As women, and especially as moms, we are expected to be everything to everyone.
Spoiler alert to my friends: I won’t be.
After conducting my own unofficial study at a recent baby shower, here’s what I’ve found:
- Women say they don’t want to buy fundraising items from their friends’ children.
- They also prefer spending one-on-one time with their friends versus forcing double date nights with each other’s spouses.
- A few brave souls admitted to not wanting to celebrate other kids’ birthdays outside of their own.
Yet all of us have done exactly what it is we detest in order to prove how much we mean to one another.
I attended this particular shower because the mom-to-be is important to me. I generally don’t like going to showers, bling-it-on parties, craft fairs, brunches, book clubs, or other gab gatherings. The gift I gave her future son was picked out to make my friend smile. I know I will not be there for every special moment in his lifetime, but I was there for this particular moment in hers. One that she has waited to celebrate for a very long time.
During the shower, I wondered why women tend to put unnecessary pressure on themselves to attend every social function in which they are invited, have a solution for every dilemma encountered, and generally be all to all.
None of us can possibly live up to those standards. Yet so many women wrestle with feelings of guilt for not being fully committed to others. We feel inadequate for not measuring up in our own social and familial circles.
I often get teased for being “the dude in the group” by my friends. I am classified as such because I tend to roll with the punches, not get caught up in the drama, forget dates that I should remember, and have a distinctive, baritone voice. Oh, and I like to tackle when I’m fed up with them.
As much as I dish on the male race, I think women could learn a thing or two from men.
(Note to my husband: mark this date on your calendar and add this particular post to your favorites.)
For instance, when’s the last time you heard a man say any of these things to his buddy?
- “Hey, thanks for taking my son to the bathroom. I had no idea he had to poop. I’ll take yours next time.”
- “You know, Mick’s birthday is right around the corner. We should really start planning now for a relaxing get-away
with just the guys.”
- “I feel bad that Michael has put on a few pounds. He’s an emotional eater. We should offer to walk the treadmill with him over lunch.”
- “Would you honestly tell me if these trousers don’t look good?”
- “I’m giving my dad the silent treatment. I don’t know if you noticed that he didn’t even say “hi” to my wife the last time we were all together.”
- “The holidays are right around the corner. Let’s put a $10 limit on presents this year. Or… OOOOOORRRRR… better yet, let’s make each other gifts this year!”
I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
My friends mean the world to me. I often neglect to tell them how much their influence has had on my life. They know my No. 1 priority is my family and they are there for me when I need to escape that priority to salvage my own sanity.
They, in turn, get a friend who makes them laugh, never remembers anything sentimental, prefers sports bars over salons, and won’t ever buy scented candles from their kids.
Heidi Woodard is married with three children. Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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