality and frequency of my highlights. They don’t ask me for back rubs or sippy cups. They don’t want to fondle my bosom. They keep me tethered to reality.

They see me.

I often hear women, particularly mothers, lamenting how hard it can be to make friends as they grow older and settle into parenting, and while I do understand their struggle (because humanity as a whole is rather disappointing), I’ve also found that it’s actually becoming easier for me to sort through the basic bitches in order to find the epic ones. I can spot my people immediately because they are the ones who seem normal, which makes me want to hug them. And sometimes I do, because normalcy warrants a hug.

Aging is not my favorite activity by any stretch of the imagination, but I appreciate how it’s really helped me learn how to cut through the bullshit. I don’t have time to waste when it comes to anything. I know what I’m looking for, I know what works for me, and I’ll know when I find it. Life is too short to hang out with people who think that purses should always be made of real leather and that carbs should never be eaten. I require friends who order extra bread.

There are plenty of people out there to spend time with, but free time and mental space is a precious commodity. It no longer makes sense to spend three hours at the mall with someone who grates on my nerves and makes me want to gouge my eyes out because all she talks about is how fat she is. That is basic b*tch behavior. I’d rather stay home and chop garlic, thanks.

An epic b*tch is someone who comes over to drink wine at an inappropriate time of day and helps me fold laundry while we discuss everything from autism to Donald Trump’s hair. I know when someone is my people because she notices the same odd things that I notice, and she spends time mulling things over because she’s a thinker. She also does not judge me, ever. And I have a lot of things to judge.

She is the person I call when my husband is working late and I’m lonely and I’ve had too many glasses of wine and life just doesn’t make sense and I don’t know why I even went to college because I literally clean up urine all day. She listens to my bullsh*t and then tells me it is bullsh*t and then we formulate a plan together to overcome it. After I talk to her, I feel better. I feel heard. It’s like therapy, except that neither of us has any business guiding another human down the path to mental health. But somehow it works, because even if we aren’t technically helping each other, we’re still helping each other.

My people encourage me to press on when I want to give up, because they see my strength. My people understand that I am more than what I appear. They call me out when I screw up, and then they forgive me. My people value the parts of me that truly matter, because they see right past what is on the surface.

Epic b*tches are like unicorns: majestic and worth looking for. Don’t stop looking until you find them.

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Photo: Getty